Knights take care of business against Cambridge Springs

Times Observer photo by Andy Close Eisenhower’s Tristen Wilcox got the Knights off to a strong start with his win in the 170-pound match against Cambridge Springs on Wednesday.

Eisenhower coach Kris Black was nervous, if only slightly, at how his team was going to come out following a lengthy layoff during the holiday break.

The Knights had no issues.

Behind a number of impressive performances, EHS rolled to a 53-20 win over a quality Cambridge Springs team in Region 3 action.

“I was nervous coming in, we had a really long break,” Black noted. “The guys worked really hard during that break, but sometimes you can get rusty. But they responded really well.”

And while a number of Knights were dominant in victory, it was a young freshman who didn’t win that really stood out.

Gannon Jaquay matched up with Cambridge Springs’ Tye Varndell in the 132-pound bout. Among Varndell’s many accolades include 120 career wins, a No. 4 finish at states last year, a recent first place finish at the Trojan Wars in Chambersburg and a commitment to wrestle for Division I Edinboro next season.

Jaquay battled, ultimately getting tech falled in the final moments of the third period, 25-10.

“Tye is the best there is,” Black said. “He’s intense, he’s trying to win a state title this year. For Gannon to go out there and not be intimidated and not give up the six points … I know he got teched, but he just kept coming. That mentality is going to get you a long way.

“He has a great attitude, a great mentality. He knows he can go out and wrestle with anybody now. He’s seen that level. It’s one thing to watch it, but it’s another thing to wrestle a guy like Tye. That was big for him.”

It was another freshman, Tristen Wilcox, that got things started for the Knights with a 2-0 decision over Jordan Miller.

Times Observer photo by Andy Close Eisenhower’s Josh Bortz got a quick pin in his match.

That was part of a dominant start that saw Ethan Chambers get down early but earn a second period pin, Cael Black get a forfeit at 195 and Joe Bauer needing just 27 seconds to earn a fall at 215.

“Ethan is a real spark plug for us,” Black noted. “He gets things going. He’s one of those guys the team really feeds off of. It’s great for the younger kids to see the kind of intensity that he brings.”

Logan Jaquay continued his dominant start to the season, going up 12-4 before getting a fall in the second period of his 113-pound match.

Josh Bortz needed just 55 seconds to pin Jared Jones at 138 and Nate Holt 1:22 in a fall against Amber Willy at 152.

In between, Garrett Head wrestled a grinder of a match against the Blue Devils’ sophomore Colton Smith, winning 4-1 thanks in part to a first period takedown.

Times Observer photo by Andy Close Eisenhower’s Alex Barnett earned a tech fall in his 160-pound match.

“Garrett really wrestled a strong match,” Black added.

Alex Barnett closed it out with a dominant performance at 160, a 21-6 tech fall right before the third period horn.

“Cambridge has some really solid guys,” Black said. “This was a good win for us.”

The Knights return to action this Friday and Saturday at the prestigious Tool City Tournament in Meadville, followed by a Region 3 showdown at Union City on Wednesday.

“Tool City is really a meat-grinder of a tournament,” Black said. “There’s some different teams there. We haven’t seen all of them in the past. We’re going down to get some quality matches. Some of our guys need to get pushed a little bit and they’ll definitely get pushed this weekend. I’m excited to see how our guys respond and where we’re at with some of the best teams around.”

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170: Tristen Wilcox (E) dec. Jordan Miller, 2-0

182: Ethan Chambers (E) pinned Jacob Jones, 3:49

195: Cael Black (E) won by forfeit

220: Joe Bauer (E) pinned Adam LeSuer, :27

HWY: Jerry Mosconi (C) dec. Jeremy Card, 6-0

106: Logan Gerow (C) won by forfeit

113: Logan Jaquay (E) pinned Jacob Hauf, 2:19

120: Ayden Miller (C) pinned Jake Williams, 3:28

126: Alex Hummell (E) pinned Chase Beck, 1:06

132: Tye Varndell (C) tech fall Gannon Jaquay, 21-6, 5:57

138: Josh Bortz (E) pinned Jared Jones, :55

145: Garrett Head (E) dec. Colton Smith, 4-1

152: Nate Holt (E) pinned Amber Willy, 1:22

160: Alex Barnett (E) tech fall Jackson Carico, 21-6, 5:58