New Castle News

Closer Look

December 20, 2012

Photo Gallery, Story: Despite forfeit, Laurel wrestlers battle hard

NEW CASTLE — The Laurel High boys wrestling team was fighting a battle it already lost.

Injuries forced the Spartans to forfeit six matches to visiting rival Burgettstown in a 52-13 WPIAL Class AA Section 1-B loss.  

That didn’t stop the Spartans from putting out an effort that inspired head coach Kevin Carmichael.  

“They knew they were going to lose and they still went out and fought with everything they’ve got,” Carmichael said. “The score doesn’t dictate what happened in that gym. We had several kids out of the lineup for various reasons. We wrestled a very aggressive match.”

Of the seven matches in which Laurel wrestlers participated, they won three. Dalton Rosta remained undefeated (6-0) in the 170-pound weight class with a 5-4 decision over Matt Abbott.    

“Rosta keeps beating kids who are good wrestlers,” Carmichael said. “Where Dalton is separating himself from the rest is that he’s listening to our game plan and keeping his cool on the mat. He frustrates other wrestlers and takes advantage of that.

“He’s wrestling within himself. The score in his match was tied and he knew he needed a takedown. With four seconds left on the clock, he got one.”

Justin Mayberry pinned the Blue Devils’ Evan Pethel in 1:06 to secure a win in the 120-pound weight class.

“It was absolutely wonderful to see Mayberry continue his winning ways,” Carmichael said.

The Spartans’ Shane King won by decision over Jake McKee, 5-4, in the 152-pound weight class. It wasn’t without a little pep talk first.  

“Shane had struggled with injuries and confidence issues early in the season,” Carmichael said. “He snapped out of it. What I saw out of him was what I’ve seen him do before. He’s a fantastic technician.”

In the 182-pound weight class, Burgettstown’s Brad Hucik won a decision over Jason Powell, 14-5. Carmichael was pleased with what he saw from his first-year wrestler.

“Powell’s a light 182,” he said. “He’s going up against kids who are 10 pounds heavier than him. He wrestled Hucik for three rounds.”

Laurel (0-2 section) will look to get healthy after the holiday break. Carmichael believes, once healthy, his team will be able to go on a playoff run.

“We knew December was a bad month for us,” he said. “January is going to be our month. My 132-pound slot will be filled and so will my 138. Burgettstown is the number one team in our section. To see their kids lose to our kids, that’s promising.”  


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