Lawrence High wrestling coach Jim Beltch and junior wrestler David Weroha provided an unusual study in contrasts Friday after the Lions' first dual victories of the season.
The Lions beat Kansas City Ward, 45-27, and Shawnee Mission South, 47-23, in a double-dual at the Lions' west gym.
"It feels good," Beltch said. "It's been a long time. This team's been struggling all season. We looked better tonight than we have all season."
But Weroha, who earned two quick pins Friday, had his doubts.
"This is the first match we've won," he said, "but we didn't wrestle the way we should have. Some guys got beat that shouldn't have gotten beat. But the lightweights came through in the second."
WEROHA WAS one of the lightweights who came through in both matches. He pinned Ward's Chris Mellot with 58 seconds left in the first period, and later pinned SM South's Jeff Jones 41 seconds into the first.
"Last year, as a sophomore, I led the team in pins," Weroha, a 125-pounder, said. "I just get after it and go for the pin."
After pinning KC Ward's Bobby Reyes, Lawrence's Kenyon Charity had no choice but to pin his SM South foe also. Charity, a sophomore in the 145-pound class, trailed South's Alex Pandzik, 11-6, in the final period before Charity earned a pin with 1:27 remaining.
"He's a strong guy," Charity said. "I had wrestled him before in a sophomore tournament and pinned him in the second period. I was trying to stay off my back. When you're on your back, there's always room for worry. But when you're down so much, especially in the third period, you have to think about turning him over."
CHARITY SAID he was not concerned with the Lions' slow start.
"Lawrence High wrestling seems to always start out slow," he said. "We build up and get better as the season goes on. We had a lot of guys in focus tonight."
Beltch said Friday's wins could prove to be a turning point.
"I think we turned the corner," Beltch said. "We're headed in another direction. I saw some things in the kids tonight that I hadn't seen before. I think they made some decisions, and I think one of those decisions was, they have to do some things they haven't been doing.
"We've been struggling all season. We've been struggling badly all season. I don't know the future, but I like the direction we're headed."
LHS will host a double-dual with Ottawa and Topeka Highland Park on Wednesday.