HOUTZDALE – Going into Tuesday night’s first match of the year neither head coach, Duane Wriglesworth of Curwensville nor J. R. Holenchik, were quite sure of what to expect. For the Golden Tide it was a great start to a new campaign. For the Black Knight’s it was a lesson of what needs to be done.
Curwensville came out on fire and kept it going with a surprisingly easy 51-15 victory on the Mo Valley home mat. In fact, Mo Valley actually won just one bout and that was at 171 were senior Shane Murarik won 2-0 over fellow senior Jarrett Sloppy with a first period takedown. A forfeit at 130 for Kurtis Jacoby and another at 189 for Charles Smith was all the Black Knight’s could come up with to tally their 15 points.
On the other side of the mat the Golden Tide started out building a 27-0 margin and never even thought about looking back. Junior Nathan Russell started Curwensville out at 215 with a hard fought 2-0 victory over Caleb Selvage. Russell picked up a first period takedown but was actually controlled the entire second and third period as Selvage did a masterful job of riding but couldn’t put up any points. Heavyweight Walter Koontz won a 4-1 decision over freshman Chris Waite as the Tide built their lead to 6-0.
Then came the lightweights and it was pretty much the same for the visiting Tide as freshman Greg Koptchak pinned the Knight’s freshman Nathan Smeal in the middle frame at the 3:15 mark. Curwensville’s Derek Brothers received a forfeit at 112 to put the Tide out in front 18-0.
In his first bout for Curwensville junior Don Gillingham at 119 took the starch out of the Black Knight’s when he pinned Nathan Jacoby in a surprise at the 2:46 point of the second period.
Coach Wriglesworth said afterwards, “ I was somewhat surprised with some of our individual efforts. Mo Valley didn’t just come out and roll over for us. We had to fight and work hard for all of our wins. Give Mo Valley credit because they too had a lot of fight, but it was one of those night’s that things just went our way.”
In the night’s most exciting match Curwensville’s Brett Sutika won an 8-5 thriller over Joel Walstrom. Sutika led 3-2 late in the third when Walstrom escaped and took down the Tide sophomore to go in front 5-3 with about 10 seconds left. Sutika immediately reversed Walstrom and took him right to his back in a dramatic 5 point move to garner the win.
Wriglesworth added, “We have been really pushing the kids in practice and they have responded very well. It really paid off tonight and I actually was expecting a much closer match. What stood out to me was our unrelenting attitude. We just didn’t give up fighting all night long.”
Justin Johnston then put the Tide ahead 30-6 with a 9-3 win over Mo Valley’s Marc Godin at 135. Duane Wriglesworth did a nice job in his 4-0 victory over the Knight’s Josh Bryan at 140 with a second period reversal and 2 third period back points.
The Tide continued to roll as they picked up three straight pins starting with Jeff Thomas at 145 pinning Ryan Viard at 4:38 of the third period. Brett McCracken, at 152, pinned Shane Davis in 2:52 and Justin Smith at 160 picked up a first period fall over Chris Davis in 1:40. Those three falls boosted the Tide’s final total for the evening to 51.
The Tide head to the Penn Manor Tournament this weekend.
215 – Russell – Cur dec. Selvage – MV 2-0
HWT – Koontz – Cur dec. Waite – MV 4-1
103 – Koptchak – Cur pinned Smeal – MV 3:15
112 – Brothers – Cur rec. forfeit
119 – Gillingham- Cur pinned Nathan Jacoby – MV 2:46
125 – Sutika – Cur dec. Walstrom – MV 8-5
130 – Kurtis Jacoby – MV rec. forfeit
135 – Johnston – Cur dec. Godin – MV 9-3
140 – Wriglesworth – Cur dec. Bryan – MV 4-0
145 – Thomas – Cur pinned Viard – MV 4:38
152 – McCracken – Cur pinned Shane Davis – MV 2:52
160 – Smith – Cur pinned Chris Davis – MV 1:40
171 – Murarik – MV dec. Sloppy – Cur 2-0
189 – Smith – MV rec. forfeit
Curwensville – 51
Moshannon Valley 15