A late rally helped the Seneca wrestling team escape the Monett Cubs 35-31 on homecoming night at Seneca High School on Thursday.

A late rally helped the Seneca wrestling team escape the Monett Cubs 35-31 on homecoming night at Seneca High School on Thursday.

Not only were the Indians battling the Cubs on Thursday, but they were also fighting a flu bug that has made its strains felt throughout the team of late. Their perseverance paid off in the end, however.

The Indians, who are now 8-1 this season in duals, jumped in front early and built a 21-3 lead as a team before the Cubs came firing back late to go in front 31-27. The Indians, however, would make a final push in the lighter weight classes as they took a forfeit at 106 pounds before closing with wins in each of their final three matches to pull out the victory.

“I just didn’t know exactly what to expect,” Indians coach Jeff Sill said. “Coming off our sickness we’ve had this week with school, and for the most part I was pleased with our performance. That’s a pretty tough team that we just beat. We’ve definitely got some things we need to work on. Overall, I was fairly pleased with the way we performed.”

Seneca’s Jalen Skaggs turned in a gutsy performance for the Indians. Skaggs, who has been shivered by the flu, bumped up from his normal 160-pound weight class to take on Monett’s Wesley Abramovitz at 170. Despite being sick, even calling timeout to throw up at one point in the match, Skaggs held on to score a 9-8 decision for the Indians.

“He was throwing up in the match,” Sill said. “That’s just part of it. You’re going to have to do it in districts and state, you’ve got to do it here, too. Hopefully everybody won’t be sick, we’ll be over all of this, and everybody will be performing their best up at districts and state.”

Seneca began the night at 132 pounds where Jesse Rhoades pinned Monett’s Brice Watson in 2:30 for the first victory of the night. Colton McDanial was decisioned by Monett’s Jaron Beeson (7-0) in the 138-pound match, before Logan Grady stepped in for the Indians at 145 and scored a quick pin over Kylar Eden in 54 seconds.

Grady’s win set off a string of four victories in a row for the Indians. At 152, Butch Ferguson won by decision over Dominick Witherow, 10-6; Jordan Bailey grabbed a decision over Bryce Logan at 160, 11; and Skaggs topped Abramovitz.

Other results for the Indians, with the Indians listed first, were: 182, Colton Brown pinned by Matthew Wentz, 3:48; 195, Dylan West lost by major decision to Devon Overall, 18-8; 220, Devin Madison pinned Jacob Negre, 1:42; 285, Dakota Schick was pinned by Shawn Beeson, .45; 106, Seneca won by forfeit; 113, Quentin Cotten pinned by Chase Brennan, 1:43; 120, Will Roark won by major decision over Kedrick Brink, 13-4. 126, Cole Lankford won by major decision over Garret Bradley, 9-1.

A host of Indians also sit among the state rankings in Class 1. Those ranked are: 113, Cotten (honorable mention); 120, Roark (first); 126, Lankford (second); 145, Grady (second); 152, Ferguson (seventh); 160, Skaggs (second); 220, Madison (honorable mention).