GARNER — When Jacob McBride started laying out his goals prior his freshman season, 100 wins was always something he thought was very obtainable. He just didn’t know it would come so soon.
Thursday night in a triangular at Garner-Hayfield-Ventura with Belmond-Klemme, the Newman Catholic junior eclipsed the 100-win mark with his 100th and 101st career victories. The Knights also rolled to a pair of dual wins to finish the night 2-0.
“I was focused from the beginning to get it my senior year, but to get it my junior year is pretty good … the amount of matches I wrestle, I think it’s really good,” McBride said.
On Thursday, it was a pin in the second period vs. Belmond-Klemme’s Logan Heaberlin that sent the Newman faithful into a frenzy, waving their '100' signs to honor McBride.
McBride turned a 0-0 match after one period into the pin, and it was his wrestling in the second that showcased how far he’s come.
“He’s a go-getter. He truly is,” Newman coach Mark Bertsch said. “We’re getting him to the point where I think he’s realizing that he can go to combination and moves, which is really important for him to learn to be able to go from one to another.”
McBride, who wants to avenge his early exit last year at state, went on to win by forfeit in his other match.
“I’m ready to go into state and take back what happened last year and go for it,” he said.
In Newman’s two dual victories on the night — 57-15 over B-K and 48-24 over GHV — the match of the evening proved to be Chase McCleish vs. B-K’s Tucker Kroeze. McCleish, who’s ranked ninth at 170 pounds in Class 1A, bumped up and hung right with Kroeze, who is the eighth-ranked wrestler at 182 pounds. In the end, it was Kroeze taking an 8-6 win by decision in which he held off a late flurry by McCleish.
“He never got flustered even though the kid got a really good shot on us and got a takedown” B-K coach Leigh Jass said of Kroeze. “We were up by one point, and it was ‘Hey, we’ll send him back on his feet and let’s take him down again’ type of deal. Not afraid to give up a point. Every once in awhile a guy’s going to get in on a shot, but he knows that in a clutch situation that he’ll be able to rely on his technique and come right in on a good shot against a good kid.”
It was a match, though, which almost didn’t happen.
McCleish went up to Bertsch before the match and begged him to bump him up for the test. Bertsch declined initially with the thought of not getting him hurt so late in the season.
“Finally I said ‘If you really want to do it, it’ll be a great experience because this kid’s good.’ And he almost got him,” Bertsch said.
Cael Wollner, Cade Hansen, George Schmit, Kam Black, Ben Jacobs and Kaden Kratz each added 2-0 nights for the Knights.
GHV topped Belmond-Klemme 37-24 in the evening’s other dual.
COMING SUNDAY: Dual wins have been hard to come by for Belmond-Kelmme, but the Broncos boast two of the best wrestlers in the state in Tucker Kroeze and Cameron Beminio. Each are eyeing a podium finish at this year’s state meet.