“This was a test for our team,” said coach Tony Stellato. “It was the first overnighter as a team and our first test of the season. As a whole, the team made some costly mistakes, which ended up affecting their placement or being knocked out of the tournament all together. In a sense, it is a good thing the team makes these mistakes now and ultimately learns from them. It is better to make mistakes now during these practice tournaments than in the post season when there is no tomorrow.”
The coach said he will make the necessary adjustments to the game and continue to move forward, hopefully getting better day by day and preparing for the push towards the post season.
The Poland Middle School wrestling team started the year off right with a 4–1 record at the Canfield duals last weekend. They opened up with victories over Hubbard and Boardman Glenwood before dropping a hard-fought match against Alliance Middle School. They bounced back with a victory over Boardman Center before closing out the day with a win over South Range.
“It’s hard to say who really stood out, because our whole lineup wrestled great every match,” said coach Matt Galchick. “We came together as a team very well. It’s hard giving up four weight classes and not having one of your key wrestlers (Johnny Berndt), but the team stepped up, our light guys bumped up in weight and we still produced results.”
Going perfect for the day was 80-pound Darren Goodin (5-0), 98-pound Anthony Morucci (5-0), 92-pound Dante Ginnetti (4-0) and 86-pound Luke Black (4-0). While Bobby Murcko, Bruno Spotleson, Matt Zaksec, Anthony Audi, Trey Ellis, and Anthony Mancini all went 4- 1. Josh Kulifay and Evan Brown made their wrestling debute finishing with 3-2 records.
“I really got to give Murcko, Spotleson, and Mancini credit,” Galchick said. “They had one loss, but they were up at least one weight class and went against state qualifiers. Bruno (Spotleson) gave the returning state champion the best match he had the entire weekend. Anthony (Mancini) was already up one weight class for the event and I bumped him up another against a really tough guy from Alliance.”
The young Bulldog wrestling team returns to action Jan. 5 at Brookfield as the take on Brookfield and Jackson-Milton in a tri meet.
Photos by Mike Audi, Town Crier correspondent
Poland’s Max Prizant places sixth in the Riverside Rumble last week that was a good test for the team prior to the start of the season.