The McDowell Titan wrestling team got its season off to a good start, winning all three matches of a quad at Titan Gym Thursday evening.
Every wrestler McDowell (3-0) put on the mat ended up with a winning record, with four of them going undefeated.
The Titans whipped East Rutherford 60-21 in the opener before pulling out a close one in a 42-36 victory over a tough Chase team that beat McDowell last season. The Titans were too much for Hendersonville in the finale, blanking the Bearcats 76-0.
“Overall, I was pleased with them,” said Titans head coach Tim Hutchins. “There were some first-night jitters, but nobody came out with a losing record.
“We’re not even at the lineup I want yet. We’re a couple of weeks away. Hopefully by the end of next week or the following week, we’ll be at the lineup I’m looking for.”
The only hole in the lineup Thursday night came at 113, where the Titans surrendered three forfeits. But Hutchins expects Toby Finn to get down to 113 in the near future, giving McDowell the full lineup it lacked last season when the team had no 106-pounder.
Senior Toney McGee (126) started off his season in typically dominating fashion, going 3-0 with three pins. McGee was the State 4A runner-up last season after winning a state title his sophomore year.
Fellow state qualifier Jacob Phillips (152) also went 3-0, as did Aaron Buchanan (170) and 106-pounder Calvin Stevenson, who made his debut Thursday.
Every other Titan went 2-1. Those grapplers were Alldyn Conley (120 pounds), Dante Quitman (132), Daniel Maynor (138), Preston Dennison (145), Connor Good (160), Josh Morgan (182), Aamon Haynes (195), Tice Edwards (220) and Aaron Duncan (285).
Some of the Titans’ losses came in close matches that could have gone either way.
Conley’s loss was a hard-fought 8-6 defeat against a wrestler from Chase who finished third in the state last season. Conley gave up three points at the second-period buzzer and lost a point for locking hands.
Meanwhile, Duncan’s only defeat came in a 3-0 loss to a returning state qualifier for Chase.
McDowell is on the road at South Caldwell (tournament) Saturday. The Titans are at West Wilkes next Tuesday for a quad, along with Northwestern 3A/4A Conference foes South Caldwell and Watauga.