Lock Haven Bald Eagles place third overall in EWL Tournament
BLOOMSBURG — While winning an Eastern Wrestling League team title is important, the most important thing for the wrestlers individually is to punch their meal ticket to the NCAA Division I Championships to be staged at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
Saturday at Nelson Field House, the 2017 edition of the EWL championships unfolded with a lot of bloody noses, loud buzzers and whistles and yes, a lot of good NCAA Division I wrestling.
When the smoke cleared Saturday night, the Edinboro Fighting Scots walked off with the team title by amassing 121.5 points with the Bald Eagles finishing third with 74.5 points.
However, the bright spot for the Bald Eagles is that they will be sending at least three wrestlers to the national tournament.
“I thought coming into the tournament that we had a good shot at getting those three guys to nationals,” said LHU head coach Scott Moore. “It is always good to wrestle to your seed. As for the team performance, we still have a couple of guys (Kyle Shoop and Tristan Sponseller) who have a chance to get an at-large bid to the tournament. I am proud of the way the guys wrestled and fought back when they were down as well as Adam Mackie who went out as a senior in a match that could have gone either way. It was just a great day for the program, probably our best EWL tournament since I have been the coach.”
To start the day off the Bald Eagles went 8-for-10 in the championship quarterfinals.
Advancing to the second championship round were D. J. Fehlman (major decision at 133), Ronnie Perry (technical fall at 149), Kyle Shoop (bye at 149), Jon Ross (decision at 157), Jared Siegrist (technical fall at 165), Adam Mackie (bye at 174), Tristan Sponseller (bye at 197) and Thomas Haines (major decision at 285).
Of the eight quarterfinal survivors, four found their way to the championship finals.
D. J. Fehlman broke open a close bout with Rider’s Anthony Cefelo before he decked Cefelo with 33 seconds left in the bout. In the finals, Fehlman gave it a good effort, but came up short of Edinboro’s Korbin Myers for a 7-3 loss to settle for second.
However, for Fehlman, the loss was actually a bittersweeet win as in accordance with the true second, he will be headed to nationals having defeated Cefelo earlier in the tournament.
“Right now it is just a great feeling,” said Fehlman about heading to St. Louis. “I wasn’t a starter at the beginning of the season and it is just a great honor to be out here with my teammates. Having (Ronnie) Perry in the weight class right above me to work out with me has given me a better mindset, make me tougher all around and made me a better wrestler. I think it is starting to click for me. I am starting to get a lot more confident.”
With Perry right above Fehlman (at 141), the situation is the best of both worlds for both wrestlers as solid teammates and good workout partners.
“It was good competition in the room and a case of what is he doing that I can do to make me better,” Fehlman said. “I just like the atmosphere around these guys. Everybody is supportive and nobody is jealous of anybody. If you work hard and do whatever it takes to get there, everybody is happy for you and I just love the Lock Haven atmosphere.”
Perry outlasted George Mason’s Tejon Anthony by a 4-2 win in typical Perry Fashion for his gold medal. In the title bout, Perry went up early on Clarion’s Brock Zacherl before holding Zacherl off for a 5-3 win and his EWL title.
“It was a log time coming and it feels real good, especially coming against a tough opponent like (Brock) Zacherl,” said Perry. “We have wrestled twice already in the EWL. I just can’t thank by friends, teammates, coaches and family enough because they all play a huge role in this win for me tonight.”
As for getting the early lead and then wrestling tough down the home stretch, Perry said, “I felt pretty comfortable that whole last period on top. It was just something about the coaches working me to get my hands on them (his opponents). A lot of the time, I move too much from the outside and make myself tired so I think that was the game plan coming in. It quickly became break him down, grind him and ride it out. Coach (Scott) Moore preaches the importance of riding your opponent tough for two whole periods.”
For his outstanding tournament while avenging two losses during the season to a returning EWL champion, Perry was awarded the Outstanding Wrestler Award.
Adam Mackie became the Eagles third finalist as he used some of the typical Mackie funky moves to double up on Dominic Riggous 10-5 for his berth in the finals. In the battle for the gold medal, Mackie fell short of the top rung on the podium when he dropped a 12-8 decision to Ty Schofstall of Edinboro.
