Mt. Pleasant wrestlers score decisive win over short-handed Frazier

Wednesday, January 3, 2024 | 11:59 PM

Mt. Pleasant secured five straight victories, including four via pin, in a 49-22 win over Frazier in Section 2-2A action inside the DiVirgilio Field House on Wednesday night.

Rhyley Kimmel (133), Joseph Longhi (139), Greg Shaulis (145) and Jamison Poklembo (152) each earned pins, while Tristan Wtorkiwicz (127) won via major decision to help the Vikings build a 40-6 lead. That advantage also included forfeit wins by Mt. Pleasant’s Nick Stabile (107) and Lowen Springer (114).

Ty Hornack contributed a decision at 172 pounds and Dylan Pitzer finished out the match with a pin at 285.

Frazier wrestled well and I think our kids wrestled tough, so it was a good matchup for us,” Mt. Pleasant coach Tom Dolde Jr. said. “It feels good to come away with the win.”

The Commodores competed without the services of two of their top grapplers in three-time state champion Rune Lawrence (215) and Jonah Erdely (152), a sophomore who was a state qualifier a year ago. Lawrence is dealing with a knee injury and Erdely is out with a neck injury sustained in last week’s Powerade Tournament.

“Those two kids are the difference in the match right there. If they have them, it’s a different match,” Dolde said. “I just hate to see young kids hurt. They’re way too young to have these injuries, and I wish them the best. I talked to both of them and told them I’ll be rooting for them at the end of the season.”

Despite the setback, Frazier coach Buck Watkins took a positive approach when assessing the team’s performance.

“We got outwrestled, but on the bright side, it’s only Jan. 3 and this thing isn’t over until March 10 or 11,” Watkins said. “We have some time and we’re going to get better. The end goal is still a WPIAL team title, so we still have a month to do that. I think we’re in good shape.”

The Vikings held a 12-6 lead right out of the gate thanks to their two forfeit wins and a forfeit victory for Frazier’s Tanner Hayes.

In the night’s opening bout, Wtorkiwicz got the better of Frazier’s Chase Celaschi, 14-5. Wtorkiwicz jumped out to a lead via a pair of first-period takedowns and a three-point near fall.

At 133, Kimmel pinned Landon Hough in 3:21 and Longhi followed with a pin of Tyler Clark in 4:33 in the 139-pound matchup.

Shaulis defeated Chris Petruska in 1:10 at 145 and Poklembo needed 16 seconds to pin Jayden Gardner at 152.

“I think the turning point was that 133 match because (Kimmel) doesn’t have a lot of mat time,” Dolde said. “That was a big pin for him, and then we got another one from Longhi at 139. That was the match right there. The middle of our lineup is our best spot, so I feel good about it.”

Frazier got its first true win of the night in the 160-pound bout, as defending WPIAL champion Ryan Celaschi defeated Stephen Predajna with a 10-1 major decision.

Celaschi was limited to one takedown in the first period before scoring points on a reversal and a two-point near fall in the second. He closed out the win with two third-period takedowns.

“That was a little bit of a confidence booster for Ryan because he had a tough Powerade,” Watkins said. “He’s still wrestling really well.”

After Mt. Pleasant’s Hornack outlasted Austin Wilson for a 12-8 win at 172, Frazier got two straight victories at 189 and 215.

First, it was Jackson Angelo who pinned Charles Blanchard in 19 seconds to pick up a win.

“He has stepped up and is on another level right now,” Watkins said. “He had a very good Powerade and wrestled really hard.”

Josh Girvin followed with his first pin of the season, as he needed just over three minutes to defeat Matt Mazowicki.

“I’m excited for the future of this team,” Watkins said. “We’ll get some guys back at the end of January and I think it will be a different story.”

Pitzer’s win over Connor Reems closed out the match. The sophomore who was a state qualifier in his first high school season last year was victorious in just under a minute.

“The best compliment I got tonight was from the referee, who did our match against Albert Gallatin earlier this year,” Dolde said. “He came up to me and said, ‘Hey, you guys got better,’ and that, to me, is big because that’s what we strive for every day in the wrestling room. We just wanna take inches and inches every day.”

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