Central's Cyncere Haskins thriving wrestling at a bigger weight class
In the Knights' 63-12 win over Grand Forks Red River, Haskins picked up a pin at 195 pounds.
GRAND FORKS — In early January, Grand Forks Central senior Cyncere Haskins and the Knights' coaching staff discussed wrestling at a bigger weight.
Haskins had wrestled at 170 pounds previously but Central coach Jeff Welsh thought Haskins' strengths could be utilized better at the higher weight, and it would better fill the Central lineup.
"Three days before the Bismark Rotary, we talked about it, and I love it," Haskins said. "Ever since I was young, I liked wrestling bigger guys. Then I placed seventh at the Rotary my first time at 195 and that was my first time placing there."
On Saturday afternoon, Haskins' pin at 5:14 of Grand Forks Red River's John Bjerke showcased his strength at his new weight class. The pin was part of Central's 63-12 win over the Roughriders in the Red River gym.
"He's strong enough at that weight and it's slower-paced and that suits him," Welsh said. "You saw what he's like today; he's powerful. We're excited to see what he can do there."
Haskins is currently ranked No. 5 at 195 pounds in the latest North Dakota Class A wrestling poll.
He said the key at his new weight is not to get caught up tight on the bigger bodies.
"You have to create angles," he said. "You can't tie up because that'll be danger. You have to take smart shots."
Haskins credits teammate Justin Kerr, a 220-pounder for the Knights, as well as assistant coach Seth Owens for help in training.
"They're bigger guys so they teach me the technique," Haskins said.
Against the Roughriders, Haskins had one of five pins for the Knights: Cesar Cruz at 106, Bryce Kelley at 113, Mason Williams at 152 and Alex Lassonde at 182.
Red River picked up wins from Max McCarthy at 138, Kelly Middleton at 145 and Kellen Lafontaine at 220.
McCarthy and Middleton won in overtime.
"Kelly was dead tired," Red River coach James Covington said. "He was able to fight through that tiredness and get that overtime victory, so we were happy about that."
Lafontaine was wrestling for the first time since an injury at the beginning of the season.
"He was pretty excited to get that win," Covington said.
GF Central 63,
GF Red River 12
106: Cesar Cruz (GFC) over Henry Bonn (GFRR) (Fall 2:53) 113: Bryce Kelley (GFC) over Miles Larson (GFRR) (Fall 3:03) 120: Jayden Hamilton (GFC) over (GFRR) (For.) 126: Jaxon Pecka (GFC) over (GFRR) (For.) 132: Anton Perales (GFC) over Tanner Swanson (GFRR) (Dec 6-5) 138: Max McCarthy (GFRR) over Hayden Mack (GFC) (SV-1 6-4) 145: Kelly Middleton (GFRR) over Noah Morkve (GFC) (SV-1 11-9) 152: Mason Williams (GFC) over Aiden Pelayo (GFRR) (Fall 1:56) 160: Gavin Pihlgren (GFC) over (GFRR) (For.) 170: Izaiah Hernandez (GFC) over (GFRR) (For.) 182: Alex Lassonde (GFC) over Brayden Cunningham (GFRR) (Fall 4:54) 195: Cyncere Haskins (GFC) over John Bjerke (GFRR) (Fall 5:14) 220: Kellen Lafontaine (GFRR) over Justin Kerr (GFC) (Fall 3:36) 285: Daniel Suda (GFC) over (GFRR) (For.)