Winning day for Callaway wrestlers

Published 3:15 pm Thursday, November 30, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

It was a winning day for Callaway’s wrestling team, which got the best of Temple and Pacelli on Tuesday.

Callaway beat Temple 54-18 in a Region 5-AA showdown, and it had no trouble with a short-handed Pacelli team that only had four wrestlers.

Callaway head coach Jason Boatman said there were a lot of highlights, with some of the younger wrestlers showing tremendous progress.

One of those wrestlers is Michael Ewers, who struggled in the season-opening tournament in Carrollton.

“We went to the JC Ferrell Duals, and it was rough on him,” Boatman said. “You never know with a first-year wrestler how they’re going to respond to that, and he came to practice during Thanksgiving break and got after it and got better. Tonight, you saw how much he improved.”

Boatman said Austin Thomas and Cole Labaff, who recently made the transition from football to wrestling, both won matches on Tuesday.

Another highlight was provided by Brandon Belton, who won his first varsity match.

“He’s gotten junior-varsity wins, but that was his first varsity win,” Boatman said. “I was really proud of him.”

Senior Justin Kiss, who was a state placer as a freshman and a sophomore, won both of his matches on Tuesday.

Matthew Wingate didn’t win his match, but Boatman said it was still a productive day for him.

Wingate was taking on a wrestler from Temple who finished second in the state last season, and it was a competitive match.

“He wrestled him tough,” Boatman said. “It was close until the end, and he fought like crazy. Last year he got beat up. Tonight, he fought hard.”

Boatman said it was important for the wrestlers to see that the work they’ve put in during practice is paying dividends.

“There was a lot of encouraging stuff,” Boatman said. “It’s nice when you practice, and then you win and see that it’s paying off.”

Boatman added that “we’ve got a long way to go, and we saw some things we can improve on.”

Callaway will participate in the Woodstock Wolverine Classic on Friday and Saturday.