Ranger seniors pin down promise to win quick

By JOSEPH FANELLI
Herald Sports Writer

FERDINAND — The four seniors on the Forest Park wrestling team all made a promise to each other before their tussle against Mitchell in Ferdinand on Tuesday evening.

It was the group’s senior night, and prior to the match, they decided each of them would get a win by pin in their final home meet.

“I said, ”˜You guys need to put exclamation marks on it and make sure you get your six points and get a pin out there, at the very least come up with a win,’” Ranger coach Craig Recker explained. “I said, ”˜This is the one night out of your career that you get to be out in the spotlight.’”

Flamion

The four seniors then marched into the gym with their parents, nodded to the small crowd’s applause, hugged their mothers and gave them flowers.

And then they all went out and did what they promised.

In a night featuring just five contested matches, the Rangers swept them all by pin or technical fall for a 53-29 win.

“That’s fun,” Recker said. “That’s about as fun as it gets. Everybody’s happy and it doesn’t get much better than that, I don’t care how you slice it.”

It didn’t take long, either. After Forest Park won the first four weight classes by forfeit, senior Cody Flamion (126) walked out and pinned his opponent in just 41 seconds.

“We’ve been pretty hard on (Flamion) lately to step it up,” Recker said. “He’s a senior and running out of days, so Saturday (at the Forest Park Invitational) we were on him pretty hard and he definitely brought it pretty hard tonight.”

The remaining seniors followed suit. After watching his brother Colton Glenn come from behind in a double-overtime match and win by pin at 132 pounds, Winston Glenn (138) wasted little time before pinning his opponent in the first period. Leighton Fleck bullied his way to a win with another pin at 152 and Tyler Recker won by forfeit at 172.

Fleck

“The three that wrestled, I couldn’t ask any more out of them,” Craig Recker said.

Even for the Rangers, who with a undermanned roster are used to quicker matches because of forfeits, this one was pretty abrupt. Forest Park grabbed the win in a little more than a half-hour as the Bluejackets scored all their points off Ranger forfeits in the top weight classes. Phillip Rogier (145) was the Rangers’ other winner by a 16-0 technical fall.

And the night could have gone even faster if not for the lone competitive duel at 132.

Wrestling up two weight classes, Colton Glenn trailed Mitchell’s Joey Taflinger 5-3 but pulled a counter move from underneath to grab two points and force an extra period just seconds before the third period expired. The sophomore wrestled to a draw in the first extra period and first 30-second tiebreaker, but after grappling with Taflinger on the ground, positioned himself behind him and flipped him for a pin to seal the victory with 17 seconds remaining.

“You don’t see that kind of matchup very often,” Recker said. “We asked a lot out of (Colton) because he’s really our (120) and he moved all the way up to (132) to help us out tonight and then came through and got a win on top of it. That’s pretty big shoes we asked of him, and he did it.”

“If he would have lost, I would have been pretty mad at him because it was his match to win,” Winston Glenn said about his brother. “But that was probably my motivation for the night. Seeing him come and get that reverse at the end of regulation in the last two seconds; I pretty much went berserk after that.”

W. Glenn

As to how he was able to do it, Colton Glenn only shrugged and credited strong effort in practice.

“It’s a lot of hard work we put in to get to that position to do that,” he said.

It’s that kind of training that has helped the Rangers, despite giving up weight classes every night, earn 10 wins in dual matches this season. Craig Recker was all smiles when complimenting the effort his shorthanded squad has displayed this year, but he was quick to pinpoint the exact reason they’ve been able to succeed.

“The seniors are the reason why we’ve been doing so well,” he said. “There’s no question. They talk to kids ahead of time and they know if they go out and win their matches, that’s going to set up the tone.

“We’ve (picked up wins) more often than not, and given that we’re giving anywhere from four to five weight classes every night and still doing that, (it) puts a big a smile on my face. Makes me happy.”

“It’s weird that this is senior night and it’s weird that this is the last one, but it’s pure amazing what we just did out here,” Winston Glenn added.

Contact Joseph Fanelli




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