Tom Elling’s Wrestling Mat-ters: Weekend tournament recap

It has been a busy wrestling time for most of our local teams.

Bellefonte spent the weekend in Hampton, Virginia, finishing a strong third place in the American Division. The Raiders topped Culpeper County, VA, 66-18; Millbrook, VA , 60-13; Upper Dauphin, 53-15; Grassfield, VA, 56-20; Haddonfield, NJ 39-25. Their lone loss was to champion Floyd E. Kellam, VA 39-27. During the event, Cole Stewart (145-pounds) earned his 100th varsity win, putting him in the PA Wrestling Century Club. Congratulations to coach Mike Maney , Cole, and the entire staff and team on representing PA and our area well.

Bellefonte got right back at it wrestling at perennially-tough Huntingdon on Tuesday, knocking off the Bearcats,35-32 Top winners for the Read Raiders include Lane Aikey (19-5), Alex Coppolo (19-7), Ryan Smith (20-5), Cole Stewart (20-7), Ethan Richner (21-4), and Ethan Rossman (23-4).

Meanwhile, a bit closer to home, coach Biff Walizer’s Central Mountain Wildcats dropped their first dual of the season, finishing second to undefeated Dallastown by the margin of the tie-breaker after the meet finished in a deadlock, 28-28. The tie-breaker was criteria e – the greater number of falls.

The Wildcats opened the tournament with a resounding 67-9 win over York Suburban. They followed with a tense win over Cumberland Valley, 29-24. Although it was a team effort, 106-pounder Derek Keen provided the clincher with a first-period fall. He and Taylor Weaver pushed the finale to criteria with both gaining major decisions. Keen, Dalton Bechdel, Cody Coleman, and Alonzo Henry went 3-0, while Cyrus McCarl picked up his first varsity win at 285 with a solid decision. Johnny Shreffler’s only loss was to state-ranked Ben Monn of Cumberland Valley. He has shown he can hang with the best in the state and is close to taking the next step.

The ‘Cats didn’t have time to rest as they traveled to State College Tuesday, coming back home with a 45-24 win to up their record to 9-1. They will host a much-improved Williamsport team tonight at the CM Gym. Top records include Derek Keen (19-5). Johnny Shreffler 18-4), Dalton Bechdel (20-6), Cody Coleman, (16-8), Alonzo Henry (18-7), Tanner Riggle (19-7), and Jake Edwards (18-4).

BEA had the weekend off but returned to the mat on Tuesday with a thrashing of neighboring Tyrone, 51-15. This marked the 700th win in the proud Bald Eagle wrestling tradition. The Eagles took on struggling Juniata. The results were not available as of this writing, but I’d be shocked if Area didn’t dominate. Their 39-27 win over Philipsburg-Osceola last week indicated that they are back on the right track. They will continue their hectic week with a trip to Shikellamy. The David Close-Adam Young battle in that one should be worth the price of admission. I have also noticed the improvement of Richard Taylor. He has been wrestling with confidence. Dylan Bissel leads the team with 17 wins. Close and Cooper Gilham have 15 wins each.

The Jersey Shore Bulldogs are still searching for their first win. They came ever so close in their matchup with Wyoming Valley West in a tortured 39-38 loss. Hunter O’Connor continues to lead the way for Shore with an 18-3 record. Liam Goodrich and Zak Kline have ten wins; Kyle Tomb also sports a winning record.

Friday night is the LHU Wrestling/Baseball gun raffle social at Haywood’s. It will be a great time to mix with the Bald Eagle coaches, wrestlers and other supporters. Tickets will be available at the door. Further information can be provided by Coach Scott Moore at

LHU’s next action is a brother-vs-brother dual at Cleveland State Sunday. Josh Moore will warmly greet brother Scott then become mortal enemies for a couple hours. Both are high-energy guys and convey that to their teams. Kyle Shoop (at last look) leads the NCAA’s in tech falls. The 141-pounder had nine at last calculation. He is currently 20-5 with a very impressive 9-3 decision over Virginia’s Sam Krivus.

Luke Werner (20-8); David Fehlman (22-5); Jared Siegrist (20-7) have been the top winners. Chance Marsteller (ranked No.2 or No.3 depending on the rankings your follow) is 11-1 with just that 6-5 loss to defending NCAA Champ Vincenzo Joseph of Penn State.

More on Cleveland State. One of their recent results was a 26-19 loss to George Mason. Haven defeated GM, 28-10, back on November 29. They also have an early-season loss to Bucknell, 25-10.

Armando Torres (141), Evan Cheek (157), and Nico O’Dor (174) have been the most consistent for CS.

Lycoming will participate in the Middle Atlantic Conference Championships this weekend at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre. Leading the Warriors are former Bellefonte grappler junior 157-pounder Trevor Corl who is 17-2; former Clearfield Bison junior 197-pounder Travis Ogden (16-1) and former Canton standout senior heavyweight Garrett Wesneski (17-1). Lycoming is coached by Roger Crebs.


Thanks to Lew Jones for gifting me with his scrapbook consisting mostly of local-wrestling history. Mr. Jones was kind enough to pass it on to me via Jim Coutruriaux. Lew joins the Stehman’s (John wrestled for me), Leslie Jo Poff (Carl’s sister) and Ron Kling in passing along their collections to me. It has been a dream of mine to establish a museum to house such collection. I have a vast collection of my own. Bob Hower (among others) also has collections we’d like to see preserved and open for wrestling fans to enjoy. I have been in some preliminary discussions with some other of the same idea. Obviously, we’d need a site along with the vision and the financial resources to do so. I’ll keep you updated on any progress. I welcome YOUR ideas on such. If I win the Power Ball.. consider it one of my priorities to get done.

Brian Murphy was the head official for last Sunday’s Wisconsin at Penn State Dual meet. Brain currently resides in Baltimore. He was a PIAA State Champ for Cambria Heights at 145 in 1990. He enrolled at Notre Dame (which had wrestling at the time). Brian’s parents Harry and Sandy (Wisor) Murphy are Lock Haven State grads.

On the recent debates over officiating: Obviously good judgment and common sense must be applied. But rules are rules. Tell me, if you will- which rules would you like to see ignored or discounted? Maybe don’t call stalling.. don’t insist wrestlers shake hands at the conclusion? Ignore the two-in-a-corner dictate? A lot is left to the discretion of the individual official.. such as the hands-to-the-face infraction. Most coaches would agree as long as it is consistently applied,it is fair. Rules are outdated or universally disliked? Go through the process of getting them revisited. I submit there are very, very few referees who would be biased. Walk a mile in their shoes before being so critical. Oh, and, by the way, we are in need of more officials. I can put you in contact with the PIAA to work of yours.

I really like that NCAA coaches always have their Track Wrestling results up-to-date. I wish that the high school coaches would be as diligent. Many are.. but some drag their feet in doing one of the tasks that is expected and required of them. I understand colleges have Sports Information Directors, but I am also sure if the old ‘not-enough-time’ excuse is played, that there surely are boosters, assistants etc who would step forward to get it done in a timely manner. I have been disappointed in trying to get a statewide project of compiling results (team and individual) compiled. We sometimes wonder why numbers are dropping off and there are so many forfeits. I submit something Vince Lombardi said so long ago: “The hardest worker on the team must be the head coach.”