Belle Vernon wrestlers pin Thomas Jefferson
It's a week of firsts for Belle Vernon Area coaches.
One night after boys' basketball coach Kyle DeGregorio notched his first win, new wrestling coach Tyler Nauman picked up his first career head coaching victory with a 57-12 blowout victory over Thomas Jefferson.
“It's a good feeling to get the first win out of the way,” Nauman said. “I thought the guys wrestled well. I thought we could win by a big margin if our guys came and wrestled like they can and they did so it was kind of a blowout, which made the whole first match thing a bit easier.”
The dual meet started with the Leps jumping out to a quick lead with falls by Tyler Seliga (113) and Brendan Hasson (120).
It was a sign of things to come for the Leps, who picked up six pins on the night.
“Bonus points are always important,” Nauman said. “Our guys are wrestling great on top. That's one thing I stress, turning guys from the top position, and the kids are really buying in to it.”
Mitch Hartman won via a 4-0 decision at 126 before the Jaguars won two of the next three matches – a pin by Nick Bukkett and a 10-5 decision victory by Marco Marinelli, sandwiched around a 1-0 victory for BVA's Cameron Evans – to put the score at 18-9 and briefly bring the Jaguars back into the match.
But the match was not without controversy.
Following a Derek Verkleeren forfeit victory and an Austin Bell pin, junior Josh Godzin appeared to score a two-point reversal as time expired to defeat TJ's Byron Menons. But after a discussion with the official, both coaches and the head table, the ruling was reversed and the referee only awarded Godzin a one-point escape, sending the match to overtime. Menons would go on to win the bout when he scored a takedown in the overtime period.
“Questionable call,” Nauman said. “I thought it was two. I thought the ref held it a little bit, was slow to throw up the two and made sure he had control. The score table said that they couldn't make the call whether he held up the points before the time was up, so they gave him the one instead. Still, we have to win that match in overtime. Instead of solid wrestling, he turned to his junk defense in overtime and it cost him. But hey, it's early in the season so there is a lot of time to fix that.”
The Leps would roll through the final five weight classes, picking up pins by Milton Kobaly (182), Hunter Ferrara (220) and Austin Sluk (285), a forfeit win by Billy Korber and a 2-1 decision victory for freshman Jacob Dunlop at 106 pounds in the final match of the evening. Kobaly, Ferrara and Bell's falls all clocked in at under a minute.
“All the kids wrestled well,” Nauman said. “We have a bunch of good wrestlers, and as long as we wrestle like we can we could see a lot more matches like this.”
The Leps are back in action today when they head to the North Hills duals with Avonworth, Jefferson-Morgan, Kiski, Mars and the host Indians
Donnie Tasser is a freelance write for Trib Total Media.