February 6th, 2011

Tigers Pin Rocks 31-28 In Dual Meet Action

Michael Shaw Mahoney

CSN Staff Writer

Tigers Pin Rocks 31-28 In Dual Meet Action
photo by Michael Mahoney

Korfhage flyweight win gives St. X victory

A whole morning of wrestling came down to one crucial minute.

Max Korfhage of St. Xavier and Andrew Chandler of Trinity, two freshmen mighty mites in the 105 pound weight class, battled to the bitter end with the fate of their respective teams in the balance. 

With the flyweights, anything can happen: quick reversals, instantaneous pins, just about anything. Korfhage scored on a reversal with 50 seconds left in the final period and needed to maintain his slim lead to give St. Xavier the team win. He summoned all the energy left in his utterly fat free body, and Chandler, though struggling gamely, just could not get free. With Trinity forced to forfeit a weight class, St. Xavier edged ahead on points and was declared the day's victor: 31-28.

It was yet another triumph this season for St. Xavier wrestling in their grudge match with arch-rival and defending state champion Trinity. The regional tournament and the state finals loom. The Tigers and Shamrocks anticipate more tough clashes and a whole lot more drama.

In the heavyweight class yesterday, St. Xavier's Chris Lawrence faced Trinity's Will Flynn. Lawrence, a defensive lineman already offered a scholarship to Indiana University, weighed in at 228 pounds, 25 pounds lighter than his opponent, also a football player. Lawrence was quick on his feet, but when Flynn got his opponent down,  that was all she wrote. Flynn became an immovable object, pinning Lawrence with relative ease.

"My opponent was really worked up," Flynn commented afterwards. "He was sweaty which made it hard to get a grip on him. He was juking around, but I stayed patient and waited for an opportunity." Though happy with his individual accomplishment, Flynn lamented Trinity's loss, "We're going to be back tomorrow (Sunday) hitting it hard, getting ready for state because we can't take this loss and we have to learn something from it." 

Earlier in the day the teams traded individuals triumphs. St. Xavier got wins from Dylan Bish and Brandon Pledger while Trinity racked up some valuable team points with two pins, one by senior Evan Brohman and the other by the indomitable John Fahy, a reigning state champ. St. Xavier's iconoclastic Kyle Honeycutt, wrestling at 140 pounds, got bogged down in a surprisingly staid match and was nipped by two points after a reversal by his opponent Brent Hitchings. 

Hoping to turn the tide, the confident Hunter French, who rallied his Tiger teammates all morning long, stepped on the mat. French faced off against Trinity senior Austin Pender, an old friend and teammate from middle school days. The amiability stopped when the two grapplers took their first lung at one another. In the waning moments of their battle, French dropped Pender hard, going ahead 8-5 on points. He held on to keep St. Xavier in contention.

St. Xavier then went on a roll with two further victories, Cody Despain holding on to win over Jacob Smith and Sterling Thomas nearly pinning Ricardo Caicado with 30 seconds remaining in his 3-0 win at 160 pounds.

Then it was time for the ever popular defending state champ John Lampe, a recent star of the television program Extreme Makeover. Lampe battled Trinity's Trenton Kulmer - and another bloody nose - in the most exciting match of the morning. At one point Lampe grabbed Kulmer's right leg and dragged his opponent back in the circle.

In the third period, right in front of the Trinity coaches, Lampe slammed Kulmer down on the mat, a move judged too physical by the officials. The crowd roared, Trinity's coach Richard Brown jumped from his chair in protest, and a timeout was needed to sort out the score. In the end, Lampe held on. He also became St. Xavier's all-time takedown leader in the process.

In other matches of the big boys, Trinity's Bobby Bryant proved too much for Will Tompkins and St. Xavier's Shane Smith, in part avenging his loss to Brandon Darrow earlier this year, gave as good as he got, avoiding a pin while going the distance in a back and forth contest.

Both head coaches, Jim Kraeszig of St. Xavier and Richard Brown of Trinity, seemed pleased with their boys' efforts and heartily thanked the many families that came out to support the grapplers. Max Korfhage, a hero of the day, emerged from the locker room to reflect on the Tiger triumph.

"I was thinking I can't let him get off bottom," Korfhage said of his opponent. "I've got to put him on his back and seal the deal." The freshman was well aware of the responsibility placed on his shoulders to push St. Xavier ahead on points. "I knew I had to wrestle hard and win," he said. "If I lost, it would put our team points in jeopardy." Tiny wrestler, tremendous pressure. Big-time gut check, big-time win.

For video highlights from the meet, visit the "CSN TV" section on the right side of LouisvilleCatholicSports.com's home page.


Recent Articles