New Castle News

Sports

January 17, 2013

High School Wrestling: Ellwood earns playoff berth

NEW CASTLE — After just two seasons, the Ellwood City Lincoln High wrestling team is playoff-bound.

The Class AA, Section 1-B Wolverines knocked off host Laurel in section competition, 51-26, to seal a playoff berth.

“To make it to the playoffs in our second year, it’s a great accomplishment,” Ellwood City coach Craig Alberts said. “It’s been a long time coming.”

Alberts, who is in his first season as head coach for the Wolverines, was part of a group that revitalized interest in wrestling at Ellwood City. The momentum of youth programs started by Alberts, John Barnes and Matt Walley convinced the school, which disbanded the sport in 2001, to bring back the varsity program last year.

“Our kids worked really hard,” Alberts said. “A lot of credit goes to a couple coaches too — Aaron Schettler, Nick Leonhard and Matt Walley. Schettler and Leonhard have come in and done a tremendous job as assistant coaches. Walley has been involved with the program since the start of it. He’s invaluable.”

Ellwood City (3-2 section, 5-6 overall) jumped out to an early lead with Brad Grinnen’s pin of Rick Nail at 1:19 in the 285-pound weight class. Carter MacMurdo had the match of the night with Laurel’s Ryan Glasser in the 113-pound weight class, with MacMurdo earning the pin at 5:55.

“It was a battle the whole way through,” Alberts said. “Carter’s a young wrestler for us. He’s starting to come on the last couple weeks.”

The Wolverines’ Jordan Lemanski won a decision over Justin Mayberry at 120 pounds, 12-6.

“He’s also been coming on for us the last few weeks. He just stays alive and works hard out there,” Alberts said. “He’s a real strong kid, and he’s hard to do a whole lot to. He manages all his matches that way.”

Injuries have been a trend for Laurel (1-4, 1-4) all season. Last night was more of the same as the Spartans surrendered six decisions via forfeit.

“We’re missing William Hughes and Jacob Breitenstein. We lost Jason Powell right before the match at 182 pounds,” Laurel coach Kevin Carmichael said. “If we have those three wrestlers in, I think it’s a different match.”

The Spartans’ Ryan Soom collected a victory in the 132-pound weight class, a 4-2 decision over Josh Williams. Harley Peterson continued to find success in the 145-pound weight class, scoring a technical fall of Donnie Kerr, 15-0. Dalton Rosta was too much for J.T. Baldelli in the 170-pound weight class, registering a pin at 1:12. Shane King, who is 17 victories away from 100 for his career, won by forfeit in the 160-pound weight class.

“One great thing about wrestling is that the team thing can be over and done with, but you still have that individual tournament run to the state finals in Hershey,” Carmichael said. “It’s going to be fun watching this group of kids this year. Harley, Rosta and King are on fire right now. I expect those three to go deep in the individual postseason tournament.”

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