Wrestlers fall in final bout
Heading into last week's wrestling match, Parkland head coach Ryan Nunamaker understood a trip to Nazareth against the Blue Eagles would be a grind.
With the Trojans (0-1) set to open their conference schedule against the Blue Eagles (4-0) last Wednesday night, Nunamaker understood whichever team executed even a tad better would be at an advantage.
Unfortunately for his squad, the Trojans came up just short in the match's final bout as the Blue Eagles' Jordan Gray defeated Nathan Christman at 170 pounds. Nazareth walked away with the 31-29 victory.
"It really came down to the bonus points," said Nunamaker. "There were really no upsets. We kind of expected the guys to win who won, and the guys that were favored on their side won. It comes down to the little things and they just executed better."
Christman and Gray held a 3-3 tie in the first period, before Gray then took a 7-5 lead at the end of the second period and held on for the 12-7 win.
After Parkland's Grady Millick fell in the 132-pound bout, the Trojans seemed to regain their composure and were poised to close out the match. Ian Evans (138) won by technical fall, and Josh Ortman (145) and Mike Marano (152) both won decisions to make it 29-22 Trojans with two matches left and the victory seemingly in hand.
Nazareth continued to battle, however.
Vincent Kassis fought tirelessly to hold off Nazareth's Colton Miller at the 160-pound bout. For nearly the entire match, it looked as if Miller would escape with three-point decision victory. Instead, Miller lifted the Blue Eagles in a huge way, pinning Kassis with just over eight seconds to play in the bout.
"It always has to come down to a single match, but it gets determined before that," said Nunameker. "We didn't do a good enough job scoring bonus points and they did. And that really became the difference in the match."
Jacob Lizak (106), Ethan Lizak (113), Ian Evans (138) and Nezar Haddad (182) all won their bouts by technical falls. A pin in one of those bouts would have changed the outcome of the match.
"It's just a matter of who's going to execute just a little bit better," said Nunamaker. "And tonight that was them."
Still, regardless of the outcome, Nunamaker knows one match won't define the Trojans' season.
The Trojans will open up the new year with a match against Freedom on January 3. The match is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. at Parkland High School.