SHEFFIELD, Pa. – The stage was set perfectly for Sheffield’s Ethan Finch on Thursday.
(Sheffield’s Ethan Finch with his mom, Julie and dad, Jared after his 100th career win on Thursday against Cranberry. Photo by Cody Elms.)
The final match of the night, his team trailing 36-33, in search of win No. 100 on senior night against the school where his coach, Jack Rice, won a state title as a high school wrestler.
And it was all over in 26 breathtaking seconds.
That’s all the time it took for Finch to pin Cranberry’s Walker Willey at 215 pounds and earn his spot as the first wrestler in program history to achieve the 100-win milestone.
“It doesn’t happen too often,” said Rice. “One-hundred wins is huge. He’s the first 100-match winner for Sheffield. Senior NIght, against my old team that I won a state title for, to come down to the final match..it’s a perfect storm.”
Finch, who broke Terry Schraders’s school record last weekend at the Union City duals, was one of two wrestlers to earn his 100th win Thursday, joining Maplewood’s Joey King, who also got his win on his senior night against Cambridge Springs … also at 215 pounds.
Schrader, who operates ‘Sling It Lures,’ had a handmade 100 wins limited edition fishing lure made for Finch, as well as sending him a letter of congratulations that Finch was presented with on Thursday.
Finch talked about his achievement afterward:
Finch has come a long way since that 16-win freshman season.
“I’m so happy for him, he’s earned it,” Rice said. “He started out his freshman year 16-12 and just exponentially improved each year. We’ve achieved all of our goals except for one. We’re going for that state title.”
For Finch, who will take his talents to the University of Pittsburgh next season, it starts with simply outworking everyone else.
He has that first man in, last man out mentality, something his coach obviously notices.
“Lifting in the morning, lifting at 3 p.m., practice and then he runs afterward,” Rice said. “He wants it, he’s hungry and hopefully we have a postseason for him to be able to perform.”
As for the match itself, the Wolverines got additional pins from Collin Brown at 113, A.J. Barnes at 120, Trenton Mead at 138 and Cooper Traister at 152.
They also got a big 5-2 decision from Landon Mead over Kevin Pearsall in their 172-pound match.
Mead got a takedown in the first period, an escape in the second and another takedown in the third to earn the win.
Seth Yeager won at 285 pounds for Cranberry, as did Brayden McFetridge at 189. The Berries received four forfeit victories as well.
“I thought we wrestled well,” Rice said. “We won the wrestling on the mat. The score was a lot closer just because we couldn’t fill all of the weights. I’m really proud of Landon Mead. He had the pressure match and he was the difference-maker. He came through with that big win and that sealed the deal for us. I’m real happy with how the kids wrestled tonight.”
285 – Seth Yeager (C) pinned Danah Campbell, 3:40
106 – Chase Kyler (S) won by forfeit
113 – Collin Brown (S) pinned Dads Rembold, 3:52
120 – AJ Barnes (S) pinned Michael Stanley, 3:05
126 – Anthony Maiure (C) won by forefit
132 – Even Hepler (C) won by forfeit
138 – Trenton Mead (S) pinned Alexander Tofoya, 3:01
145 – Justin Oliver (C) won by forfeit
152 – Cooper Traister (S) pinned Jaden Smally,:33
160 – Kevin VanWormer (S) won by fofeit
172 – Landon Mead (S) dec. Kevin Pearsall, 5-2
189 – Brayden MCFEtridge (C) pinned Jake Davidson, 1:#3
215 – Ethan Finch (S) pinned Walker Willey,:26