by Michael Leonard | Sports Editor
Without a full lineup in all 14 weight classes, winning a high school wrestling dual meet becomes a difficult proposition.
Given the holes Streetsboro had in its lineup Dec. 20, it was almost impossible to win.
The Rockets were swept in its opening Portage Trail Conference Metro Division matches, falling 54-21 to Norton and 57-18 to Field Dec. 20 at home.
The main source of Streetsboro's downfall was easy to spot. The Rockets gave up forfeits in six weight classes, which cost them 36 points in each match.
Streetsboro was empty on the night at 113, 126, 170, 182 and 195 pounds, respectively, and also had one heavyweight slot open.
"We were giving up a few extra weight classes," Rockets head coach Rick Charlton said. "We were hit with a flu bug and injuries."
Charlton chose to hold heavyweight Sam Creque out of the lineup due to knee issues, but he said he expected his big man back in the lineup this week.
He also noted 195-pounder Pat Adkins and 106-pounder Sean Kuklisin were out sick.
Fortunately for Streetsboro, sophomore Joe Teibel was able to step in at 106 and score a pair of forfeit wins.
"It's the one place we have depth," Charlton said.
Charlton said he was generally happy with his team when it did get on the mat.
"Overall, I thought we wrestled pretty well," Charlton said. "The guys that we had were aggressive. It was good to get a few wins in there despite all the forfeits."
The bright spots for the Rockets came from 132-pounder Chris Dynowski, 152-pounder Kyle Woods and 220-pounder Tyler Rowland.
Woods didn't need to work a full six minutes in either of his matches. He scored a 19-3 technical fall on Norton's Adam Diaz and pinned Field's Patrick Jordan in 4:23.
Dynowski scored a 16-7 win over Norton's Logan Brown and pinned Field's Jesse Mathia in 5:53.
Rather than feed Rowland to Norton All-Ohioan Sean Rutherford, Charlton bumped him up to face heavyweight John Glas, who Charlton said wasn't too big as a heavyweight.
The move worked as Rowland scored a 7-1 win.
Rowland wrestled in his natural weight class against Field, beating 220-pounder Matt Hettick 6-1.
Streetsboro had one other win in the Norton match as 120-pounder Aaron Dantimo scored a 7-1 win over A.J. Ritzman.
Dantimo nearly rallied to defeat Field's Vince Dejulius, but he suffered a 7-5 loss.
"Aaron wasn't too happy with the way he wrestled the first period of that match," Charlton said. "He did a lot better in the second and third period."
Charlton noted Field looked much stronger than it was in its first dual meet.
"They were pretty close to their top lineup," Charlton said. "They wrestled about as aggressively as coach [Joe] Retherford coaches them."
Streetsboro is scheduled to return to tournament action this week as the Rockets are set to participate in the Kenston Invitational Tournament Dec. 28 (11 a.m.) and 29 (9:30 a.m.) in Chagrin Falls.
Charlton also noted the Rockets have rescheduled their original double dual meet. The Rockets are scheduled to visit Portage Trail Conference Metro Division rival Akron Springfield Jan. 8 at 5:30 p.m. for a double dual with the Spartans and Metro Division foe Kent Roosevelt. The match was originally scheduled for Dec. 6, but was postponed due to skin infections at Springfield.
"With our forfeits and other issues, those are the two teams we're looking to be competitive with," Charlton said.