Jonathan Wright can be found during a Battery Creek High School wrestling match pacing behind the bench, shouting instructions or encouragement. He is often joined in chorus by teammate Deandre Johnson and maybe a couple of others -- those engaged in the outcome and working to improve the Dolphins' chances.
A few leading many, Wright said. The Dolphins heavyweight wants more of his teammates on board after a 45-36 loss to Richmond Hill in the final match of the night Wednesday. Battery Creek earned a Region 6-AA victory earlier in the night by defeating Bishop England, 72-12, on the strength of seven pins.
But the loss to the Wildcats was what everyone felt as the gym cleared.
"They've got to want it for themselves," Wright said. "Some of these guys out here, they had it. They had single legs, double legs -- everything they needed to win. Their heart just wasn't in it. If your heart isn't in it, you don't need to be here."
Wright pinned Richmond Hill's Dominique Wilson in the night's final match, one of four consecutive Battery Creek pins to cut the final margin. Deandre Johnson, Isaiah Sloan, Seth Priester and lightweight Joseph Cuevas also earned pins against the Wildcats.
Battery Creek beat Richmond Hill in the championship match of the Atom Smasher duals back in December. More pins helped the Wildcats the second time, first-year coach Bob Parker said.
Dolphins coach Nathan Day was forced to bump several wrestlers up in weight class Wednesday to account for a hole in the lineup. He said some of the Wildcats' dominance in the middle bouts -- they won eight consecutive matches from 120 to 170 pounds, including seven pins -- could be attributed to the Dolphins wrestling out of position.
The tri-match was the Dolphins' last prep for their Coach Trap Memorial tournament, which starts Friday and features 15 teams. The competition will be stiff.
"This won't be our last loss this week," Day said.
Battery Creek welcomed back Caleb Weaver, who returned from a broken collarbone, and Jimmy Sanchez, who was wrestling for the first time since suffering a concussion back in November.
Weaver, normally at 120, was forced to wrestle up to 132 against Richmond Hill and was pinned. Sanchez won with a pin against Bishop England, but was pinned by Wildcats' 126-pounder Darin Foy.
"They're too good to bump a lot of guys up and try to beat them," Day said. "They fought harder than we did, for sure, tonight."
The pair has eight practices before Lower State to regain proper conditioning, Day said. This weekend's tournament should also provide much-needed mat time.
Battery Creek 72, Bishop England 12
Note: Match started at 285
106: Joseph Cuevas (BC) won by forfeit
113: Jacob Bessinger (BC) pinned Andrew Collins, second period
120: Mario DelaRosa (BE) pinned David Hatfield, second period
126: Caleb Weaver (BC) won by forfeit
132: Jimmy Sanchez (BC) pinned Ben Daniel, second period
138: Brandon Gray (BC) pinned Boo Baird, second period
145: Brian LaBean (BC) pinned Nick Dinovo, first period
152: Malik Morgan (BC) won by forfeit
160: Brayden Smith (BC) pinned Thomas Hammen, first period
170: Craig Truitt (BC) pinned Ellis Moore, first period
182: Deandre Johnson (BC) won by forfeit
195: Isaiah Sloan (BC) pinned Chandler Sambets, second period
220: Malcolm Nazon (BE) pinned Toby Beall, first period
285: Jonathan Wright (BC) won by forfeit
Richmond Hill 45, Battery Creek 36
106: Joseph Cuevas (BC) pinned Colin Crawford, first period
113: David Hatfield (BC) won by forfeit
120: Justin Phillips (RH) pinned Jacob Bickley, second period
126: Darin Foy (RH) pinned Jimmy Sanchez, second period
132: Zachery Bringer (RH) pinned Caleb Weaver, first period
138: Zach Perez (RH) pinned Brandon Gray, first period
145: Ian Phifer (RH) major dec. Brian LaBean, 11-3
152: Logan Rooker (RH) pinned Malik Morgan, second period
160: Gary Tompkins (RH) pinned Brayden Smith, second period
170: Alexander Vandergrit (RH) pinned Craig Truitt, first period
182: Deandre Johnson (BC) pinned Derek Tucker, first period
195: Isaiah Sloan (BC) pinned Michael Mayfield, second period
220: Seth Priester (BC) pinned Caleb Branham, second period
285: Jonathan Wright (BC) pinned Dominique Wilson, first period