Brentwood Wrestlers Take Control Over MRH
In a double-dual meet at MRH that included Barat Academy, the Brentwood wrestlers enjoyed a standout performance.
An early-season wrestling matchup between rivals Brentwood and Maplewood Richmond Heights showed both team's head coaches few surprises. In the end, Brentwood came out on top following some tough, tight bouts.
MRH, Brentwood and Barat Academy clashed on the MRH mat on Tuesday in a double dual meet. MRH defeated Barat, 39-6, and Brentwood beat Barrat, 66-12. But in the results that mattered most to those in attendance, Brentwood prevailed over MRH, 51-19. It was the first meeting of the rivals this year.
MRH coach Chris Meyer knew there would be several close matches between the two squads. Before the meet, he said weight classes 130, 135, 140, 145, 152, and 215-pounds were all between wrestlers of similar age and experience.
"The close ones hurt us," Meyer said after the match. "I think they got almost all the close ones. We had our chances and we couldn't capitalize on them. In the matches we lost, we had some of their guys on their backs at some point but didn't capitalize, and their guys did. So that's what the difference was."
No match was closer than the 145-pound tussle between Brentwood senior Ryan Jones and MRH sophomore George Tatum. Both wrestlers used most of the first two-minute period trying to gain control. Jones finally shot for Tatum's legs with 15 seconds left, but period one ended in a 0-0 tie. Brentwood's Jones was on top to start the second period, but Tatum was able to turn it around and get points for a near fall. The score was 3-1 for MRH's Tatum after two periods.
Jones enjoyed a takedown in the third period to give him two points, tying the match at 3, which put another minute on the clock for sudden-death overtime. Jones got the final two points for the 5-3 victory, and three team points for Brentwood.
The 215-pound match between MRH sophomore Levon Clark and Brentwood senior Adam Keck wasn't so close, but it was an example of a match where MRH couldn't capitalize, Meyer said.
Clark had Keck on his back enough to rack up near fall points in the double digits, but could never get both shoulder blades to the mat for the pin. Clark finally won the bout in points, 21-12.
"I was looking for the pin," Clark said. He almost had it at the end of the first period. "I had his shoulders pressed down and I was holding him there for a while. Got me a lot of near-fall points, but wished I could have been a little better on top because I couldn't arch enough to get him down."
Brentwood's 130-pound senior Andy Dreyer prevailed over MRH junior David Verdia in a pin, after being down in points 5-3. At 135 pounds, it was MRH's Josh Pinson over Brentwood's Eric Vogeli, 6-1. At 140, it was Brentwood's Elie Moore over MRH's Zach Arias with a pin. Brentwood's Tyler Jones pinned MRH's Devonte Nelson in a hard-fought 152-pound match. At 160, MRH's Eduardo Verdia pinned Brentwood's Jim Taylor in one minute and 10 seconds.
"We came out on top, but we've got a lot of work to do," Brentwood coach Roy Hughes said. "But I'm sure they're going to improve, and we're going to improve, before the end of the season."
In other words: it's early, and, as all wrestlers know, what really matters is what happens at districts and state.
Brentwood wrestles at Union on Dec.11 and Hancock on Dec. 14.