Bobcat Varsity Wrestlers Down Chucks, 39-35 (01/23/14)

(By Kenn Staub)

When the dust had all settled in Punxsutawney on a cold Tuesday evening, January, 21, it was the Clarion Varsity Wrestling Team who emerged victorious, edging the Chucks 39-35.  Head Coach Rob Sintobin credited Zack Huet (HWT), Alexander Burkhart (195lbs.), and Tristan Shaffer (126lbs.) with being “big point contributors” as a result of their victories via pinfall. Sintobin also singled out strong performances by Jacob Troutman (152lbs.), Prince Brooks (138lbs.), and Alex Struble (106lbs.), each of whom notched decisions for the Bobcats.

Shaffer began the evening on a positive note for the Bobcats, quickly putting Clarion ahead 6-0 with a pin of fellow senior Andrew Bullers in the first period (1:10). Sophomore Leo Aiello (132lbs.) was pinned by Chuck senior Joel Bowers in the next bout to tie the match.  Sophomore Brooks put Clarion back in the lead with a 6-0 shut out of junior Tristen Herndon. Senior Riley Gunter (145lbs.) was pinned by Punxsutawney sophomore Kaleb Young, after which junior Troutman put in a very gritty performance, particularly during a second period which surely must have tested his threshold for discomfort, on his way to decisioning senior Josh Shuckers 9-4 and drawing the Bobcats into a 12-12 tie with the Chucks.

Punxsutawney had things go their way over the course of the next three bouts, during which they amassed a 30-12 lead. In succession , junior Addison Hockins (160lbs) was pinned by Punxsutawney junior Perry Arrington, the Chucks received a Bobcat forfeit at 170lbs., and Clarion sophomore Will Staub (182lbs.) lost via pinfall to sophomore Alexander Young.

The Chucks run was halted at 195lbs. when Bobcat sophomore Burkhart stuck junior Austin Covatch in the first period (1:34). Punxsutawney forfeited the next bout, giving Clarion sophomore Zack Sintobin (220lbs.) a non-contested victory. Sophomore Huet then took on Punxsutawney freshman Blake Bizousky. The two heavyweights wrestled a scoreless first period, followed by a second which concluded in a 3-3 tie. Bizousky jumped out to a 4-3 lead in the third, but his hopes for victory ended with a thud when Huet used a hip toss-headlock combination to score the pin at 4:25. Huet’s victory drew the Bobcats into a 30-30 tie with the Chucks and put the match on the shoulders of Clarion’s lighter weight classes.

Sophomore Struble kept Clarion’s momentum going, scoring the Bobcat’s fourth consecutive victory when he parlayed a second period reversal into a 2-1 decision over sophomore Zoie Smith. Clarion was ahead 33-30, when Caleb Bailey (113lbs.) received a forfeit, giving the Bobcats another six points and assuring the team victory with a match remaining. In the last bout, Punxsutawney sophomore Elijah Lambiotte defeated Clarion sophomore Adrian Weber via technical fall, making the final score 39-35 in the Bobcat’s favor.

Coach Sintobin reported being “very pleased with Clarion’s overall performance” against Punxsutawney. He further noted seeing “improvement in each wrestler as the year progresses. We will continue to work hard to prepare for the Fred Bell Tournament this Friday and Saturday, January 24 and 25, in Grove City.”

(Thanks to Kenn Staub for this report. And good going, Cats!!!!)