FRANKLIN – Landon Desselle says he’s been waiting to wrestle for Summit High School for the better part of a decade.
He’s just a freshman.
However, he’s one of several youngsters who have worked their way all the way through Spartans head coach Pete Miller’s youth wrestling program. That program starts with first graders and grows with the kids as they develop expanding on techniques and refining skills all the way through.
“This is a team that has been nine years in the making,” Miller said of his Spartans, who clinched the District 14-AAA south division with a 49-14 win at Page on Thursday.
“Being on this team is amazing,” said the 132-pound Desselle, one of three freshman who posted wins for Summit Thursday. “We’re a family.”
Summit is ranked No. 10 in the latest statewide wrestling poll and secured a top seed at the district duals at Brentwood next week.
The Spartans are eyeing even further down the road, though.
“We have to keep this momentum going,” said Desselle, who claimed an 11-1 major decision over Page’s Grant Hawkinson and improved to 28-2 this season. “We’re doing very well as a team and we want to get past Tuesday and go to the state duals and get to the top.”
Thursday was one of the steps along the way against a short-handed, but desperate Page team. The Patriots fell 34-32 against Independence on Tuesday and needed to win to extend their dual season.
“I really thought we did better than expected with four starters out,” Page coach Benji Gray said. “Pete has such a great feeder program and outstanding middle school program … they are going to be good for a long time.
“They are meshing right, physically tough and just aggressive. It's a tough team to compete against.”
The Patriots opened by winning four of the first five matches with Seth Wright (160), Jack Mundt (182) and Mitchell Lambert (220) all earning decision victories. Page also picked up a forfeit at 195, while Lambert’s win marked a milestone – his 100th career victory.
“It’s been seven years of hard work wrestling since the sixth grade to get here,” said Lambert, a state qualifier at 182 pounds last year. “I’m just trying to be the best version of myself and the best wrestler I can be.”
Lambert credited coach Gray and the environment he produces at Page for his success as well. The senior and handful of other Patriots also wrestle with Miller’s club program in the offseason.
“It’s a great program as well, I mean, they’re just a tough team to beat,” Lambert said of the Spartans. “We just fell short against them tonight.”
After a forfeit at 285 by the Patriots, Page ran into the gauntlet of eager, young wrestlers in Summit’s stacked lineup.
Freshman Grayson Miller, who improved to 25-2 overall, picked up a pin at 106 followed by a major decision from another Spartan freshman in Jarvis Little (25-2) at 113 in a potential region final preview against Page senior Mason Hitt (21-5). Little picked up a 13-2 win.
Summit continued to roll with another major decision from junior Jackson Masters at 120, while senior Justin Noll pinned Tyler Casillas at 126.
Desselle, senior Austin Noll and sophomore Finley Jameson followed with victories to close the match for Summit.
“Anybody can beat anybody so you have to just be ready to rock and roll,” Miller said as his team readies for the postseason. “Our guys are in the right mindset right now and they’re still having fun while doing it.
“It’s a fun group of knuckleheads – that’s what I call them – but they are getting the job done and having fun and that’s great to see.”
The Brentwood High School wrestling posted a 40-33 District 14-AAA dual win at Ravenwood on Thursday.
Summit def. Page, 49-15
160 – Seth Wright, PHS, dec. Jack Hill, 5-3; 170 – Luke Justice, SHS, maj. dec. Reese Olsen, 12-2; 182 – Jack Mundt, PHS, def. Jenson Schreiber, 8-5; 195 – Sergio Benavides, PHS, won by forfeit; 220 – Mitchell Lambert, PHS, dec. Tyler Garber, 5-4; 285 – Ryan Smith, SHS, won by forfeit; 106 – Grayson Miller, SHS, pinned Cosmo O’Neal, 1:09; 113 – Jarvis Little, SHS, maj. dec. Mason Hitt, 13-2; 120 – Jackson Masters, SHS, maj. dec. Thomas Brown, 17-5; 126 – Justin Noll, SHS, pinned Tyler Casillas, 1:50; 132 – Landon Desselle, SHS, maj. dec. Grant Hawkinson, 11-1; 138 – Austin Noll, SHS, def. Gabe Miroquesada, 7-0; 145 – Davie Hackert, SHS, won by forfeit; 152 – Finley Jameson, SHS, pinned Cooper Lambert, 1:16.