The year 1995 can be remembered for The Players Union in Major League Baseball going on strike, Michael Jordan making the shift from professional baseball back to basketball or President Clinton’s third year in office.
1995 is also the last time Sandusky defeated Perkins in a dual meet.
Despite holding a 21-19 advantage after 10 matches in the clash for Perkins Avenue Wednesday night, the Streaks were pinned two and defeated in three of the final four matches, and the Pirates went on to win 40-21 at Sandusky High School.
Perkins coach Travis Crabtree said he never expected the final score to be the way it ended up against Sandusky.
“It is always tooth and nail back and forth, who ever has the momentum wins the match,” Crabtree said. “We have got a lot of respect for Davion (Caston) and Jerrel (Valiant) and we have got a lot of respect for the Sandusky program.”
The respect Crabtree holds for Valiant, a two-time state qualifier, was so strong that the Pirates sacrificed the 145-pound weight class to Valiant with a forfeit. The Pirates usual 145, Michael Snyder, bumped up to 152 and defeated Wade Gilimore by pinfall in 3:06 for the Pirates to reclaim the lead at 25-21.
“I had a feeling they would bump up Snyder to 152 and It was a good strategy and it seemed to work out for great for them,” said Sandusky coach Conor Whelan. “I won’t say anything bad about Snyder. He decked my kid (at 152) but Jerrel would have been the favorite and (the Pirates) were looking at possibly losing both weight classes, so it was a good strategy.”
What Crabtree called the turning point of the meet was at 160, a match dominated by the Blue Streaks’ Troy Monegan in the first period. The Pirates Kody Kaser had one strategy: Survive the opening period and rely on technique in the later periods.
Kaser, trailed Monegan 7-4 after the opening period but toward the end of the second the momentum shifted. A seven-point second period highlighted by Kaser performing a takedown and a 3-point near-fall, brought the score to 12-11 in favor of Kaser.
The close match turned into a 6-point win in the team column in the final, with Kaser performing a head-and-arm takedown followed by a pin at 5:19.
“Troy’s a tough kid, he’s real strong and explosive, we knew that if Kody weathered the storm of his offense in the first period that he would run out of gas,” Crabtree said. “We knew we’d be giving up a lot of muscle and every match, but we stress technique and our conditioning. Troy wrestled hard but Kody wrestled a little harder.
Whelan said conditioning absolutely played a role the match with Kaser, as well as others.
“Obviously, we are disappointed in the result,” Whelan said. “Up to the 152 match, I was proud of all the kids fighting for every point, close matches, and I told the kids all week that’s what it is about.”
Following the match, the Pirates got their second and third consecutive wins from Alex Trautman and Travis Davlin at 171 and 189 by pinfall to close out the meet.
Kaser said winning his match felt great because of how strength he was giving up, and that beating the Streaks meant a lot to the team and the school.
“He was by far stronger then me, but a lot of kids are stronger then me so I just have to stay solid in my technique and keeping working to get better,” Kaser said. “To finish the way we did and to beat our cross-town rivals was exactly what we came here to do.”
The Pirates also got wins from Nathan Salmon at (103), Brian Logan (112), Nick Waldron (119), Cameron Campbell (130) and Tyler Mees (135).
The Streaks started off the meet 9-0 with victories from Tony Cook (215) and Michael Brown (285), who won by pinfall. The Pirates claimed the next three matches until a victory from Caston, his 102nd of his career, with his 100th coming at the Bellevue Bob Baily Invitational.
“100 wins comes from my goal to be successful in everything I do,” Caston said. “I’ve been wrestling since I was five, it feels good that my work has paid off.”
Caston’s individual success was a little incomplete in his eyes.
“I couldn’t believe (the meet) went down like that,” he said. “Ever since I’ve been in high school, when we face Perkins, it has came down to the last few matches like that.
“It was just frustrating, especially since the score was way closer that the scoreboard shows.”
The Blue Streaks have faced the Pirates nine times in the school’s history with the Pirates winning six straight since 2004. The Streaks won the first three original meetings 1993-95, with Pirates taking 1996-98. The schools did not compete against each other between 1999-2003.