ERIE — In an attempt to prepare itself as much as possible for its regional tournament, the Erie wrestling team has made its schedule as tough as possible between now and then.
In fact, Tigers head coach Steve Gratton has scheduled the end of this week in such a way that it is designed to simulate a state tournament schedule. On Wednesday night, the Tigers completed their tournament warm up with a 72-12 dual win over a young Frederick team.
The Tigers will wrestle Skyline on Thursday and then turn around Friday morning to compete in a two-day, 32-team tournament in Florence.
"We're in a very tough region and the big thing right now for us is to make sure we're prepared for that," Gratton said. "We have a few more duals and few more tournaments and then we have regionals but we're treating this week like state so we have to really pick it up. We make it as hard on ourselves as we can so we can improve. We may not have the best records when we get to the big tournaments at the end but our experience usually shows on the mat."
In Florence, the Tigers will enter a field with seven of the 13 teams they will face at regionals, giving them a good look at how the stack up.
Against Frederick, Tigers Sean-Tyler Curell, Adrian Rincon, Christian Vanlandingham, Trevor David, Zach Roper, Ruben Portillo, Riley Melton and Gavin Sackett all won by pinfall. Gratton said the quick matches and decisive results were a pleasant improvement over a disappointing 48-27 loss to Windsor from six days earlier.
"What I liked about tonight was that winning bred more winning," Gratton said. "But there were some sloppy moves that still led to pins. We'll have to work on those types of things over the next two weeks, starting this weekend in Florence."
In the midst of a rebuilding year, the Frederick Warriors forfeited at four weights and wrestled five freshmen against the Tigers. Crusifixio Jiminez was the lone Warriors grappler to win a match, building a 15-3 lead before winning the 106-pound bout by pinfall in 4 minutes, 57 seconds.
"We've got a lot of young kids but they're coming along," first-year Warriors head coach Joey Gardner said. "We've only got two seniors and the majority of everyone else is freshmen and sophomores, so we're just young. But it's better than last year when we were giving up about seven weight classes every night. We're just trying to fill the whole squad and go from there."
Erie 72, Frederick 12
At Erie H.S.
106 — Crusifixio Jiminez, Frederick, pinned Michael Ferrera, 4:57; 113 — Cody Ayers, Frederick, won by forfeit; 120 — Sean-Tyler Curell, Erie, pinned Cole Hoffman, 1:19; 126 — Adrian Rincon, Erie, pinned Jake Frenzel, 3:50; 132 — Christian Vanlandingham, Erie, pinned Justis Ornelas, 1:00; 138 — Ernie Quintana, Erie, won by forfeit; 145 — Toby Campbell, Erie, won by forfeit; 152 — Quintin Hyrup, Erie, won by forfeit; 160 — Trevor David, Erie, pinned Jonah Sing, 2:26; 170 — Zach Roper, Erie, pinned Matt Johnson, 5:55; 182 — Ruben Portillo, Erie, pinned Logan Burdett, 1:26; 195 — Riley Melton, Erie, pinned Michael Castro, 1:35; 220 — Gavin Sackett, Erie, pinned Zach Tymoczko, 1:31; 285 — Eugene Zak, Erie, won by forfeit.