AKRON — In Niagara-Orleans League wrestling, a team with the ability to fill all 15 weight classes has a major competitive advantage from the get-go.
That was the case at Akron on Wednesday evening, as the perennially strong Tiger squad filled all 15 classes, while Medina was forced to forfeit five matches. The Mustangs performed well with what they had, winning four of 10 contested matches, but the result was a 60-18 Akron victory in an N-O match.
Akron improves to 2-0 in league competition, while Medina falls to 1-1.
"The kids came to battle," veteran Medina coach Eric Gross said. "We wrestled hard, especially considering our inexperience, and we definitely did the best we could."
Gross was particularly impressed with Brennen Callara's victory over Akron's Johnny Fiebelkorn in the 106-pound weight class. Wednesday's match marked a quick rematch after last weekend's Batavia Tournament, where Fiebelkorn got the best of Callara, 7-4.
But this time, Callara came out strong and earned a victory by technical fall, 19-4, with 32 seconds remaining in the third period. Being the first contested varsity match of the evening, it set a positive tone for the Mustang lineup.
"After the loss at Batavia, Brennen was looking forward to the rematch," Gross said. "It was a good match of two good wrestlers."
Next up in the 113-pound weight class, Joe Velez continued the positive trajectory for Medina with a win over Akron's Robbie PeQueen, by a 12-6 decision.
But from there, Akron began to pull away by winning the next three contested matches at 120, 126 and 132 pounds, also aided by forfeit wins at the 138, 145, 160 and 170-pound weight classes.
In the middle, however, Medina's Ben Howell proved to be a bright spot with a victory over Jacob Sarow at 152 pounds. The crowd paid particular attention to this match, with both wrestlers earning rabid cheers, but Howell eventually pulled away for a 12-1 victory by major decision.