It was a red out at Ligouri Field House Wednesday night as the Mercyhurst North East Wrestling team hosted Military appreciation night. Prior to the match against Niagara County Community College, all veterans of the United States military were honored. Head Coach Aaron Cooper orchestrated the event and coordinated a "red out" where all fans in attendance received red t-shirts playing tribute to veterans.
Nick Oosterkamp kicked off the night for the Saints winning by decision at 125lbs. The Thunder Wolves of NCCC then rallied off three straight wins at 133lbs 141lbs and 149lbs, one by fall and two by major decision.
At 157, Spencer Head won a tough match by decision cutting the deficit to 14-6.
After a loss at 165 and the Saints trailing 19-6 the highlight of the night ensued
United States Marine veteran Baren Berg took center stage at 174, and did not disappoint. After being taken down early, Berg bounced back in a big way. Berg took his opponent from a neutral position and promptly hip tossed him followed by a quick pin and victory. Berg let out a loud emotional yell and was greeted by "USA" chants from the crowded gymnasium. Baren Berg's victory changed the entire climate of the match.
With the Saints now trailing 19-12 after Bergs victory, Draven Douglas worked his way to a victory by decision in another tough fought match.
NCCC forfeited at 197, which gave the Saints a 21-19 lead heading into the final match of the night.
The final match saw Hunter Harnish, the Saints usual 197 pounder matched up against NCCC's 285-pound heavyweight. Giving up over 80lbs, Harnish channeled technique and toughness to come away victorious in an impressive victory.
The Saints are back in action Sunday November 11 at Henry Ford CC