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Wrestling finding success, despite injured lineup

Story first appeared in Jan. 29 edition of the Spectator.

After claiming its fourth straight PSAC championship, Edinboro wrestling head coach Tim Flynn said, “We have more we want to achieve.”

The defending NWCA/NCAA Division I coach of the year was referring to the goals he and his team have on the national stage and the road to the national championships has been a mixed bag for the Fighting Scots.

Edinboro has experienced success since its season-opening loss to Pitt at home, but it has come at a price as multiple Scots have been sidelined with injuries.

The Fighting Scots scored dual-meet victories over Cleveland State, Clarion, Lehigh, Kent State, Rider, Bloomsburg and also grabbed a PSAC Championship (See A-1) as well as a pair of fourth-place finishes at both the Virginia Duals and the Midlands Championship.

“It has been good,” head coach Tim Flynn said about the last six weeks for his team. “There’s been a lot of ups and downs. Certainly we are all improving. Now we have to get healthy, is the big thing and keep them going…I think things are progressing well.”

The success has come at a price as nationally-ranked, first-year Scot Austin Matthews (157 lbs.) went down with an injury right before winter break, second-ranked at 133 lbs., A.J. Schopp suffered an undisclosed injury during the Midlands Championship on Dec. 30 that caused him to submit a medical forfeit in his third-place match, and Zach Towers is out at 174 lbs.

“A big goal of ours is to get people healthy,” Flynn reiterated in a phone interview Sunday evening. “We want them to be feeling good by the end of the year.”

Flynn also noted that there is now consideration of redshirting Matthews this season, due to the large amount of time that he has missed.

Through it all, Edinboro persevered and actually succeeded, peaking as high as 10th in the NWCA/NCAA poll and was ranked 15th in the Jan. 20 poll.

Individually the Scots found plenty of success at the Midlands Championship on Dec. 29 and 30. Mitchell Port won his second consecutive title at 141 at Midlands, Dave Habat (149) finished second after losing the championship match in a tiebreaker and Vic Avery (184) finished fifth.

Someone that used Midlands as a launch pad is Warren Bosch. The redshirt-junior has come up huge in multiple matches recently for the Scots and received EWL Wrestler of the Week honors earlier this month.

“I think Warren is just getting more and more confident with wrestling in that weight class,” Flynn said. “He has won a couple duals for us which will certainly help his confidence and he got two more wins this weekend. He is wrestling well.”

Despite all the success, the regular season is winding down and other than winning, the Scots have won thing on their mind.

“I think the big thing, again, is to get our bodies healthy,” Flynn said. “Trying to feel good and get our weight under control. Also, trying to improve on any little thing that we need to fix looking towards the end of the season.”

Boro visits Fairfax, Virginia for a EWL match against George Mason University on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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