Canfield wins decisively over Boardman

Decision time favors

Canfield in rout



Canfield wrestling coach Steve Pitts has been trying to teach the Cardinals they have to make the most of every situation, even when it appears the odds are against them. They were able to do that well in a 63-9 home victory over Boardman on Wednesday night.

“The team message has been that whatever the circumstances are, you work through them and make the best of those circumstances,” Pitts said. “If you’re going into overtime, go get the takedown. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are, go make the best of them.”

That the Cardinals (7-2) did that was clearly the difference in the match.

“What we told the guys there’s only one difference between us and Canfield — they’re tough and we’re not,” Boardman coach Dom Mancini said. “There’s no magic move. They’re tough. They can fight through any uncomfortable position and win the match. We can’t. You’re either tough, or you lose.”

Canfield won three matches by decision. None more exciting than McCoy Watkins’ victory in the 126-pound bout. He scored a takedown in the first overtime to Anthony Baglama, 4-2.

“I’m really ecstatic with the way we wrestled in general,” Pitts said. “Those swing matches are the matches we need to win. Those guys in the middle started to prove themselves tonight. McCoy Watkins beat Anthony Baglama, who was second in the [All-American Conference] last year. Those wins make me the proudest. It was a tough match, but we embrace those tough matches. We want those.”

Aidan Burcsak topped Ali Abu-ghannam, 10-3, at 132 and David Crawford outlasted Michael O’Horo, 9-4, at 182 pounds.

Those losses were disappointing for Mancini.

“We had an opportunity to win a few matches and we didn’t,” Mancini said. “It goes back to what I originally said. We lost because our guys aren’t tough. We’ve got to get better at it. If we’re going to beat Canfield, we’ve got to get tougher.”

When the Cardinals weren’t fighting to claim decisions, they were closing out matches early with pins. It was a rare event for a Spartan to get off his back once put there.

“That’s a credit to our coaches,” Pitts said. “Derick Fletcher is a really good top wrestler. Since he joined the staff this year, the kids get on top and they’re looking for an opportunity to get the pin. Not letting them off their back is the way you win matches. You can score a lot of points when you’re on top. That’s what we’ve been preaching and it’s starting to show.”

Ethan Fletcher (106), Eric El-Hayek (138), David Reinhart (152), Anthony D’Alesio (170) and Michael Dudash (220) all claimed wins via pins.

Nick Barber (113), Ben Cutrer (160), Nick Crawford (195) and Dan Kapalko (heavyweight) all accepted forfeits for Canfield.

Derek Slipkovich scored a pin at 120 and Cade Pollack defeated Giovanni Dunlap, 6-1, at 145 pounds for the Spartans’ only points.

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