For the Hudson wrestling team, the trip to Wadsworth Thursday figured to be a case of a split personality.
On one hand, the Explorers proved no match for the nationally ranked Grizzlies, dropping a 67-9 decision. However, Hudson took care of business against Cuyahoga Falls, beating the Black Tigers 55-21.
The Explorers’ dual-meet record moved to 2-3 overall and in the Suburban League National Conference.
Hudson head coach Joe Caniglia noted the scores were indicative of the three teams’ positions in Northeast Ohio’s pecking order.
"It is what it is," he said. "It’s the way our conference breaks down. Each one of our three programs are in a little bit of a different wrestling situation. Wadsworth is obviously in a great situation. They’ve got a great feeder program and an administration that supports athletics."
The match with the Black Tigers saw the major bouts decided by forfeit. While the Explorers gave up a forfeit at 138 pounds, they earned forfeit wins at 106 from Matt Hartle, 138 from Matt Withem, 145 from Ben Jackson, 160 from Mason Coleman, 182 from Shane McGinnis, 195 from Chase Gasser and heavyweight from Jacob Peeples.
In wrestled matches, Hudson went 3-3 against the Black Tigers. The Explorers got a pin in 4:12 from Gavin Wervey (126 pounds) over Falls’ Noah McClendon, saw John Sweet (152) win a 12-5 decision over Falls’ Andrew Conaway and had Michael Caniglia (170) win a 9-1 major decision over Falls’ Tim Berg.
"Our freshman guys are continuing to gain experience and are getting a little better each time out," coach Caniglia said. "John Sweet put 12 points on the board, which is a good effort. Michael scored a major decision over a guy he went into overtime with last year."
As was expected, the Grizzlies mauled the Explorers, as Hudson managed only two individual wins.
At 160, Coleman was able to score at pin in 5:08 over Wadsworth’s Dominic Laparo. At 170 pounds, Michael Caniglia scored a tight 8-7 decision over Hunter Blaz.
"I think the big thing is there is a difference between those who wrestle from November to March and those who wrestle year-round," coach Caniglia said. "It all depends on what you want out of your high school experience. I understand both sides of the argument. We compete and just take it in stride."
The Explorers are scheduled to close out their National Conference schedule by traveling to Twinsburg Thursday for a tri-meet with the Tigers and North Royalton. First match is set for 6 p.m.
"We’ve got an awful lot of inexperience in our lightweights. We’re starting a bunch of freshmen," Caniglia said. "We value effort more than results. Our kids can give 100 percent effort and just get beat by someone whoe is better."
Hudson will compete in the Josh Hepner Memorial Tournament at Austintown Fitch Friday and Saturday.