Salem takes down Canton at annual rival meet

Last year, two rival teams competed in the vigorous sport of wrestling and hoped to start an annual meet that the teams described as the “Rival Meet.” The two teams that competed against each other were the Canton Chiefs and the Salem Rocks, and in the first annual rivalry meet, Canton secured the win with a score of 45 to 32. However, this wasn’t going to stop the two teams from training even harder for the 2018 rivalry meet.

Canton coach Billy Taylor said, “Our guys train hard all off season, but this is the match they train hardest for due to the fact that you might be competing with someone you sit right next to in class, which gives these guys an extra mental boost to want to win.”

Coach Henderson from Salem knew this and he trained his wrestlers even harder this year to erase the 2017s meet bitter result from their minds. The Rocks were practicing extremely hard each day by practicing their moves over and over, which is called drilling, working out with weights at Barwis and were doing fake versions of matches with their own teammates. On the other side of the park, Canton was working on technique, running to build high endurance and was drilling for about an hour each day.

As the match approached the Canton captains Chris Little, Ben Samoy, and Zack Dehnke ran their teams. The Canton captains ran through their regular warm up which consists of jogging, running, drilling that consists of hitting takedowns, reversals, escapes, and pinning combinations.

After all of this, the Canton captains ran their team through a fake match and then a rally speech to get the team pumped up. But across the mat, the Salem captains were also running their team through a vigorous warm up and were mentally preparing their team so that their team could be ready for a tough night.

At 7 pm on January 10, the captains shook hands and spoke to the referee before the first match. Both set of captains made sure that their teams were ready to compete.

There was a different kind of atmosphere to this meet this year, though. Canton was overly confident as Salem was quiet but ready to compete, and ready Salem was. As the night rolled on, Salem was racking up points due to pins at seven of the 14 weight classes, major decisions at three weight classes, and two decisions compared to Canton’s only two wins came from a pin from Zack Dehnke and a decision from Chris Little. Canton’s confidence was diminishing as they saw a completely different result from the previous rivalry duel.

As the dust cleared, the score was 61 to 9, with Salem in the lead, which was a complete switch from the previous rivalry match. However, it wasn’t the score of the match that had tempers flaring, but it was the antics of the match that built a hostile atmosphere this year. During the match, the Salem wrestlers kept turning the flashlights of their phones on, throwing the Canton wrestlers off. Even after the match, while the Canton wrestlers were trying to roll up mats and put them away, the Salem team wouldn’t clear the mats and decided to sing their schools fight song.  According to Canton coach Billy Taylor, “I would never show or allow my wrestlers to be disrespectful towards a team that they train off season with. This disgusts me, and I have decided to cut off all ties with their team and coaches.”

When the next rivalry dual happens, you can expect both teams to have a certain amount of animosity towards each other and they will be training as hard as they can for the next 365 days to ensure they win the third annual match.