Wrestling topples ESU

Wrestling+topples+ESU

The Gannon University wrestling team continued its solid 2014-15 season with a 36-6 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference home win against East Stroudsburg Saturday afternoon.

The win moved Gannon to 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the PSAC.

Gannon jumped on East Stroudsburg – winning the first eight bouts of the day.  The Knights used a persistent attack throughout the match to impose their will.  Coach Don Henry, in his 31st year at the helm of the program, said he was pleased with the win and the mindset of his wrestlers.

“We stayed attacking and intense for the full seven minutes of the match,” Henry said.  “We gave up the first points in many of the matches but did not let that bother us and we finished strong.”

One wrestler who has been a part of Gannon’s success this season is redshirt sophomore Nate Ross.  The second-year wrestler, who has 12 wins, has competed at the 157-pound weight class and is now competing for the 165-pound position.

Ross echoed his coach’s thoughts regarding Saturday’s win.

“Our work ethic is showing in our matches — we simply outlast wrestlers on the mat,” Ross said. “Coach Henry constantly reminds us that we are in better shape and this year we are being more persistent in practice with fixing the little things.”

For the last few seasons Gannon has had two of the best wrestlers in the region in Matt Turek and Zack Zelcs.  The two continued their stellar work with wins in the East Stroudsburg match.

Turek moved to 9-0 overall this season with an opening-period pin in the 126-pound bout.  The win moved Turek in to ninth place all-time at Gannon in career wins with 89.

Zelcs also stayed undefeated with his sixth win of the season in dramatic fashion, as the 184-pounder scored five points in the final 20 seconds of the match.  The wild finish didn’t surprise Henry, though.

“I told Zack he won with heart,” Henry said.  “The ability to raise your level when you really need it – I called it his sixth gear.

“Scoring five points in 20 seconds against a strong opponent is crazy, but I expect it from him.”

The Knights stay at the Hammermill Center for another big match against Kutztown University at 7 p.m. Friday.  Kutztown sits atop the conference with a 2-0 record.

Gannon will look to continue the hard-working, out-toughing mentality as the season continues.  Ross credits much of the team’s success to the competition in practice.

“We have a tough room and everyone wants to get in the starting lineup so friendships have to be put aside for business to get done,” Ross said.

As for Kutztown, Henry said he is aware of the talent the Bears possess but is confident in his group for its next match.

“We need to concentrate on the basics and out-conditioning Kutztown,” Henry said.  “They have a great team made up of a lot of Division I transfers, but sometimes conditioning and heart can beat talent.

“We will have to wrestle well at all 10 weights to beat them – we are due!”

ADAM BLAZEK

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