Mount St. Joseph still has hold on MSA

January 29, 1994|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Contributing Writer

After losing a handful of his top wrestlers to graduation, Mount St. Joseph wrestling coach Paul Triplett had some big question marks coming into this season.

Thanks to a quartet of young guns, however, the top-ranked Gaels continue to produce all the answers.

Yesterday, Mount St. Joe stayed unbeaten -- and virtually unchallenged -- with a 47-15 thrashing of host Loyola in a Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference match.

Once again, the younger wrestlers were at the forefront of the Gaels' success, helping them win 10 of 13 matches. Among the winners were freshmen Eric Schaffer (103 pounds) and Dan Mattson (119), and inexperienced Brian Mewshaw (152) and Seth St. Vincent (160).

The four are a combined 70-32 and seem well on their way to helping Mount St. Joe write its ticket to yet another MSA title. For Triplett, their quick adjustment into the starting ranks has been a godsend.

"We were filling some holes from last year, but our younger guys have stepped in nicely," said Triplett. "They're an integral part of the team. We expect them to produce, and they have."

Schaffer gave the Gaels an early 4-0 lead with a 12-1 win over Scott Smith. Mattson followed two matches later, rallying from a 2-0 deficit to beat Dave Riley, 4-2, in overtime.

With Mount St. Joe leading, 26-9, Mewshaw outlasted Dave Miller, 2-1, scoring his points on a first-period takedown. St. Vincent then clinched a Gaels win at 160 with a pin of Nick Hunter.

On a team with six wrestlers ranked in the Maryland State Wrestling Association top 10, the less heralded Gaels have come on strong after a slow start.

"I was hoping to do a little better [early in the season]," said Schaffer, who's 21-9. "Lately, though, I've been pretty happy with the results."

As has Triplett.

For the coach whose team improved to 5-0, a lopsided win was just the ticket after his team's sluggish 43-25 victory over Boys' Latin earlier this week.

"We were really flat in that one after the week off, and I wasn't pleased at all," said Triplett. "I was really pleased with the way we wrestled today. We're starting to put things together again."

Other Mount St. Joe winners were Jake Lissau (112), Russell Fecteau (125), David Inkman (135), Tyran Dungee (140), Danny Devivo (171) and Kenny Hunter (heavyweight).

Loyola (4-2) was never in the match. The Gaels won five matches by pin, and four others by a combined score of 37-6. Hunter won by forfeit.

The expected best match of the day never took place when Triplett entered Inkman -- ranked No. 1 at 130 -- at 135, missing out on an opportunity to pit him against fifth-ranked Jason Gibson.

Instead, each was involved in his own battle, as Inkman, leading only 1-0 midway through the second period, went on to a 5-0 win over Nick Hollick. Gibson also had his troubles, trailing 2-1 before pinning Mike Pyle in the second period.

Each wrestler placed third at last year's MSA championships and could meet there later this year.

For four of the Gaels, though, MSA championships are only a long-range dream. This is the year that Schaffer, Mattson, Mewshaw and St. Vincent will gain the experience that should give them the edge in years to come.

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