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by Michael Leonard | Sports Editor
Heading into his team's final Portage Trail Conference Metro Division double dual, Streetsboro head wrestling coach Rick Charlton knew his team was facing its toughest dual meets of the season.
Charlton said the effort was there for the Rockets Jan. 10.
"I really think we're wrestling a lot better than we were at the beginning of the season," Charlton said. "We knew we had a couple of tough matches. Even though we lost both duals, I think we're wrestling better."
The Rockets lost a pair of matches, falling 44-21 to Crestwood and 50-26 to Coventry Jan. 10 in Mantua.
Streetsboro dropped to 3-5 overall and 2-5 in the Metro Division. The Rockets have no further dual meets outside of the state dual meet tournament, which is scheduled to begin Jan. 23.
Opening the night against backyard rival Crestwood, Streetsboro got off to an excellent start.
The match opened at 132 pounds with junior Chris Dynowski taking on Crestwood state qualifier Josh Hillier. Dynowski pulled out one of his biggest wins of the season, scoring an 8-7 win.
"Chris had a very good win," Charlton said. "I believe it was Hillier's first time at 132 [this season]. Chris was able to turn him a couple of times and get the win."
Unfortunately, that would be it for the Rockets until the match reached 195 pounds. There was a double forfeit at 182.
Streetsboro did sweep the three heaviest weight classes. At 195 pounds, Pat Adkins pinned Stephen Cox in3 minutes, 36 seconds, while 220-pounder Tyler Rowland pinned Crestwood's Doug Battiest in 4:40.
Heavyweight Sam Creque then dominated Crestwood's Cameron Mondue, pinning him in 1 minute flat.
"The heavyweights did a nice job for us," Charlton said.
As the match went back to 106, however, Crestwood dominated the lightweights, winning the final four matches.
"They had their horses at the end there," Charlton said. "I would have liked to have seen us wrestle a little bit better in the lightweights."
Against the Comets, the Rockets managed to win five individual bouts, but two of those were by forfeit. Streetsboro 106-pounder Sean Kuklisin and 120-pounder Aaron Dantimo each earned forfeit wins.
"I was surprised they gave up two forfeits," Charlton said. "Coventry usually has plenty of guys. I think we came down a little from the emotion of the Crestwood match. We didn't wrestle our best, but I thought we wrestled OK."
The Rockets got a technical-fall win from 152-pounder Kyle Woods, who defeated Coventry's Christian Brannon 16-1.
Rowland got his second win of the night with a pin in 1:57 over the Comets' Mark Waddell at 220 pounds.
Finally, Dynowski capped a solid night by defeating Coventry's Michael Fagan 9-7.
Wrestlers get first division wins
Prior to the Jan. 10 double dual, Streetsboro took part in a double dual at Akron Springfield Jan. 8. This meet was a make-up event, as the original meet scheduled for Dec. 6 was postponed to due to an outbreak of skin infection.
The Rockets picked up a pair of wins over Kent Roosevelt 51-30 and Springfield 49-18.
It was Streetsboro's first two division wins of the season.
The Rockets' match with Kent featured pins or forfeits in all but one match, a fact which pleased Charlton.
"We shot the half [nelson] well," Charlton said. "We wanted to train hard and win these matches."
The Rockets got two wins on the night from Kuklisin, Dantimo, Dynowski, 138-pounder Justin Baratko, Woods, Adkins, Rowland and Creque.
After its toughest dual meets of the season, Streetsboro had a week to prepare for its toughest tournament of the season. The Rockets are scheduled to participate in the Top Gun Tournament at Alliance Jan. 18 and 19. First match Jan. 18 is set for 10 a.m.
"This really puts our season in perspective of what we need to do and where we need to go," Charlton said. "We're looking forward to a good week of practice."