Catawba Ridge wrestler Alex Bunz, top, wrestles his opponent from York during the Copperheads’ match Wednesday evening.

In the first wrestling match of the season for any local Fort Mill based school, the Catawba Ridge Copperheads’ rally against the York Cougars came up short with them falling 54-30.

But for the program, just getting to wrestle, even a match was somewhat of a victory.

“Anytime we can get on the mat, it’s a blessing,” said Catawba Ridge head coach Scooter Weathers. “We just try to take it day to day.”

While almost three weeks late in getting started, the Copperheads already had issues with the coronavirus, which delayed the start of their season, as well as hurt any practice time it got. Catawba Ridge was supposed to start the season Dec. 16, but had to cancel the first week of matches because of a COVID-19 issue within their program. The Fort Mill School District cancelled all athletic events until this week.

With rising case numbers, Weathers knows tomorrow isn’t promised. So much so he already has had team pictures made before the York match Wednesday.

“They can pull the plug at any time,” he said.

York’s experience showed in the early parts of the match as they went up 18-0 winning the first three weight classes. Kade McCarter got the Copperheads on the board with a first period pin at 170-pounds.

Catawba Ridge fought their way back getting a forfeit win by R.J. Lincoln at 195-pounds and then Alex Bunz picked up a first period win at 220-pounds. Heavyweight Tony Atkins tied the match up at 24-24 with a first period win.

However, Catawba Ridge would win just one more match at 126-pounds with a first period win by Connor Stukitz. The Copperheads really hurt themselves by giving up 18 points having to forfeit the 106, 113, and 120 weight class.

Those three forfeits put the score in York’s favor at 42-24 before the Stukitz win. Catawba Ridge would drop the last two matches of the evening at 132 and 138-pounds.

“I thought we wrestled well and wrestled hard at times,” Weathers said. “I am just grateful we got a chance to wrestle. It’s been a rocky road.”

Catawba Ridge won’t wrestle at home again until their scheduled senior night Jan. 26 against Lancaster.

Mac Banks:, @fortprep