BROOKVILLE â€” Senior wrestler Dylan Buffington temporarily lost his confidence Thursday night after he was taken down by St. Marys' Ben Cheatle in the first period of their 160-pound bout.
Buffington doesnâ€™t wrestle varsity much, but it didnâ€™t show, as he didnâ€™t panic, reversed Cheatle, and ended up scoring a pin before the end of the first period to earn his first win of the season. Buffington earned the Clint Puller award for outstanding wrestler of the match.
It was the first time he won a Puller Award for wrestling. He previously won one for track and field.
â€śI got taken down and got down on myself early,â€ť Buffington said. â€śBut I knew if I worked my top game that I could get back into it. It felt good to get a win, because I donâ€™t get to wrestle varsity much.â€ť
Buffington was one of five Raiders (8-1) who pinned their opponents in the teamâ€™s 49-21 win over the Flying Dutchmen (6-5). Dustin Dombrowski (125 pounds), Dylan Zimmerman (145), Jacob Shields (189) and Logan Stout (215) won by pin fall.
Brett Smith (135) came close to pinning Darren Lyon several times, but ended up with a 16-0 technical fall victory at 5:03.
Of the six matches ending in pin, Stout had to work the hardest for his, as he pinned James Antonelli with a minute remaining in the match.
Brookville coach Dave Klepfer said that he was impressed with how Stout wrestled.
â€śLogan really had a great match,â€ť Klepfer said. â€śHe came out, wrestled strong and really put it to him.â€ť
The Raiders won without having two of their top wrestlers â€” Brock and Brodie Zacherl â€” in the line-up. Klepfer said that he told the team in the week leading up to the match that it was going to have to wrestle tougher because of the injuries.
â€śWe knew that we were going to show up and wrestle,â€ť Klepfer said. â€śWe can definitely see the improvement from last month at the Big Dog invite. Theyâ€™re a young team, but they are getting better.â€ť
The key to the Raiders' success was tempo.
â€śI told the guys that there shouldnâ€™t be a mental letdown,â€ť Klepfer said. â€śI wanted them to come out and push the pace, and I think the team did a good job of that tonight.â€ť
The Raiders will be in action again next Thursday against Curwensville. Brookvilleâ€™s match against Keystone scheduled for Tuesday has been canceled.