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Monroe stuns Oregon
Monroes Kyle Walter uses Oregon wrestler Ben Leaks arm to turn and pin him during a match Friday. Walters pin helped clinch Monroes 33-31 victory over Oregon. (Times photo: Anthony Wahl)
MONROE - With the Monroe wrestling team clinging to a two-point lead over Oregon, sophomore heavyweight Kyle Walter knew he needed a pin to clinch a dual-meet win for the Cheesemakers.

Walter had confidence the minute he stepped on the scale to weigh in Friday. That confidence paid off when he pinned Oregon senior Ben Leak in 3 minutes, 23 seconds to clinch a thrilling 33-31 season-opening win over Oregon.

"I felt a little bit of pressure," Walter said. "I felt OK because when we weighed in, I weighed 283 and he was 240. I knew if I got on top of him and was able to put my weight on him, I could pin him.

"I think it's crazy. Coach (Tom) Witt has us in shape big time. I think it's important we are able to go six minutes. To get a win for the younger guys against juniors and seniors shows that we are heading in the right direction."

The Cheesemakers also got pins from sophomore Cole Murray (132) and freshman Drake Ingold (138). Murray pinned Oregon freshman Devin Keast in 3 minutes and Ingold pinned freshman Steven Norland in 1:49. Both teams forfeited three matches. The Panthers forfeited matches at 182 and 220, and the Cheesemakers forfeited matches at 106 and 120. There was a double forfeit at 113.

"It's huge for them," Monroe coach Tom Witt said of the win. "It's great for the team because we are so young without any seniors. It's knowing they have the ability. I do think we are in better shape than Oregon. Come the third period, I think that is when they (Oregon) wore down and the matches turned in our favor."

Ingold didn't have big expectations for his first varsity match.

"Coming in I didn't know what to expect," Ingold said. "I just wanted to do my best. It's good to start out 1-0."

Monroe freshman Dempzy Foley (145) defeated Oregon sophomore Noah Engelhart 10-6 to give the Cheesemakers a 15-12 lead. Junior teammate Jared Amacher (152) lost a nail-biter 5-3 to Omar Sacramento. Sophomore teammate Isaac Wild (170) trailed 2-0 in the third period, but battled back. He scored on a reversal with 1:09 to go to tie the match at 2. Oregon's Tristan Williams then came through with an escape and takedown to win the match 5-2.

"I think Isaac has the skills and abilities," Witt said. "He just got out there and forgot some of his technique. That will come with experience."