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Connellsville wrestlers dominate Thomas Jefferson

Lori Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Connellsville's Gage Cramer (top) holds down Thomas Jefferson's David Morgan during the 120-pound match Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 at Connellsville High School.

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Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 11:00 p.m.

Wrestling on back-to-back nights can be a challenge, but Connellsville has passed that early-season test successfully.

After ripping Ringgold, 42-24, on Tuesday, the Falcons came home and were able to cruise past Thomas Jefferson, 56-14, in a Section 2-AAA (2A) match on Wednesday.

Despite the lopsided score, Connellsville coach Tommy Dolde admitted his team still has a lot of improvements to make.

“I thought that we wrestled well, and we were pretty intense,” Dolde said. “A couple of guys need to do some work. As a matter of fact, they all need work, but Thomas Jefferson has some tough kids.”

Gage Cramer (120 pounds), William Bell (160), Tommy Provance (182) and Gunnar Lynch (220) each won by fall for the Falcons (3-1, 3-0). Tyler Kenney (113) concluded the match with a technical fall, and Dale Provance (170) won on a decision.

“Tyler Kenney looked so good, and Dale Provance was very solid,” Dolde said.

Connellsville's Bryce Butler (138), Brandon Wilson (152), Matt Butler (195) and Jaromir Gigliotti (285) each won by forfeit.

For the Falcons, it was a nice way to end the first portion of the schedule.

The Falcons now turn their sights to two big holiday tournaments. Connellsville will compete in the Beast of the East Tournament on Saturday and Sunday before taking part in the Powerade Tournament on Dec. 27-28.

Connellsville enters those tournaments with a little momentum, having won three straight after a season-opening loss to Latrobe.

The Jaguars started the season with three straight losses.

Even though the score was clearly not in its favor, Thomas Jefferson turned in some impressive performances, too.

“We came in here, and we knew Connellsville was tough,” Thomas Jefferson coach Rudy Nesbitt said. “I told the kids to give 110 percent, and they did that.”

Falco Meden (106) won by technical fall for Thomas Jefferson. Braden Flynn (126), Nick Burkett (132) and Marco Marinelli (145) were each winners by decision.

The Jaguars' biggest problem is an overall lack of wrestlers. Thomas Jefferson has plenty of wrestlers at the junior high level but cannot fill out a varsity roster as evidenced by the four forfeits.

“Our biggest downfall is numbers,” Nesbitt said.

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

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