BROOKVILLE — Not complaining all that much about their 4-1 performance at the Johnson Motors Ultimate Duals, Brookville Raiders head coach Dave Klepfer was encouraged with three wins against state-ranked opponents.
Earlier in the day, the Raiders beat Chestnut Ridge, 31-29, and Burrell, 39-12. Those teams, according to the latest www.papowerwrestling.com state Class AA dual meet rankings, were No. 4 and 8 respectively.
The Raiders also handled two late WPIAL additions to the six-team field, 58-6 over South Fayette and 48-19 over No. 22 Freedom.
The Raiders fell short and were outmanned against top-ranked and defending state champion Reynolds of District 10 in a 44-12 decision. That loss didn’t spoil a hard-working day for the Raiders.
“It feels pretty good,” said Klepfer, whose team is now 17-2 as it heads into what should be a challenging home match with DuBois on Thursday. “It was a pretty good day for us. You come in and beat a team that’s ranked higher than you (Off the Mat Wrestling had Chestnut Ridge and Brookville flipped at 3/4) and Burrell always comes to wrestle and they’re always tough for us. I think we picked it up each dual meet. It was real refreshing considering the last couple of weeks. We haven’t been real sharp as a group.
“I thought today we put it together for four solid dual meets and even the last one. We made some mental lapses late in a couple bouts. That was the difference in those bouts, not the meet. It would take a perfect day for us to beat them and they are a couple guys better than us right now. We have some work to do.”
Reynolds, starting four freshmen with three returning state medalists, hammered its way to a 5-0 record with other lopsided wins over Chestnut Ridge (45-19), South Fayette (63-2), Freedom (50-12) and Burrell (48-13). It’s now 17-1 with its lone loss to Canton, Ohio.
But Klepfer did have some complaints about his team’s longtime rival.
“We’re a school that graduates about 100 kids. They’re a school that graduates about 100. They’re a school that has two or three move-ins a year. That’s tough to compete against,” Klepfer said. “I’ll be point-blank. You can’t compete with that. You might as well be a Catholic school. I don’t have any qualms saying it. They have four kids on the roster who didn’t wrestle junior high for them. All four beat our kids. It’s tough to compete with that. You let me scoop up three studs and put them in the lineup and it might be a different team score on that dual meet.
“I respect those guys. it’s a fun competition and rivalry, but it’s just not a level playing field. It’s that simple.”
Chestnut Ridge finished 3-2 with wins over Burrell (37-21) and South Fayette (63-2). Burrell beat both of its WPIAL counterparts Freedom (41-22) and South Fayette (51-21). Freedom picked up its only win against South Fayette (37-30).
Against Reynolds, Brookville managed four wins and lost two close ones. Three wins came from Caleb Hetrick, Tyler Cook and Colby Whitehill, who all finished the day at 5-0.
Hetrick had a 13-3 major decision over Jordan DeCarmen at 160. Cook downed Wyatt Owen, 6-4, at 220 and Whitehill handed Derek Skeehan a 9-4 decision at heavyweight.
The Raiders’ only other win came from Kai Sorbin, who decisioned Andrew Ischo 8-5. Sorbin came in ranked No. 19 at 126 while Ischo was No. 7 at 120.
Other than that, it was all Reynolds. The Raiders forfeited to its returning state champion Cole Matthews in the opening bout at 138, choosing to bump up for anticipated better matchups. At 145, Hunter Michaels, ranked No. 7 at 145, took the Raiders’ No. 13 Dontae Constable down in overtime for a 3-1 win.
Reynolds made it 12-0 with Mason Wilkerson’s 8-2 win over Wyatt Griffin at 152.
Hetrick got the Raiders on the board with his major decision at 160 before Reynolds got back at it again with Cole Toy’s 5-2 win over Brookville’s Braden MacBeth at 170.
In another battle of ranked foes, Reynolds’ Jarod Miller avenged a Powerade Tourney loss to the Raiders’ Xavier Molnar at 195 with a 2-1 win, getting the bout-winning takedown with seven seconds on the clock. Miller was ranked No. 13 while Molnar, who went 3-2 for the day to up his career wins total to 97, came in at No. 5.
The Miller win over Molnar put Reynolds up 24-4 at the midway point. Cook and Whitehill made it closer with two decisions, but Cook was docked a team point following his win over Owen.
At 106, Reynolds’ No. 3-ranked freshman Gary Steen majored Cayden Walter. Adam Wilcox decked the Raiders’ Parker Fleming at 113 and returning state champion Beau Bayless, ranked No. 1 at 120, pinned Cabe Park.
After Sorbin’s win at 126, Reynolds set the final with Rocco Bartolo’s 14-6 major decision over Wyatt Kulik at 132.
Cabe Park and Constable each finished 4-1 with MacBeth, Sorbin and Molnar all going 3-2. Walter and Fleming finished 2-3, Elliot Park finished 2-1, and Wyatt Kulik and Cole LaBenne each finished 1-4.
