Patriots pin Loyola in conference meet

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Ashley Moxley

Freshman Steven Jernigan takes on Loyola's David Mohler, the defending state champion. Although JC lost their first two matches, the Patriots came out on top 50-26.

Emily Clarke, Managing Editor

With the first two matches resulting in losses for JC, Wrestlepalooza on Jan. 4 wasn’t starting off the way anyone expected. The Patriots were behind the Loyola Dons 12-0 after senior Raphael Odouk, in the 220 pound weight class, and sophomore Andy Reininger, in the 285 pound weight class, were pinned. The Patriots, however, were able to come out with 50-26 win.

However, things started to look up as freshman CJ Skokowski and junior Devin Davis won their weight classes for six-point victories each. Skokowski, in the 106 pound weight class, created an 11-0 lead early in the third period against Marcellus Brown of Loyola.

At the 4:52 mark, Skokowski pinned Brown, winning his weight class. In the 113 pound weight class, Davis won effortlessly with a forfeit. These two wins tied up the score.

JC didn’t catch a break though, as the Dons answered back with three consecutive wins. Freshman Steven Jernigan lost 4-2 in the 120 pound weight class against defending state champion David Mohler.

Junior Artie Milner, in the 126 pound weight class, wrestled for 3:46 before being put away by Ben Smist. Loyola’s Walter Johnson finished the Loyola run with 17-5 point win over freshman Christian Scott.  Johnson had seven takedowns and three late back points to complete his win.

Those three matches placed the Dons in the lead, 26-12. The Patriots soon struck back, not allowing Loyola any more victories.

Junior Scott Strappelli began the seven-match win streak against Loyola that led to the Patriot’s win. Weighing in at 138, Strappelli had a 16-1 win that changed the momentum of the meet.

“I don’t really think when I’m out there. I’ve trained myself a lot so that over the years I have muscle memory and know what I want to do out there before I go out to the mat,” Strappelli said.

“I thought we could win them all once we got to Strappelli,” coach Keith Watson said.

Freshman Chris Almony had the quickest win of the day pinning his opponent in 15 seconds in the 145 weight class. Junior George Weber kept the victories consistent when he pinned his opponent in 1:40 in the 152 pound weight class. Following suit, freshman Hunter Ritter pinned his opponent in 3:15 in the 160 weight class.

Weighing in at 170, senior Zach Donato took on Loyola’s Kyle Saunders. Donato overpowered Saunders with 5-4 win, taking down Saunders in the last five seconds of the match.

Finishing off the meet, juniors Rob Stahl, 182, and Daniel Kelble, 185, won their matches both in the second period. The seven-match win streak left the Patriots with a 50-26 win. The Patriots are 3-1 overall and 2-1 in conference action.

Emily Clarke is a Managing Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.