Story and photos by Chet Piotrowski Jr.

Charleston freshman Morgan Smallhorn joined the wrestling team to get in shape for the spring soccer season,.

Little did she know what would happen on the mat Monday evening.

“I want to get in shape for soccer and thought what better way than wrestling,” she said. 

The freshman grappler reversed out of a second nearfall, and pinned Robinson’s Kay Shook in the 126-pound weight class with 8 seconds left in the first period for her first-ever victory – and one of four Charleston victories in a 59-22 defeat to the Maroons.

“It feels pretty good,” she said. “It was definitely a struggle. It was hard at first. After a few times she picked me up, you learn to pick up on those cues on what she was going to do and how she was going to do it.”

She said she’s enjoying the comraderie the sport provides.

“I’m out here to get in shape but also enjoying the way the team is as a group,” she said. “I kinda like the adrenaline it gives you.”

Smallhorn, one of five female wrestlers is excited of the prospects for her and the four other female Trojan wrestlers.

“I haven’t seen a whole lot of girls wrestle, but to come out here and be able to see how well we can compete along with the boys as athletes is pretty amazing,” Smallhorn said. “To be a part of that is pretty cool.”

Charleston wrestling head coach Mike Stanley was impressed by Smallhorn’s will power.

“She came out got taken down and put on her back with some moves that we haven’t worked on defending yet,” Stanley said. “We’ve only had a couple weeks. But again, she’s got some willpower. She didn’t give up. That made her go harder. She did get turned. She kind of broke that girls will. Once she get that girl on her back, she kind of gave up.”

At 220, Marcelly Bolling defeated Paul Benton, 17-9, in what Stanley described as a “grind.”

Bolling had raced out to a 6-1 first period lead before conceding ground in the second period to retain a 7-5 point advantage over Benton. It was more of the same in the third as the two wrestlers eventually got gassed.

“He battled it out, man,” Stanley said with a smile. “It was a grind. They were both scoring points. It was just who was going to keep going longer. It was good to see Marcelly being a tough fighter. You kid see when the kid walked off the mat, he had had enough of him. It was a fight of the wills. Marcelly has some will power. It’s only his second year wrestling. He’s only a sophomore so he’s going to do some good things by the time he gets out of here.”

Stanley believes that Bolling’s football skills will play a key role in his success.

“He’s a football player too and you can see his skills coming through,” he said. “ I think his wrestling skills come back over to football so it’ll play off each other there.”

Overall, Stanley was pleased with the team’s performance considering his wrestlers’ inexperience.

“I thought we did well for our first meet out here,” Stanley said. “We just did our weight certifications two days ago, so a lot of the guys that came out tonight and wrestled for us went up a weight with how it all worked out. They weren’t able to get down to the weight they wanted to wrestle at this year. We have a few out with grades and injuries. I was proud and happy with what we did.”

Stanley has high expectations for Smallhorn.

“I do expect us to show decent through the state series with our girls,” he said. “The pool is thinner for girls. There is competition, but it’s not as deep. I think the girls we have can be able to do that.”

Wrestling results

106 – (Robinson) Landon Cornwell wins by forfeit

113 – (Robinson) Brody Kelly wins by fall :50 over (Charleston) Lucas Ross

120 – (Robinson) Keaton Ault wins by fall :10 over (Charleston) Raechele Coleman

126 – (Charleston) Morgan Smallhorn wins by fall 1:50 over (Robinson) Kay Shook

132 – (Charleston) Steven Hanson wins by fall 2:39 over (Robinson) Rachal Richey

138 – (Robinson) Keegan Tool wins by forfeit

145 – (Charleston) Kenny Merill wins by fall 1:52 over (Robinson) Lenox Parker

152 – (Robinson) Kahne Hyfe wins by forfeit

160 – (Robinson) Drueyon Johnson wins by fall 1:25 over (Charleston) Ben Coffey

170 – (Robinson) Jared Herman wins by fall 5:28 over (Charleston) Alec Sellers

182 – (Robinson) David Staller wins by forfeit

195 – (Robinson) Braxton Pethall wins by forfeit

220 – (Charleston) Marcelly Bolling wins by dec. 17-9 over (Robinson) Paul Benton

285 – (Robinson) Dalton Woods wins by fall :45 over (Charleston) Stormy Hughes