MARION CENTER — Though the 55-9 score indicates a blowout, the Punxsy wrestling team hopes Tuesday's performance against Marion Center is its worst of the season.
Due to Marion Center having just seven wrestlers on the varsity roster, Punxsy received six forfeits to total 36 points. Aside from the forfeits, Punxsy (1-0) would have earned a 19-9 victory on the mat, but head coach Eric Eddy wasn't pleased with his team's sluggish performance.
"It was a poor performance. We came real flat," Eddy said. "It looked like the first match of the season. We'll just chalk it up to being early in the season and get ready for the next one."
Punxsy's next match takes place next Wednesday night in Clearfield against the class of District IX Class AAA.
"We can't come out flat like that against Clearfield," Eddy said. "In order to compete with Clearfield, you have to come out with a much better effort than that."
Punxsy did, however, earn four victories on the mat during the seven contested bouts. All three of Punxsy's defeats were by only decisions, as well.
Starting the night strong was junior Seth Spack, who pinned Carson Downey in just 44 seconds at 145 pounds. After a quick takedown, Spack won by fall to put Punxsy ahead 6-0. Three bouts later, senior Derek Kerr accomplished a similar feat, pinning Marc Weaver in 55 seconds at 171 pounds.
During the matches between Spack and Kerr, Punxsy won a decision and lost an overtime decision.
The overtime loss came at the hands of Duell Thompson, who wasn't aggressive enough down the stretch after taking a 5-2 advantage during the third period.
At 152 pounds, Thompson scored a takedown early in the match, two escape points and another point for unnecessary roughness on his opponent, Phil Crook. But Crook came back with a takedown late, and a stalling call tied things at five.
Crook was then able to score the winning takedown with 14 seconds left in the first overtime period to earn the 7-5 win.
"You have to be the guy pressing it the whole time. He didn't do that, but he'll come back," Eddy said. "I didn't like the fact that we looked tired. That should never happen. We train so that doesn't happen. We had guys tonight that looked tired in their match."
Punxsy senior Nathan McGregor registered a 7-3 decision over Jed Peterson at 160 pounds, but Eddy said he was hoping for more out of McGregor, whom he said "looks as technical as anyone we have."
"He's been wrestling great in the room and doing the things we worked on, but tonight, he didn't show that," Eddy said. "I'm not disappointed in him because he got the win, and it was a good win."
Marion Center's Jordan Lavan tallied a 13-8 decision win over senior Tige Woodson at 189 pounds. Woodson was behind 7-1 during the second period, only to avoid a major decision defeat by scoring four third-period points.
After junior Tyler Titus suffered a 6-1 loss to the Stingers' Nathan Pappal, Brennan Knarr's forfeit win bumped Punxsy's lead to 21-9.
Then, in Punxsy's highest scoring bout of the day, freshman Josh Schuckers rolled through Brandon Heberling to earn an 11-1 major decision.
Two takedowns and three back points helped Schuckers lead 7-1 entering the second period. A takedown and a reversal provided him with his final four points.
"Josh Schuckers (wrestled) the match of the night as far as I was concerned," Eddy said. "He looked great and did a lot of great things."
After Schuckers' major decision victory, Joel Bowers, Devan Snyder, Anthony Pascuzzo, Neko Cappella and Caesar Maruca of the Chucks each earned forfeit wins ahead of the no contest at 140 pounds.
Punxsy senior Kody Young didn't dress for the match. Young, who is closing in on the career school wins record, will have to wait for the record-breaking opportunity.