Glenelg takes a step up, 43-22

Gladiators' 24-0 start too much for Centennial

Wrestling

High Schools

January 11, 2002|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

At the beginning of every dual meet at home, Glenelg's wrestling team makes its appearance by sauntering into the gym accompanied by Hank Williams Jr.'s "Country Boy Can Survive."

It's an appropriate tune for a team that's done its share of scraping and surviving in recent years. But it's also apparent that the Gladiators are capable of much more at times, as they showed in yesterday's 43-22 win over Centennial.

"We really wanted to win this match," said Glenelg's 189-pound senior, Eric Wise, who gave the Gladiators some early momentum by pinning Centennial's Dave Shapiro. "It was really important to keep us in contention to qualify for the regional duals, and I think we're peaking at the right time. We're definitely underrated."

In all fairness, Centennial didn't have two of its top wrestlers in twins Dave and Mark Nakasone, who missed the meet because of a death in the family. Dave Nakasone (12-1) is ranked No. 5 in the area at 140 pounds and Mark Nakasone has compiled a 12-2 record at 145 pounds.

"I'm not sure it had that much of an impact on us," said Centennial coach Todd De Crispino. "My JV kid at 140 [Rob Richardson] got a pin and I thought Andrew [Cordoni] wrestled real well at 145. We were just lacking in the pins and got pinned a bunch in return. That kills you."

The Gladiators controlled things from the beginning, starting with a close, 4-2 win by Kenny McWhirter over Anthony Aiello at 171 pounds. Wise followed with his pin and heavyweight Rob LaHayne pinned Conrad Ege in 52 seconds to make it 15-0.

After Glenelg won at 103 by forfeit, Glenelg's Bobby Kuczarksi and Centennial's Brad Ortman wrestled what proved to be the best match of the night at 112. Ortman nearly pinned Kuczarski, then nearly got pinned on a reversal, and the match went down to the final seconds before Kuczarski earned a 7-6 decision.

"Bobby gave us a good win because he's just a freshman," said Glenelg coach Rob Bowman. "He's been getting some real close victories like that to help us out lately. It was big for us."

The score was 24-0 before Centennial got on the board with a major decision by Dominic Ventura over Ben Adams. Centennial managed to post a nice rally with pins by Evan Bulger (135), Richardson (140) and Jimmy Holzman (152), but in the end Glenelg's early success was too much to overcome.

Danny Bianco (130) and Lee Hufnagel (145) also earned decisions and Ryan Barnoski ended the match with a pin at 160.

"All the seniors were focused on this because we want to go to regional duals pretty bad," LaHayne said. "We need a few more wins, but we're headed in the right direction. I think we're building something here. We could realistically make a run at third or fourth at the county meet, so that's what we're working toward."

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