St. C. wins twice at triangular

BRIDGEPORT — With five freshman in the starting lineup, St. Clairsville head coach Joel Sansone wasn’t sure what to expect as the high school wrestling season kicked off dual meet action. So far, so good as the Red Devils swept two matches at the Bridgeport Triangular Wednesday night inside the John J. Havlicek Gymnasium.

Sansone’s youthful squad defeated Cambridge 45-23 before downing the host Bulldogs, 48-18.

“Individually we may not have gotten done what we expected to, but coming out with two wins is very pleasing, especially against two teams that already have a tournament under their belts,” Sansone said. “We started a little bit later because it’s a long season. I’d rather peak at the end of the season rather the the middle.

“We told them (the kids) to come out and battle. Leave it all on the mat and at the end of the night, we should be the one’s to win,” he added.

Six Red Devils (2-0) collected a pair of victories, with freshman Koen Kish (120/113) recording two pins, while senior Trey Delguzzo (285) had a forfeit against the Bobcats (1-1) and a pin against the Bulldogs (0-2). James Dobbs (170), Kaiden Springer (182), Derek Witsberger (195) and Justice McCamick (220) were the other double winners. Dobbs and McCamick each had a decision and forfeit, while Springer and Witsberger were awarded two forfeits each. Springer and Austin DaRe (126) were also OVAC Jr. High finalists and Ohio Jr. High state placewinners.

“Koen really didn’t have much competition here tonight,” Sansone said of his promising frosh who was an OVAC Jr. High finalist and an Ohio Jr. High state placewinner. “He’s a machine. He’s going to win a lot of matches this season.” He pinned both foes in under a minute — recording falls in 49 and 22 seconds.

Sansone was very pleased with Delguzzo who trailed Bridgeport’s Layne Dunlap 7-2 before scoring a reversal that led to back points and an eventual pin in 4:38.

“One of the good things about Trey is that he’s in pretty good shape for a heavyweight. He doesn’t really tire out,” Sansone said of his heavyweight, who weighed in at 252. “A lot of heavyweights get fatigued in the second and third periods, but he conditions hard and he’s a very hard worker in the practice room. He’s going against McCamick every day in practice and they are like two engines that don’t quit.”

Bridgeport had three individuals sport 2-0 marks. They were senior Elliott Dean (132/138) who received a pair of forfeits; and juniors Mason Kuneff (132/138) and Tino Kusic (160).

Kuneff, who was voted the Most Outstanding Wrestler at last weekend’s Union Local Rick Link Tournament, had a forfeit against Cambridge before earning a pin in 2:18 against St. Clairsville. Kusic also received a forfeit against the Bobcats and pinned his St. Clairsville opponent in 1:59.

“We got hit by the sickness and we’ve got a couple of injuries that we are battling through,” Bridgeport head coach David Nelson explained. “Garret (Duncan) is just now working his way back onto the mat, so I didn’t want to rush him out there. We’ve got some holes, but, hopefully, they will be filled later on in the season.

“Overall, I thought we wrestled pretty well,” he continued. “I was hoping for a better result, but, overall, I’m pretty satisfied.”

Cambridge also defeated Bridgeport, 42-36 in a dual that only featured two contested matches — both first-period pins.

The Bulldogs are back in action this weekend at the 48th annual Barnesville Doan Ford Invitational. Action starts Friday at 4:30 p.m. and continues through Saturday night’s championship finals. Twenty-eight teams are entered.