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Wrestling: Big Red Pins JM

December 7, 2011
By TRACY WATSON, For The Intelligencer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

STEUBENVILLE - Whether it is on the scorecard or the scoreboard, it is never a good thing to have to fight from behind in sports.

Wednesday night that was a constant battle for John Marshall as Coach Ted Zervos' Monarchs continually found themselves behind in matches, and eventually headed for defeat against a talented Steubenville wrestling squad.

Big Red wrestlers trailed only once after the first period in any match, collecting a pair of technical falls and forfeits and a pin along the way, in rolling to a convincing 51-9 triumph in a mutual season opener at the Crimson Center.

Coach Mike Blackburn's Steubenville unit trailed 6-5 in the team scoring after two matches before winning the next nine to take control.

''We came in wanting to be aggressive and swarm, that is something that we preach,'' Blackburn said. ''John Marshall is always a well-coached team that we normally wrestle a little later due to football, but we wanted to get off and rolling early this year.

''A lot of our kids wrestled most of the summer, so we knew coming in that we were in good shape and that wouldn't be a problem. There are still a few little things to correct, but I believe we will be all right.''

In the night's feature match, two of the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference's best wrestlers at 195 pounds hooked up in an early season event with the Monarchs' Thomas Schwing gaining a hard-fought, 4-3 victory against Big Red's Charlie Keenan.

It was also the only match in which John Marshall led in the second or third period.

Schwing is the top-ranked wrestler in the conference at 195 while Keenan entered the campaign at No. 4.

The two teams split the opening matches, both with impressive victories as Steubenville 106-pounder Devon Brown jumped to an early lead before recording an 18-3 technical fall for a quick 5-0 Big Red lead.

However, John Marshall's Casey Mowder needed little time, just 47 seconds for a quick fall, to put the visitors into a short-lived 6-5 advantage.

After that it was ''Roll Red Roll'' for the hosts, who received another technical fall from Anthony Parada (126) and a fall from Jake Howarth (170). Collecting decisions in Steubenville's nine-in-a-row march were Anthony Craig (120), Jake McKitrick (132), Crastin Hosley (138), Justin Gillette (145), Trent Mays (152) and Mark Loe (160) while Davon Wicker won by forfeit at 182.

Greg Moray (220) also won by decision for Big Red while Ryan Wood captured a forfeit win at 285.

''We have 10 new faces, a lot of which are freshmen and sophomores, and I really believe that we showed a whole lot of effort (Wednesday),'' Zervos said. ''Limited experience is what we are dealing with, which comes with youthful little lapses on line calls and mental breakdowns.

''But they are all things that are very fixable and I know that by the time the OVAC and state tournaments roll around we will have more experience and mat time and things will get better.

''Steubenville is a very good team and very well-coached, and we are a better team for wrestling them. When we hit the mats for practice (Thursday) we will be a team with a renewed purpose.

''Give that team a whole lot of credit.''

 
 

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