Tom Elling’s Wrestling Mat-ters: Weekend tournament wrestling preview

Wintery weather has arrived as have the final-team rankings for the District 6 Dual Meet Championships, as kept by Rich Vetock. Central Mountain was ranked the No. 2 seed with a 10-1 record, while Mifflin County was 9-2. The deadline for the rankings was Tuesday, Jan. 22. That is one night before the two high-powered teams were scheduled to meet at the Mifflin County site.

Also, don’t overlook Bellefonte as the Red Raiders have been doing a super job, placing third in the very tough Virginia duals along with impressive wins over two previously-undefeated teams in Penns Valley and Huntingdon. They also dropped rival Bald Eagle Tuesday night by an impressive 49-18 score.

Bald Eagle Area will be competing in the Class AA mix this season and was in ninth place at last check. AA will be taking the top twelve teams, while AAA will take the top six. The top two teams in AAA get a first-round bye.

Rankings are earned according to the following:

1. 100 points are awarded to a team for each win that they have.

2. 10 points are awarded to a team for every win that their opponent has recorded.

3. 50 points are awarded to a team that loses to a team with a winning record (.500 or above)

4. 20 Points are awarded when a Class AA school beats a Class AAA team

5. -20 Points are taken away when a Class AAA school defeats a Class AA team.

6. Since not all the schools wrestle the same amount of matches, the total points are divided by

the number of matches wrestled to give their percentage.

After all the points are calculated for each team, they are sorted from highest to lowest to rank the teams for the dual meet tournament.

Last week I mentioned a number of those who have given me their scrapbook, photos , etc from wrestling past. I forgot to include Judy Carpenter, who gave me some very valuable clippings and photos from both LHHS and LHSC. Janet Seybold is also gathering her collection to pass on to me. I hope to scan and post a lot of information from these and the others. A sincere thank you to all those who have been so generous and kind.

I learned something new from an obit in last week’s Williamsport Sun-Gazette. George L. Kearney passed away at age 92. Coach Kearney founded the wrestling program at Milton High School in District 4. I am sure he was very proud of Dale Cochran, Bob Greenly, and Bobby Crawford who contributed so much to that program over the years.

Last week, Central Mountain wrestled at State College. I was very impressed with the National Anthem performed by four young men from the State High Choral group. The harmony and delivery was as good as any I’ve heard.

Hats off to the CM Junior High team for their 3rd place in the very tough Bellefonte tournament last Saturday. The young Wildcats placed ten wrestlers in the 18 weights. Only Central Dauphin and Canon McMillan finished above them. Other perennial powerhouses in the event included Nazareth, Connellsville, Trinity, Cumberland Valley, Easton, Reynolds and up-and-coming Williamsport.

Dalton Perry was the lone champion, but Liam Flanagan, Luke Simcox /Tristan Probst, and Damien Galentine were runners-up. Other top finishers were Braylen Corter (6th); Griffin Walizer (4th); Chase Brush (6th); Ashton Intallura (3rd) and Micah Walizer (4th). A tip of the headgear to head coach Kleckner and assistants Eric Coleman and Dylan Caprio. The team has been undefeated in dual meets for the past 3 1/2 years.

Many of you will remember Dick Tressler, the two-time state champ for Homer Barr’s State College teams back in the late ’50s and early ’60s. Dick passed away this week at his winter residence in Florida. He was a regular at our Central PA Wrestling Breakfasts and coached at Lewistown for many years. He, along with his late brother Gene, were wrestling legends.

Also, some of you may know the name Al Wolstenholm. Al wrestled at West Chester and then was a long-time coach at Owen J Roberts High in suburban Philadelphia. Sadly, he too died last week.

Gavin Teasdale, the most recent 4-time PIAA champion has reportedly left Penn State. Coach Cael Sanderson reported that he expects Teasdale to transfer and gives his best wishes and blessing to the young man. He attended Jefferson-Morgan High (the alma mater of Cary Kolat). His destination is unknown at the time of this column.

The LHU Wrestling/Baseball fundraiser at Haywood’s last Friday was a huge success. Fans from across the state were in attendance. Two of them were former coaches: Bear Stephens (Coatesville) and John Little of Solanco. John retired from coaching at the end of last season. He sent Ronnie Perry and Thomas Haines to the Bald Eagles. Bear’s son Chase Stephens recently transferred to LHU from Tennessee-Chattanooga. Also there were several Conkins in attendance. Ed and George (former Bobcat wrestlers) were most prominent. They both also work the main table at all Penn State home wrestling dual meets.

Penn State downed Nebraska last week and for the second-straight outing did not score any bonus points but still won, 25-6. Do you think the fans may be spoiled? Not only is Rec Hall a great venue to watch the Nittany Lions wrestle, but it is also a good spot for mini-wrestling reunions. We had the chance to catch up with former LHSTC wrestler Bobby Lynch of Mifflinburg. Bob said that Gray Simons was planning on coming to the meet but the bad weather put a halt on that. Bob’s son, Dr. Scott Lynch, is the PSU football team physician and also serves at many PIAA State Championships in that capacity. His other son, Mike, is an airline pilot, flying mostly out of DC. Mike’s son Adam wrestled for State and now serves as one of the chief administrators for the Penn State wrestling program.

Other great wrestling people there were Bob Hower, Galen Dreibelbis, Marty Strayer, Dick Rhoades, Al Curtis and Greg Stine. And the usual rabid fans the Couturiauxs and the McCalls – not to be confused with the Hatfield and McCoys. There were many others which I try to highlight in my ‘faces-in-the-crowd’ photo segment on my Facebook wrestling page, ie Kurt Hinton, Craig and Carl Russell, Greg Kunes, Mike and Lynne Gray. (I always cringe at making lists because invariably I forget someone.) So apologies to any I neglected to mention.

This Friday Arizona State wrestles LHU at Red Lion High School; Penn State is at Purdue and Bellefonte comes to the Central Mountain gym. Then Sunday finds PSU at Indiana, while the Bald Eagles will host Millersville. Millersville is coached by Kerry Regner whose wife is the former Sarah Lacy, a Lock Haven High grad.

BEA will be a part of the West Branch Ultimate Warrior Tournament in Allport. Charlie Barner’s Sugar Valley Phoenix team heads north to take on Sullivan County tonight.

Next week more on the post-season dates and times.

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