JEFFERSONVILLE — Wrestling matches are predominantly held indoors.
However Friday night — and thanks to an assist from Mother Nature, who delivered unseasonably warm weather — Jeffersonville hosted Franklin in the uniquely-entitled “Rage in the Cage” on the courts at the Mark Reilly Tennis Center.
“Last year we did ‘Rage on the Stage’ at Franklin, so this year we did ‘Rage in the Cage’ on the tennis courts. No only for social distance, but just to grow wrestling programs and the need to continually evolve and grow fun ways to wrestle,” Red Devils head coach Danny Struck said.
The Grizzly Cubs, who “could be a Top 20 team” according to Struck, won 11 of the 14 matches en route to a 55-15 victory.
Jeff, though, was missing several wrestlers who just finished up with the sectional-winning football team and hadn’t had their allotted five practices yet.
“So, all in all, I was proud of our eight first-time varsity wrestlers,” Struck said.
Leading the Red Devils was Nathan Eihusen, who pinned Lance Jones at 160 pounds.
“He worked hard for that,” Struck said.
At 152 pounds, Jeff’s Connor Gilles outlasted Noah McCann 4-1 in a matchup of semistate qualifiers from last year.
“Connor pulled out a great win,” Struck said.
In the heavyweight division, Franklin’s Jacob Johnson outlast Jaybreon “Penguin” Litsey 12-6.
“I was proud of Penguin,” said Struck, whose usual heavyweight, Matt Munoz, was one of those aforementioned football players missing. “”Penguin held the score close versus the number three kid in the state.”
The Red Devils’ other win came from Austin Smith at 170 pounds.
“This really was a great event,” Struck said. “I’ve never been a big ‘win or lose’ guy, more of a ‘bring your best version’ guy. Each kid did their best, and brought their best. It was great to see a top-level team and set our tone. We have more to give, it will be fun when all our football guys get there. It’s so much fun to have them be successful in both (sports).”