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Connellsville wrestling picks up 1st win of season

| Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, 1:24 a.m.
Lori Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Connellsville's Andy Cecil (top) maintains control of Albert Gallatin's John Dennis during the 160-pound bout Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 at Connellsville.

The high school wrestling season is about progression, and the Connellsville and Albert Gallatin coaches saw improvement in their grapplers in the Section 2-AAA (2A) opener for both Wednesday night.

The Falcons, coming off a lopsided loss at home to Latrobe in the season opener last week, were able to pick up their first victory by defeating the visiting Colonials, 67-8.

Connellsville benefitted from six forfeits, which accounted for the large point difference.

Many of the matches that were contested were hard-fought.

“You know you'll have a good match from them,” Connellsville coach Tommy Dolde said in regards to the Falcons' annual match with Albert Gallatin. “We did a good job of preparing (for this match).”

Dolde was pleased with the way his team responded after their opening loss to the Wildcats.

“Last week, we looked for toughness, and we didn't get it,” Dolde said. “But we had two great days of practice, and we were much more physical. We just want to get better and get in better shape. The better we prepare, the better we'll be.”

Colton DeWitt (138 pounds), Chase Cramer (145), Tommy Provance (170) and Gunnar Lynch (182) each won by fall for the Falcons (1-1, 1-0). Dale Provance (170) was a winner on a major decision, and Andy Cecil (160) notched a decision. Tyler Kenney (113), Gage Cramer (120), Ryan Burkholder (126), Brenden Cooper (132), Matt Butler (195) and Dakota McWilliams (285) each received a forfeit victory for the Falcons.

While the Falcons were feeling good about their victory, the Colonials didn't leave Connellsville's gymnasium with their heads down. Albert Gallatin is battling a numbers crunch, which will force the team to give up plenty of uncontested points throughout the season.

Still, Colonials coach Duane Dupont said he likes what he sees from his small, dedicated group. He noted that positive strides were made compared to the team's first outing at the Chartiers Houston Tournament.

“We don't have a deep team, and we're struggling to fill weights,” Dupont said. “But the guys I have are working hard, and I'm proud of them. We battled hard, and I saw some good things from our guys.”

David Wallace (106) turned in a strong performance with a second-period technical fall, and Collin Smith (152) earned an overtime decision for Albert Gallatin (0-1, 0-1).

“The effort is there,” Dupont said. “Right now, we're just trying to improve. It's the early part of the season, and we'll continue to improve.”

Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at jblack@tribweb.com.

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