Coach Sullivan stated, “In a season of uncertainty our guys have made measurable strides and continue to impress”
After going 4-1 last week at the Revere Minutemen duals, the MatCats were back in action on Thursday night at Lutheran West.
For one of the few times this season, the MatCats brought a full squad to wrestle. The wrestling began at 7:30 in Rocky River, after the Cats’ junior program squared off with the Longhorns.
The night started for the Cats with Lutheran West forfeiting 106, the win was picked up by Wildcat sophomore Mac Wright at 106.
The actual wrestling began at 113, where junior Connor Gistzl stepped onto the mat for the Cats.
In commanding fashion, Giztl made easy and quick work of his opponent, taking his opponent down in the first few seconds on his way to a pin in 46 seconds.
Once again the Cats picked up another forfeit win at 120, this time by junior Joey Novak.
Senior 113 lb. Grayson McLellan, wrestled up two weights at 126, he continued the Cats’ strong start to the night. Similar to the first match of the night by Gisztl, McLellan took his opponent down early on his way to a pin in 1 minute and 4 seconds.
Another forfeit went to the Cats at 132, this one was secured by sophomore Ryan “Animal” Putka. Ryan frantically paced the mat looking for an opponent to no avail, his hand was raised as his eyes stared at the mat in disappointment.
Captain Anthony Santagata of the Cats had the first competitive match of the night at 138. The first period saw Santagata and his Longhorn opponent trade a pair of takedowns and escapes. Santagata turned the match up a notch in the second, and after escaping and surrendering a takedown, he gathered an escape followed by four consecutive takedowns. In the third, Santagata continued the takedown party after allowing an escape. However, a weird mat return caused Santagata’s Longhorn opponent to medically default, giving Santagata the win.
At 145 Senior Jack Bush took the mat for the Cats against the Longhorns, and kept the commanding streak alive for the Cats. Bush wasted little time like Gisztl and McLellan, taking his opponent down in the early seconds of the match before notching a pin in just 23 seconds.
Another close match followed the dominant win by Bush, which pitted junior Sam Infante against a strong opponent at 152. Infante got off to a sizable early lead, earning two takedowns and a pair of two near fall points while surrendering only an escape in the first. Infante gave up a reversal after a notching a takedown himself, escaped but was taken down again, and escaped to end the period. In the third, the action continued between Infante and his Longhorn opponent, as Infante was taken down and surrendered two near fall points, but was able to escape and get a reversal on his way to a pin in 4 minutes and 58 seconds.
Junior Mazen Sarkis secured another forfeit at 160 in favor of the Cats, making it 9 straight matches that went to the Cats to start the night.
All good things must come to an end however, and this nine match streak came to an end for the Cats at 170. Sophomore Jarell Young squared up against an opponent ranked No. 3 in the state, and battled valiantly. In the first period, Young started with the lead, earning a quick takedown and giving up an escape. In the second period, Young chose bottom and was unable to escape in the entirety of the period. In the third, with the lead in his favor, Young surrendered an escape to tie the match and a takedown to swing the match in the favor of the Longhorns. Despite escape attempts, Young was unable to get out and dropped the match to a tough opponent 4-2.
This would prove to be the last and only loss of the night for the Cats, as the heavyweights continued in commanding fashion that the lightweights began with.
Junior Mason Smart picked up another forfeit win in favor of the Cats at 182, the last forfeit of the night, leaving three matches to be wrestled.
The Cats sent out Patrick Clink at 195 to try to keep the winning going, and Clink did just that. An early takedown led to a quick and commanding win for Clink, who pinned his opponent in 1 minute and 20 seconds.
In similar fashion, sophomore Eugene Gibbons followed the lead of Clink by notching an early takedown via a perfect ankle pick. Gibbons found an opening and was able to get another quick pin for the Cats with a crazy move called a Gator Roll.
The contest against Lutheran West finished with Captain Carter Zimmerman taking the mat at 285 for the Cats. With the perfect finish to the night, Zimmerman took his opponent down, and as Zimmerman rode his opponent out for nearly the entire period, he found an opportunity, securing the pin and the controlling win over the Longhorns.
Also picking up wins for the Cats on the JV side against Lutheran West were sophomores Victor Vysotskiy at 152 and Aaron Convery at 220.
The match finished off with a team score of 78-3 in favor of the Cats, which brings the team’s record to 12-2 in dual meets on the season.
The MatCats will look to build on their impressive victory over Lutheran West as they head into another week of wrestling, which will be capped off by a contest against Padua and Warren Howland on Saturday, January 23, at noon. This match will be at home and will be streamed live on SIBN. Go Cats!