After spending the holiday break in the practice room, the Stow-Munroe Falls wrestling team got back to business with a pair of Northeast Ohio Conference River Division matches.
First, Stow traveled to North Royalton Jan. 3 and suffered a 43-29 loss.
Then, the Bulldogs hosted Senior Night Jan. 5 vs. Medina and handed the Bees a 40-27 loss.
Stow moved to 1-2 overall and 1-2 in the River Division as of press time.
Bulldogs coach Randy Jenkins said his team was still a bit in winter-break mode when it took on the Bears.
"It was a tough match," Jenkins said. "They're a tough team. It was a tough coming out of it two days after the holidays. That kind of hurt our guys."
Traditionally, North Royalton's strength has been in the lighter weights and the Bears dominated those matches against the Bulldogs.
The good news for Stow was that each of their wins came with five or six points. The problem was Stow only won five individual matches.
Senior 152-pounder Kyle Collins got the Bulldogs on the board after losing the first eight matches. Collins scored a pin in 1:52.
At 160 pounds, junior Hunter Massey was leading by six points when his opponent had to default the match due to injury.
Sophomore 170-pounder Nick Planicka scored a 19-2 technical-fall victory, while junior 182-pounder Joe Kollar pinned his man in 1:22.
Senior 195-pounder Gage Finegan needed just 41 seconds to score the pin, but that would be it for the Bulldogs.
Back on the mats less than 48 hours later, Jenkins said his team had a different attitude against Medina.
"It was Senior Night," Jenkins said. "The kids got rid of their winter-break atmosphere. After getting beat by North Roylaton, they came out much more aggressive. It was a home match and I think that helped them."
Stow won eight matches against the Bees and won the match despite giving up forfeit wins at 106 pounds and heavyweight.
Jenkins' son, freshman Kyle Jenkins, opened the match with a 15-5 win, followed by a 10-1 major-decision win by sophomore 120-pounder Justin George.
At 132 pounds, sophomore Nathan Allen scored a 19-2 technical fall, followed by a pin in 5:40 at 138 pounds by sophomore Connor Crosier.
Massey (5:22) and Planicka (5:22) each scored pins at 160 and 170 respectively, while Finegan scored a forfeit win at 195 to clinch the match.
Stow was set to face Brunswick in a River Division match Jan. 10 before participating in the Len Pariano Tournament at Midpark Jan. 12. Results from both matches were not available at press time.
Stow has a loaded week ahead of it, beginning with its final River Division match Jan. 17 at home vs. Hudson.
The Bulldogs will then participate in the Bill Dies Memorial Tournament Jan. 18 and 19 at Akron Firestone. First match Jan. 18 is set for 3 p.m.