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Trojans ride bonus points in opener

Lightweights set tone, MU tops Knights

Sentinel photo by WILLIAM WHISLER
Sentinel photo by WILLIAM WHISLER Mount Union’s Bryce Beatty, top, looks to lock up a cradle against Moshannon Valley’s Aiden Smith in a bout at 120 pounds on Monday night at Mount Union High School. Beatty, who is ranked No. 7 in Class 2A at 120 pounds, won by fall in 1:52 in his first match of the year.

MOUNT UNION — Mount Union coach Corey Wertz admittedly wasn’t sure what a 2021 wrestling season would look like, or if it would happen at all.

The Trojans had to wait until the middle of January to finally get on the mats for the first time, but Wertz was pleased with what he saw, as Mount Union’s lightweights put up bonus points early and the Trojans picked up a solid 35-17 victory over Moshannon Valley in an Inter-County Conference (ICC) dual meet on Monday night inside the Trojans gymnasium.

Mount Union’s Mason Beatty (106), AJ Chilcote (113), Bryce Beatty (120), Vance Hower (126) and Clayton Arnold (189) each scored victories of the bonus-point variety in the victory. Of those victories, Mason Beatty, Bryce Beatty, Hower and Arnold all won by fall.

“I was actually kind of surprised because I thought for sure that we would be shut down,” Wertz said. “Things kept happening and then we were here. If we’re going to be here, why not make the most of it? It’s the first match and you didn’t know what to expect. It was kind of a weird start to the season but I thought that we did OK. The light guys kind of set the tone.”

Bryce Beatty, ranked No. 7 at 120 pounds in Class 2A, looked especially aggressive and made short work of Aiden Smith, grabbing a takedown and a series of back points before sticking Smith before the first period expired.

Sentinel photo by WILLIAM WHISLER
Mount Union’s Vance Hower, top, pins Moshannon Valley’s Carson Moore in 3:39 on Monday night in the Trojans’ 35-17 dual victory over the Black Knights.

Beatty was a regional place-winner a season ago with big aspirations for his senior year. His victory was the 98th of his career.

“I think that he knows that this is it,” Wertz said. “It was almost taken from him with the season in doubt and I think that he knows that he has a second chance like everyone else and he doesn’t want to waste it. So just like everyone else, it’s about taking care of business.”

At 126 pounds, Hower impressed in his first varsity match, picking up the first fall of his career in 3:39. Hower carried a takedown and two back points into the second, before grabbing three more back points and completing the victory.

Perhaps the bout of the night came at 152 pounds, where Jace Ripple held off a strong surge from Moshannon Valley’s Austin Shoff. Ripple held a narrow 2-1 lead through two before adding a takedown in the third. Shoff scored a reversal and attempted to complete the move for back points but was unable to turn Ripple before time expired to give Ripple the 4-3 decision.

Trevor Skopic dropped a tough match after moving up a weight to the Black Knights’ Jake Ball at 145 pounds, while Deegan Rittenhouse scored an impressive 7-0 decision over Nickolaus Smeal at 172. Arnold pinned the Black Knights’ Aaron Domanick in 12 seconds at 189 pounds to put an exclamation point on things.

“Trevor and Deegan each bumped up a weight and battled,” Wertz said. “Trevor came up short and Deegan won and so did Jace (Ripple). Overall not bad. We were supposed to wrestle (today) but we got postponed so we have two days of practice which will be a good thing and then we will go again on Thursday.”

The Trojans have the majority of its schedule set up over a two-week period to give itself a two-week cushion before heading to sectionals. The timetable will put a strain on Mount Union as wrestlers attempt to correct mistakes and get some matches under their belt, but the move is one that Wertz believes can pay off in a big way.

“We kind of put all of our matches within a two-week schedule to free us up so that we don’t get hit with a quarantine during sectionals,” Wertz said. “We have a two-week period here to wrestle and make adjustments and then we have a stretch where we don’t really have much. This two weeks is our gauge to see where we are at and to make adjustments. We are going to have to do that in a short amount of time.”

Overall, Wertz is pleased with where the Trojans stand as they return to the mat on Thursday when they travel to Northern Bedford.

“It’s not too bad,” Wertz said. “Two weeks of preseason and we only had 11 practices. Normally by this time we have two months in and then some, so not too bad. It could be worse and it could be better, but it definitely could be worse. We’ll just keep building on what we have.”

Mount Union Area Hs (MUAH) 35 Moshannon Valley Hs (MVH) 17

106: Mason Beatty (MUAH) over Autumn Shoff (MVH) (Fall 1:10) 113: AJ Chilcote (MUAH) over Lucas Yarger (MVH) (TF 16-0 5:52) 120: Bryce Beatty (MUAH) over Aiden Smith (MVH) (Fall 1:52) 126: Vance Hower (MUAH) over Carson Moore (MVH) (Fall 3:39) 132: Double Forfeit 138: Double Forfeit 145: Jake Ball (MVH) over Trevor Skopic (MUAH) (TF 18-3 5:00) 152: Jase Ripple (MUAH) over Austin Shoff (MVH) (Dec 4-3) 160: Double Forfeit 172: Deegan Rittenhouse (MUAH) over Nikolaus Smeal (MVH) (Dec 7-0) 189: Clayton Arnold (MUAH) over Aaron Domanick (MVH) (Fall 0:12) 215: David Honan (MVH) over Xavier Peck (MUAH) (Fall 1:19) 285: Connor Williams (MVH) over Haiden Inch (MUAH) (Fall 1:23)

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