Wildcat wrestling becomes first team in four years to beat Warriors

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Westview 106-pound grappler Kiel Resnick got the Wildcats' night off to a great start with a six-point pin against Aloha. Resnick was one of three straight pins for the Wildcats who built a 27-0 lead.

Call it the dawn of a new day.

Regard what the Westview wrestling team accomplished against Aloha on Jan. 8 at home, handing the Warriors’ their first Metro League loss in four years in front of a full-throat crowd, as a changing of the guard.

Dub the Wildcats as giant slayers, Davids finally dethroning the Goliaths of the Metro League.

However you choose to frame it, know that what Westview did to Aloha by winning its first five matches of the Metro League dual meet en route to a 39-29 win was about making a dauntless message, a steadfast proclamation to rest of the region.

The Wildcats are here to stay and they’ve cemented themselves as genuine threats to the considered top three big dogs in Special District One: Aloha, Hillsboro, and Glencoe.

“This is a huge statement,” said senior 120-pounder Joel Timmons. “Nobody’s beat Aloha in the Metro League in four years, so this is going to put us on the map. This is what we needed. It’s a huge confidence builder for the whole team To finally be able to beat them my senior year is huge. It took a whole lot of hard work, determination, believing in each other and yourself.”

“We finally put it all together tonight,” added 106-pound Kiel Resnick. “We all just worked really hard at it, kept it going, and got a win. It was great. We just kept fighting. It was our match, our choices and we just went out there and won.”

“We’ve been talking about this for so long,” said 132-pound winner David Escobar. “We’ve put in a lot of hard work. All the hours we’ve put in, the running, the practices, this is what we do it for. We come out here to win. We don’t practice hard to come out and lose.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Westview 132-pound wrestler David Escobar was the fifth straight Wildcat to beat Aloha on Wednesday.

Westview’s possible mutiny of the Metro League got off to a rollicking start as Timmons (3:04) Resnick (2:43), Escobar (4:39) and 113-pound Juan Garcia-Hernandez (0:16) all won by pin to give the Wildcats 24 team points. 126-pound James Zeng won by decision over Aloha’s Omar Murphy, which gave Westview a commanding, almost insurmountable, 27-0, lead just five grapplers into the match.

As the table setters and tone setters at the top of the roster, the five-some knew they had to come out with fire and inspire the rest of the Wildcats.

Timmons treated Aloha’s Alex Ashbrook the same as any competitor, breaking down the Warrior with a couple of takedowns to eventually get the six-point pin a minute into the second round.

“We needed every single point,” said Timmons. “If we wouldn’t have pinned one of those guys, it would’ve been a one-point match and then it’s a different story.”

In the past, Resnick was plagued by slow starts to matches but, against Corbin Rupe the lightweight kept working and moving into the Warrior. Resnick sought to push the pace of the match and control it from the opening handshake.

“I wanted to make sure my defense was good and kept my offense on him at all times while never letting down,” said Resnick. “I wanted to get a nice, little streak going there for everybody to stay fired up, get out there and win.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Westview senior captain Joel Timmons won his match against Aloha to help the Wildcats build a big lead early on against the Warriors.

Last year, Escobar alleged, the Wildcats were a much younger team that was still learning and wasn’t ready for the battle-tested Warriors. Turning the tables on Aloha, after an offseason of hard work and exertion, was just what the doctor ordered for Westview.

“It feels good to show the rest of the Metro that we’re back,” said Escobar. “We’re better than last year, and we’re ready to go for the rest of the season. Last year we were underdogs. This year, I’m guessing people think we’re still a weak team, but we’re here to show them otherwise. That’s what our hard work is showing up for.”

Garcia-Hernandez’s pin over Andrew Basham was by far the fastest of the night, coming just 16 seconds into the first round.

“I just had to stay focused, stayed confident and knew I was going to win this match to help out the team,” said Garcia-Hernandez. “This got our confidence pretty high, and I think our team is going to come up pretty high this year.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Westview 113-pound Juan Garcia-Hernandez notched the Wildcats fastest pin of the night, flattening his Aloha opponent in 16 seconds.

Zeng said Westview knew it was the underdog going into the match, yet maintained its workmanlike mentality to shock the reigning kings of the Metro League. At 126 pounds, Zeng won by decision over Omar Murphy and tallied three points for the Wildcats. Zeng kept his movement going, took his shot and grinded Murphy for the six-minute win.

“This means they can’t overlook us anymore,” stated Zeng. “Schools are underestimating us because of stuff in the past, but this just means we’re here. They have to look out for us now. We just have to keep working hard, working in the mat room and we can win this (the Metro League).”

Caston Elliott took down Manuel Alvarez in the first round, but Alvarez responded by jumping on Elliott’s back and notching a two-point takedown. The 145-pounder escaped Alvarez’s grasp, however, stood up and wrestled Alvarez back to the canvas for the 1:53 pin.

“I didn’t think I’d get it that fast,” said Elliott. “But, I still did. It took everything we had today. Just to beat Aloha is freaking great. The two, three years we’ve been here we’ve just worked for this moment.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Westview 145-pound wrestler Caston Elliott celebrates his pin in the second round against Aloha.

How Westview approaches the rest of this season with such an immense victory under its belt remains to be seen. The Wildcats surely don’t want to get too fat and happy over a regular season victory. While the win is important, Westview doesn’t want the triumph to be the only highlight of the season. Timmons said the program’s come too far and made too strides at this point to turn back. From here, it’s only upward and onward, the captain said.

“We have to go into every dual with the same amount of confidence and determination,” said Timmons. “Then, we can take care of business and take the Metro. That’s been the goal since (head coach Delaney took over as the head coach when I was a freshman. I think we got it this year.”

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