A few months older and 5 pounds heavier, VanSlooten returned to lead his team to a 68-9 season-opening victory over Myrtle Beach, the school whose senior defending champion, Blake Holt, he dethroned in February.
With Holt no longer his biggest rival and obstacle, VanSlooten made the offseason move from hunter to hunted. He got off to a successful title defense by pinning Daniel Miller with 1 second before the second-round horn.
VanSlooten was one of eight Sharks to pin Seahawks on Tuesday, plus a technical fall by St. James’James Elliott in the 126-pound class and a 10-6 decision by Gregg Johnsen in the 182-pound division.
Jaime Bolduc (132), Codi Rothermel (138), Derek Rothermal (152), Kyle Hasara (170), Weldon Brandon (195), Timothy Rector (220) and Austin Brown (285) scored pins for the Sharks.
St. James’ Tylor Young (106) and Myrtle Beach’s Jonathan Iseman won by forfeit and Tevin Cheatham (160) was the lone Seahawk to win a match with a 5-1 decision over Nick Juretic.
The Sharks welcome Conway for their next match on Thursday.
- Photo by Rancier Photography