It’s another new year… a lot of exciting wrestling to take place, but first, let’s take a look back at recent happenings.
At the 56th Midlands, the big news was that Iowa’s Spencer Lee (former PIAA 3-time state champ from Franklin-Regional High School) the defending NCAA Champion dropped a 7-3 decision to Sebastian Rivera of Northwestern.
In other action, Zahid Valencia (Arizona State) won his 3rd consecutive championship at 174. Teammate Tanner Hall won his second heavyweight title. Area fans are well aware of Mark Hall (PSU) defeating the defending NCAA champ 4-0 at Rec Hall last month.
In the first Midlands Championships for Wisconsin under Head Coach Chris Bono, the team placed fourth overall with 97.5 points, the highest finish for the team since they took second in 2010. Wisconsin had seven wrestlers finish on the podium, the most for the Badgers at Midlands since the team placed seven in 1975.
The only Badger in the finals was sophomore and No. 1 seed Evan Wick at 165 pounds, facing No. 2 seed Alex Marinelli of Iowa. Wick had defeated Marinelli last year by major decision at the NCAA Championships, but this time Marinelli won the match-up, 4-3.
Follow the bouncing ball to determine what is going on with Gavin Teasdale and Penn State. It was reported Monday that the 125-pounder would be wrestling as an official team member for the Nittany Lions in the scuffle. Reports on Tuesday were that he failed to make weight. Also, the LHU Bald Eagles took part in the Chattanooga event. You will have already know the results when you read this. It was great seeing the seeding for Scott Moore’s squad. A lot of the team contributed to the point-standings.
In high school action:
Central Mountain took the team title at the Conestoga Valley Buckskin Classic without winning an individual title. Johnny Shreffler (120) and Dalton Bechdel (126) both were runner-ups. Third place finishers were Derek Keen (106), Taylor Weaver (113), and Jake Edwards (285).
Mike Maney’s Bellfonte team placed ninth. Future Central Mountain opponent Shikellamy finished 12th, Huntingdon (14th), Philipsburg-Osceola (15th) and Jersey Shore (26th). Also the newest District 6 AAA addition Juniata finished in the 24th spot.
Bellefonte’s top four finishers included second place Ethan Richner (152), and Ethan Rossman (182), and fourth place Lane Aikey (120) and Alex Coppolo (126). Jersey Shore’s Hunter O’Connor was fourth at 170.
Bald Eagle Area wrestled in the Tony Iasiello Memorial Tournament, in honor of Tony Iasiello who passed away two years’ ago. He served as the Bethlehem Catholic head coach for years. The Eagles finishers included third place Dylan Bisel (182), fourth place Garrett Giedroc (120), Alex Holt (132), David Close (195) and fifth place Cooper Gilham (113). Bethlehem Catholic easily won the tournament with 100 points.
The Eagles took a respectable sixth place just a hair below Hershey (54 pts) and East Stroudsburg South (53.5).
Items of Interest:
1. At the recent Central Mountain at Jersey Shore dual meet, there were two NCAA champions in attendance (Paul Powell and Dan Muthler).
2. Joe Walker has been a valuable contributor to my records and my broadcasting. While working behind the scenes, Joe still keeps the records of the Wildcat wrestling team.
3. The upward trend in youth, junior high, and junior varsity tournaments can only portent a resurgence in our sport. Bellefonte and BEA recently hosted such events. Central Mountain took a strong contingent to Governor Mifflin and did well.
4. Central Mountain JVs brought a second place finish home at the end of their Conestoga Valley tournament Friday, following their outstanding showing at the Governor Mifflin tournament Thursday. Additionally, they had a good showing for the JV squad at Governor Mifflin today. Four champs, Jason Rinker, Hayden Walizer, Davis Seyler, Noah Yost & three runner-ups, Anson Zimmerman, Hunter Conway, Curtis Stover.
5. Lycoming College is now 8-2 in duals with the Budd Whitehill duals coming up January 11th. Coach Roger Crebs is doing a fantastic job. Locals Seth Andrus & Loc Long (Central Mountain), Trevor Corl (Bellefonte), and Hadyn Swartood (Jersey Shore) are competing for the Warriors.
6. PA lost several wrestling legends the past year including: Stan Mousetis, 88, four-decade prep coach in Pennsylvania who was an EIWA champ at Franklin & Marshall; Gene Bowman, 88, Pennsylvania high school coach and co-founder of Dapper Dan tournament; Frank Vulcano, Sr., 89, Chartiers High coach, Lock Haven wrestler and mat official; Mike “Biggie” Smith, 71, Newport High wrestler who returned to his alma mater as coach, athletic director and official. Dave Johnson,former Lock Haven High State Champ and Pitt star where he was a three-time EIWA Champ.; Pete Wolf, B-EN outstanding wrestler and legendary coach at Hughesville; Ivan Dinges, LHSC grappler who served as head coach at Loyalsock for years; James White, head coach at Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania for more than 30 years; Tony DeCarlo, wrestling coach for nearly 50 years at John Carroll University in Cleveland; Joe Keeton, former head coach at University of Missouri-Rolla; Bill Racich, head coach at Pennsylvania’s Ursinus College with 540 coaching wins in his career; Bill Fralic, forme Penn Hills star and pro footballer; Don Maurey, a Pennsylvania state champ and later was an EIWA champ and NCAA All-American for Penn State; Dr. Ken Faust, PIAA state wrestling champ, four-time EIWA conference championships medalist for Lehigh, Art Helf, 1953 NCAA All-American for Franklin & Marshall University; George Kovach, Drexel wrestler who was a three-time East Coast Conference heavyweight champ in the mid-1980s; Rande Stottlemyer,a three-time All-American wrestler at Pitt who became Panthers head coach from 1979-2013.