Monday, March 20, 2023

Lutheran West splits ‘Dual in the School’ at Columbia

Lutheran West earned a split at Columbia in a ‘Dual in the School’ on Tuesday. The Longhorns won the girls’ match, 48-3, but dropped the boys’ competition, 63-12.

“It was nice to be in front of a bigger crowd,” said Lutheran West coach Dave Ressler. “Columbia is a really small school compared to us and they only filled one side of the bleachers with their student body, but they were loud and enthusiastic, so it was good. Those kids were into the matches, and they all watched and were loud at the right times. It was good for Columbia to have that and when you have a Dual in the School, you want the student body to be involved and they were.”

Nehemiah Sanderfer and Cohen Thomas both recorded pins for the Longhorns at 138 and 144 pounds, respectively, but Columbia dominated the rest of the match.

Sanderfer, who placed fifth at the Chagrin Valley Conference championships late last month, picked up a big win in just his seventh match of the year.

“It was nice to see him get a nice win and Cohen Thomas at 144 has been out for about a month, so it was nice to get him back and to get a ‘W’ at 144,” Ressler said.

The Raiders won 10 of the 13 matches wrestled and also claimed two forfeits in their win.

“A couple of them got away from us,” Ressler said. “One was in overtime, and we pinned that kid the last time we wrestled him, and we just came out flat and it went all the way to overtime and there was a takedown at the edge of the mat to lose it. That was definitely one we gave to them. I had a backup at 132 and he went out right away and took the kid down with a nice double-leg takedown but he couldn’t turn him. He gave up an escape and then a takedown and back points, and ufortunately, he ended up getting pinned. That was another one we could have won, even with our backup. It was a rough day, but it was good for my 138 and 144 to get ‘Ws.’ They have both been out for a long time.”

The girls’ match was much more competitive for the Longhorns, who won four of the five matches wrestled.

Alexia Martir and Noelle Williams both collected forfeits for the Longhorns at 100 and 105 pounds, respectively.

A double forfeit occurred at 110 and then Lutheran West reeled off three straight wins to take a 24-0 lead over the Raiders.

Elana Quigley recorded a 15-0 technical fall at 115, Catie Kerr beat Sarah Napier, 10-6, in a battle of returning state placers at 120 pounds, and Nora Gardner claimed an 11-2 major decision at 125.

“Sarah Napier was a state placer last year and she bumped up to wrestle Catie,” Ressler said. “We knew going in that was going to be a real tough battle and Catie is fighting a little bit of an injury, but she was in control of the match. She gave up a reversal and a near fall, but other than that, she had all the offensive scoring. We thought we had the pin in the first period but we didn’t get the call.”

Neither team sent a wrestler out at 140 but Lutheran West quickly regained the momentum with Nat Rodriguez’s pin in 5:22 at 145 pounds.

A double forfeit occurred at 155 and then Columbia won its first and only match of the day at 170 pounds when Cailyn Demagall defeated Paris Willis, 14-8, in a battle of elite wrestlers.

Willis placed eighth in the state last season while Demagall was a junior high state champion last winter.

“That was a tough loss at the end,” Ressler said. “She was down 10-2 at one point. She fought back but she just ran out of time. She got a reversal at the end to close the gap, but she had to put her on her back to pin it. Paris made a couple of mistakes—a couple of five-point moves—and that cost her. It was good for her to have a match like that to prepare her for regionals.”

Amy Zell collected a forfeit at 190 pounds for Lutheran West to close out the scoring as a double forfeit at 235 ended the match.



Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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