Varsity Wrestling · River mat-men bond and battle on the road

CALEDONIA, Ohio — Rocky River went 2-3 over five matches in Saturday’s River Valley Duals hosted by River Valley High School.

On the busy day in Central Ohio, the Pirates battled Mount Gilead to a close 39-30 loss and then were defeated in more one-side affairs against Waynesdale and North Union before downing Fairbanks, 36-30. River was also awarded a forfeit win over a no-show team.

Rocky River (4-8) wrestled 20 on-the-mat bouts on the day: five against Mount Gilead, seven vs. Waynesville, six against North Union and two against Fairbanks. The Pirates won 7-of-those-20. Matt Williams went 3-0 on the mat en route to posting a 5-0 record on the day.

“This was a good tournament for us and I’m seeing improvement from all our guys,” said Head Coach Dan Juliani. “The trip was also great for bonding and team chemistry. I think our guys our closer now than they were before the trip, and its important for a program to have that bond.”

Williams was dominant in his matches. Wrestling at 106 and 113 pounds, the junior grappler yielded not so much as a single point in running his season record to 23-5. Williams also logged two pins, his 12th and 13th of the season.

Senior captain Josh Bergin also had an impressive showing in the Caledonia, Ohio, event. Bergin went toe-to-toe with state-ranked Storm Stanley (Waynesdale) in a 5-0 loss and was impressive in a second-period pin in a floor war against North Union’s Austin Jamison.

“I thought those were two of his best matches of the season,” said Juliani.

Wrestling at 126 and 132, Bergin went 3-2 on the day. That same 3-2 mark was also registered by teammates Ryan Maloney, Tommy Vacca, Tommy Koch and Mahdi Salti.



NOTABLE: Looking at the schedule, Rocky River now turns its eye back to conference action. The next two events on the slate are Great Lakes Conference double duals. The first of those events will be on Thursday, when River hosts Parma and Holy Name (6 p.m. start time). Thursday will mark Senior Night and Alumni Night for Rocky River Wrestling. Double-R Wrestling alums will be admitted free of charge and will be recognized during the evening.

QUOTABLE: “He’s been making tremendous strides. So much improvement every week. I’m excited to see even more progression and growth as the season rolls through January and February.” — Head Coach Dan Juliani on first-year wrestler Tommy Vacca


# # # river # # #