Completing the quartet of LHU finalists was the biggest Eagle in Thomas Haines. Haines repeated a win over Rider’s Mauro Correnti, putting together an escape and takedown for a 3-0 shutout over the biggest Bronc.
After owning a pair of close wins over Edinboro’s William Miller, Haines fell short in the third matchup, Miller claiming a 7-3 overtime win over Haines for the title.
“I am a little bit bummed out about the loss,” said Haines. “But that is OK because in two weeks I’ll have a chance to do it all over again and possibly avenge it. The important thing at this level is to advance so I’ll be able to do it again. Knowing that I can’t be too upset.”
As for having met Miller twice before this season, Haines didn’t feel that was an advantage for either wrestler.
“I certainly like to study my opponents that I wrestle more than once who I can’t quite get the edge on,” said Haines. “I think it might have been more important to him to win this one because I beat him twice before. There are a lot of factors that go into that.”
The Bald Eagles had three other wrestlers place third in Kyle Shoop (149), Jon Ross (157) and Tristan Ponselle (197).
In the medal bouts, Shoop downed Clarion’s Jake Keller 3-0, Ross surprised George Mason’s Matt Raines 7-3 and Sponseller blanked Dylan Reynolds of Edinboro 4-0. In his semifinal bout with Dustin Conti of Clarion, it appeared that Sponseller had the winning takedown, only to have the call reversed on an official review that eventually cost him the match.
Team Key: Bloomsburg (B), Clarion (Clar), Cleveland State (CS), Edinboro (Ed), George Mason (GM), Lock Haven (LH), Rider (R).
Final Team Scores: 1. Edinboro 121.5, 2. Rider 75, 3. Lock Haven 71.5, 4. Clarion 48.5, 5. George Mason 27.5, 6. Cleveland State 21, Bloomsburg 5.5.
125 — Sean Russell, Ed, pinned Jake Field, LH, 3:24; I. Banduka GM, bye; Gerald Wert, R, dec. Willy Girard, B, bye: Jake Gromacki, Clar, tech. fall John Martin, CS, 18-0, 2:40;
133 — Korbin Myers, Ed, bye; Mark Noble, B, dec. Roshaun Cooley, Clar, 7-0; Andrew Coghill, CS, pinned Anthony Cefolo, R, 4:41; D. J. Fehlman, LH, maj. dec. Lio Quezada, GM, 12-1.
141 — Brock Zacherl, Clar, bye; Evan Cheek, CS, tech. fall, Evan Fidelibus, R, 16-0, 5:40; Tejon Anthony dec. Nate Hagan, Ed, 4-3; Ronnie Perry, LH, tech. fall Grant Bond, B, 17-0, 5:40.
149 — Patricio Lugo, Ed, pinned Sam Matzek, CS, 2:50; Jake Keller, Clar, dec. Gino Fluri, R, 3-2; Kyle Shoop, LH, bye; Sahid Kargbo, GM, maj. dec. Nate Newberry, B, 15-6.
157 — B. J. Clagon, R, bye; Jon Ross, LH, dec. Kevin Laubach, 1-0; Matt Raines, GM, dec. Ryan Montgomery, CS, 4-2; Chase Delande, Ed, tech. fall Mac Turner, Clar, tech. fall. Mac Turner, Clar, 20-2, 6:06.
165 — Chad Walsh, R, bye; Jared Siegrist, tech. fall, Daniel Mika, GM, 19-4, 5:28; Evan Delong, Clar, dec. John Vaughn, CS, 8-1; Austin Matthews, Ed, pinned John Barber, B, 2:44.
174 — Ty Schofstall, Ed, tech. fall Devon Pingel, CS, 19-0, 3:00; Dean Sherry, R, maj. dec. Trevor Albert, B, 15-6; Dominic Riggous, Clar, dec. Ryan Forrestt, GM, 3-1; Adam Mackie, LH, bye.
184 — Dakota Geer, Ed, tech. fall 19-0, 3:00; Scott Marmoll, Clar, dec. Corey Hazel, LH, 5-3 OT s.v.; Nick Corba, CS, dec. Kyle Murphy, B, 4-0; M. Fagg-
Dawes, R, bye.
