Fitch takes measure of Nordonia and Revere wrestling in tri-meet

Michael Leonard
Kent Weeklies

RICHFIELD TOWNSHIP — With nearly every large wrestling tournament wiped out due to COVID-19, team have to get creative to get their top wrestlers worthy challenges.

Such a match happened Wednesday at Revere when the Minutemen hosted at tri-meet with Nordonia and Austintown-Fitch.

The marquee bout featured two returning state qualifiers at 182 pounds: Nordonia's Sal Perrine and Revere's Zayne Lehman.

Sal Perrine
Zayne Lehman

Fitch ending up going 2-0 at the tri-meet, beating Nordonia 40-30 and Revere 41-26. The Knights won the final match 44-36 over the Minutement.

Fitch improved to 12-2, Nordonia moved to 6-3 and Revere dropped to 6-3.

"We wrestled hard," said Fitch coach John Burd. "Revere and Nordonia our both solid programs. Our lightweights and middleweight did the job today,. We need to get our upperweights going.

"Right now, we're just trying to get as many matches as we can," Burd added. "We want to get ourselves ready for what's to come."

The main event lived up to its billing.

After a scoreless first period, Perrine took the down position and escaped. He then used a single-leg attack to get a takedown before standing up Lehman to lead 3-1 after two periods.

"Just wrestle my match was all I wanted to do," Perrine said. "If I think too much about it, I trip myself up. I think he was just trying to keep the match close.

Outside of escapes, Lehman found no offense and was backpedaling for much of the match, which earned him a stalling call late in the second period.

Perrine hit another single-leg attack and switched to a go-behind to get the decisive takedown in the third period. He won 5-3.

"It's hard to take a guy down when backing up the whole match," said Nordonia coach coach Jason Walters. "I don't want to take anything away from Zayne. He's a tough kids. But so is Sal. He's got a motor on him."

"Sal is tough kid. There is no shame in losing to him," said Revere coach Dan Mosher. "We weren't able to get past his hand defense. Clearly, we need to do a better job at hand fighting."

Perrine pinned Fitch's Colin Murphy in 34 seconds in his other bout, while Lehman pined Fitch's Jacob Smail in 1:16.

Fitch also had a returning state qualifier in 138-pounder Colin Roberts. He pinned Nordonia's Caleb Ridgely in 1:17 and scored a 15-8 win over Revere's Cooper Krauth.

Fitch also got two wins at the tri-meet from 106-pounder Alec Herman, 113-pounder Jacob Ferguson, 126-pounder Austin Croom, 145-pounder Aric Smith and 152-pounder Tyler Linter.

Walters noted the Falcons' experienced lineup taught some lessons to his younger wrestlers.

"They had the experience edge on us," Walters said. "They're three deep at every weight class. Their coach deserves a lot of credit for keeping that up.

"At the same time, you've got to beat these team. There's a lot of baby mistakes that we're making that we're trying to talk to them about and it's annoying me. We'll work it out."

Along with Perrine, Nordonia got two wins from 120-pounder Nathan Miller and 152-pounder Tyler Angus. Knight 220-pounder Mason Ridgely pinned Fitch's Donovan Oliver in 50 seconds and won by forfeit over the Minutemen.

Mosher noted giving up forfeits at 126 and 220 pound played a big part on Rever losing both matches.

"We were missing a couple of starters and they hurt us," Mosher said. "We lost in a couple of the toss-up matches that we needed to win. We're not doing some of the fundamental things right now."

Revere got two wins from 138-pounder Nick Gayner and 170-pounder Dominic Bonacuse.

Mosher being abel to hit the mats was a Christmas gift in itself.

"Just to be able to compete right now with COVID situation being what it is is a blessing," Mosher said. "We know we've been lucky to not have any disruptions with either wrestling or school in our district."