CHS sophomore Merrigan competes at national wrestling tourneyBy Canton Citizen
Canton High School sophomore Quinn Merrigan, a standout wrestler on the Bulldogs’ varsity wrestling team, recently competed at the NHSCA High School National Wrestling tournament, held March 28-30 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. During the winter season Merrigan compiled a record of 31-17 and also made it to both the Division 3 sectional and state finals.
“Quinn as a sophomore already gained a lot of experience this year against great competition,” explained CHS head wrestling coach Brian Caffelle, “and you only become a better wrestler when you face the best out there. This was a perfect opportunity for him to wrestle against the top competition this country has to offer in his weight and age group.”
After weighing in at his regular season weight of 120 pounds, Merrigan earned his first national win in dramatic fashion against his opponent from Colorado. With the match in a scoreless tie and with time running out, Merrigan turned his opponent to his back as time expired. After a quick review by the official, the Canton grappler had won his first match.
“That was huge,” said Caffelle. “He wrestled his tail off, and it gave him a lot of confidence. He felt comfortable on the mat and didn’t let the stage overwhelm him, which is impressive for someone so young. Overall a great match.”
Merrigan’s second match was quite different as he lost 6-0 to an Arizona wrestler who eventually earned All-American status in the tournament. Former Canton High wrestling coach Tom Bartosek, who also made the trip to Virginia Beach, still saw a lot in the match that he liked.
“There were some calls that could have gone either way, and Quinn’s opponent ended up getting them in his favor,” noted Bartosek. “That being said, Quinn’s defense got into his [opponent’s] head and after a couple of shots didn’t take any chances trying to attack Quinn on his feet. He gave him a good run for his money, especially someone who now is an All-American.”
Merrigan’s final match against a sophomore from Florida was tough to swallow as he came up short 4-2 in a tightly contested match.
“He almost secured a takedown in the first period, but in the official’s eyes didn’t meet the criteria,” Caffelle said. “Then in the second, he gave up some back points when he got reversed and never could get back in the match besides a reversal of his own.”
Overall the coaches were impressed with Merrigan’s performance and hope that this leads to more of his teammates qualifying next season.
“[Merrigan] is already a contender to win the sections and states next year, and this tournament reinforces that notion,” Caffelle said. “But this will help him work harder to achieve those goals and do better next year when he comes back.
“I’m excited to see where this leads Quinn for the next few seasons, and as a coach, I hope this gets the rest of the guys on the team motivated to get to his level and maybe compete at nationals themselves.”
Short URL: http://www.thecantoncitizen.com/?p=12911