App State Wrestling opened its 2020-21 schedule with a Black & Gold Intrasquad event that served as the Varsity Gym debut for several freshmen on Friday.
In the night session that simulated a dual meet between assistant coach DJ Fehlman’s “Black” squad and assistant coach Randall Diabe’s “Gold” squad, each team won five matches and amassed 18 points. Based on the tiebreaking criteria used in regular-season duals, the Black team would have received a tiebreaking point based on a pin from true freshman Tristan Pugh at 149 pounds.
Codi Russell (125, down from 133 this season), Tyler Kellison (133), Julian Gorring (184) and Cody Bond (157) joined Pugh in posting victories for the Fehlman-coached team. Diabe’s team received wins from Michael Burchell (heavyweight), Mason Fiscella (197), Anthony Brito (141), Thomas Flitz (174) and Will Formato (165).
“It seems like it’s been a while since we’ve been here in Varsity Gym,” head coach JohnMark Bentley said. “Seeing our guys compete and get in that competitive spirit and competitive mode, it was a little bit different because we’re used to having a loud and big crowd here in Varsity Gym. All in all, I think we learned a lot about our team tonight and some things we need to work on.”
The closest match in the night session occurred at 184 pounds, with Gorring using a takedown 19 seconds in the Sudden Victory-1 period to edge Barrett Blakely by a 3-1 score. Pugh’s pin produced a 15-12 lead, Thomas Flitz’s decision created a 15-all tie and Bond’s decision broke that tie. Formato ended the night with a 2-0 decision.
Nine true freshmen and six redshirt freshmen competed over the course of the afternoon prelims and the night session, with six true freshmen and three redshirt freshmen accounting for nearly half the spots in the 10 weight classes.
“Our freshmen were competitive,” Bentley said. “I expected that. I kind of thought from watching them in the room that they were going to be pretty competitive in a lot of matches, and they were. Even in some of the matches they lost, they were nipping on the heels of some upperclassmen. That was interesting to see. We had some experienced guys that looked good tonight, and we had some guys that maybe were not as offensive or opening up as much as I would like, but these guys know each other so well, it’s not the same as wrestling an opponent you don’t see in the room every day.”
App State officially begins the regular season Jan. 2 with the App State Individual Quad in Varsity Gym.
Black 19, Gold 18 (TB criteria at 18-all — more pins for Black team)
125: Codi Russell (Black) def. Caleb Smith (Gold), 5-3 dec.
HWT: Michael Burchell (Gold) def. Tim Warren (Black), 2-0 dec.
133: Tyler Kellison (Black) def. Kobe Early (Gold), 10-3 dec.
197: Mason Fiscella (Gold) def. Paul Carson (Black), injury, 1:14
141: Anthony Brito (Gold) def. Heath Gonyer (Black), 2-0 dec.
184: Julian Gorring (Black) def. Barrett Blakely (Gold), 3-1 dec. (SV-1)
149: Tristan Pugh (Black) def. Jack Campbell (Gold), fall, 4:18
174: Thomas Flitz (Gold) def. Jackson Boles (Black), 7-3 dec.
157: Cody Bond (Black) def. Tommy Askey (Gold), 4-1 dec.
165: Will Formato (Gold) def. Brett Mordecai (Black), 2-0 dec.
133: Tyler Kellison def. Ethan Oakley, 11-3 maj. dec.
125: Caleb Smith def. Carson Smith, 8-3 dec.
157: Cody Bond def. Tristan Pugh, 5-2 dec.
157: Tommy Askey def. Francis Morrissey, 10-3 dec.
133: Sean Carter def. Kobe Early, 7-5, SV-1
133: De’Andre Swinson-Barr def. Tyler Kellison, 8-1 dec.
Exhibition: Codi Russell def. Kobe Early, 7-1 dec.
Exhibition: Jack Campbell def. Francis Morrissey, fall, 3:40
Exhibition: Sean Carter def. Caleb Smith, 11-5 dec.
133: Ethan Oakley def. De’Andre Swinson-Barr
Exhibition: Thomas Flitz def. Kameron Miller, tech. fall
141: Anthony Brito def. Joshua Spurlin, fall, 6:55
165: Brett Mordecai def. Kameron Miller, 3-1 dec.
Exhibition: Paul Carson def. Julian Gorring, 2-0 dec.
Exhibition: Mason Fiscella def. Ramon Rodriguez, 7-2 dec.
HWT: Michael Burchell def. Jacob Barlow, 8-3 dec.
141: Anthony Brito def. Isaac Byers, 2-1 dec.
141: Heath Gonyer def. Dawson Bates, 3-1 dec.
Exhibition: Will Formato def. Jackson Boles, fall, 6:44
Exhibition: Barrett Blakely def. Ramon Rodriguez, fall, 2:04
141: Joshua Spurlin def. Isaac Byers, 3-1 (SV-1)
HWT: Tim Warren def. Jacob Barlow, 3-2 dec.
Exhibition: Dawson Bates def. Joshua Spurlin, tech. fall