Yough wrestlers win battle of short-handed teams over Southmoreland

| Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, 10:51 p.m.

When the Southmoreland and Yough wrestling teams squared off in a Class AA, Section 2B match Wednesday at Southmoreland, both the Scotties and the Cougars were playing with less than a full deck.

Each team limped into the match without some key personnel, but the Cougars benefited from four forfeit victories and earned a 42-27 victory. The win gives Yough (4-1, 4-1) the chance to clinch second place in the sub-section with a win over host Jeannette on Thursday.

The loss eliminated Southmoreland (2-3, 2-3) from playoff contention, but it was hardly a lost night as far as Scotties' coach Ryan Shaw was concerned.

“We outwrestled Yough, and I'm not afraid to say it,” Shaw said. “Everyone wrestled a weight up so that we could fill our lineup and give them a match. We bumped every single kid, beside our forfeits, so head-to-head, I'm proud of them. But my hat is off to Yough. They have a good team, but I also like where our program is headed.”

In terms of contested matches, the teams split with four wins apiece. Yough's John Paul Sommers (152 pounds) and Jerry Koza (195) each came through with a fall for the Cougars, while Dante Botti (126) and Nick Melocchi (285) each won by decision.

Southmoreland's Tyler Lynch (106) won on a pin, while Cole Lambie (113), Austin Griffiths (120) and Aran Brubacher (160) each picked up a decision.

What hurt Southmoreland the most was that it had to forfeit at 138, 170, 182 and 220.

“Their coach did what he could do to get the matchups,” Yough coach Bill Zollner said. “But we won at heavyweight, and we didn't give up bonus points at 113 and 120. The guys wrestled tough, and there were a lot of big matches.”

Yough's Teddy Charletta (138), Lucas Richardson (170), Clay Waldron (182) and Tommy Sever (220) each received a forfeit victory.

The Cougars also had to forfeit two bouts. Evan Myers (132) and Jake Virgin (145) claimed those forfeit wins for the Scotties.

Six matches were decided by forfeit, but it likely would have been less had each team came in at full strength. The Scotties were without heavyweight Jacob Beistel (skin irritation), while the Cougars wrestled without 138-pounder Jason Strange (hip).

“They had a stud out, and we had a stud out,” Zollner said.

The Cougars remain focused on improving as the season winds along.

“We're wrestling better,” Zollner said. “We still have a way to go, but we're getting better every day.”

Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at

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