NORWALK—Every time the Stratford High wrestling team hits the mats, it gets a little bit better.
It might be during a practice or it might be during a tri-meet against two teams from another league.
The Red Devils split a pair of matches on Saturday, topping St. Joseph 30-21 after falling to host Brien McMahon by a 54-18 score at the Kehoe-King Gymnasium.
“Every time you get on the mat, you get a little bit better,” Stratford coach Dan German said. “We train hard every day in practice and hopefully it pays off. The beginners, when they’re out there, they forget things. It’s just a matter of repetition, repetition, repetition.”
The day got off to a big start for the Red Devils as Sean Meisel (120 pounds) and Tanner Mitchell (126) posted back-to-back win, via pin.
It took Meisel just 46 seconds to get his six points while Mitchell won in 1:40 to give the Red Devils a 12-0 lead.
A pin at 145 pounds by Sam Schumann gave Stratford an 18-12 lead on the Senators, who ran the table from there.
“We always get killed on forfeits,” said German, who was missing a handful of wrestlers due to injury and other obligations.
Meisel was one of a few wrestlers who went 2-0 on the day, but actually pinned both of his opponents.
Against St. Joe’s, Meisel only needed 43 seconds to be victorious.
“I was just looking for my own set-ups and my own shots and let it come to me,” Meisel said. “I didn’t force a lot. I wanted to just wrestle smart. I knew I was wrestling some beginners, so I didn’t want to make any mistakes.”
Meisel, a junior, is proof of what can become of a career if a wrestler stays with it and works hard, according to his coach.
“It’s his third year and he’s turning it on this year,” German said. “He paid his dues the last couple of years and this year will be his year. This year and next. He’s getting his confidence and he’s polishing off all of his moves.”
Mitchell also went 2-0 on the day, earning a forfeit win against St. Joe’s.
Other winners against the Cadets were: Josh Kydes (132) by forfeit, Hayden Roberts (138) by forfeit, and Drilon Nasufi (160) by forfeit.
Brady Havee wrestled his heart out in the heavyweight match, falling in overtime.
“They did well,” German said. “A couple of those matches could have gone either way. It’s nice when they’re even so things can go back and forth a little bit.”
Meisel said he has seen his team get better over the course of the season and expects more of the same moving forward.
“The more experience you get, the better you’re going to be,” Meisel said. “We’re trying to build up our team, working on our (wrestling) vocabulary and our reservoir of moves. It’s a lot of work, but we’re getting there.”
The Red Devils will be back in action on Wednesday with an SWC match at Brookfield. The match starts at 6 p.m.