EXETER – In search of a boost to transition between the end of team competition and the upcoming District 2 individual championships, the Wyoming Area Warriors may have found an unlikely source Friday night.
Tyler Martin, Kendrick Beyer and Robin Wrobleski all had first-period pins and Justin Esposito provided the clinching pin when Wyoming Area defeated rival Pittston Area for the first time in more than 20 years, 54-20.
“It’s nice,” Wyoming Area coach Steve Mytych said. “It’s a little rivalry match and we took the brunt of it for the last few years.”
The Warriors, Patriots and the rest of the Wyoming Valley Conference and Lackawanna League teams will head to the Kingston Armory Feb. 26-27 for the District 2 Championships.
“We’re young, but these kids are starting to step it up a little bit, which hopefully will lead into districts,” Mytych said.
Martin won in 25 seconds and Beyer in 1:10 at 126 and 132 to open the match.
Patrick Heck, a two-time district champion and three-time district finalist, followed with a 5-0 decision of Chris Starinsky at 138 for his 98th career win.
The Warriors used that 15-0 start and never trailed.
The teams split the next four bouts. Then, Esposito, a sophomore who is wrestling at 106 after having to bump up to 113 for much of the season to fill a hole in the lineup, won on the mat for just the third time this season.
Esposito built a lead, then pinned Brandon Lopez in 4:33 for an insurmountable 42-20 team lead.
“He’s been sick and has had a hard time getting himself going this year,” Mytych said. “Hopefully, this will give him a little boost.”
Zach Briggs (170) and Adam Buczynski (190) added pins for Wyoming Area. Jaryn Polit-Moran rallied from four points down and scored the winning reversal with a minute left to take a one-point decision at 152.
Mytych said Buczynski handled the test of bumping up in weight. He also said Beyer and Heck wrestled particularly well.
“All of our guys wrestled hard,” he said.
Josh McGilvary (145) and Nikko Cinquegranni (220) had pins for Pittston Area. Jason DeBoard (160) added a technical fall and Gino Coffay (285) won a decision.
With dwindling numbers overall in the sport, exhibitions after the varsity match have generally replaced junior varsity matches prior to the varsity.
Wyoming Area used those exhibitions to get heavyweight Frank Yurek his first action of the season.
Yurek, who finished fifth in the district as a sophomore and sixth as a junior, had suffered a season-ending dislocated elbow in last year’s district consolation semifinal and had surgery to repair it. He won by pin in under a minute.
After practicing occasionally during the season, Mytych said there is a chance Yurek could get ready for the district tournament.