Wrestlers recognize starting anew

Yang Chen, Managing Editor

The Pitt-Johnstown wrestling team started their season Nov. 1 and won the match against East Stroudsburg University, 38-8. It’s the 600th victory wrestling for head coach Pat Pecora. 

On Nov. 2 the Pitt-Johnstown won a match with Centenary (N. J.) University, 44-3, and Long Island-Post (a Division I school) 33-6, but lost to Rutgers (N. J.) University, (a Division I Big Ten school),  9-22.

The Pitt-Johnstown wrestling team got first place in a national preseason poll.

Pecora, said he wants his wrestlers to forget about the preseason poll.

“The preseason is nothing for us. We need to earn everything by ourselves and do it every day. For me, what we can get at the end of this season is more important than the preseason poll.

“Year after year, our standard doesn’t change. It’s the same goal for us, and we want to win every dual meet, the conference and the national championship.

“Rutgers placed 11th in the nation in Division I. Their wrestling program is very good, and it was a good match.

According to Pecora, before the 174-pound class, Pitt-Johnstown wrestlers tied 9-9 with Rutgers wrestlers. “We lost at 174 pounds, 184 pounds, 197 pounds and 285 pounds. After that, we lost the match.

“We’ll focus on today and what we are doing right now, and I hope my wrestlers will stay healthy and avoid injury,” Pecora said.

Senior Devin Austin, the Pitt-Johnstown 165 pound wrestler, won all four matches Nov. 1 to Nov. 2 and said it was a good start.

“Our key is to keep working hard and continue to win every match this season.

“Athletes are used to getting injuries during their training and matches.

“My coach is doing a good job, and he controlls our practice well.

“He made different plans for us during the preseason, so it helps with our bodies refreshing. I’m excited for this season,” Austin said.

Freshman Jacob Ealy, the Pitt-Johnstown 141 pounds wrestlers and a state champion during high school, said it was not hard to compete with Division I wrestlers.

“The good arrangement in the preseason helps with my body shape. I didn’t get totally tired during the preseason training, and it improved my resilience.

“After I compete with some Division I wrestlers, I noticed that there are multiple ways I want to make improvements.

“I’ll keep a doing good job and hope my team aviods injuries the rest of the  season,” Ealy said.

Brock Biddle, the Pitt-Johnstown 174 pounds wrestler, earned the conference and Super Region I freshman of the year and placed fourth at the national tournament, said he felt all right.

“I think the loss  to Joseph Grello (Rutgers University) right now will be better on my way to get a national championship.

According to Biddle, Grello is a two times participants Big Ten Championships.

“I already know where I need to work, and this loss will help me to know where I need to be better.

“The team is doing  good. We’ll focus on the next match,” Biddle said.

On saturday, Pitt-Johnstown won  matches against Ithaca (N.Y.) College, 25-12, and American International College (Mass.), 51-4, but lost to No. 2 St. Cloud State (Minn.) University 6-31.