Hanover opened its wrestling season Friday quickly.
The Nighthawks beat Susquehannock, 54-24, on the road, needing just 40 minutes because only four matches went into the second period. Their win came despite seven wrestlers making their debuts, three of whom won.
"Our experienced guys went out and showed it and wrestled well," Nighthawks coach Dave Cataldo said. "They finished their matches off quickly. Our inexperienced guys got some good mat time.
"(Lack of experience) makes it difficult because they don't have a lot of background to work with, their not knowing where they can fall and where their bodies are at. They're trying to get things to muscle memory."
One rookie was Doug Gladfelter, who competed at 195 pounds last season but quit because of his job. He wrestled at 152 Friday.
Yes, 152 pounds.
A diet he began in July allowed him to drop the weight in just a few months. He had dropped to about 170 pounds by the start of the school year and kept losing weight.
"You have that junk food in your life," Gladfelter said. "A lot of good Tastykakes. I said to myself, 'I'm getting too heavy, and I need to cut that out of my life.'"
The weight loss proved beneficial for the Nighthawks (1-0), who would've had to forfeit the bout. Gladfelter is also seeing some benefits.
"I think he's more athletic," Cataldo said. "I think he could use some more muscle. But I think for his size right now with conditioning and weightlifting, I think he'll work out fine."
Gladfelter lost a 10-4 decision, but he is excited about his next opportunity to compete. He works until 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, days the Nighthawks have meets, which allows him to compete and not miss practices.
Other Hanover rookies making their debuts were Caleb Garland, Travis Golden and Ben Krentler.
Tyler Wentz started Friday's match with a pin in 42 seconds in the 182-pound bout to give the Nighthawks a 6-0 lead they wouldn't lose.
Krentler then received a forfeit for a 12-0 lead, and Garland followed four matches later with a pin. Golden pinned his opponent in the next match for a 36-6 lead.
Hanover's Ian Brown, who finished fourth in the Class AA state tournament at 126 pounds last year, pinned his opponent in 1:28 in the 138-pound bout. His right wrist was wrapped as a precautionary measure after injuring it over the summer. He played football this fall with no problem.
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