Blair's wrestling team beats Einstein in first meet of season
NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM, Dec. 5 –
Blair's wrestling team defeated Einstein 42 - 24 and lost to Blake 22 - 54 in their first multiple meet of the season on Saturday. Blake defeated Einstein 54 – 5. Coach Jake Scott expressed that considering it was the first meet for a majorly young team, the outcome was satisfying.
Blair first competed against Blake, which was a notably competitive team, according to the Blair wrestlers. Of the 11 matches between the teams, only senior captain Johni Meeks, junior captain Jeffrey Garcia, junior Arthur Tsapdong and sophomore Billy Saturno were triumphant.
While Meeks was able to swiftly pin his opponent shortly into the first period, the process was not as smooth for the other wrestlers. During his match, Tsapdong was unable to take much control in the first period as he and his opponent exhibited equally matched skill, neither able to take the other down. Tsapdong also made the mistake of locking his hands together, which gave penalty points to Blake. It was in the second period that Tsapdong executed an impressive reversal to get on top of his opponent and eventually pin him. Tsapdong attributed his win to following the same advice the coaches always reiterated. "I just wanted to stick to my guns," he said. "I tried to go by what the coaches told me in practice and utilize that to my advantage."
Both Garcia and Saturno maintained the upper hand for the majority of their time in their matches, but could not finish off their opponents until after some struggling. Garcia noted that having more command of the fight's direction would have helped him. "I have to learn how to control the pace more and really break down my opponent," Garcia said.
Against Einstein, the team was much more powerful, winning seven of the nine matches. More blazer wrestlers were uncontested due to opponents in their corresponding weight groups. It was considerably more successful because of a similar range of experienced wrestlers, according to Scott. "Our new guys beat their new guys, our veterans beat their veterans," he said.
During his match, Meeks pinned his opponent in a quick fashion. Meeks expressed that because he had an elbow injury, he did not want to engage in a long match and thus aimed to finish off his opponents quickly. However, Meeks noted that for future meets he wants to be prepared for a more lengthy fight. "I want to improve my endurance," he said.
Several wrestlers who fell to Blake emerged dominant with Einstein. In his Blake match, sophomore Anthony Jankoski had trouble breaking his opponent's grip and lost in the second period. Against Einstein, however, he was considerably more aggressive and successfully pinned his opponent in the second. Jankoski felt that his first loss was able to boost his mentality for the following match. "It made me more motivated," he said.
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