Ringgold grapplers an experienced bunch
TribLIVE Sports Videos
While the Ringgold Rams high school wrestling team ended last season in a bit of a slump – they finished out the season on an 0-4 skid in dual meets and qualified only four wrestlers for the WPIAL tournament – coach Bob Bove has reason to be optimistic for the 2013-2014 season.
“We return 12 starters from a 12-9 team last year, and last season I really felt we were better than our record,” Bove said. “We were 12-5 when we lost to Canon-Mac in the playoffs and that started a kind of downward spiral. I don't know if the kids weren't into it as much because the team race was over or what, but I believe we are certainly going to correct that issue and have an even better season this year.”
After opening up the season 4-4, Ringgold ripped off six consecutive victories before Belle Vernon Area broke its win streak in a match to decide second place in the section. The Rams opened up the WPIAL Playoffs with a 45-31 win over Pittsburgh Central Catholic, but then fell to eventual WPIAL and PIAA Champion, Canon-McMillan, triggering their season-ending slide.
Bove hopes that this year's team will build off of last year's positives – mainly a third-place section finish and winning record, but this time follow through to the end of the season.
The Rams certainly have experience on their side; six returning starting members finished with a winning record and five finished with over 20 victories.
Leading the way for the Rams will be their four returning WPIAL qualifiers: sophomore Doug Gudenburr, junior Jake Gerard and seniors Kenny Tarpley and Devin Fallenstein.
According to Bove, both Tarpley and Fallenstein will remain at the same weights that they wrestled as juniors for their senior seasons, and he expects big things from the pair, 132 pounds and 160 pounds, respectively.
Fallenstein won a section title last season and was the fifth seed at the WPIAL tournament, but went 1-2 and failed to advance to the PIAA tournament in Hershey. Tarpley finished fourth in the section and went 2-2 at the WPIAL tournament.
In WPIALWrestling.net's preseason rankings, Fallenstein is ranked fifth and Tarpley sixth in their respective weights.
Both enter the season within striking distance of the 100-win club. Fallenstein currently has recorded 96 victories in his high school career, while Tarpley sits at 73.
“Honestly I'm surprised Fallenstein hasn't gone to the state tournament yet,” Bove said. “I definitely think that this is his year. He is certainly good enough, he just needs to put together a solid WPIAL tournament. Tarpley is another guy who has been around a while and beaten some really good competition. I expect them both to lead the team with big seasons.”
Gudenburr will bump up from 106, where he was a section runner-up last season, to 113 this year.
Gerard makes the jump from 126 to 138. Both wrestlers went 1-2 at the WPIAL Championships last season. In WPIALWrestling.net's preseason rankings, Gudenburr is ranked ninth and Gerard fifth, albeit both at last season's weight.
“Dougie went 33-6 last season and I feel that he has a shot to make the trip to Hershey,” Bove said. “He had a tremendous freshman season and he is only going to get better. Gerard is another tough one who has beaten wrestlers who have wrestled at the state tournament. I honestly feel that we have a lot of solid, competitive kids who could really turn it on, but if I had to guess I would say our best chances lay with those four. Individually and as a team, we are hoping to have a very successful year.”
Donnie Tasser is a freelance writer.
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.
- Pirates rout Cardinals to keep things interesting in NL Central
- Montour kicker comes through in win over Central Valley
- LaBar: Best next opponent for Brock Lesnar
- Yukon pet shelter, ex-leader battle over electricity shutoff
- Steelers remain confident in defense
- Save big money with comparable model of vehicle
- Connellsville football starts strong before succumbing to McKeesport
- Mars’ offensive stars shine in 35-6 win over Indiana
- Pirates reliever Liz new, improved
- Uniontown sex offender wants lewdness charges dropped
- Web headline