The Wildcat Wrestling team was back in action Wednesday, December 30, at home. They geared up for the Wildcat Duals, a six-team endeavor against Newark, Norwayne, Berkshire, Canfield, and Bay Village.
The effects of COVID were once again felt, as both Canfield and Bay Village were unable to compete as a result of the coronavirus.
Nevertheless, wrestling began in Sullivan Gym at 10 a.m., pitting the Cats first against Newark.
The match began as usual at 106, where freshman Landen Knight began the scoring for the Cats with a forfeit.
The real wrestling began at 113 as senior Grayson McLellan took the mat for the Cats. McLellan dominated, earning a first period takedown, a second period reversal and two near-fall points, and two more takedown points with three near-fall points in the third. McLellan did surrender a reversal and a near fall in the third, but ultimately got the win with a 11-4 decision.
Up next for the Cats was Joey Novak at 120. Like McLellan, Novak dominated his opponent, surrendering no points to his opponent from Newark on his way to a commanding tech fall, after earning two takedowns and a series of three-point near falls and a reversal.
Sophomore Ryan Putka wrestled next at 126. This would be the first of Animal’s three matches, all of which were very close. The scoring started off in favor of Putka with a first period takedown, before being reversed. Putka earned a reversal in the second, and got a takedown in the third before the match was tied as a result of a Newark reversal and two near-fall points. Despite losing the momentum, Putka rallied in sudden victory, taking his opponent down quickly and earning three near-fall points for the 12-7 decision.
At 132 for the Cats, senior captain Anthony Santagata made quick work of his opponent, taking him down twice in the first, and once in the second before pinning his opponent in 1:50.
Jack Bush continued the dominant Wildcat performance at 138, earning two takedown points and three near-fall points in the first, a takedown in the second and escape in the second after being taken down and reversed and an escape, before closing out the third with two reversals and two near-fall points, securing the 15-7 major decision.
The winning continued at 145 as Calum Campolieti made quick work of his opponent. He was taken down in the first before getting a reversal and three near-fall points, and escaped twice in the second before pinning his opponent in 4:15 in the third.
The Wildcats suffered their first loss at 152, as Sam Infante controlled the match early, but fell victim to a defensive pin after attempting a cradle.
The next two matches for the Cats were quick ones, as 160 pounder Mazen Sarkis and 170 pounder Jarell Young secured swift pins.
The second and last loss for the Cats came at 182, as Mason Smart was outmatched, being taken down early before being pinned.
The heavier weights finished off the dominant first match for the Cats in perfect fashion, as Patrick Clink at 195, Cayden Periandri at 220, and Carter Zimmerman at 285 all pinned their opponents in quick and easy fashion.
The Wildcats finished this match against Newark with a final team score of 63-12.
After the dominant performance to begin the day, the Mat Cats competed against Berkshire.
Because of rest time rules, the match began at 113. Berkshire was without a 113 or 120, so the Wildcat’s Grayson McLellan and Joey Novak started the scoring off for the Cats as they secured forfeits.
Wrestling against Berkshire actually began at 126, as Ryan Putka would again have another very close overtime win. Putka was taken down in a slow first period, and in the second rebounded with a takedown of his own. He escaped early in the third, before being taken down again, but escaped with short time to tie the score at 4 a piece heading into overtime. Here, Animal’s conditioning favored him again, as he was able to secure a takedown and two near-fall points to get the overtime decision for the Cats.
Berkshire again was without a 132 or 138 pounder, so Anthony Santagata and Brendan Lynn picked up forfeit wins for the Cats.
Jack Bush bumped up to 145 to wrestle a heavier opponent as a result of a Calum Campolieti injury. Bush was overmatched in this one, as he jumped out to a quick lead as a result of a first period takedown, two near fall points, and a penalty point, a second period trade of reversals; yet he was overpowered and pinned in the third.
Sam Infante was next for the Cats at 152 and fell victim to the same fate as Bush. He was taken down twice in the first, earning one escape, and taken down again in the second before reversing his opponent. In the third, however, Infante suffered a pin in 4:15.
At 160, sophomore Jarell Young made quick work of his opponent again for the Cats, taking his opponent down quickly before earning three near-fall points and eventually pinning his opponent in 1:50.
Berkshire once again was without a 170, so Mazen Sarkis picked up the forfeit for the Cats.
The Cats at 182, 195, and 220 saw Mason Smart, Patrick Clink, and Cayden Periandri take the mat. Each was bested, as Smart was tech falled, and Clink and Periandri suffered pins.
Heavyweight Carter Zimmerman got the Cats back on track after a series of losses, taking his opponent down in the first and in the second, before pinning his opponent in 2:39.
The match concluded at 106 as Landen Knight sparred with his opponent. Knight was unable to get much going, being taken down and surrendering three near-fall points in the first, being reversed in the second, and being taken down after escaping in the third, dropping the match via major decision.
The match against Berkshire finished with the Cats again on top, via a team score of 45-33.
The Cats finished off the day against Norwayne, looking to secure a sweep of the Wildcat Duals.
Wrestling kicked off at 120 as a result of the rest rules with junior Joey Novak for the Cats. Novak fought valiantly for the Cats, keeping the match extremely close till the very end, but after being reversed in the third suffered a 9-8 decision.
After two nail-biting overtime victories, Ryan “Animal” Putka strayed from his norm at 126, dominating his opponent. Putka took his opponent down and earned three near-fall points in the first, and three near-fall points with another takedown in the second to secure a 10-0 major decision for the Wildcats’ first win of the match.
Arguably the best match of the day came at 132, which saw Anthony Santagata take the mat for the Mat Cats against a formidable, evenly matched opponent. The match did not disappoint, again going into overtime after a Norwayne takedown in the first, an escape by Santagata in the second, two takedowns by Santagata and an escape in the third after surrendering an escape and a reversal. The conditioning shown through in this match, as Santagata got in a quick shot attempt in sudden victory and secured the hard fought decision for the Cats.
The Cats continued the winning at 138 and 145, as seniors Jack Bush and Calum Campoletti made extremely quick work of their opponents, pinning their Norwayne competition in 1:18 and :45 respectively.
At 152 Victor Vysotskiy took the mat. Vysotskiy was pitted against a much more experienced opponent in this match, and as a result was pinned in the first after being taken down in 1:25.
Norwayne was without a couple of middle weights, resulting in forfeits being picked up at 160, 170, 182, and 195 in favor of the Cats by Jarell Young, Mazen Sarkis, Mason Smart, and Patrick Clink respectively.
The penultimate actual match of the night saw Cayden Periandri take the mat for Saint Ignatius at 220. Periandri was unable to make anything happen in this match against a very tough opponent, surrendering a takedown and a set of near fall points before being pinned in the first.
Senior Captain Carter Zimmerman finished the wrestling off for the Cats in dominant fashion, quickly overwhelming his opponent with a swift first period pin.
The Cats picked up two more forfeit wins at 106 and 113 to finish off the day. These forfeits were secured by Landen Knight and Grayson McLellan.
The Cats finished off this match with another win to attain the sweep of the Wildcat Duals via a team score of 55-21.
As a captain of the wrestling team myself, I think the guys wrestled very well. They showed up in the big matches that counted, and obviously were able to secure the sweep. However, I think all of the guys know there is still a lot of work to be done. There were a handful of matches lost as a result of conditioning and technique, and that is something that is able to be controlled and fixed. Overall we wrestled well, but going into next week we need to put in a lot of work to be ready to compete again.
The Wildcats wrestle again next on Saturday, January 9, at 9am at Revere in the Minutemen Duals. Go Cats!