By Michael Leonard | Record Publishing
To win dual meets, wrestling teams need drive and team spirit.
Most of all, however, teams need a full and healthy lineup to be successful.
Field didn't have anywhere close to that Saturday at the Hudson Duals. The result was a long day for the Falcons, who went 1-4 with their only win coming against Revere 35-32.
Field coach Joe Retherford said injuries and other issues kept at least five starters out of his lineup. Given that reality, Retherford said he's taken a different approach to dual meets.
"Team scores at this point mean nothing to me and that will be the case the rest of the season," Retherford said. "I'm looking for individual improvement and we did not have it today.
"I'd rather work with five kids who will run through a brick wall than 20 guys I have to be to work," Retherford added.
Scores may not mean anything to Retherford, but there's full slate of dual meets coming this week which could set the tone for the Portage Trail Conference Tournament.
There was only one in the Metro Division from the past week, as Ravenna defeated Streetsboro 42-33 Thursday at Streetsboro. The Rockets and Ravens each defeated Waterloo in the other matches in the tri-meet.
Ravenna improved to 2-1 in the Metro Division with the win. However, the Ravens are looking at a marathon this week.
First, Ravenna, Streetsboro and Kent Roosevelt will travel to Springfield on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. to wrestle the double-dual postponed by an outbreak of skin infections.
Then, Field will host Ravenna, Kent Roosevelt and Norton on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
If Ravenna can go 4-0 this week, it will secure no worse than a three-way tie for first place in the Metro Division duals race.
Elsewhere Thursday, Crestwood hosts a double-dual meet with Streetsboro, Springfield and Coventry at 5:30 p.m. The Red Devils and Comets can keep pace if they each sweep the Rockets and Spartans.
In the County Division, last Thursday's lone dual meet saw Southeast breeze past Mogadore 60-20. The Pirates improved to 2-1 in the division and are set for the big one this week.
Southeast will host Rootstown and Garfield on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Anyone who remembers last year's Pirates-Rovers match may recall it was one of the tightest in County Division history. A last-second takedown by Southeast's Gene Smith in the match's last bout gave the Pirates the win.
It proved to be the difference in the County Division race.
Rootstown enters the meet at 1-0 in the division, with only matches against understrength Mogadore and Waterloo following this tri-meet.
A Rovers win puts them in the driver's seat in the division. A Pirates win sets up a possible three-way tie for first with the Rovers and Woodridge.
This Thursday's other County Division tri-meet sees Woodridge and Waterloo heading to Mogadore.
Watching the scenarios play out could be fun.