Room to Grow
Tornado win big vs. Knoch, but still need work
By John Enrietto
Eagle Sports Editor
JEFFERSON TWP — The outcome was a foregone conclusion, so Butler's season-opening wrestling match Wednesday night was all about effort and technique.
And coach Scott Stoner wasn't particularly happy about it — despite the Golden Tornado's 69-9 victory.
"I don't want to sound too harsh, but we've wrested harder in the room," Stoner said. "I don't know if it's because it was our first match or what, but we had some guys come out here and do things on the mat they weren't coached to do.
"We have high expectations for a lot of wrestlers this year. We've still got a lot of work to do."
The Tornado picked up five pins and one win by technical fall against the Knights, who are entering their fourth year as a varsity wrestling program.
"I have a lot of respect for Butler's program and where they've come from over 20 years," Knoch coach Mark McLaughlin said. "They have a solid team from top to bottom. I want to get our program to where they're at."
Chris White secured a pin in 15 seconds for Butler at 215 pounds. Mike Crawford scored his pin in 26 seconds at 145 pounds.
Cody Hartman pinned his man in 1:33 at 135 pounds while sophomore Zach Reges pinned Knoch senior Grayson Hixon in 5:12 at 125 pounds.
Brandon Bauer got a pin at 5:16 of his 119-pound match and Zach Collins won by technical fall at 130.
"Some of our guys were on their game tonight," Stoner said. "Cody Hartman wrestled very well. Chris White starts every match going 100 percent until the crash occurs. If the crash doesn't occur, we have to weather the storm with him.
"Tonight, he took care of business quickly."
Crawford was hampered by a bad shoulder toward the end of last season, but Stoner said there have been no signs of any problems this year.
Knoch won a pair of matches. Kevin Green scored a reversal with 43 seconds left to nip Matt Pribis, 5-4, at 160 pounds. Joe Hlebiczki pinned Jordan Allen in 3:23 of their heavyweight match.
Allen had a 3-2 lead after the first period of that bout.
"Jordan's battled some injuries and hasn't been on the mat all that much," Stoner said. "Inexperience cost him a little bit there, but he lost to a tough kid."
McLaughlin said he was looking at individual performances Wednesday. The Knights forfeited five weight classes.
"That's how you have to approach it when you know going in you're not going to win the match," McLaughlin said. "We're still a young team and we'll get better. Our kids were up against it tonight."
Knoch travels to Highlands Friday before hosting Mars Monday. Butler competes in the Commodore Perry Duals Saturday before hosting Hampton next Wednesday.
"Hampton will beat us if we don't wrestle well," Stoner promised. "That is a very underrated team."
Butler 69, Knoch 9
103-Blake Caudill (B) by forfeit; 112-Nick Sutton (B) by forfeit; 119-Brandon Bauer (B) pinned Justin Grossman, 5:16; 125-Zach Reges (B) pinned Grayson Hixon, 5:12; 130-Zach Collins (B) tech. fall (15-0) over Blaine Elliot, 5:07; 135-Cody Hartman (B) pinned Tyler Hlebiczki, 1:33; 140-Eric Tuck (B) by forfeit; 145-Mike Crawford (B) pinned Joe Colonello, :26; 152-Dakoda Collins (B) by forfeit; 160-Kevin Green (K) dec. Matt Pribis, 5-4; 171-Cole Baxter (B) by forfeit; 189-Mike Scialabba (B) dec. James Zellhart, 11-3; 215-Chris White (B) pinned Mark Morrison, :15; 275-Joe Hlebiczki (K) pinned Jordan Allen, 3:23.