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Despite changes, Plymouth wrestlers prevail, win D3 title

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by Joshua Spaulding
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Sports Editor - Salmon Press Newspapers

The Plymouth wrestling team celebrates another Division III title last Wednesday. (Photo by Joshua Spaulding) (click for larger version)
March 03, 2021
PLYMOUTH — In a sports world where everything has changed from a year ago, it's good to know that some things don't change.

Despite a new tournament format, new tournament locations and many new protocols, the Division III high school wrestling season ended the same way last season did, with the Plymouth Bobcats holding the championship plaque.

Coach Randy Cleary's charges got key wins along the road to a 48-24 win over Bow in the new tournament format, which involved competing in dual meets in each round of the tournament.

"It was good," said Cleary of his team's solid win. "We knew it would be competitive and it was.

"And we won the matches we needed to win," the veteran coach stated.

As the top seed in Division III, the Bobcats had the honor of hosting the Division III championship on Wednesday, Feb. 24, and while the match was back and forth early on, the Bobcats pulled away and got the win and another championship.

The meet started at 126 pounds, where Jakob Heath had a great match before eventually getting pinned to give the Falcons a 6-0 lead out of the gate.

Charlie Comeau got Plymouth on the board with a hard-fought 14-7 win at 132 pounds and then Aaron Comeau pulled the Bobcats even with an 8-3 win at 138 pounds.

Joe Peters got Plymouth's first pin at 140 pounds to give the Bobcats the 12-6 lead before Anthony Ciotti was pinned at 152 pounds to pull Bow even at 12.

From there, it was a Plymouth run of four-straight wins that propelled them out to the big lead and they never looked back.

Joe D'Ambruoso came through with a win at 160 pounds for the 18-12 lead and then Caden Sanborn at 170 pounds and Matt Cleary at 182 pounds both earned forfeits to push the Plymouth lead to 30-12.

Cole Johnston finished off the Plymouth run at 195 pounds, earning the pin in the quickest match of the day and putting the Bobcats in control at 36-12.

Alex Luehrs wrestled at 220 pounds and was pinned to give the Falcons their first points in a bit, cutting the lead to 36-18. Gabe Crane wrestled at heavyweight for Plymouth and at the end of the first period, his opponent appeared to make a head-butting attempt at Crane. The Bow coach quickly pulled his wrestler off the mat and gave the win to Crane and put Plymouth up 42-18.

Neither team had a wrestler at 106 pounds and the final two weight classes were forfeits. Gianni Ciotti got a forfeit win at 113 pounds and Bow got a forfeit win at 120 pounds. The two wrestlers then faced off in an exhibition match, which the Falcon grappler won in an overtime bout by a 7-5 score.

"That was a big win by Joe D'Ambruoso," said Cleary. "That was one of those matches that could've gone either way.

"Overall, a good team win," the longtime coach said.

Sports Editor Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or josh@salmonpress.news.

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