Six Battlers Go Unbeaten at King of the Mont Tournament

MONT ALTO, Pa. —The Alderson Broaddus wrestling team began their season in earnest on Sunday competing at the PSU Mont Alto King of the Mont round-robin tournament.

"I was really unsure of how well we were going to wrestle today," said AB head coach Sam Gardner. "I know we have some talented young guys on the team, but until they wrestle their first college match you don't really know what you have. I was pleased, especially as the day wore on."

Five teams from Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania participated in the one day, four round tournament. Six Battlers went unbeaten in their brackets, and four others suffered only a single defeat during the day.

"Early on, in the first round, we had some back-to-back-to-back lackluster performances from some of the guys," said Gardner. "Then they kind of picked up steam and started to gain confidence and momentum and went on a roll. We were better on top than I expected, and we scored a lot of bonus point wins. We had 17 pins and four tech falls, and went 22-8 on the day."

Freshman Colton Bethel was dominant at 125 pounds scoring three first period falls before earning a 3-2 decision over Zion Clark of Kent State Tuscarawas in the final. Freshman Drew Whaley, also wrestling at 125, finished at .500 on the day with one pin off a cement mixer. Freshman Paul Steger finished in second in his bracket, earning two pins in under a minute each against only one defeat. Parker Brown of Georgia rebounded from a lackluster first round match to score two first period falls, the second in just 14 seconds, to earn second place in his bracket as well.

At 165 freshman Nick Sulhoff went 3-0 with two pins to finish atop his weight. Freshman Derek Schmidt also wrestling at 165 dropped one match against two bonus point wins to earn the second place position in the bracket.

At 174 pounds, freshman Gino Sita and junior Logan Shurina each went 3-0 and opted to share first place rather than wrestle one another in round four. Junior Sam Solomon earned his first collegiate championship with a dominating day at 184 pounds, earning a pair of falls on his way to the title. The final Battler to take the mat on Sunday was another freshman, Alex Eaton of North Caroline HS, Maryland. Eaton went 3-0 on the day and scored three pins for his efforts.

"This may not be the toughest tournament out there, but the guys didn't wrestle down to their level of competition," said Gardner. "It wasn't a bad place to begin. Next week will be a step up a bit in competition. A dual on Friday at SVU and a larger and more competitive tournament on Saturday. Fortunately, we'll likely be getting four guys we had to sit for precautionary reasons back in the line-up. We'll need a good week of practice to meet the increased level of demand coming up. They are good bunch of kids, and they have fun wrestling. That's all I can really ask for."

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