The Mat Cats were back in action last Saturday against the Parma Redmen at home, after going 1-1 the week before with a win against Streetsboro and a loss against Western Reserve.
This match was bittersweet for the Cats, who were without Head Wrestling Coach Mark Sullivan in the match due to "Sully" having to quarantine.
Despite not having their head coach, the team fell into the hands of Associate Head Coach Jon Polick, who looked to prepare the team for Parma and led them to victory on match day.
The match was hosted at Sullivan Gym, with the match beginning in the 195 weight class, as the team waited for a handful of lower weights who were taking the ACT.
Patrick Clink took the mat in this first match at 195 and looked to get things started for the Cats. The first period was all in favor of Clink, as he scored an early takedown accompanied by three near-fall points as he rode his opponent out the rest of the period. In the second, the roles were reversed as Clink surrendered three near-fall points and another two near-fall points. In the third, Clink was unable to get out on the bottom and succumbed to a pin shortly after the period.
In the next match at 220, Eugene Gibbons looked to get the Cats going after Clink's loss, and he did just that. Gibbons started behind in this match as he was taken down in the first but able to get an escape point back. In the second, Gibbons began to take over, earning two takedowns while letting his opponent escape both times. With the score tied at five going into the third, Gibbons was able to reverse his opponent and stay out of trouble and picked up a decision win earned the Cats' first points of the night (of many).
Angelo Camargo once again took the mat at 285 for the Cats amid the typical heavyweight Carter Zimmerman's injury. The first period was fruitless, as it occurs in many heavyweight matches, leaving the score at 0's going into the second. In the second, Camargo earned two escapes while being taken down once. With the score at two each going into the third, Camargo gave up an early escape to his opponent and was soon taken down and pinned.
At weight class 106, Sophomore Mac Wright stepped into jump-start the Cats after a slow start and did just that. Wright dominated the first period, which would prove to be the entirety of the match, earning two takedowns and two near-fall points on his way to an early period fall in 1:45.
Senior Grayson McLellan kept the momentum going for the Cats at 113. In similar fashion to Wright, he earned a takedown in the first with three near-fall points and another two before pinning his opponent in 1:23.
Joey Novak picked up the first forfeit of the day for the Cats at 120.
The next match saw Ryan "Animal" Putka pitted against a formidable ranked opponent at 126. Putka battled hard in this match, being taken down but escaping in the first, escaping twice but surrendering one takedown in the second, and escaping twice but surrendering an escape and three takedowns to his opponent in the third. Putka dropped this tough match via decision, 11-5.
Senior Captain Anthony Santagata got the Cats rolling again at 132 with a dominant win over a formidable ranked opponent. Santagata was a takedown machine in this match, earning two in both the first and second periods and three in the third. Santagata let his opponent up four times in this match, bringing the final score to 14-4, earning a major decision win for the Cats.
The Cats kept scoring at 138, as senior Jack Bush put on display his dominance. Bush wasted little time in this match, earning a takedown and two near-fall points in the first on his way to a fall in 1:30.
Calum Campoletti secured the second and last forfeit of the match for the Cats at 145.
Victor Vysotskiy took the mat for the Cats at 152 against a formidable Parma opponent. Vysotskiy fought hard in this match but was taken down three times throughout the match and surrendered a total of eight near fall points before succumbing to a pin in 4:30.
At 160 for the Cats, Sam Infante bumped up and stepped onto the mat. Against a heavier opponent, Infante was able to earn a takedown and two different three near-fall points while only letting up two reversals. This brought the match score to 8-4, making the Cats a decision win.
Jarell Young looked to keep the Cats' scoring going at 170 in the penultimate match of the day, and he did as asked. Young gave up only one point on a penalty in the third in the entirety of the match, while he earned a takedown, three near-fall points, a reversal, and two more near-fall points on his way to a pin in 5:03.
The match finished off at 182, where the Cats sent out junior Mason Smart. Smart surrendered a takedown in the first period but was able to earn the two back with a reversal in the second. With the score tied at two apiece heading into the third, Smart escaped early but was taken down late and pinned in 5:33.
After the dust settled, the team score rested at 46-27 in favor of the Cats. As I said earlier, the Cats went 1-1 against Western Reserve and Streetsboro, and with this win against Parma, the Cats record now sits at 16-3.
With Sectionals approaching quickly, coach Mark Sullivan had this to say about his team and their preparation, "WRITE SOMETHING HERE MR COACH SULLY."
The Cats are back in action Saturday night against North Ridgeville and Cuyahoga Heights at 6 p.m. in North Ridgeville. The Cats will look to continue building on their dual meet win record and prepare for Sectionals in this match.