Warner and Leppla Lead Four Cardinals Placers at Lake Erie Open

December 3, 2017

PAINESVILLE, Ohio In another quality open event, Tyler Warner and Sawyer Leppla led four Wheeling Jesuit wrestler placers at the Lake Erie Storm Open on Sunday.

On his birthday, Leppla (197) ran through his competition in his opening four-match wins, including a fall and a major decision. Warner (141) continued his strong adjustment of getting back to competition after last year's redshirt season with with four victories and a 10-4 semifinal win. Both WJU wrestlers went on for runner-up finishes. Leppla fell 7-2 to John Borst, an unattached University of Virginia wrestler, and Warner dropped a 5-0 bout to Nick Henneman, unattached Kent State.

Keegan (165) claimed a third place finish and Kollin Clark at 157 was fourth as the other two Cardinals placers.

"I couldn't be prouder of the program today! We competed extremely hard from start to finish, whether the match finished in our favor or not. Today was something, if we can replicate that each time out this season, then we will be a scary team to deal with come March," stressed WJU head coach Danny Irwin.

"Sawyer Leppla, the birthday boy, brought the consistency we have been desiring out of him all season today. He was wrestling complete matches, which will make him a handful for anyone he faces the rest of the year," continued Irwin. "Tyler Warner is starting to find his rhythm at 141 pounds. He, not only beat some quality opponents, but put up handfuls of points and found his attacks. He showed some real guts in some matches that could have gone either way."

After improving his season mark to 10-2, Leppla added, "I am really proud of how the team performed and handled themselves. We made huge strides not just in wrestling, but becoming better men! We need to tweak some positions and everything else will fall into place. I personally need to work on moving my hands to open up my shots." Going into this past week with one a single victory on the season, Warner, the now 6-4 redshirt freshman, said, "I may have taken second today, but I didn't lose. I made some mistakes I will grow from that will lead to some bigger moments than today down the road."

Of his other two Sunday placers, coach Irwin stated, "Keegan Driscoll keeps adding more names to his hit list as he knocked off a top 10 ranked kid, who is a returning All-American, in convincing fashion. He will be the first to tell you he has a lot of work left to do, but he has made tremendous growth in the last four weeks. Then, Kollin Clark came to compete today. I couldn't be any prouder of a coach with his effort. He pinned a stud today from Virginia Tech and listens really well while he is out there."

Driscoll recorded three hard decision wins, before he dropped a tight 6-3 bout to Antwon Pugh of Notre Dame College. He defeated teammate Greg Brusco, who was wrestling unattached, in the third-place match by a 2-1 final.

Clark claimed wins in his first three matches, including an opening 11-0 major decision and a third match fall in 2:06. He fell short against two unattached Division I wrestlers in the semifinals and third-place matches to end his day.

Redshirt freshman Bailey Jenkins was the lone other WJU wrestlers with as many as three Sunday wins. At 157, Jenkins received one forfeit in the consolations, before he had a 20-5 tech fall and a 3-1 win on his 3-2 afternoon.

Jaylyn Hill (133), Jared Donahue (141) and Dylan Taylor (157) each had two wins in their action.

WJU comes back home for its second home dual match of the year next Friday, Dec. 8. The Cardinals host the Scots of Ohio Valley starting at 7 p.m.

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