The Tamaqua Blue Raiders wrestling team may not have the best team record on the planet in 2011-2012 standing at a mark of 4-12. In the case of the Tamaqua grapplers, records are most certainly deceiving. Plagued all season long by low numbers the Raiders have struggled to gain wins based on the amount of forfeits they've had in matches this season. Tamaqua however, didn't struggle at all on the mat Wednesday night as they defeated Jim Thorpe 56-24 in a Schuylkill League Division I contest.
Tamaqua head coach Jim McCabe made some line-up changes going into the match to try and limit the amount of forfeits against the Olympians. McCabe bumped every wrestler up one weight class from the 120 pound class to the 170 pound and the move paid off.
"Our record doesn't do our team justice," said McCabe. "We're not a bad team and we know with the numbers we have we're not going to win some matches. We feel the quality of kids we have outweighs the quantity factor."
The Raiders certainly have quality grapplers, placing six wrestlers at the Schuylkill League Championships last weekend including 106 pound champion Colin Mashack. McCabe's focus for his team is to be ready for the District 11 Championships that is just four weeks away.
"Our goal is to maximize the potential for our top guys going into the Districts in four weeks," said McCabe. "Our wrestlers know what it takes to get better individually and that's going to be our focus moving forward."
The Olympians have also struggled in the win and loss column this season (1-14) mostly due to inexperience and some first year wrestlers for Shawn Albert's bunch.
"We have some first year guys that have only been wrestling for three months," said Albert. "No excuses though, our guys need to step up and fight better in our matches, especially against division opponents."
Tamaqua won every contested bout they had against the Olympians with the exception of the 126-pound weight class where Brian Ohl got the pin-fall for Jim Thorpe.
Jim Thorpe is also preparing for the District XI Championships in one month and expects his few veteran wrestlers to make some noise.
"I have faith in Brian Ohl and Ryan Ruberto heading into Districts," said Albert. "When those two wrestle with confidence they win matches and they need to raise their level of intensity if they want to do well in district play."
Tamaqua 56, Jim Thorpe 24
106 - Johnathan Condly (JT) won by forfeit
113 - Colin Mashack (T) won by forfeit
120 - Derek Hill (T) pinned Kyle Morales (JT) in 1:07
126 - Brian Ohl (JT) pinned Joel Kulick (T) in 3:27
132 - Steven Matukonis (T) pinned Michael Helmer (JT) in :51
138 - Dylan Rynkiewicz (T) pinned Avery Ziegenfuss (JT) in 4:46
145 - Dustin Silkowski (T) won by forfeit
152 - Nick Toth (T) pinned Kenion Stewart (JT) in 3:33
160 - Evan Mashack (T) pinned James Boyle (JT) in :52
170 - Brandon Silkowski (T) pinned Akeeno Stewart (JT) in :27
182 - Mike Munoz (JT) won by forfeit
195 - Jedidiah Scorzelli (JT) won by forfeit
285 - Luke Matsago (T) pinned Ryan Ruberto (JT) in 3:02