Lightweights power Seneca Valley past Butler

Wednesday, December 19, 2018 | 10:39 PM

Behind workmanlike performances from their top-flight grapplers, the No. 4-ranked Seneca Valley wrestling team bested Butler, 49-20, in a Class AAA, Section 3A match Wednesday night.

The Raiders’ (2-0, 2-0) second section win of the season came on the heels of an impressive second-place showing at the King of the Mountain tournament this past weekend, and while they dispatched the Golden Tornado (1-1, 1-1) in the manner coach Kevin Wildrick had hoped for, he said he was still glad to see there was no celebratory hangover from the tournament.

“You always worry after having a really nice tournament that there will be a little bit of a letdown with the guys. Some of them are wrestling seven matches in two days, then they have to get back out here and get after it two days later,” Wildrick said.

“So, we were a little worried, and I know that Scott Stoner always has his guys ready to go here at Butler, so I was happy with what we did in a tough match.”

For the most part, it was the lighter half of the Raiders roster that led the charge against Butler. At 106 pounds, Hunter Swedish earned a pin, while Dylan Chappell was awarded a win by forfeit at 113. From there, Alejandro Herrera-Rondon moved up from his usual 120 pounds to 126 to pin his opponent.

Moving toward the middleweights, Jason Geyer (132), Antonio Amelio (145) and Nick Montalbano (152) each won by fall to help boost Seneca Valley’s score while Drew Vlasnik (138) won via major decision.

At 182 pounds, Patrick Johnson won 6-1. Nick Funovits outscored Butler’s Caleb Hartung, 7-5, and newly-added heavyweight Tyler Proctor toppled Nate Cornibe, 5-4, in a tight battle.

“Our heavyweight, Tyler, it was a battle of guys straight off the football field. It was a new guy for them and a new guy for us,” Wildrick said.

“It was great to see him push trough and battle on the mat, and finish it up there with a win for us.”

Butler earned points from Clayton Dressler, who pinned Tim Johnson in the second period at 120 pounds. Jack Codispot, at 160 pounds, also racked up some points for the Golden Tornado with a technical fall victory.

In the 170-pound weight class, freshman Cooper Baxter earned a hard-fought 12-6 win by decision. Another freshman, Jake Pomykata, pinned his opponent at 195 pounds for Butler.

“They’ve assembled a pretty good team. We’re young, we have a bunch of freshmen and our guys are getting better. But Seneca Valley is a high-level team right now, so it’s tough,” Butler coach Scott Stoner said.

“I’m never opposed to a butt-kicking if we’re up against a good team. There are things to be learned from that, and that’s why we try to schedule some of the better teams throughout the year. I’d like to see us build experience off of this, and, hopefully, we’ll be a better team a month from now.”

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.

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