Independence’s wrestling team showed improvement during the first day of the North Coast Classic on Friday at the Independence Fieldhouse.
Nine out of 10 Blue Devils won at least one match during the preliminary rounds.
“I thought the team competed well on Friday,” said Independence coach Ken DeAngelis. “Everyone showed progress.”
Freshman Charlie Puklavec opened his high school career with a win at the Hawken Invitational Tournament last weekend. On Friday, he won four of six matches at 132 pounds.
He suffered his first loss of the season in the first round of pool wrestling but bounced back with a 40-second pin in the second. After suffering his second loss of the season in the third round, he finished the night with three straight wins including a 32-second pin, a 10-5 decision, and a forfeit.
Rory Corrigan closed out the first night with a 3-1 record at 215 pounds.
He found himself in a precarious position in his tournament-opener when Berea-Midpark’s Isaiah Simmons threw him to his back for an early 5-0 lead. Corrigan later trailed 10-3 before flattening Simmons in four minutes, 21 seconds.
Corrigan finished the night with three pins.
“I was super impressed with Rory,” DeAngelis said. “He just keeps wrestling hard and is never out of a match. He fought back from a deficit in several matches and set himself up to be in the gold bracket on Saturday.”
Vinnie Kubicki went 2-1 at 113 pounds with a pair of pins.
Jack Valenti finished 2-3 at 132 pounds and Charlie Meyer (120), Jonah Valenti (138), Joe Botzman (138), Chase Manelski (150), and Connor Korinek (175) all won a match for the Blue Devils.