Flip Of A Coin Makes Difference For Nighthawk Grapplers
The simple flip of a coin to determine how lineups are set at the start of a wrestling match can make a difference.
When visiting Joel Barlow High School of Redding won the toss to begin the competition with Newtown on its Senior Night, February 4, it gained the advantage of selecting whether to announce odd or even numbered weight division wrestlers first, and this helped the Falcons in some matchups, Newtown Coach Ron Chivinski said.
Had the Nighthawks won the flip, they could have matched up differently, taken forfeits against Barlow’s toughest grapplers, and moved team members around accordingly, within weight restrictions, to build its strongest lineup.
Barlow prevailed 45-27, with Newtown losing some close matches and Barlow gaining extra points on pins, including one very late in the bout.
“The point total doesn’t reflect how close it was,” said Chivinski, noting that a few mismatches against unbeaten Barlow made a big difference. “We needed that coin flip to go our way tonight if we were going to have a chance to win.”
Chivinski was pleased with how his team competed.
“The guys fought hard,” Newtown’s coach said.
Heavyweight grappler Joe Zeller earned a 17-0 technical fall triumph. Nik Accousti, in the 132-pound weight division, won via pin in 2:40. Ayden Kasbarian, at 138, pinned his opponent in 29 seconds. Andrew Sayers, in the 152 weight class, won via pin in 49 seconds. Steven Leuci, at 160, came from behind to win a 5-3 decision. Leuci trailed 3-2 but went in front on a two-point reversal with under 40 seconds remaining in the match.
Fritz Maurath, competing in the 145 division, went three periods before losing 10-9 to Alex Klein Wassink. Maurath trailed 8-3 after one period and battled to within 8-6 heading to the third. Down 10-6 late in the third, a two-point reversal gave Maurath a chance but he came up a point short.
At 170, Justin Bogdanoff lost a 6-4 decision to Ben Burrell. Down 6-2 after two, Bogdanoff scored two nearfall points but couldn’t get over the hump.
In the 182 weight class, Ryan Callahan trailed just 2-1 in the third before being pinned by Erik Areklett with only 51 seconds remaining.
Newtown is scheduled to host perennial South-West Conference powerhouse New Milford on February 7 at 7 pm, a battle of SWC Colonial Division unbeatens (after The Bee went to press) in a makeup of the match originally scheduled for January 30. Patriot Division leader Barlow handed Newtown (6-1, 4-0 in the Colonial) its first SWC loss.
Chivinski believes his team has a chance, if all goes right, to come out on top in the SWC championships, scheduled for Saturday, February 9, at New Fairfield High. There will not be a coin flip to work for or against Newtown, with a bracketed system in place.
“The only way we’re going to win is a team effort. We’re going to have to have a lot of guys peak at the right moment,” Chivinski said.
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