CONYERS - Forfeits proved costly for the Salem wrestling squad, dropping two close matches Wednesday at home to Winder-Barrow (38-37) and Dutchtown (38-36).
"They wrestled solid; they wrestled like they were supposed to wrestle," Salem coach Tim Owens said. "So that's what we're always looking for is that they do the right things and keep their body in the right position and those kind of things."
Against Winder-Barrow, Salem's four forfeits - just one more than its opponent - proved terminal in the end.
Nevertheless, Salem's Joe Morovich (189 pounds) and John Muirhead (135) recorded pins.
"I feel good; got lucky kind of because I got caught at first," said Morovich , who is one of the team leaders in pins as a junior. "But now we're getting out here winning as a team. We're young, but we're practicing hard this year. We're getting better (and) building a good base for next year."
Rounding out the group of four Seminoles who won their matches were Ian Camp and Michael Kennedy.
Against Dutchtown, it was the forfeits that once again bit Salem. Jordan Jackson (285) and Marcus Stokes (135) tallied pins for the Seminoles.
"Yeah, the forfeits always kill you. Like tonight, we started 24 points in the hole," Owens said. "But we didn't have some guys around tonight. One was out of town (at the inauguration), one's hurt, stuff like that."
Sophomore Malcolm Stokes, who injured his ankle several weeks ago, has been working vigorously to return to the mat.
"This season has been up and down - we've had really good days and we've had some really bad days," he said. "But we're trying to keep it all together, and today has been better."
Jason Murdock can be reached at email@example.com.