Boys wrestling: Analy cruises past Petaluma

By PETER FOURNIER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

PETALUMA — In a Sonoma County League showdown between Petaluma and Analy on Wednesday night, some wrestlers avenged defeats, while others rose to the challenge of taking on opponents who had a few pounds on them.

The Analy wrestling team cruised to a 65-18 victory against the Trojans, but there were positives and negatives on both sides of the mat.

“I thought it would be a little bit closer,” Tigers coach Ryan Stevens said. “Our guys came out and got lots of pins. We did real well. The guys went out and wrestled really well.”

Tyler Hagle at 115 pounds, Steven Schneider (122), Christian Bazano (128), Colby Bagan (140), Blake Nogelberg (147) and Jake Adams (154) all won their matches for Analy via pin. Daniel Maxwell defeated Lukas DeBel in a match that was called after DeBel appeared to sustain an injury.

Ryan Rypka recorded the only technical decision of the match, a 16-1 second-round victory for Analy over Petaluma’s Eric Machado.

The Tigers won two matches via forfeit, which happened to be at the highest and lowest weight classes: Jade Wight at 108 pounds and Tyler Larsen at 287.

“The matches that went the distance, I could tell that we could work on our cardio; that’s what a lot of coaches say, but we could definitely work on getting in shape a little bit more,” Stevens said.

The standout victory for Stevens was Schneider’s victory over Tyler Sullivan. Sullivan had defeated Schneider in an earlier match the second week of December.

Schneider was battling through a hand injury last month that forced him to wrestle more conservatively.

“Last time I was playing more defense because one hand is definitely a challenge,” he said. “This time, I definitely felt more confident with both hands.”

Petaluma’s three match wins all came via pin. Blake Hartlieb, Nick Pruett and Alex Waters recorded first-round victories.

“We’re disappointed, obviously, in the overall outcome,” Trojans coach Denny Plyler said, “but I always see the cup half full or better, and it was a big night for our seniors. We have three on the roster, and all three picked up those three pins and 18 points for us. Our senior leadership took care of business.”

Waters was wrestling above his weight class, as was most of the Trojans’ roster.

“We had to stretch a couple of weight classes, moving folks up, just to fill in the weights,” Plyler said.

Waters isn’t unaccustomed to doing that. Plyler said Waters has experience doing it at every level of his high school career.

“He’s always had these experienced wrestlers ahead of him, kids that were either a year or two years experienced,” Plyler said.

“He’s kind of used to spotting weight and wrestling up a weight class.”

Plyler said he often swaps Waters and Pruett between the 184 and 197 weight classes, as both weigh in the 180s and can only go up one weight class.

“We weren’t sure we were going to compete those two guys at those weights or switch them,” Plyler said.

Waters said if two wrestlers weigh the same, the better performer stays at his usual weight class and the other gets bumped up.

“Smaller and faster is better than bigger and not faster,” said Waters, who was blunt about the advantage he gets.

“It’s easier. The heavier you are, the slower you are, and if you’re slower, the easier it is for me to beat you,” Waters said.

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