Justin Schuman is a pinning machine. Of his 14 wins this season, 12 have come with the referee slapping the mat.
Shawnee Mission East coach Bill Goodson said it’s pin or be pinned with Schuman. That was the case on Tuesday night against Leavenworth as Schuman pinned Curtis Colston in the third period.
Schuman, a junior, had a chance to take down Colston in the second period, but the period ended. With a few seconds left in the second, Schuman was finally able to get his opponent on both shoulders by running around Colston’s head. Schuman saw it worked and once he got Colston on his back in the third, he was quickly able to end the match.
“I was working the entire time for it,” Schuman said. “I came into it really wanting the pin and I got it, and it was exactly what I wanted.”
Schuman was one of three Lancers to pin their opponents. Dane Erickson pinned Sean Becker while Will Knutson, 132 pounds, took down Eric Wooten.
However, the Lancers fell 48-24. The one silver lining is SM East had five open spots, which gave the Pioneers 30 points. Of the nine weight classes that were actually wrestled, SM East won five of them and in those four losses they weren’t pinned.
“I feel like we have a really strong team,” Schuman said. “If we had those guys, I bet we could do even better.”
Goodson liked how Erickson worked on different moves during his match. If something wasn’t open, he’d try something else. The 113-pounder is always moving and worked on his tilts, which the Lancers practiced during break.
A tilt is when an opponent is on one shoulder at a 45-degree angle and a wrestler is trying to get the second shoulder down.
“It wasn’t quite there, he kind of rushed it,” Goodson said of Erickson’s tilts. “He came back off of it and found something else to run. Knutson really shot well. He’s been a thrower lately, but he’s so quick, we’re just trying to get him to shoot. He shot tonight and really opened up his offense. Justin is our pin leader right now. He is relentless about keeping his body weight on him and wearing the guy out and suddenly something will happen.”
The Lancers also earned wins from Andrew Schmidt, 145 pounds and Clarence Miller, 182 pounds.
Goodson likes how athletic Miller is. Miller doesn’t sit and wait, but instead attacks his opponent. At one point against Gabe Casmus, Miller pushed Casmus to the mat and then tried to pounce on him.
“We got more pins than they did,” Goodson said. “That’s what our key is this year: takedown to pin. That’s been my philosophy. We get out there, do it quick and we save our energy when we’re in tournaments so those later matches, when we do go three periods, we have enough energy.”
The Lancers are back in action Saturday when they travel to Rossville.