Connellsville wrestling routed by Latrobe in opener
TribLIVE Sports Videos
If the Connellsville wrestling team was using Friday's nonsection home match against Latrobe as a measuring stick, then the Falcons fell well short of expectations.
Latrobe, considered by many to be one of the top Class AAA teams in the WPIAL this season, won 11 of 14 matches on its way to a convincing 49-15 victory over the Falcons (0-1) in the season opener.
“I think we're better than that,” Connellsville coach Tommy Dolde said. “We had a guy not make weight, and that messed up our lineup. They were in better shape than us, and we know we have a lot of work to do.”
The Wildcats (1-0) set the tone early, winning five of the first six matches. Matt Luken (106 pounds) got it started with a major decision. Connellsville's Tyler Kenney (113) received a forfeit, but Latrobe took control by winning the next four bouts.
Luke Pletcher (120) scored a technical fall before Joel Cawoski (126) earned a decision. A pin by Ethan Stas (132) was followed by a major decision for Jake Willochell (138) to give Latrobe a 22-6 advantage.
“The guys performed pretty nice,” Latrobe coach Tad Harbert said. “Coach Dolde always has a wonderful team, and they put it on us last season. Bonus points were the key in that match, and they were a big part of this match tonight.”
Harbert noted the individual efforts of Cawoski and Stas as early highlights that helped the Wildcats settle into a rhythm.
Connellsville's Chase Cramer (145) scored a decision to stop Latrobe's run, but the Wildcats' Jake Shaffer (152) and Dom Scalise (160) followed with a decision and a pin, respectively.
Connellsville's last win of the match came at 170 as Dale Provance scored a first-period fall for the Falcons' most impressive effort of the night.
The Wildcats sealed the match with four straight wins. Justin Short (182) won on a major decision before Zack Zavatsky (195) recorded a technical fall. Travis Schmeling (220) won on a decision, and Tyler Mears (285) capped it with a pin.
“Our momentum built, and when we got to Scalise, Shaffer and Zavatsky, we had things clicking,” Harbert said. “They are a little banged up, and we're a little banged up, but the guys that stepped in did a great job. We've worked hard in the room, and it showed.”
For the Falcons, it was an unsatisfying start, but Dolde understands it's a long season.
“I'm not saying we would beat them if we wrestled them again, but I'd love to wrestle them in January,” Dolde said. “That's coaching. We have to coach them up. We're nowhere close to where we need to be.”
Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.