LINESVILLE — The Greenville and Conneaut Area wrestling teams have a lot in common.
Both programs graduated nine seniors last year and have a lot of young kids filling out the lineup. Yet despite that, both teams have gotten off to very successful starts to the season.
Also, both the Trojans and the Eagles annually find themselves in the shadow of Region 2 and statewide powerhouse Reynolds. The region’s second seed to the District 10 duals is usually decided between Greenville and CASH. Conneaut claimed it last season, Greenville took it several years previously.
The latest iteration of that pivotal showdown took place Wednesday. And while the CASH crew (8-2, 2-2 Region 2) made it a good tussle, Greenville (11-3, 4-0 Region 2) held off the Eagles for a 39-28 win.
“We had a couple guys out with the flu, a couple guys out with skin infections,” said Greenville head coach John Reynolds. “So we had a whole lot of new heroes step up for us tonight.”
Even though Greenville was down some wrestlers, the Trojans possess a still-healthy roster of 31. So they had options at several weight classes throughout the night, allowing them to script things as best as they could. That’s where the main difference between the two programs stood out. Greenville has the depth. CASH has what it has.
“For us, it’s the lack of depth,” said Conneaut head coach Kevin Welsh. “It’s kind of hard for us to shuffle guys around. Overall, though, we wrestled them straight-up and we competed, wrestled hard. We had some good moments and some not-so-good moments. But we had a chance.”
Case in point was at the start of the match at 195 pounds. Conneaut had to send its wrestler out first. In this case it was one of their team leaders, Trevor Tursky. Greenville forfeited to him. And then CASH didn’t have anyone at 220. So, Greenville sent out Zane Berry, who doesn’t have a win-loss record listed on PA-wrestling.com.
So, CASH had used up one of its top guys while Greenville just ran someone out to get their arm lifted. And the score was tied 6-6.
Greenville then took a small lead when Brayden DiFrischia held off a third-period charge by CASH’s Connor Schellman to win 7-5.
Conneaut retook the lead at 106. Greenville’s Nevada Koehler pounced right on top of Conneaut’s Kyle Lantz at the opening whistle for a takedown. However, before the period was over, Lantz had turned Koehler onto his back to win by fall in 1:26.
“Lantz, to give up that takedown right away but keep wrestling tough, that was great,” said Walsh. “He kept his composure.”
Greenville then built a 24-12 lead after Blayke Knauf won 113 with a 3-0 decision over Trent Roncaglione; Ty Csonka pinned Connor Peterson in 2:54; and Zack Dougherty (who was 0-3 on the year) earned a forfeit win at 126.
CASH fought back by winning the next three weights. Greenville bumped up Riley Kneeland to face Collin Hearn at 132. Hearn pulled out a hard-fought win, 3-2.
Then at 138, the Eagles’ Brady Gould picked up a 5-1 decision over Luke Gentile. And at 145, Jonny O’Neil picked up a valuable bonus point with a 9-0 major over Caleb Springer, trimming the Trojans’ lead to 24-22.
Greenville’s Hayden Robertson gave his team a little breathing room by defeating Jesse Davenport 10-7 in the 152-pound match.
But then at 160, Josh Anderson thrust CASH into the lead by decking Glenn Lenhardt in 44 seconds. The Eagles were up 28-27 with two matches to go.
“We came out here and we wrestled hard,” said Walsh. “We had an opportunity to win it.”
Those two matches, however, went to the Trojans. Cole Karpinski pinned Dylan Lehman in 1:01 at 170 pounds, making it 33-28 Greenville. And Rufus Byler pinned CASH’s Pierce O’Day in 1:34 at 182 pounds, sealing the match.