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Panthers open mat season with wins

ON THE MAT — Buckeye Local’s Ayden Krupinski controls Bellaire’s Austin Wiggins during their 165-pound bout Thursday night inside ‘The House of Champions’ on Guernsey Street in Bellaire. Krupinski won by pin. The Panthers won the match 66-30 and also defeated Bridgeport, 54-36. The Big Reds outscored the Bulldogs, 56-54. -- Kim North

BELLAIRE — The 2021-22 high school wrestling season rolled out the mats Thursday night as a youthful Buckeye Local squad swept a triangular match inside ‘The House of Champions’ on Guernsey Street.

The Panthers defeated Bridgeport 54-36 in the opening match and then took down the host Big Reds, 66-30. Bellaire picked up a 56-54 victory over Bridgeport.

“My thing coming into tonight was I wanted to get my young kids some matches. We’re going to be very young this season,” Buckeye Local head coach Guy Nestor said. “To only having seven guys last year and we’ve doubled the numbers this year. There’s a little excitement in the air due to Brian Palmer Jr. winning a state championship last year.

“Overall, I was pleased. There are some little things that we need to work on before we wrestle next week at Indian Creek. We’ll take care of those things in the (wrestling) room.

“It’s going to take a couple of years for these young kids to mature, but watch out then,” Nestor allowed. “We should be a team to reckon with.”

In the Bridgeport match, the Panthers took advantage of a handful of forfeits and saw Ayden Krupinski (165/175) record a first-period pin (0:42) while Justin Driscoll (285) needed 5:55 for his win.

The Bulldogs had winners in Mason Aberts (138), who pinned his opponent in 16 seconds, and Peyton Pyle (157) won earned a fall in 5:50.

“Ayden is a senior and we’re expecting big things out of him,” Nestor said. “Justin Driscoll also looked good.”

Krupinski went 2-0 after pinning his Bellaire opponent in 1:05.

Bellaire had Grant Vasey (113/120) and Brayden Roth (157), both winning by pins. Vasey’s came in 3:57 and Roth’s in 1:08.

Roth made it two wins when he decisioned Pyle, 6-2. Travis Swallie (175) had a technical fall.

“Brayden wrestled really hard tonight,” Bellaire head coach Mike Rose said. “We’re glad to have him back. Hopefully he keeps working hard and climbs the ladder to the top.

“Grant Vasey wrestled very hard. He’s a freshman and got two good wins today. He never misses practice and is very attentive.”

First-year Bridgeport head coach Matt McFarland saw a mixture of things.

“We had some good spots. We had some bad spots,” he said. “We’ve got a lot to work on.”

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