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Connellsville wrestling team topples Elizabeth Forward

| Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, 11:14 p.m.
Connellsville's Andy Cecil (right) and Elizabeth Forward's Colt Belardia tangle in the 170-pound bout on Wednesday. Lori Padilla/For the Daily Courier

The Connellsville and Elizabeth Forward wrestling teams entered Wednesday's Section 2-AAA (2A) match heading in different directions.

The Falcons, coming off a strong December in which the team posted four dual-meet wins and had solid efforts in the highly touted Beast of the East and Powerade tournaments, look to improve throughout the month in anticipation of the all-important team and individual tournaments at the end of the season. The Warriors, on the other hand, are a team searching for its first win and are dealing with an identity crisis.

The results were predictable as the Falcons (5-0) won 12 of 14 bouts on their way to a 69-9 win over the visiting Warriors (0-2).

“You can tell we're growing up,” Connellsville coach Tommy Dolde said, noting that his squad is still fairly young. “We've still got that strong group of sophomores, and they're going in the right direction. And I thought our seniors did well.”

Connellsville won the majority of the bouts with relative ease. The Falcons recorded six pins and received five forfeit victories. Tyler Kenney (106 pounds), Dan Leonard (113), Dale Provance (152) and Dylan Miller (220) scored falls in the first period. Sophomore Dale Provance was particularly impressive, needing just 32 seconds to shoulder Steve Welsh.

“Dale looked pretty strong,” Dolde said. “He's getting used to that weight class, and he's getting better and better.”

Ethan Kenney (138) and Tyler Steele (145) also won by fall for Connellsville. Ryan Burkholder (120), Bryce Butler (132), Tom Provance (160), Matt Butler (195) and Gunnar Lynch (heavyweight) were awarded forfeit wins.

Connellsville's other win came from Andy Cecil (170), who outlasted Colt Belardia for a 7-4 decision.

“We've got a couple guys that have been out with injuries,” Dolde said, referring to Cecil and Francis Cavalier in particular. “They are just getting back in the swing of things.”

Cecil won, but Cavalier wasn't as fortunate. Luke Fornier (182) earned a third-period pin to earn six points for the Warriors. Elizabeth Forward also got a win from Luke Etzel (126), who had a 4-3 decision over Nick Beneke.

“I thought we fought at most of the weights,” Elizabeth Forward coach Rich Scheuerman said. “Our 182-pounder is wrestling his best right now, and he'll do well.”

But aside from Fornier and Etzel, there weren't a lot of positives for Elizabeth Forward.

“I saw a couple good things, but I don't have a lot of good things to say,” Scheuerman said. “We have guys that are sick or hurt and guys that are missing practice. Some attitude changes need to be accomplished on their part. But we have young guys that are trying to apply what they are learning in practice.”

Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jblack@tribweb.com or 724-626-3534.

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