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Tom Elling’s Wrestling mat-ters:Wildcats host Mifflin County Huskies tonight

Central Mountain’s (5-0) big dual meet with Mifflin County (4-0) was postponed from Tuesday until tonight at Mill Hall.

The impending snow storm was the reasoning. By all counts, it should be a good dual meet. Both teams have shown some brilliance. Mifflin County had a strong showing at the King of the Mountain (KOM) then stumbled a bit at the PowerAde. Central Mountain had a good showing at the Tom Best Memorial Top Hat then similarly slipped a bit at the KOM. Match-ups, as always, are crucial. The Wildcats, to win– can’t give up bonus points.

What a great idea holding a JV/JH event last weekend at the Central Mountain gym. It gave a lot of non-starting wrestlers some well-deserved and needed mat exposure. For the girls, Madison Packer took a 3rd at 105, while her teammate Olivia Miller was 5th at the same weight class. In the JV division, taking championships were Clayton Foster, Paul Risley, and Curtis Stover. Runner-up awards went to Tristan Probst, Ashton Smith, Lucas Porter, Micah Walizer and Landyn Carson. The junior high top finishers were Luke Ananea, Griffin Kerstetter, Cameron Quick, Ben Temple, Axel Welch-Yost, Brody Long, and Jason Reeder. Second placers included Ashton Bennett, Malachi Gottshall, Dakota McDermott and Logan Gunsallus.

BEA had a similar event. It is always good to get those who works so hard in the room a chance to compete. I noticed that Julian Wilt was a 4th placer for the Wildcats in the SH division. Julian’s father, Brian, was a standout for the Lock Haven Bobcats “few” years ago. The late Dan Wilt (Brian’s father) was among several boosters (Tom Krouse, Steve Toboz, the Rinellas, the Merrifields) who got the Lock Haven Christmas Classic started. That tournament, along with the Bald Eagle-Nittany morphed into the current King of the Mountain.

Sugar Valley Rural Charter School was busy last weekend. The Phoenix dropped a dual to a stong Muncy team 46-18 on Friday. Gavin Hampton (126), Dominick Kennedy (138), Corey King (182), and Bashier Tressler (285) picked up wins.

On Saturday, Jan. 4, they traveled to the South Williamsport Invitational. Bash Tressler (220) took 2nd place, Naaman Conoway (120) took 3rd, Gavin Hampton (126) and Dom Kennedy (138) both took 4th, and Corbin Homan (145) finished with 5th.

The Bald Eagle Duals were also held last weekend. Todd Warner, our dependable Howard correspondent, informed us that BEA went 4-1, downing Jersey Shore 49-22, Altoona 43-30, Faquier VA 40-33, and Hollidaysburg 61-12. Their lone loss was to a solid State College team 46-21. State High also dropped previously unbeaten Bellefonte, 41-29. Lane Aikey was out of the Raider lineup or that result could have been a toss-up. Jersey Shore had it a bit rougher dropping all five duals: Bellefonte 57-24; Hollidayburg 39-27; Altoona 42-34; BEA 49-22 and State College 56-12. Shore is waiting for transfer clearance for two wrestlers who have returned from down South. The PIAA has been reviewing that this week.

Bellefonte reported four duals, winning three: 50-22 over Altoona; 42-37 over Fauquier, VA; 57-24 over Jersey Shore Area and the loss to State 41-29.

Bellefonte will travel to Claysburg-Kimmel on Jan. 9 then head straight to Hampton, Virginia for the 40th annual Virginia Duals. The Raiders will compete in the American Division. They are seeded third and open with First Colonial. If they win, they get the winner of the Chantilly versus St. John’s survivor. This is a good chance to experience some foreign teams.

On Friday: BEA (6-2) will entertain Philipsburg-Osceola (6-3); Sugar Valley goes to Montgomery; Jersey Shore hosts Milton.

LHU’s schedule shows a lull until Jan. 16 on their Southern tour.. Appalachian State; Old Dominion the 17th and George Mason the 18th. Bald Eagle had three place-finishers at the Southern Scuffle. Luke Werner (125) was second; Kyle Shoop (141) was 4th and Cole Manley (133) was 5th. The Eagles were 10th in the team race.

Some of the area’s top high school winners are:

BEA: Coen Bainey (20-3), Cooper Gilham (20-6), Gage McClenahan (19-0), David Close (15-5)

Bellefonte: Aiden O’Shea (16-6), Jude Swisher (18-2), Alex Coppolo (18-3), Ethan Richner (17-1), Ethan Rossman (16-1)

Central Mountain: Gino Serafini (13-3), Derek Keen (17-4), Taylor Weaver (15-6)

Jersey Shore: Liam Goodrich (19-9), Ryan Kersher (17-9), Hayden Packer (22-9)

Sugar Valley: Bashier Tressler (7-1) Thanks to Joe Walker, Nate Cobler, Bill Albright for providing information.

Other Notes

Former State College football player Matt Rhule was named as the new head coach of the Carolina Panthers. He has had some previous NFL experience with former Giants coach Tom Coughlin. Matt was the assistant offensive line coach. He was also successful at Temple helping to turn that program around before he went to Baylor. Rhule was an assistant under Al Golden (a former Penn State TE) and a guy who has coached at the University of Miami and most recently as an assistant with the Detroit Lions. Al has local ties, as he is married to Kelly Hanna, daughter of Jim and Carol Hanna.

Penn State announced that two of their walking wounded are done for the season. Transfer Kyle Conel (197) and Defending NCAA Champ Anthony Cassar are both out with severely-injured shoulders. Word from Nittany Valley is that Shakur Rasheed has recovered from his injury and will move up to 197. Seth Nevills will have his redshirt removed and compete for the Lions at 285. Neither has to wait long to get it going as PSU hosts Illinois (3-1) Friday night then Northwestern (2-1) on Sunday. Illinois’ top wrestler is at 133 in the person of No. 9 Travis Piotrowski. 285-pounder Luke Luffman is ranked 21st. Head coach Jim Heffernan’s team was 3rd in the Midlands. Northwestern has been in close duals, losing 21-18 to an outstanding VA Tech team. They host Purdue on Friday before embarking on the journey to Rec Hall. The Wildcats are led by No. 3 (125) Sebastian Rivera (who has been at 133) and No.3 at 157: Ryan Deakin.

Of special interest, the grandson of former Lock Haven State Teachers’ College Steve DeAugustino Michael DeAugustino is the starter at 125. He most recently was runner-up at the Midlands.

Arizona State gave Ohio State all they could handle on Monday evening, losing 17-16. A vital match and unlikely hero was Montoursville’s Gavin Hoffman, who, in essence, won the meet for the Buckeyes by ‘holding’ No. 1-ranked Zahid Valencia to a major decision. Hoffman is the son of former LH Bobcat wrestler Jimmy Hoffman and is a three-time PIAA state champion (placed 6th as a frosh). Arizona State will be innovative as they will wrestle Cample, Harvard and Iowa State is a quad at the professional baseball’s Chase Field.

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