Tom Elling’s Wrestling Mat-ters: Tournament Time II



The active Central Mountain High School wrestling boosters will be holding a PigTen event at the Flemington Red Eye Center on Sunday, March 4. There will be a gun raffle as well as a pig roast. Doors open at 1:30 PM with the meal to start at 2:00. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. Big Ten wrestling begins at 3:00. The raffle will take place between bouts. Takeouts are available and ALL are welcome.

Contact booster president Mike Porter at 570-660-4550.


Headgear off to Ron Guenot and his BEA staff and team for their recent selfless act of making a terminally-ill and long-time wrestling fan happy by going to her home in the State College area and delivering some wrestling goodies to her. The greatness of wrestling isn’t limited to the mats.

Also congratulations to the BEA staff for being selected as theÏWrestling Staff of the Year” in District Six. Coach Guenot and his assistants work tirelessly for the betterment of wrestling for their team and, subsequently, for all of our area.


Congratulations also goes out to the Central Mountain Junior High coaching staff. Brett Kleckner (head coach) along with Arnold and Eric Coleman were recognized as the District 6ÏJunior High Staff of the Year.” All the team did was go 18-0 in duals and win two other events (Dallastown Dual and the Shamokin Tourney).

The late Lenny Vuocolo was also recognized for his mat accomplishments while wrestling for Lock Haven High and the University of Pittsburgh. Lenny’s brother Mike couldn’t make the ceremony — he is a dentist in the Atlanta, Georgia area, but brother Ron and other members of the family were there. From a personal view, I was so fortunate to get to know so many members of the Vuocolo family from day one in my collegiate, and later my teaching career at LHHS.

How about that team balance for the Wildcats this past weekend at Districts?

While Seth Andrus was the lone champion (congrats, Seth!), ten other Wildcats will be returning to the Altoona Field House for the NW AAA Regional. Logan Long (145), Asher Corl (160), Tanner Weaver (170), Mahlik Houtz (220) and Jacob Edwards all were runners-up.

Regionals get underway 5:30 PM Friday evening. Saturday at 10:00 AM. Wrestlers must place in the top three to move on to Hershey.

BEA crowned two champions (Seth Koleno 138 and Garrett Rigg (145) and will be taking eight wrestlers to Regionals. Cooper Gilham (106), Gage McClenahan (152), and Dylan Bisel (182) took seconds.

Bellefonte had no champions, but Ryan Smith finished as a runner-up at 126.

Down river a bit, Jersey Shore will be sending three to the Northeast Class AA Regional Tournament at Williamsport High. Kyle Tomb (170), Hunter O’Connor (182) and David Tomb (195) will be competing for a chance to wrestle in Hershey a week later.

Good luck to all of our locals.

Local referee (and attorney) Randy Brungard had just completed his 31st year as an arbitrater on the mats. Doesn’t seem that many years ago that Randy was having his hand raised as a District Six Champion in 1973. Our area has been fortunate to have Randy and many others who have done such a great job as officials. The PIAA is suffering a shortage of younger officials. I’d urge anyone with a knowledge of wrestling to continue to be involved as a referee. The PIAA would be glad to have you take the exam. Randy and others would be more than glad to mentor you.

Jo Anne Bowes has informed me that PBS will be involving Lock Haven in their ‘Our Town’ series. She indicated that wrestling will be a part of that special. Anyone having old wrestling video/tape/film is encouraged to submit such to me. (I’ll take good care of it and get it back ASAP).

Millersville’s Shane Ruhnke qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships on March 9-10 to be held at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Ruhnke is coached by Kerry Regner, who is married to local gal Sarah Lacy.

Another local tie is F&M coach Mike Rogers. Mike was an All-American for LHU and is married to Danielle Vilello.

I had been a bit under the weather so I had missed the passing of former Bobcat Chris Clemmer last week. Chris wrestled behind Jeff Knarr during the John Englert-coached teams back in the 60s. Chris went on to become a minister with a stop in the Renovo area. He will fondly be remembered as a gentle giant by all who knew him. Rest in Peace, Chris. I recall not-so-fondly carrying your 250+ pounds in the old LHHS practice room. I’m sure Jeff Knarr does, as well.