BROOKVILLE — It wasn’t supposed to be a one-week layoff going into Tuesday’s home match with Johnsonburg, the Brookville Raiders wrestlers tried to shake off some rust in a 51-11 win.
Last Saturday’s Johnson Motors Ultimate Duals was disappointingly canceled because of Winter Storm Harper that blew through the area and any makeup attempts came up short due to obvious schedule conflicts among the six teams.
So it was back to work Tuesday for the Raiders, who weren’t able to get into the wrestling room Monday because of school cancellation.
Raiders head coach Dave Klepfer wasn’t using any excuses for his team’s sluggish effort, cautioning that Thursday’s trip to DuBois won’t be nearly as easy.
“Credit to Johnsonburg. They wrestled hard,” Klepfer said. “I didn’t feel like our effort was there tonight. It’s been the same old story, down by one or two on bottom with two minutes to go and we can’t seem to get things going, so we have to get back to work and fix it. There were some good performances and not so good performances, that’s all I really have to say about that.”
The Raiders had four forfeit wins in their pocket going into the night — Parker Fleming, Tanner LaBenne, Colby Whitehil and Owen Reinsel — and won six of 10 contested bouts on the mat.
Johnsonburg won four of the first six on the mat and had things tied up at 12-12 after Isaac Zimmerman’s 6-3 win over Wyatt Griffin at 160, but the Raiders ran the table from there with four wins on the mat and three forfeits.
The signature win of the night came from Elliot Park at 170 pounds where he trailed Tyler Watts 2-0 going into the second period. With Watts down, Park was able to turn Watts for two back points then headlocked him into a pin with 14 seconds to go in the period.
“It was a weird scramble, but I told Elliot when he came off the mat that’s what being stingy on top does,” Klepfer said. “He kept getting to his feet and almost out, but Elliot knew he had to ride the whole (second) period and finish on top and sometimes when you’re stingy like that, sometimes you fall into positions that are advantageous for you and it worked out for him tonight.”
Watts was docked a team point because of biting Park during the scramble as he was getting pinned. Klepfer showed referee Nick Sipes the marks on Park’s arm and call was made.
In the final bout of the night at 113, freshman Josh Popson majored Derek Peterson 11-3, getting the bonus points with a late takedown. Peterson had bumped up from 106 to avoid state-ranked Owen Reinsel.
“He’s a kid who keeps working at it and working hard,” Klepfer said of Popson. “He’s had a tough go of it, wrestling a bunch of older, stronger kids at 120 so it was good that we got matched up with a smaller kid tonight, one about his level and I thought both guys wrestled hard. We were a little bit bigger.”
The Raiders also got four other wins on the mat. Cabe Park decisioned Nolan Shaffer, 7-3, at 132. Cody Hetrick downed Cole Haight, 6-1, at 145 while Braden MacBeth notched a 16-0 technical fall over Christian Krug at 182.
At 195, Nathan Taylor pinned Matt Berger in 38 seconds.
Much to Klepfer’s chagrin, the Rams won three one-point decisions early on. Cole Norlin edged Cayden Walter 4-3 at 120, Cameron Marciniak’s takedown with 55 seconds left beat Wyatt Kulik 4-3 at 138 and Cole Casilio took down Jacob Cable with 25 seconds left for a 3-2 win at 152.
The Raiders visit DuBois Thursday, then host Punxsutawney and Philipsburg-Osceola next Tuesday and Thursday, their final two home bouts of the year.
“I just told them. If that effort comes Thursday, the result won’t be the same, that’s for sure,” Klepfer said. “We have to get back to work. We’ll see.”
The District 9 Class AA Dual Tournament is next Saturday, Feb. 2. Pairings will likely be announced later this week.