Given the pedigree of both Walsh Jesuit and Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy wrestling, any dual meet between the cross-road rivals is an event.
However, the two Wyoga Lake Road powerhouses had an upstart from the banks of the Ohio River join the party.
Steubenville showed it is a force to be reckoned with during a tri-meet Dec. 19 at CVCA. The match featured the teams ranked second (CVCA), third (Walsh) and fifth (Steubenville) in the opening Ohio Wrestling Coaches Association poll.
However, the Warriors were absent three of their starters for various reasons, which led to a long night.
CVCA routed Walsh 63-9 and handled Steubenville 43-25. The Big Red defeated Walsh 68-8.
CVCA improved to 2-1 in dual meets, while Walsh opened at 0-2.
Royals coach Dave Bergen said his team took care of business.
"I thought we wrestled well," Bergen said. "We wanted to stay aggressive on the attack and we did that for the most part. We've got a long way to go, though."
CVCA left nothing to chance against the Big Red, winning the first eight bouts and nine of the first 10.
Steubenville benefited from two CVCA forfeits, but the match was clinched by that point.
Interestingly, neither Steubenville or Walsh decided to face CVCA 120-pounder Nate Tomasello. The two teams each gave him a forfeit win.
Junior 145-pounder Rick Simonelli scored a couple of entertaining pins. After giving up the first takedown to Steubenville's Niko Moray, Simonelli used a rarely seen leg cradle to stick Moray in 1:46. Simonelli then used a spladle to pin Walsh's James Kelly in 37 seconds.
"Ricky's got a lot of talent," Bergen said. "He needs to keep working on those moves and the more basic stuff."
Other double winners on the night for CVCA included: 113 pounder Ryan Bennett (decision, pin); 126-pounder Jimmy Coyne (two pins); senior Josh Decatur (injury default, decision) and 182-pounder Tyler Maclellan (major decision, forfeit).
Steubenville coach Mike Blackburn said his team did a so-so job against the two powerhouses.
"With CVCA finishing [third] in the state last year and only losing two starters, we knew it would be a big test for us," Blackburn said. "We were missing one of our state qualifiers [126-pounder Anthony Craig]. They have a great low- to mid-weight lineup. We didn't wrestle well and they wrestled very well."
Walsh coach Fred Daugherty saw his lineup missing 106-pounder Alex Mackall due to weight issues, 160-pounder Brad Ward due to injury and 170-pounder Nick Rumple due to a death in the family.
With an already short lineup, Daugherty said he considered not participating in the tri-meet.
"I knew it was going to be a tough night," Daugherty said. "The younger kids got some experience, so we know what we need to work on."
Walsh's lone double winner on the night was All-Ohioan Mike Kostandaras.
Wrestling at 132 pounds, Kostandaras scored a 3-0 win over Steubenville's Anthony Parada, then defeated CVCA's Andy Dobben 7-1 at 138 pounds.
Walsh also got a pin in 3:19 by 220-pounder Spencer Theiss over CVCA's Paul Gibson and had 126-pounder Nolan Whitely score a 16-1 technical fall on Steubenville's Mike Pearson. However, those were Walsh's only wins on the night.
CVCA was set for a quad meet at West Geauga with Beachwood and Kentson Dec. 21, but results were not available at press time.
The Royals will next see action Dec. 28 and 29 at the Medina Invitational Tournament.
Meanwhile, Daugherty said he expected to have his full lineup back in time for the Powerade Tournament Dec. 28 and 29. The tournament will take place at Cannon McMillan High School, located south of Pittsburgh.