When the Eastside wrestling team got together before the season began to list its goals, winning the 2016 Newton Cup was toward the top of the list.
After a strong showing, particularly from the Eagles’ seniors, in the Cup’s final round against defending champion Alcovy, Eastside coach Earl Larimer and his grapplers can say, ‘Mission accomplished.’
“It’s been a few years since we’ve last won this,” Larimer said. “So this is for the seniors who’ve been close, but haven’t quite done it yet. We wanted to do it for the seniors and get it done before their outta here.”
Ironically it was sophomore Christian Curry’s pin against Alcovy’s Kristopher Prince at 285 pounds that sealed the deal. But if not for the senior trio of Gabe Bragg, Matt Malcolm and Tayshaun Mitchell taking care of business beforehand, Curry’s win may have been a moot point.
“Gabe, Malcolm and Tayshaun Mitchell were huge,” Larimer said. “Malcolm gets a pin at 160, Tayshaun gets a pin at 170 and Bragg gets a pin at 195. Those three pins from my seniors were huge. If they even just win the match without a pin, it’s not enough.”
The win was enough to touch off a raucous celebration of Eastside wrestlers, coaches and fans, as the Eagles claimed their first Newton Cup since 2011.
And Larimer said it was just the boost his squad needed in order to give his grapplers amped up for team region competition.
“It was really big for Curry,” said Larimer, who’s in his seventh year coaching Eastside wrestling. “I told Christian that I had confidence in him. When it looked like it would come down to him, I told him, ‘I believe you can get it done.’ It’s huge for his confidence, because at the end of the day, yes, it’s a whole team effort, but when it comes down to that one guy and they get it done, that’s a huge momentum booster.”