The Varsity Wrestling team hit the road the past couple of weeks to get some quality wrestling in away from home. The Bombers made their yearly trip to Wheeling, WV over Christmas Break on December 28 and 29 for the Wheeling Park Duals. This event features teams from Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia. This year, St. Xavier found themselves in Pool 4 with seven other teams.
The Bombers opened with Preston HS out of Kingwood, WV for their first of eight dual matches. St. Xavier came out on top by a score of 54-21 with victories from sophomore James Krusinski at 113 lbs, sophomore Kelley Smith at 132 lbs., sophomore Jason Torrible at 152 lbs., senior Paul Hulefeld at 195 lbs., and junior Jack Heyob at 220 lbs. St. Xavier also won by forfeit at the 120, 126, 145, 160, and 170 weight classes while Preston won at the 106, 132, 138, 182 and 285 weight classes.
St. Xavier faced the host school, Wheeling Park HS, for their second dual and dropped the match by a score of 64-28. Smith won a 12-10 decision at the 132 weight class for the Bombers while freshman teammate Joe Hulefeld pinned his opponent in 5:02 in 145 weight class. Torrible also won by a 7-0 decision at 152 while P. Hulefeld won 7-6 at 195. Heyob won another 220 match with a pin in 2:25.
The Bombers improved to 2-1 after their third dual after defeating East Liverpool (OH) by a score of 42-36 with Krusinski, J. Hulefeld, senior Connor Yauss (160 lbs) and Heyob all winning by pins. In their fourth dual of the tournament, St. Xavier cruised to a 62-9 win over Buckeye Local (OH) with pins by freshman John Altenau (106), Krusinski (113), junior James Sherlock (120), J. Hulefeld (145), Torrible (152), Yauss (160), P. Hulefeld (195), and Heyob (220). Smith also picked up a victory for the Bombers with a 4-1 decision at the 132 weight class.
St. Xavier opened Day 2 of the tournament with Waynedale HS out of Wooster, OH and dropped a close one by a score of 45-30. Waynedale ended up finishing 4th out of 20 teams at the tournament. Pins by 113 lb. Krusinski (2:52), 120 lb. Sherlock (1:30), 126 lb. sophomore Shamar Strayhorn (1;14) helped keep the Bombers in the dual. Torrible (152 lbs.) recorded a 7-6 decision while Yauss (160 lbs.) won a 4-2 decision. Heyob (220 lbs.) won a major decision by a score of 9-1. St. Xavier could not overcome forfeits at the 170 lb, 182 lb and 285 lb weight classes to take home the victory.
The Bombers' won their sixth dual of the tournament to Howland HS out of Warren, OH by a score of 55-24 to improve their tournament record to 4-2. Altenau (106 lb), Krusinski (113 lb) and Sherlock (120 lb) all won by forefeit. Strayhorn (126 lb) won by an 8-4 decision while sophomore Aaron Ney (138 lbs) won a major decision by a score of 12-2. J. Hulefeld (145 lbs), Torrible (152 lbs), Yauss (160 lbs), P. Hulefeld (195 lbs), and Heyob (220 lbs.) all scored pin victories to help lead St. Xavier to the win.
In the seventh dual of the tournament, Smith (132 lbs.), Yauss (160 lbs.), and Heyob (220 lbs) all recorded victories by pins but the only other victory for the Bombers came by forfeit at 126 lb weight class and St. Xavier lost 50-24 to Point Pleasant HS (WV). The Bombers bounced back in their last dual of the tournament when they beat Avon Lake (OH) by a score of 39-31 to finish at 5-3 for the tournament.
St. Xavier took their road show to Troy, OH the following weekend to compete in the Troy HS Invitational. The Bombers would score 157 points as a team and finished 4th out of 14 teams. Yauss finished 1st in the 152 lb weight class when he defeated his opponent by tech fall, 20-4, in the finals. Heyob also finished 1st as he wrestled in the 220 lb weight class and won in the finals by a 9-2 decision. Krusinski (113 lbs) finished in 4th while Strayhorn (126 lbs) finished in 5th. Smith also finished in 5th place at the 132 lb weight class while Torrible also finished 5th in the 145 lb weight class. Senior Aiden McCurren (160 lbs) finished in 4th place while P. Hulefeld (195 lbs) finished in 3rd place to round out the podium placers for the Bombers.
St. Xavier will look to keep the momentum going as they stay on the road and head to the prestigious Catholic Invitational Tournament (CIT) at Otterbein College in Columbus, OH this weekend (Jan 14-15). Follow the Wrestling team on Twitter by following @stxwrestling.