The Mat Cats were once again back in action on Saturday, going eye to eye with a Padua squad missing multiple weight classes and Warren Howland at home.
In this contest, the Cats looked to build off of a four-match win streak. Wrestling began in Sullivan Gym at 12:00 p.m.
The tri-meet started for the Wildcats against Warren Howland, and wrestling began at 106.
Sophomore and first-year wrestler Mac Wright desperately wished to pummel an unsuspecting opponent but could only pick up a forfeit for the Cats to start the match.
Similar to Wright, Grayson McLellan secured another forfeit for the Cats at 113.
The first match of the day for the Cats came at 120, which saw Joey Novak take the mat. Novak fought hard in this match, being taken down but earning an escape in the first, suffering 2 near fall points before escaping in the second, and allowing an escape and a takedown in the third to drop the match via decision, 7-2.
Ryan “Animal” Putka displayed quite clearly why he has his nickname in his match against Howland, earning a first-period pin in just 13 seconds for the Cats.
Senior Captain Anthony Santagata sparred with a ranked opponent at 132. Santagata surrendered an early takedown in the first period that hurt him. The only scoring in the rest of the match was an escape by Santagata in the second and an escape by his opponent in the third, making the match a decision win in favor of Howland 3-1.
At 138 for the Cats, Jack Bush stepped out onto the mat against Howland. The first period was a lively one, as Bush took his opponent down and earned two near-fall points before being reversed and surrendering two near-fall points. However, the second period was all Bush as he quickly escaped and earned a takedown with three near-fall points, eventually securing the fall for the Cats.
145 saw Calum Campoletti take the mat for the Wildcats. As he is called, Campo dominated his opponent, earning a takedown and three near-fall points before being reversed and earning a reversal of his own accompanied by three more near-fall points just in the first. In the second, Campo wasted little time, taking his opponent down early and getting the pin.
Junior Sam Infante geared up at 152 for the Cats and kept the momentum going. Infante had a dominant sequence in the first period, earning a takedown with three near-points near falls and another takedown before eventually earning the pin.
At 160 and 170, Warren Howland forfeited to the Cats. These forfeits were earned by Jarell Young and Mazen Sarkis, respectively.
Junior Mason Smart took the mat at 182 for the Cats and kept the winning going, earning an early takedown with three near-fall points before quickly earning the fall.
The Cats sent out Patrick Clink to wrestle at 195 against Warren Howland. Clink earned a first-period takedown but gave his opponent three near-fall points and a penalty point before earning a reversal. With the match tied heading into the third, Clink was reversed early and suffered a fall.
In the penultimate match of the contest against Howland, Eugene Gibbons stepped onto the mat at 220. Gibbons suffered a takedown but was granted a penalty point initially, but suffered a takedown early in the second. Gibbons could reverse his opponent, but his opponent escaped and took Gibbons down before pinning Gibbons.
Carter Zimmerman finished the match for the Cats at 285. After a scoreless first period, the Warren Howland wrestler earned an escape and a takedown. After a hard arm chop, Zimmerman was forced to default medically, and the win was given to Howland. Zimmerman suffered a dislocated elbow but did not break or tear anything. We hope he recovers quickly and eagerly await his return.
The Cats came away with a win in the match against Warren Howland via a team score of 54-24.
In the final duel of the tri-meet, the Cats took the mat against Padua Franciscan. The wrestling once again began at 106.
Here at 106, Mac Wright began the scoring for the Cats, earning a forfeit.
Senior Grayson McLellan stepped up for the first match of the day at 113. McLellan gave his opponent little chance from the start, earning a takedown accompanied by three near-fall points in the first period, a reversal accompanied with three near-fall points and a pair of two near-fall points in the third, and finished his opponent in the third after another strong takedown.
Joey Novak, the Cats’ 120, secured another forfeit win for the Cats.
The next match against Padua saw Putka take the mat at 126. The animal earned a first-period takedown with 3 near fall points and earned a quick takedown before earning the fall for the Cats in the second period.
At 132, Senior Anthony Santagata faced another tough ranked opponent. Santagata earned the advantage early, securing a first-period takedown before riding his opponent through the first. In the second, Santagata surrendered an escape to his Padua opponent before taking his opponent down again. At the end of the second, his opponent earned an escape, bringing the score to 4-2 going into the third. The third period was uneventful, as Santagata earned an escape and came out with the 5-2 decision win.
Jack Bush once again dominated at 138, earning an early takedown and two near-fall points before giving up an escape, but he took his opponent down again and earned three more near-fall points. Bush quickly earned a fall in the second period for the Cats.
At 145, Calum Campoletti took the mat for the Cats. Campo earned a first-period takedown before riding his opponent the entirety of the period and earned one in the second as well, surrendering an escape late. In the third, Campoletti escaped and took his opponent down, who escaped soon after. After trading penalty points near the end of the match, Campoletti came away with the 8-3 decision.
Lacking upper weights, Padua was forced to forfeit 152, 160, 170, 195, 220, and 285. These forfeits were picked up in favor of the Cats by Sam Infante, Mazen Sarkis, Jarell Young, Patrick Clink, Eugene Gibbons, and Carter Zimmerman, respectively.
The last match of the day, in this way, fell into the hands of Mason Smart of the Cats at 182. Looking to secure the perfect match for the Cats, Smart began with a takedown in the first before being reversed. Smart was able to escape to hold a narrow one-point lead going into the second. In the second, Smart earned a penalty point before letting up an escape, and soon after surrendered a takedown. Smart could escape near the end of the second, however, to tie the score at five, heading into the third. In the third, Smart could earn an escape and avoid his opponent’s takedown attempts, coming away with a 6-5 decision victory and securing the perfect match for the Cats.
The team score of the match against Padua settled at 75-0.
These wins over Padua and Warren Howland put the Wildcats at a season record of 14-2, with six consecutive wins. These 14 dual meet victories are tied most in a season in school history.
After the matches, Coach Sullivan had this to say about his team’s performance and his outlook on the season, “As we inch closer to Sectionals, we are looking to improve technique and conditioning, our guys have worked hard to ascend to the level needed to succeed in the postseason. The end of wrestling season is one of emotional calamity; it’s the time when you feel impressive fatigue; however, you have to work your hardest. ”
Join us on Western Reserve’s network bit.ly/wralive as the Mat Cats will look to break the season dual meet record of 14 on Saturday the 30th at 1:00. This match will be at Western Reserve Academy, which will also host Streetsboro. Congratulations on tying the record of 14, and good luck in your attempt to beat it, men. Go Cats!