Match by match, Trinity High School’s wrestling team is finding out the Mark Powell way of competing is working.
Powell, the first-year head coach, has worked to get the wrestlers to buy into his system. It involves a lot of hard work, listening to Powell’s directives and demanding a persistent push to improve.
All of it was on display Wednesday evening in the Hillers’ gymnasium in a brick-by-brick teardown of Chartiers Valley, 48-28, in a Section 4B dual meet.
The win moved the Hillers to 3-0 in the section, 9-8 overall, and sets up a showdown next Wednesday at Waynesburg (2-1) for second place. Canon-McMillan (4-0), the No. 1-ranked team in the O-R Wrestling Ratings and the No. 5 team in the state by Intermat, waits in the regular season finale Jan. 16.
A second-place finish would set the Hillers up with the Section 4B leader – heading into last night’s matches, it was Hopewell – for a decent seed in the WPIAL Class AAA Team Tournament.
“The guys are listening and putting in the work,” Powell said. “They keep plugging away and improving on the little things, and it’s nice to see that.”
Trinity bolted to a 24-0 lead after the match began at 195. Don McWreath and Connor Fritz (220) made it 12-0 with pins and CV (0-4) forfeited to heavyweight Evan Seaman for an 18-0 bulge. Tristan Buxton capped the run with a pin of Justin Sullivan at 106.
“For us, mat time is the most important thing,” he said. “We want to get them quality time and build their confidence. All of our guys are healthy and definitely in shape.”
Mat time was hard to come by for some Hillers, but for a good reason. Buxton’s pin was in 1:19, and Fritz’s was in 1:10. Justin Ritter had one in 1:10 at 138 pounds; Evan Sherrieb stuck Gus Goedel in 1:05 at 152 pounds, and Robert West capped the dual meet with a pin of Dom Politi in 1:19 at 182. Ryan Yocum spent the most time on the mat during Trinity’s seven pins, lasting 3:39 before disposing of Alex Preuax.
“We’re young and inexperienced,” said Chartiers Valley coach Bill Evans. “We’re building for the future, and Trinity looked pretty good out there.”
West, in particular, is having a strong season. Only a sophomore, West won all seven bouts in the North Coast Classic, and his pin of Politi was as physical as it was quick.
“He’s not making mistakes, and that’s important,” said Powell. “He missed his eighth-grade season because of a broken arm. He’s getting mat time. He looked poised out there, and he doesn’t get rattled. Anytime you have good technique and skills, the moves will work for you. Right now, there are no little mistakes. Every move he makes, he’s scoring on.”
Powell also was impressed with Yocum, who is only a freshman.
“He’s going to be a good one,” said Powell. “That’s what we expected. He’s come a long way. Everyone is having faith, and they are having success. I preach for them to have faith, and they are starting to believe.”