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OSSIAN — Two new faces in the lineup helped Columbia City head wrestling coach Blain Culp more than he could have expected Thursday night.
On the road in the Northeast Hoosier Conference, Columbia City wrestling took to the mat in search of their first conference win at Norwell.
After being down 27-0, the Eagles used wins from Brandon Ray and Tyler Olsen, who in their first matches of the season rallied Columbia City to a 40-31 victory.
“This is a great conference win for the team,” Culp said. “It should be a nice confidence booster to take into the halfway point.”
Starting at the 145 weight class, Columbia City surrendered the first five matches including forfeits at 160- and 171-pound weight classes.
Down quickly 27-0, the Eagles turned to Brandon Ray in the 215-pound class to turn things in the right direction.
In his first match of the season, Ray pulled off a pinfall win for Columbia City in the second period over Norwell’s Tony West.
Giving up the heavyweight match, Columbia City’s deficit grew again going to 31-6.
However, the Eagles reeled off the final seven matches starting at 103 with Michael Wright’s forfeit win.
Two more forfeits at 125 and 130 helped Columbia City in their rally.
Bryce Forrester picked up a major decision over Norwell’s Mitchell Wilson 15-7 while 119-pound Trey Hinen won by a 6-4 decision.
The 25 points tied the match up 31-31 heading into the 135-pound match.
In his first varsity match, Tyler Olsen took an 11-7 decision over Logan Harris.
“Tyler has great intensity and aggressiveness and it showed on the mat,” Culp noted.
Senior Justin Trigg locked up the win at 140 pounds. While City led 34-31, Trigg beat Brandon Sutton of Norwell with a pinfall 41 seconds into the match.