Three seconds into his wrestling match at 220 pounds, Chase Stegall took a chance and scored a takedown.
Ending a match quickly is a primal urge for Stegall, a Northwest senior and three-time Class 4 state medalist. He pinned Fox’s Dalton Tracy in 51 seconds during a dual meet in Arnold on Jan. 8.
When Stegall knows he’s wrestling against an inexperienced opponent, he said he could easily use that mat time to work on moves and maybe perfect a takedown. That’s not his objective.
“I don’t like to mess around. I like to get the job done,” Stegall said.
Northwest head coach Ron Wilhelm said Stegall is too humble to practice takedowns during matches.
“He realizes a pin is the ultimate in our sport and he could get as many takedowns as he wants, but he doesn’t want to embarrass anyone,” Wilhelm said.
It was a dominant night for the Lions in the girls and boys dual meets.
Unlike Northwest, Fox doesn’t have enough girls to fill out the 12 weight classes. The Lions took forfeits between 103 and 125 pounds and won all five matches on the mat for a 66-0 victory.
On the boys side, the Warriors forfeited three weights and won two of the other 11 matches as Northwest cruised to a 63-10 victory.
The Lions are in the Suburban Conference’s top Yellow pool, while Fox is a tier below in the Red pool.
All three Class 4 state qualifiers for the Warriors were seniors last season. Sophomore Dan Bauer has been Fox’s top wrestler this year and was wrestling at 120 until recently when he dropped down to 113. Bauer beat Northwest junior Kody Kretzer in a 12-1 major decision at 113.
First-year Fox head coach Matt McKinney said Bauer could be a “bubble kid” at districts this year.
“After we got down to 113, he’s really been on a tear,” McKinney said. “He’s wrestling his style and imposing his will upon opponents. That’s what we teach in the room so it’s good to see that.”
McKinney is the Warriors’ third head coach in three years. Bauer said there’s been more conditioning at practice this season.