Ram wrestlers pin Central Catholic
Ringgold had to win a fifth-place match in its section last week just to qualify for the WPIAL Class AAA team wrestling playoffs.
And now, after defeating Pittsburgh Central Catholic, 45-31, in a preliminary round match Monday at Chartiers Valley, the Rams' reward is a first round date with top-seeded and undefeated Canon-McMillan on the Big Macs' mat Wednesday.
“It's going to be a tall task for sure,” Ringgold coach Bob Bove said of going up against the Big Macs. “But nobody on our team is going there to lose. We're going there to try and win every match. We'll do our best and we're not thinking about losing.”
The Rams got some unexpected good luck against Central Catholic Monday as the losers gave Ringgold four forfeits.
“They had been forfeiting some weights all years, but I was kind of surprised they forfeited that many,” Bove said of Central Catholic. “I don't know if they had some injuries or what, but it is kind of unusual to have that many forfeits in the playoffs.”
Meanwhile, Ryan Natali (195 pounds), Taylor Bass (heavyweight) and Jake Gerard (126) all registered pins for the Rams.
Devin Fallenstein (160) came away with a hard-earned 4-3 decision.
“We won the matches that I thought we would win,” said Bove. “I was hoping we could have gotten another one at 145 with Brandon Heinzelman. He wrestled well, he just lost a decision.”
Heinzelman lost a 5-1 decision, dropping his individual mark to 23-7.
Fallenstein and Doug Gudenburr (106) are both 27-3 and Gerard is 23-5.
On Wednesday, if the Rams are to advance, they will have to pick up two wins in the dual meet as Peters Township will wrestle Hampton and the winners will meet in the quarterfinals afterward.
“We'll go there and take our best shot and see what happens,” said Bove.
In addition to Ringgold going to Canon-McMillan Wednesday, other area teams in the team playoffs include Belle Vernon Area against Latrobe at Franklin Regional in a AAA first rounder and Yough against Chartiers-Houston and Bentworth against Avonworth, both at Chartiers-Houston in a pair of AA first round matches.
All of the first round matches start at 6 p.m. with quarterfinal matches to follow at 7:30 p.m.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.