Stow wrestling caps big week with win over CVCA

Michael Leonard
Kent Weeklies
Stow-Munroe Falls 120-pounder Micah Bentley, shown here working over Solon's Aiden Hays Jan. 16, scored a pin 1:09 Wednesday to help the Bulldogs to a 51-26 win at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy.

CUYAHOGA FALLS — The two Wyoga Lake Road private schools have generated plenty of wrestling glory over the years.

Thus, taking on both Walsh Jesuit and Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy on the mat in one week might seem a tall task.

But Stow-Munroe Falls is reveling in facing challenges this winter.

Stow made the trip to CVCA Wednesday and came home with a 51-26 win over the Royals.

Coupled with their win at Walsh Jan. 16, the Bulldogs (9-1) pulled the double on the Wyoga Lake Road squads.

"We like competing with everyone," Stow coach Ty Buckwalter said. "It's fun to be able to come here and take on local competitors. I hope that we can keep it going."

Buckwalter noted it was good to see his team progress, but not surprising.

"This is probably the most consistent team I've had since I've been here," he said. "Top to bottom, they are all solid. I'm just really happy to see us being aggressive."

As for CVCA, coach Dave Bergen knows his team's forte is not dual meets, given the inexperience for on much of his squad.

"All of our upperweights, except Kyle [Snider], are young or in their first year," Bergen said. "They were very solid. I think that our young kids wrestled well.

"For us, things went well for the guys that we expect to go deep into the season at 113, 160 and 220."

One key for the Bulldogs was getting six points in all but one of their wins. Stow got forfeit victories from 145-pounder Brayden Cowger and 152-pounder JT Hill, but gave one forfeit back at 106 pounds to CVCA's Owen Nelson.

A native of Mill Hall, Penn., Buckwalter has brought Pennsylvania-style wrestling to the Bulldogs, with an emphasis on scoring and ending matches from the top.

"That's definitely something that we work on," Buckwalter said. "It's something that goes back to coach JR [Stewart] at the middle school. He really emphasizes being able to work on top. They're just buying into it."

Stow's pinning prowess was evident early. Bulldog 182-pounder Will Edmonson hit a farside cradle to get a pin in 1:34, followed by 195-pounder Zach DiGiammarino getting a quick pin in 19 seconds.

At 220 pounds, Snider scored an 11-3 major decision win over a game, but overmatched, Teddy Gregory.

"I wanted him to wrestle on his feet a bit more," Bergen said. "He's the whole package on defense or offense."

"Like I've said before, Teddy is going to be in every match he wrestles," Buckwalter said. "I think we just have to get him in a better position to score."

In a battle of two offensive linemen at heavyweight, Stow's Mason Mennell pulled out a tight 3-2 win over CVCA's Tony Collins.

Following the forfeit win at 106, CVCA closed the gap to 15-14 when 113-pounder Braden Hahlen scored an 11-3 major decision over Robert Davis.

Stow got its pins going again when 120-pounder Micah Bentley used a cradle to pin in 1:09, but CVCA 126-pounder Anthony Perez answered with a pin in 1:34.

The Bulldogs broke the meet open after that. First, 132-pounder Nathan Craft used a half nelson to get a pin in 1:39.

Then, in one of the marquee matches of the night, Stow 138-pounder Vince Randall used a nearside cradle to pin CVCA's TJ Sarkiewicz in 2:16.

"Vince had been kind of off the last two matches with his shots," Buckwalter said. "Tonight, he looked really good on his feet."

Following the two forfeits, CVCA stopped in the run in another key match at 160 pounds. Royal senior Austin Pownall reversed Stow's JR Reed in the second period and used a half nelson to get the pin in 3:50.

But Stow 170-pounder Ty Bukowski closed the match in style for the Bulldogs, as he used a half nelson to get a pin in 1:34.