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Heading into the 2013 State Dual competition many around the state expected LaRue County to finish as one of the top four teams in Kentucky in the small school division. When the dust settled, the Mat Hawks took home the third-place trophy.
“We had a terrible draw,” said head coach Gary Canter. “There was one two-seed in the tournament we didn’t want to wrestle in our pool. They fell into our pool and we ended up having to wrestle them to start to the day. We have always been a slow-starting team and to face Fort Campbell right off the bat, was not good.”
All day long, the Mat Hawks followed their coach’s philosophy in winning duals, pinning and not giving up pins to help the team secure its third-place finish. Against Fort Campbell, the Mat Hawks started fast and slowly pulled away. LaRue registered three pins out of the first five matches and were able to forfeit the last two matches in the dual and still win 36-33.
“Once we have wrapped up the win, I like to forfeit as this helps to keep many our wrestlers fresh for the tough matches I know we would have later in the day,” said Canter.
The next dual in the pool was against Louisville Fairdale. This dual was never in question as the Mat Hawks started quick and never slowed down easily cruising to a 46-29 win.
This put the Mat Hawks into the championship pool against the top-ranked team in the state, Union County. B.J. Carman started the Hawks off with a pin but that was the only lead on the day as Union County rattled off win after win and easily outdistanced LaRue County, 43-24.
“Union County is tough,” said Canter. “For us to win, we had to win all the close matches and then get an upset or along the way. None of that happened and Union County not only beat us but went on to win the small school crown.”
The loss put LaRue County into the third place dual, facing second-seeded Louisville Moore.
After the fourth match, the score stood tied, 12-12. Then Louisville Moore ripped off 15 straight points to take the lead, 27-12.
The Mat Hawks didn’t give up. It was at the 132-pound weight when they started their comeback with Dylan West’s. Raymundo Perez followed with a pin of his own at the 138-pound weight class.
Spencer Hines at 152 pounds and Caleb Canter at 170 pounds, also were able to secure pins and the score stood tied at 33-33 with one match to go.
Carman, who has been ranked number one all year at the 182-pound weight class, took the mat against the second-ranked wrestler in the state. Just a week earlier, Carman had suffered his first loss of the year and also lost his top ranking when he lost to the Moore wrestler at the South Oldham tournament. This result would be different from the one a week earlier as Carman easily won the match, 10-2 securing the third place trophy for the team.
Three wrestlers were undefeated: Hines, Caleb Canter and Carman.
“We had a good day,” said Canter. “I am proud with how hard this team has worked all year long. After that first week at Oldham County, if someone would have told me that this team would finish third in the state, well, I would think they are crazy. This team has worked hard and has earned all they have achieved so far this year.”