Hard-fought victory

When Columbus North honored each of its senior wrestlers prior to Wednesday evening’s rivalry match with Columbus East, the announcer read off what each wrestler considered the highlight of his career on the mat with the Bull Dogs.

Alex Davidson’s hadn’t happened just yet.

Though the intensity is always high when the Olympians and Bull Dogs square off, it was at another level for Davidson on Wednesday. Not only was he going against Columbus East on Senior Night, but his opponent at 145 pounds was none other than his younger brother, East sophomore Andy Davidson.

The team outcome was not in question by the time the two brothers battled, with the Olympians having already clinched what became a 58-12 victory by night’s end. But with family bragging rights at stake, the Davidsons still went all out against one another.

Well, not all out. Both brothers it was difficult to treat the match like it was business as usual.

“Before the match, Coach told me I had to keep my emotions under control,” Andy Davidson said, “because if I didn’t, if I just let myself go, it might have ended in a fistfight.”

With Alex and Andy both walking an emotional tightrope throughout, the match stayed close to the end.

The siblings were tied 2-2 after the first two periods before Alex took a one-point lead with an escape midway through the third. Despite a spirited effort from Andy in the closing seconds, the older brother was able to hold on to that slim edge until the buzzer sounded.

“I realized he was coming at me pretty hard,” Alex Davidson said, “and I figured I just wanted to play it safe and make sure I got this win.”

It was one of few the Bull Dogs got.

The Olympians made their expected surge as the night wore on, particularly once the lower weight classes hit the mat, but the match was briefly a back-and-forth affair in the early going.

The Bull Dogs drew first blood when Andrew Chapman was a winner by forfeit at 160 pounds. East promptly got those points back when Coy Park picked up a pin at 170, and the Olympians took the lead when 182-pounder Lane Goode scored a late reversal to edge Josh Larson, 3-2.

North’s Cortez Bandy evened the match back up with a victory at 195 pounds, but when East’s Austin Scheckles won by forfeit at 220 and heavyweight Sean Galligar won by fall, the Olympians were well on their way to an easy win.

Cayden Rooks (106 pounds), Graham Rooks (120) and Dawson Combest (126) pinned their respective opponents for East, while Corban Pollitt won by technical fall at 132. Jacob Martindale  and Ben Wilkerson scored major decisions at 138 and 152 pounds, respectively, and Jake Schoenegge won by forfeit at 113.

Andy Davidson didn’t emerge victorious against his brother, but he’s already plotting his revenge.

“I was pretty sad,” the sophomore said, “but I realized I’ll get another chance at him later on in the year come sectional time. So I’ve just got to work for that.”

Alex wasn’t yet concerned with a potential rematch. After Wednesday’s match, he was content to savor the moment at hand.

“Today was a special day,” he said, “and I’ll never forget it, ever.”

Author photo
Ryan O'Leary is sports editor for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at roleary@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2715.