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Wrestling squad drops close match

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By Peter Turcik
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

The Ligonier Valley High School wrestling squad lost a dual match to Penn Cambria High School 42-36. Of the 13 bouts, the Rams won six but lost the match by a single forfeited weight class.

“That match I knew was going to be a close match,” said head coach Brian Matson. “We had to forfeit one more weight class than they did and that was the difference in the match. There were a bunch of different ways it could have worked out differently, but unfortunately it didn't.”

The Rams won all of the matchups in the lower weight classes from the 106 weight division to 145 pounds, with the exception of a forfeit at the 113 weight class. Freshman Gordon Matson at 106 pounds won by forfeit and junior Justin Patrick at 120 weight division scored a pin over his opponent. Senior Max Caldwell won by decision at 126 weight class, filling in for the injured Joshua Patrick. Junior Dan Croyle, 132 pounds, won by forfeit. Sophomore Joseph Neiderhiser won a decision at the 138 weight division and junior Derek Croyle at 145 pounds, scored a pin.

Senior Dominic Shawley won by pin in the 182 pound weight-class. Sophomore Nickolas Stahl, 152 pounds, and junior Oliver Hall, 160 pounds, sophomore Raymond Marsh, 220 pounds and sophomore Kyler Kruel, 285 pounds, all lost by pin. They also had forfeits in the 170 pound weight-class and 195 weight classes.

“Their better guys were primarily in the upper weight classes and our better guys are in the lower half of our lineup, the lighter weight classes,” Matson said. “It came down to they got all the points pretty much from 160 up. On the other side of things, we won all matches up to 145.”

Matson said senior Joshua Patrick did not wrestle in the match because of a lower body injury and will be out of commission for a week or so to recover. It is Matson's opinion that Patrick should take the time off to avoid re-injury.

“My thoughts were it would be better for him to sit out for a week or two and recover rather than keep re-aggravating the same thing all year long,” Matson stated.

When Patrick returns, Matson said he would drop from 126 pounds to 120 pounds, and his brother, Justin, will drop from 120 to the 113 pound weight-class.

“That takes out one forfeit for us,” Matson explained. “We won't have to forfeit the 113 pound weight-class, so that will certainly help us out in dual matches.”

The team competed Jan. 11 and 12 in the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Tournament. They also played host Jan. 14 to North Star and Jan. 15 to Richland. The Rams will travel to Marion Center Tuesday with a match up at 7:30 p.m. against the Stingers.

Peter Turcik is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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