Varsity Wrestling · River splits in home debut

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio — The Grappling Pirates went 1-1 on their home mat, defeating John Marshall and losing to Painesville Riverside, on Saturday.

Rocky River (1-4) started its day with a 51-21 loss to Riverside. The Beavers took 4-of-6 bouts and were the beneficiaries of four forfeits. The Pirates then defeated John Marshall, 42-18. In the match against the Lawyers, the Matmen in Maroon battled back from a mid-match 18-12 deficit. River won 3-of-6 tussles on the mat — with all three being wins by fall — and took four wins by forfeit.

Senior 182-pounder Tommy Koch went 2-0 on the day, with a pin and a win by forfeit. Junior Mahdi Salti did likewise at 195. Junior Matt Williams went 2-0, with a hard-fought, 11-8 decision against Riverside and a win by forfeit.

Against a talented, full-roster Riverside bunch — a seasoned team rife with six returning district qualifiers (three-of the multi-year variety) — the Pirates took an early 9-0 lead on the strength of a Beaver forfeit and an impressive Williams win by decision over Jake Farenchack, who went into the day with a 12-5 record on the season. But Riverside would take control of a lineup-leaning match and would win out, save for a Tommy Koch pin of Noah Dougherty (11-7) and a forfeit at 195 pounds. Koch’s second-period pin of Dougherty marked his sixth of the season. After Saturday’s action, the athletic senior is now 10-7 on the season.

In the battle against John Marshall, the Pirates got an Obaida Abazied win by fall at 145, but losses at 152 and 160 put River in an 18-12 hole. Aided by four forfeits, the home side won out. Rocky River got a six-pointer from Mahdi Salti, who finished off Marcus Grace in the third frame of an entertaining tilt at 195.

Two Pirate freshmen — Kai Delvinthal and Tommy Vacca — logged their prep debuts in Saturday’s triple.

Rocky River’s next action on the mat will be that of the conference variety. The Pirates are slated to open their Great Lakes Conference with a league triple at Holy Name on Thursday.


# # # river # # #

Photo credit: Angela Juliani Photography