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In the home opener for the La Salle-Peru wrestling team, the Cavaliers’ 195-pounder was on the mat for less than a minute in a triangular that lasted more than four hours.
The senior Marlett pinned Geneseo’s Asa Shackleford in just six seconds and then pinned Rock Island’s Keith Lawrence in 48 seconds.
“This means a lot,” Marlett said. “It really helps my confidence out and is a good way to start the season.
“Last week at Sycamore, I had a match that went 15-0 (technical fall against the No. 1-ranked kid in the state) and that really bummed me out, so to come in here and get two pins like this helped to pick me back up.”
In all, he spent an impressive 54 seconds on the mat in earning the wins. “Marlett had a great night and some really quick pins,” L-P coach Matt Fletcher said. “He’s been struggling a little bit with finding himself as a wrestler, but tonight it looked like he took some big leaps forward.”
Marlett was one of three L-P grapplers who went 2-0 on Thursday even though the Cavs fell to Geneseo 58-14 and to Rock Island 48-29.
L-P 106-pound junior Riley Sweetland and 220-pound senior Michael Denyes both also went 2-0.
Sweetland rolled through his night.
Despite long waits for his matches, the lightweight earned a 13-1 major decision against Geneseo.
In the contest, Sweetland built a 4-0 advantage in the first period and took a lead of 6-1 after the first period and 8-1 after the second period.
In all, he scored the match’s final nine points.
In his second match against Rock Island, the 106-pounder built a 9-1 cushion before he secured the fall at 2:49.
“Riley always wrestles hard,” Fletcher said. “We are looking for him to be a little more aggressive when he wrestles because sometimes he thinks that technique will get him through, but in wrestling that’s not always the case. You have to combine strength with technique.”
Denyes, who has missed parts of the past two wrestling seasons with shoulder injuries, powered his way to two victories.
Against Geneseo, the 220-pounder built a 7-0 lead after the second period en route to a 13-3 major decision.
Against Rock Island, Denyes earned a pin at 5:12.
“Denyes had a good match both times,” Fletcher said. “I know a lot of people want him to open up and shoot more, but we’re trying a new game plan with him and trying to protect those shoulders a little bit.”
Also earning an on-the-mat win was L-P’s 170-pounder Zack Graves.
After Graves dropped his first match, he rebounded with an impressive 18-2 tech fall win in the third period against Rock Island.
“Graves has come a long way considering it’s only his third year of wrestling,” Fletcher said. “I really thought he could’ve wrestled better in that match; he’s capable of a lot more, and that’s why we kept having him cut and take down the kid again. I wanted him to realize what he’s capable of. If he figures that out, he’ll be fine.”
Unfortunately for the Cavs, that was all of their on-the-mat victories Thursday as they struggled in the triangular. The Cavs won just eight of the 28 matches, including one by forfeit.
“I’m pretty disappointed, and not just in the fact that we lost but a lot of guys didn’t compete,” Fletcher said. “We’ve been honing just the basics for the first month of practice, and in the offseason all we did is preach the basics, and we’re not coming out and not competing.”
Note: L-P 120-pound junior and 2011-12 NewsTribune Wrestler of the Year Jacob Wever did not wrestle on Thursday. Wever received stitches in his right knee after a dirt bike accident over the weekend. Fletcher expects his junior star to miss 3-4 weeks.
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.
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