VANDALIA — The Butler Aviators wrestling team Wednesday pinned a 50-24 loss on Northmont.
The Aviators have a strong program again this year while the Thunderbolts lineup is the smallest it has ever had in more than three decades with only 21 athletes, one of which was recently lost to a knee injury.
Northmont, which has been very strong in the lower classes in recent years, lacks personnel to fill some of those slots. Against Butler the Thunderbolts had to forfeit matches at 120, 126 and 132 pounds. The Aviators in turn only had to forfeit at 220.
Matt Motter (13-4 record, eight pins) got the Aviators off to a 6-0 lead by winning the 106 pound match by a fall (pin) in 4:14 against Colin Mellott (5-5, two pins).
At 113 Josh Suddeth (7-3, three pins) won by fall (3:57) against Noah Wilkins (8-10, one pin) to boost Butler’s lead to 12-0.
Matt Verdes (120) Logan Hoskins (126) and Bailey Suddeth (132) all won by forfeit as the Aviators lead swelled to 30-0.
In the 138 pound match Ronnie Pietro (12-3, one pin) scored a 5-2 decision over Andrew Knick (18-6, five pins) to make it 33-0.
Northmont got its first points of the evening in the 145 pound match when Ezra Smith (14-10, four pins) scored a 6-3 decision over Michael Brandt (10-8, six pins) to make it 33-3.
At 152 pounds Eli Newburg (7-11, four pins) also won scoring a 9-7 decision over Anthony Koewler (1-3, one pin) to cut Butler’s lead to 33-6.
Butler won the next three matches. At 160 Mason Motter (14-7, nine pins) won by a fall (3:15) against Mason Sigler (0-6). Daniel Hicks (170) won by default against Fouad Saleh and at 182 Ethan Cyrette (16-6, 11 pins) scored a 19-4 technical fall (victory by 15 points) over Phillip Tracy to boost the Aviators’ lead to 50-6.
In the 195 pounds match Northmont senior Dylan Moran (16-4, nine pins) won by a fall (1:42) against Brendan McKenzie and Bryan Heyward (220) won by forfeit. At heavyweight Seth Frantz (15-8, 10 pins) won by a fall (1:09) against Chase Turner to make the final tally 50-24 in favor of the Aviators.
“We are always going to be down all the time because we have three or four forfeits,” said Northmont Coach Scott Newburg. “I tell the kids their goal is to win the head-to-head matches, so we had ten matches and ended up winning four and losing six. One of the matches that we lost we were ahead 7-1 and got slammed and got a point for an illegal slam. Our kid decided to continue and a minute later his head was hurting so he had to stop, and that resulted in a 12 point swing. It really wouldn’t have made a difference in the final score but it would have made it a little bit closer and would have given five wins to their five. We almost made the goal that we set. The kids are going out there and trying to get better every day, but we are just wrestling teams right now that are a little bit better than us and we just can’t pull out the wins. As far as the kids’ attitudes and aggressiveness, they are getting better so I was kind of happy with Vandalia match even though we got beat by about 30 points.”