“I’m pretty happy,” Klepfer summed up. “We got guys who are really starting to figure things out and have guys in there battling and fighting like crazy for their teammates. I can’t say enough about guys like Cayden Walter and Elliot and even Wyatt Griffin who got in there against a real tough senior … Those are things we’re looking for as coaches and you need to do that and get that out of your young kids.
“I’m pretty pleased with the group and the young kids. We have to get everyone on board and once we do, we’re getting there. I think we’re going to be all right.”
But he also hopes that the weekend served as a turning point for the team as well.
“I tell the kids all the time that you get what you earn,” Klepfer said. “If you’re not working hard in practice or missing, things will go bad in the tight matches. You get what you earn. We have some guys who need to look in the mirror and ask themselves if they’re putting in the work to earn the wins against the good kids. Once they do that, they’ll have the answer and get back to work.”
In other matches:
South Fayette 6
Right after emotional win over Chestnut Ridge, the Raiders reeled off wins in 12 of 14 bouts in their rout of South Fayette.
Kulik, Molnar and Whitehill notched pins. Cook won by injury default, Hetrick notched a technical fall, Sorbin and LaBenne had major decisions, and Constable, MacBeth and Cabe Park won decisions. Walter and Fleming received forfeit wins.
Chestnut Ridge 29
In a back-and-forth affair against evenly matched squads, it was the Raiders’ Fleming avoiding a pin in a 10-3 loss to Nathan Holderbaum in the final bout at 113 that secured a two-point win.
Each team won seven bouts, but the Raiders outpinned Chestnut Ridge, 3-2, for the important edge. Overall, the Raiders edged the Eagles 10-8 in bonus points.
The Raiders won three of the first four bouts to take a 13-4 lead. Cabe Park pinned Taylor Claycomb in the first period at 120 in the opening bout. Sorbin blanked Gryphon Callihan, 6-0, at 126 and Constable majored Cody Brown, 10-1, at 138.
But Chestnut Ridge won four of the next five from 145 through 182, Levi Hobson’s 4-1 win over MacBeth at 170 giving the Eagles a 22-19 lead. The only win for the Raiders through the middleweights was Hetrick’s pin of Brodie Harbaugh at 160.
The Raiders got big results from their heavyweights to secure the lead for good as Molnar needed an overtime takedown to beat Austin Crouse, 3-1, at 195. Cook decisioned a stubborn Duane Knisely, 3-2, at 220 and then Whitehill came up big with a first-period pin of Daulton Seace at heavyweight to put the Raiders up 31-22 with two bouts left.
Kai Burkett blanked Walter in a 13-0 major to pull the Eagles to within 31-26, but they had to get a pin to win and couldn’t get it.
The Eagles were wrestling without a key starter in state-ranked Kaden Cassidy. The sophomore 120-pounder, third at states last year, was ranked No. 3 at 120.
With the heavyweight guns waiting to seal the win at the end, the Raiders didn’t take the lead for good until the final contested bout of the match when Molnar pinned Colton Moorhead in 83 seconds at 195.
Molnar’s pin gave the Raiders a 27-23 lead before the Bucs forfeited to Cook and Whitehill at 220 and heavyweight to end the match.
Big wins by MacBeth and Park at 170 and 182 highlighted the Raiders’ comeback as much as the almost-guaranteed 18 points waiting for them in the final three bouts.
MacBeth locked up in a wild affair with Austin Mele that was won in the second rideout period when he escaped in the first rideout then scored two back points from the top in the second rideout before getting reversed to set his 4-3 final. The two traded escapes in regulation.
Park followed MacBeth by taking down Ricky Feroce 10 seconds into the first overtime period to notch a 5-3 win, setting the stage for the Raiders’ 18-0 sweep in the final three bouts.
Earlier, Cabe Park pinned Colby Christie in the first period at 120, Constable pinned Dominic Hughes in the first period at 138 and Hetrick grinded out a 7-4 win over Corey Christie in a battle of two state-ranked wrestlers. Hetrick and Christie were No. 4 and 9 respectively.
In the Raiders’ opener against Freedom, they won eight of 13 bouts on the mat and grabbed a forfeit win.
Three straight pins to start the match set the tone as Whitehill, Walter and Fleming opened with six-pointers from heavyweight to 113. Whitehill and Walter did it quick in the first period with Walter needing just 24 seconds.
Cabe Park picked up a solid win at 120 when he decisioned state-ranked Kenny Duschek, a freshman coming in ranked No. 18. Park picked up two sets of three back points and built an 8-0 lead in the second period before setting for a 9-4 win.
Park’s win put the Raiders up 21-0 after four bouts before Freedom won three of four bouts from 126 through 145 with Constable’s forfeit win at 138 giving the Raiders a 27-7 lead.
The Raiders won four other bouts, two of them come-from-behind pins. Down 7-1 going into the third period, MacBeth pinned Brett Johnston 34 seconds into the period at 170. Elliot Park trailed 8-5 heading into the third period and front-cradled Caleb Hersey to a pin 26 seconds into the final period.
Hetrick blanked Chase Komara 3-0 at 152 and Cook pinned Nick Wolfe in 20 seconds at 220 to set the final score.