BERLIN - The Bristol Central wrestling team might have been missing some key members of its starting lineup Thursday night, but it hardly seemed to matter.
Helped along by eight pins, the Rams cruised past Berlin 61-18 in a dual meet at Berlin High School.
“We have a lot of sickness going through the team right now, but we have some very capable JV guys who can step in,” Bristol Central head coach Matt Boissonneault said. “We had to move weights around too, but I was proud with the effort and the performance. We’re hitting moves from practice.”
Umar Malick (138 pounds), Jared Parsons (152), Caleb Buden (160), Connor Feeney-Wallace (170), Jakob Salinas (195), William Hamilton (106), Colton Pelletier (113) and Ian Kreciglowa (120) all won by pins.
Jake Aldi (126) and Leo Kavanaugh (132) won their matches via decisions for the Rams. Aldi beat Nate Orde 13-3, while Kavanaugh topped Tyler Barber 9-4 to give Bristol Central an early 7-0 lead.
The Redcoats’ three wins came from pins from a trio of seniors: Defending Class M champion Dan Veleas (145), Sebby Malespini (182) and Max Schlein (220).
Veleas pinned Matt Duquette in 4:41. Malespini took down Jacob Boucher in 53 seconds, with Schlein pinning Michael Thaxter in 10 seconds.
“I think we had decent energy, but at the same time, when we get into positions where we’re going to have to fight, I feel like we’re giving up a little too easy,” Veleas said. “And that’s something that’s going to have to change in the future if we really want to reach our potential. That means fighting through the 50/50 positions and getting into good positions as much as we can and get points to score.”
It showed at times throughout the meet.
Of Rams’ eight falls, three came in the final 1:30 of matches and the closest Berlin came to chipping away that Bristol Central’s lead was the 19-point differential after Malespini’s pin to make it 31-12 and then Schlein’s win, which brought the score to 37-18.
The Rams swept the final four matches, including picking up a forfeit win in the 225-pound weight class.
Kreciglowa, who found himself in the starting lineup as a result of the illness, closed out the meet with his pin of Jake Kaplan in 2:35.
“From the beginning, we knew we didn’t have some key wrestlers, but we dug down and said, ‘we’re going to show that we’re a deep team,’” Kreciglowa said. “We should be able to come out with a win no matter what. For mine, I said I wanted to finish it and bring it home. I got in some funky positions at times, but I said, ‘I’m not losing.’”
It was also a sight first-year Redcoats head coach Peter Veleas wasn’t particularly pleased with, especially as the meet began to get out of hand. Veleas admitted his team should have been able to have more than just the three senior victories.
“You have to bring the intensity every night and we lacked some that that today,” the elder Veleas said. “Up until today, I haven’t seen our lack of intensity that I did tonight and we need to find that again. We’re young and it’s a growing process, we just have to keep working and building to get there.”
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org