197 — Ryan Wolfe, R, bye; Dylan Reynolds, Ed, dec. Matt Meadows, GM, 3-0 OT; Dustin Conti, Clar, tech. fall Collin Kelly, CS, 18-0, 5:38; Tristan Sponseller, LH, bye.
285 — Thomas Haines, LH, maj. dec. Bruce Graeber, B, 12-2; Mauro Conti, R, pinned Mike Furbee, CS, :37; Matt Voss, GM, bye; Billy Miller, Ed, dec. Evan Dailey, Clar, 4-2 OT s.v.
Consolation First Round
125 — Martin dec. Girard, OT 12-10, s.v.
133 — Quezada pinned Cefeclo, :42.
141 — Hagan dec. Bond, 7-4.
149 — Fluri dec. Matzek, 9-6.
157 — Tanner dec. Montgomery, 6-5.
165 — Vaughn dec. Barber, 8-4.
174 — Pingel pinned Allard, 1:22.
184 — Hazel maj. dec. Harrison, 17-8.
285 — Graeber pinned Furbee, 3:30.
125 — Russell dec. Banduka, 9-4; Gromacki dec. Wert, 2-1.
133 — Myers maj. dec. Noble, 16-6; Fehlman pinned Cefolo, 5:27.
141 — Zacherl dec. Cheek, 9-5; Perry dec. Anthony, 4-2.
149 — Lugo pinned Keller, 3:27; Kargbo dec. Shoop, 10-4.
157 — Clagon maj. dec. Ross, 12-0; Delanda dec. Raines, 6-1.
165 — Walsh maj. dec. Siegrist, 10-1; Matthews maj. dec. Delong, 11-1.
174 — Schofstall dec. Sherry, 10-8 OT, s.v.; Mackie dec. Riggous, 10-5.
184 — Geer dec. Marmoll, 6-1; Dawes dec. Corba, 4-1.
197 — Wolfe tech. fall Reynolds, 22-7, 5:53; Conti dec. Sponseller, 3-1 OT, s.v. 1.
285 — Haines dec. Correnti, 3-0; Miller dec. Voss, 6-1.
125 — Wert dec. Field, 6-4; Banduka maj. dec. Martin, 18-10.
133 — Cefolo dec. Cooley, 4-3 OT, t.b. 1; Noble maj. dec. Quezala, 13-5.
141 — Fidelibus dec. Anthony, 10-6; Cheek dec. Hagan, 8-2.
149 — Shoop dec. Fluri, 5-1; Keller dec. Newberry 10-5.
157 — Raines dec. Laubach, 15-9 OT, s.v. 1; Ross dec. Tanner, 13-9.
165 — Delong dec. Mika, 6-2; Vaughn dec. Siegrist, 7-5 OT. s.v.
174 — Rigouss dec. Pinej, 6-2; Sherry dec. Forrestt. 13-6.
184 — Corba dec. Hazel, 7-3; Marmoll dec. Murphy, 2-1 OT.
197 — Sponseller dec. Meadows, 7-1; Reynolds tech. fall Kelly, 18-0, 2:58
285 — Voss dec. Graeber, 5-1; Correnti dec. Daley, 2-1.
Consolation Finals (for third place)
125 — Bonduka dec. Wert, 4-3.
133 — Cefelo maj. dec. Noble, 11-2.
141 — Cheek maj. dec. Fidelibus, 11-2.
149 — Shoop dec. Keller, 3-0.
157 — Ross dec. Raines, 7-3.
165 — Delong dec. Vaughn, 3-2.
174 — Sherry dec. Rigous, 6-4.
184 — Daves dec. Marmoll, 7-4.
197 — Sponseller dec. Reynolds, 4-0
285 — Correnti dec. Voss, 3-2.
125 — Russell dec. Gromacki, 10-3.
133 — Myers dec. Fehlman, 7-3.
141 — Perry dec. Zacherl, 5-3.
149 — Lugo tech. fall 17-2, 6:34 over Kargbo.
157 — Clogan maj. dec. Delande, 9-1.
165 — Walsh dec. Matthews, 9-5.
174 — Schofstall dec. Mackie, 12-8.
184 — Geer dec. Corba, 6-3
197 — Wolfe dec. Conti, 9-2.
285 — Miller def. Haines, 7-3 OT, t.b. 1
OW: Ronnie Perry, Lock Haven, 141-pound champion