"For some reason, I think that this match- should it come to pass- will be one of those rare matches that wrestling fans are talking about many years from now."
This quote is from OhioWrestlingSite's Ironman forecast. It's talking about a possible Ironman final between Chris Phillips vs. Brian Roddy at 171.
Suffice to say that all Ohio eyes were on Chris Phillips as he took to the mat to begin his varsity career for Monroeville High School. What a setting for his debut.
There wasn't much to focus on in his first match (Huddlston of Harrison GA) which was over in 15 seconds.
His second match was against N Allegheny's Karl Deciantis which rated to be "troublesome", per Intermat's forecast. And it was despite the "comfortable" seeming 6-3 score. In fact, the 3 point margin was the closest any wrestler would get to Phillips. As in all of his matches, Phillips took the lead with marvelously crisp and precise techniques.,But he seemed to tire in the third period (other observers can correct me). At the end he seemed to be barely hanging on against Deciantis. I watched him walk to the scorer table post-match and he looked exhausted in motion and demeanor.
As I drove home, I thought about how tough it would be for this freshman to face all seniors (as Saturday's matches rated to be) the next day. How much was going to be in the gas tank when he got to the critical third periods? Especially against somelike like Brian Roddy who is a third period machine. I questioned if he could get past Peltier, though he owed him one for a summertime freestyle pin, when Chris had the lead.
Saturday in the wee hours:
Funny thing happened overnight. Phillips topped off his gas tank (or he simply got a good night's sleep), because the next day completely dispelled any reservations about his lasting power for 6 minutes.
His QF against Peltier and semi against Thomussiet were carbon copies of the Deciantis match with one monster exception. There was no hint of third period fading. I kept looking for it against Peltier and it never happened! I was thinking OMG, this is incredible.
After watching his four matches, it was no surprise that he could jump out to a lead on Roddy (Intermat has a good blow-by-blow). His techniques are unmatched in this field of wrestlers. It's just that, after viewing the day's two earlier matches, it could not longer be a surprise that, by the 6 minute mark, he had every bit as much engine left as Roddy. Final score, Chris Phillips 7, Brian Roddy 3. I'm in awe.
What an unforgettable performance.