Trojan Wrestling

WVC Wrestling: Breaking down the complex tiebreaker system

Eric Shultz - Citizens Voice

Nanticoke Area wrestling never led at any point during its dual meet Thursday night.

The Trojans still left Dallas’ gym with the victory.

That sounds like a complex riddle to solve, and it probably was a little tricky for the official scorekeeper. But Nanticoke Area’s win ultimately came down to a strong comeback effort and then, after tying the Mountaineers in the final bout of the night, a trip through the tiebreaking criteria process.

The Trojans earned the extra match point at the end to defeat the Mountaineers, 43-42, via Criterion H, or most first points scored in each match throughout the meet.

Down 36-18 with five bouts remaining, pins by Isaiah Johnson (195 lb.), Jeffery Ultsh (220), Joseph Sauers (106) and Zach Capie (113) tied the final score. In a team sport with no overtime (how cool would a team tug-of-war be, though?), the match was taken to the scorer’s table from there.

An efficient night of wrestling rendered the first seven criteria useless in deciding this one. The NFHS rulebook’s Criteria A-C deal with flagrant, coach misconduct and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties assessed to overall teams, head coaches and wrestlers.

Criterion D, most matches won including forfeits, was split evenly between the Trojans and Mountaineers, 7-7 (the Trojans won more contested bouts, for what it’s worth). Criterion E counts the total number of falls, defaults, forfeits and disqualifications, but Nanticoke Area and Dallas’ seven wins came exclusively by fall or forfeit.

That wiped out Criteria F and G, which tally tech falls and major decisions.

So, eight tiebreakers had to be resolved before Nanticoke Area could officially celebrate its first Division 1 victory of the season.

It’s rare for matches to end in ties, let alone go that deep in the tiebreaking process. But similar results have happened around District 2 in the past decade — and more than one came with significant consequences.

WVC Wrestling Preview

Dave Rosengrant - Times Leader

Nanticoke Area

Coach: Harold Shotwell, 7th year

Last Year: 2-5 Division 1; 10-13 overall

Key Losses: Shane Repasky

Probable Lineup: 106: Joseph Sauers, Sr.; 113: Zachery Capie, Sr.; 120: Ashton Mazzetelli, So. or Wesley Gordon, Jr.; 126: Dom Wolfe, Jr. or Kaycee Krietzer, So.; 132: Khalil Khan, Fr.; 138: Josiah Coutier, Fr. or Katey Pegarella, So.; 145: Baylee Butler, Jr. or Richard Matthews, So.; 152: Aidan Jaskulski, So or Joseph Krieger, So.; 160: Sebastian Kryznewski, So. or Nico Czeck, So.; 170: Adam Eckhart, Sr.; 182: John Pashinski, Fr.; 195: Isaiah Johnson, Sr.; 220: Jeffrey Ultsh, Fr. or Brandon Brojakowski, So.; 285: Seth Pelton, Sr.

Outlook: Crowning their first district champion in 16 years last season with heavyweight Shane Repasky taking gold, the team received a boost of interest. That led to a projection of a full lineup and a roster of nearly two dozen. The Trojans appear to be primed to make a run this season at district duals.

“Last year, really took off for us,” coach Harold Shotwell said. “I really think (Repasky winning) really had a lot to do with it. It made Nanticoke more recognizable in wrestling. And what made it big is kids put a lot into being in Triple-A. I think it was a big boost for the program.”