Dersh-Fisher leads improving wrestlers at Findlay

Eddie Kerekes, Sports Editor

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Facing another tough slate of competition, the Spartan wrestling team did not have a single member place at the Findlay Open on Nov. 19. However quite a few Case Western Reserve University student-athletes turned in solid performances at the team’s second meet of the season.

Head Coach Danny Song liked what he saw from his team. “Our effort and attitude were exactly what myself and the other coaches want to see…. With those two, our ceiling is very high.”

Second-year student Gavin Dersh-Fisher won three of his five bouts at 197 pounds. Two of his victories came by fall. With just 45 seconds left in his first bout, he pinned Floyd Rogers of Lake Erie College. His second pin came much more quickly. Before two minutes even passed in his fourth bout, Dersh-Fisher already had claimed victory over John Butler of Thomas More College.

The tables were turned in Dersh-Fisher’s second bout, as he was pinned by John Carroll University’s Mason Litz in the second period. He recovered nicely in his third bout, winning a 6-1 decision over Rogers’s teammate, Chris Droege. Dersh-Fisher was outmatched in his final bout, losing by major decision 11-3.

“Gavin’s been our top performer, which is really encouraging. It’s really coming together for him,” Song said.

The only Spartan wrestler to advance to the quarterfinals in any bracket was first-year student Alec Hoover. Competing at 133 pounds, Hoover lost that bout to Division I wrestler Joshua Parrett of Ohio University. To advance to that stage of the tournament, he pinned his first opponent in just 64 seconds and defeated his second in sudden death. The overtime victory came by one point over Division II wrestler and Wheeling Jesuit University student Jaylen Hill. Hoover lost his consolation bout, finishing the day with at 2-2, putting his season record at 4-4.

Another first-year student who won two of his four bouts was Isaac Collier. The first three of Collier’s bouts were all incredibly close. He won his first in extra time by two points, dropped his second by just one and won his third by the same margin. Just like Hoover, Collier maintained a 0.500 record for the season.

Song was very pleased with the whole team’s performance in overtime this season. “It’s always a great sign when your guys are winning in overtime,” he said. “It’s the guy who wants it more, the guy who’s a little bit tougher, the guy who can dig a little bit deeper that’s going to win in overtime.”

First-year student Michael Petersen and third-year student Connor Gordon rounded out the 2-2 finishers for CWRU. Competing at 149 pounds, Petersen won his second bout by fall in the second period. His day ended prematurely when he forfeited his final match due to injury. Gordon, wrestling at 165 pounds, won his two bouts by six and seven points, just missing a major decision in both.

Two other wrestlers recorded pins in the meet. First-year student Jacob Frish won his second bout 40 seconds into the second period. He competed at 125 pounds. Wrestling in the 157-pound bracket was first-year student Jack Chimenti. He recorded a pin with just 50 seconds remaining in his collegiate debut, but lost his next two bouts.

After a week off, the Spartan wrestlers travel to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) on Dec. 3 to compete in the RIT Invitational. This is the team’s last chance to compete in the fall semester. The Spartans return to action on Jan. 7 for the Waynesburg Invitational. Second-year heavyweight Brian McNamara and fourth-year student Matt Moy will be making their season debuts.