Tom Elling’s Wrestling ‘Mat-ters’: Local teams thriving
Locals are off to a fast start. LHU, after pulling a mild upset of No. 11 Rutgers, followed that with a solid team effort at the PSACs. The Bald Eagles dethroned Edinboro (who finished third behind Clarion).
Ronnie Perry (149), Chance Marsteller (165), Jared Siegrist (174), Corey Hazel (184), and Thomas Haines (285) all claimed gold medals. Kyle Shoop (141) finished second, while DJ Fehlman nabbed third at 133, Josiah Kline finished fourth at 125, and Tristan Sponseller was fifth at 197.
Marsteller was the OW breezing through the tournament with three falls and a tech fall. Perry and Haines repeated as champions.
The Bald Eagles scored 156 team points. Clarion (122) was second, Edinboro came in third (120.5). Pitt-Johnstown was fourth, and Mercyhurst finished fifth.
This weekend, Scott Moore’s team will take a short trip to Williamsport’s Liberty Arena on Saturday. They will take on Wheeling Jesuit (2:00 PM), Messiah (3:30 PM), and rival Bloomsburg (5:30 PM). After the Williamsport event, the Eagles are off until Dec. 29th when they host 11 or so teams in the Lock Haven Classic. LHU is now ranked No. 22 in the USA Today/NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll and No. 17 in the InterMat Dual Meet Rankings.
Having similar success, the Wildcats of Central Mountain outdistanced the competition in the Tom Best Memorial claiming the title with three champions, two runner-ups, a third, two fourths, a sixth and two sevenths. CM scored 209 points, Line Mountain was second (149.5), Muncy came in third (146.5), Montoursville finished fourth (142.5) and Mifflinburg (131) was next in line at fifth. Jersey Shore, who entered just seven wrestlers, was 15th (60.5). Bald Eagle Area did not enter this year, citing wanting to enter the King of the Mountain for stiffer competition. CM’s winners were Seth Andrus (132), Logan Long (145), and Tanner Weaver (170). Full results were posted earlier in the Express. A full recap can be found at Flo Arena.
The Wildcats then opened their dual meet season at Shamokin. trouncing the District 4 squad 63-6. Shamokin forfeited five weights. There were just a handful of close bouts. Seth Andrus stayed unbeaten with a 3-1 win over Devin Pietkewicz. The two met for the third straight year with Andrus taking all three in close decisions. At 170, Tanner Weaver led early, but gave up a late takedown to drop an 8-7 match to Class AA 7th-state placer Jacob Carpenter. The 285 match-up saw Jacob Edwards edge Shamokin’s Trent Curcie, 3-2. Next up is the King of the Mountain this Friday and Saturday.
Bald Eagle Area opened strong with a 40-30 win over Clearfield. BEA newcomer Cooper Gilham (106) , Garrett Giedroc (113), Seth Koleno (138), Garrett Rigg (145), Gage McClenahan (160), Richard Taylor (170), David Close (195), and Kurtis Hall (285) all won for the Eagles, who were accorded in my computer rankings (in my PA Wrestling Handbook) as the No. 1 tournament team in District 6.
Trouble in River City?
Well, so to speak. It appears that the next two-year PIAA Classification, two long-time teams that have elected to go the higher AAA Classification (Bald Eagle Area and Philipsburg-Osceola) have elected to go the Class AA route. Couple that this year with three of the Erie schools (Strong Vincent, Teach and East) combined and there is a probability that General McLane and a couple more District 10 schools will go AA. What this means is that it is very likely that this March will be the last of the NW AAA Region. I’ll expand on this in a future column.
Norm Palovcsik will serve as King of the Mountain tournament director for the last time. Norm has been in charge for the past 17 years and is looking for some R&R in Florida during the chilly Pennsylvania days in December.
This year includes 32 teams with only two weight classes filling in the brackets with those 32.
Palovcsik states that teams expected to challenge for the team title are Chestnut Ridge with three returning PIAA medalists including state champion Justin McCoy, Bishop McCort with three state placewinners including PIAA runners-up Anthony Walters and Josiah Jones, Bishop McDevitt with three medalists, Susquehanna Township with three state placewinners including Ruth and four state qualifiers, and Phillipsburg (NJ) with two state placewinners and four state qualifiers.
They will be joined by Bald Eagle Area with two medalists and three qualifiers, Mifflin County with two medalists, Burrell with three state qualifiers, and Fort LeBoeuf with a pair of state medalists.
THE TIME SCHEDULE IS:
Friday Round I – 2:00; Round II – 5:30; Saturday Quarters – 10:00; Semis 1:30; Finals 4:45.
OTHER AREA SCORES ON INTEREST INCLUDE:
Athens 56, Wellsboro 18; Bedford 54, Somerset 15; Brockway 46, Ridgway 24; Brookville 60, Clarion 18; Brookville 60, Clarion 18; Cambria Heights 52, Richland 24; Cathedral Preparatory 62, Mcdowell 13; Forest Hills 54, Greater Johnstown 19; Huntingdon 63, Tyrone 9; Mifflinburg 60, Loyalsock 9; Montgomery 65, South Williamsport 15; Montoursville 67, Canton 10; Mount Union 69, Bellwood Antis 6; Muncy 69, Bloomsburg 11; Penn Cambria 38, Central Cambria 30; Penns Valley 42, Central (Martinsburg) 36; Tussey Mountain 51, Juniata Valley 18; Warrior Run 66, Hughesville 9; West Branch 54, Claysburg Kimmel 20; Westmont Hilltop 49, Bishop McCort 18.