River’s Alan McClain finds himself in a battle against Bay freshman
Adam Tepper during last Thursday night’s West Shore Conference
match. McClain eventually won the 112 match, 10-4. (West Life
photo by Larry Bennet)
and coming Rockets no match for River
By Jim Horvath
Published Feb. 3, 2010
On the mats
last Thursday at Rocky River, there was something different as visiting
Bay came in to take on the Pirates.
There were wrestlers.
Lots of wrestlers.
“This is going
to be different than what we’ve had in the past with them,” quipped
River head coach Eric Tuokkola as he and his staff readied the gym
for the Senior Night match.
There were 10 junior varsity matches scheduled prior to the varsity
match. On top of that, 13 of those 14 varsity bouts were manned
and ready to go. Only a disciplinary action by first year Bay coach
Ryan Cover prevented the Rockets from filling that one spot.
always been the case for the Bay program, which has 31 wrestlers
competing this season.
“That was the
first thing we talked about from Day One – getting kids out for
wrestling,” Cover said prior to his team’s 51-19 loss to the Pirates.
“There are a
lot of kids in that building who had wrestled before, but left the
program for one reason or another,” Cover said. “We wanted to get
them back in the room. We started out with 24 kids, and as the days
went by kids kept coming in.”
Having 31 wrestlers
between the varsity and junior varsity is a far cry from the 12-14
wrestlers from last season. And with 15 freshman, four sophomores
and six juniors on the roster, the foundation is there for the future,
“We’ve got some
more young guys that will come into the program next year,” said
Cover, who joined the youth wrestling program four years ago and
spent the past two years coaching at the middle school.
“We want to
be competitive and compete for the West Shore Conference title year
in and year out,” he said. “I don’t see any reason why that can’t
happen. We’re not here to just build a one-year wonder. We want
to be in it every year.”
was the latest test for the youthful Rockets. They had their moments,
but the veteran Pirates proved to be too much to handle at this
stage of the game.
“We had a tough
go of things tonight,” Cover said afterwards. “But we had some successes
out there, and you can see signs that their hard work is paying
shows our guys where they need to be. River has a great program,
and they’re where we want to be,” he added.
now 7-4 in dual matches and third in the WSC at 4-2, got off to
a 5-0 lead when junior Matt Mahoney raised his season record to
19-5 with his 19-3 technical fall win over Bay junior Nick Dorsey.
The lead went to 8-0 when River junior James Hollo scored a 9-5
decision over Bay senior Anton Glynias.
Bay struck quickly
and got back into it when junior Daniel Rehor pinned River sophomore
Brennen Koklauner in 1:05. But the Pirates returned the favor as
senior Charlie Yingling raised his record to 16-9 with a pin of
senior Wesley Nelson in 5:18. At 152, the Rockets got another win
as freshman Joe Kubinski took an 11-6 decision from River sophomore
The two teams
then traded pins. River’s Andrew Brown pinned Bay freshman Steve
Burns in 3:33 in the 160 bout, then Bay junior Tim Hughes pinned
River junior Ben Hofecker in 4:55 at 171. That made it 20-15, Pirates.
would get just one more win the rest of the way. Freshman Ben Tepper
improved his record to 22-6 with a 15-6 major decision over River
sophomore Austin Suarez at 103. Sandwiched around that, however,
were a forfeit and five more Pirate wins that ended any thoughts
of an upset.
At 189, senior
Matt Laskowski raised his record to 18-2 with a quick pin (1:23)
over Bay’s Rhett LaRiccia. In the heavyweight match, River senior
Teddy Keith moved to 21-1 with a pin in 1:01 against Andrew Stylski.
Then at 112, junior Alan McClain got another win for the Pirates
with his 10-4 decision over Adam Tepper.
out the match in a flourish. Junior John Luciano scored a 12-3 major
decsion over freshman Tyler Seablod, then senior Patrick Kilbane
pinned freshman Brandon Farnham in 1:18 in the 125 contest.
think we’re starting to peak,” Tuokkola said. “Our lineup is more
set now, and we’re getting people where they need to be. I think
we’re in good shape heading into the tournament.”
will travel to Fairview tomorrow night in their final WSC meet of
the season. The Rockets will host Avon in their Senior Night, with
junior varsity action beginning at 6:30 p.m.