Varsity Wrestlers Win Twinbill, Defeating Curwensville and Sheffield (02/12/14)

(By Kenn Staub)

On Tuesday, February 11th the Clarion Varsity Wrestling Team saw their first home action of the 2013-14 season, when they hosted a dual meet against the Curwensville Golden Tide and Sheffield Wolverines. In an evening during which Senior Night was celebrated the Bobcats came away with victories on both ends of the doubleheader, first downing the Golden Tide 58-18 and then taking care of the Wolverines 51-24 in the nightcap. It was a particularly successful outing for sophomores Leo Aiello (132lbs.) and Zach Huet (HWT), junior Jacob Troutman (152lbs.), and senior Tristan Shaffer, each of whom scored two wins on the mat for Clarion.

Clarion vs Curwensville

The Bobcats squared off against the Curwensville Golden Tide to open the dual meet.  Clarion received three forfeits and won eight of the eleven contested bouts, five by pinfall, to score a 58-18 victory.

Wrestling began at 152lbs. with Troutman pinning Curwensville sophomore Hunter Lancaster in the first period (1:22). Bobcat junior Addison Hockins (160lbs.) followed Troutman with a pin of his own, sticking senior Dakota Royer in the third period (5:29) to put Clarion ahead 12-0. The Golden Tide would stage a brief comeback, knotting up the score when junior Jake Stiles (170lbs.) and sophomore Ben Junod  (182lbs.) scored successive pins against their Bobcat opponents.

Clarion would decisively break the tie, however, winning nine of the final ten bouts beginning with the receipt of a forfeit at 195lbs. by Bobcat sophomore Alexander Burkhart.  The next man up, sophomore Zach Sintobin, quickly pinned (0:16) Golden Tide senior Ricky Magnuson (220lbs.), after which Clarion’s Huet stuck Seth Connors in the second period (2:31) of their heavyweight bout. Alex Struble (106lbs.) extended Clarion’s lead to 34-12 when he outpointed fellow sophomore Jeff Harvey 12-2 to earn a major decision.  There was a brief hiatus after Struble’s victory when Bobcat sophomores, Caleb Bailey (113lbs.) and Adrian Weber (120lbs.) each received forfeits. Action on the mat resumed at 126lbs. with Clarion’s Shaffer notching a 6-3 decision over junior Sam Bressler, giving the Bobcats a 49-12 lead.

The next bout saw Aiello next square off against Curwensville senior Tyler Mays (132lbs) in what became an “edge of the seat” contest. Mays jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead over Aiello in the first period, the product of a takedown and near fall points. Aiello would cut into Mays’s lead when he scored the only points of the second via reversal from the down position. With the score at 4-2 the wrestlers began the third period on their feet.  Aiello would strike first with a takedown to briefly tie the score before Mays hit a reversal to reclaim the lead at 6-4. Showing determination, Aiello reversed Mays before time expired, evening up the match at 6-6 and sending it into a one minute overtime period. In overtime it was all Aiello, as the Bobcat grappler scored a takedown and three near fall points to earn an 11-6 decision.

Curwensville’s junior Jake Lancaster (138lbs.) scored a pin in the following bout to earn the Golden Tide’s final team points of the evening. Wrestling concluded with Bobcat senior Riley Gunter sticking sophomore Jordan Peters in the second period (2:29), extending Clarion’s margin of victory over Curwensville to 58-18.

Clarion vs Sheffield

Clarion would defeat Sheffield in the second match of the evening, downing the Wolverines 51-24. The Bobcats won six of the contested bouts, with five of their victories coming via pinfall.

Wrestling again began at 145lbs. with Clarion’s Troutman sticking junior Logan Parcel (0:45) to record his second pin of the dual meet. Hockins received a forfeit at 160lbs. to put the Bobcats ahead 12-0. Sheffield evened the match at 12-12 when senior Dakota Schooler (160lbs.) and junior Clayton Capriotti (182lbs.) tallied pins for the Wolverines. Clarion then proceeded to reel off five consecutive victories to take a 42-12 lead.

Clarion’s run began at 195lbs. when Burkhart pinned Wolverine sophomore Cody Anderson in the second period (2:06). Sintobin received a Sheffield forfeit at 220lbs., which Huet followed up with his second pin of the evening when he made quick work of Wolverine senior Jeremy Ehrgott in their heavyweight bout (0:27). In the next contest Sheffield freshman Kole Holden (106lb.s) was leading Struble 2-1 after a scoreless second period, only to have the Bobcat sophomore put him away, with a pin early in the third (4:31). Bailey was the recipient of a Sheffield forfeit at 113lbs. before Wolverine sophomore Tanner Barr eked out a 3-2 victory in the 120lb. contest. Clarion’s Shaffer countered the Sheffield win with his second victory of the evening, a 9-3 decision over senior Ricky Prosen (126lbs.). The next bout saw Aiello complete his own double when he pinned Wolverine sophomore Kyle Holden (132lbs.). Sheffield won the final two bouts of the match at 138lbs. (a pin by senior Brian Fries) and 145lbs. (a 2-1 decision by Doug Grubbs) to set the final score at 51-24.

Prior to the match Clarion honored its two seniors, Tristen Shaffer and Riley Gunter.  Shaffer, the son of Judy Shaffer and brother of Celia Shaffer, has participated in football and wrestling for three years, track for one year, C-L Sensations for three years, and has been part of the C-L Student Body Council for two years. Upon graduation, he plans to attend Clarion University and then art school. Gunter, son of Dave and Ellen Gunter, is captain of this season’s wrestling team. He has wrestled since the first grade and has over 70 varsity victories to his credit. When not wrestling, he enjoys hunting, fishing, and riding dirt bike. After he graduates Gunter plans on traveling the country and then attending college. (Biographies supplied by the wrestlers or their family.)

Following the night of wrestling, Clarion Head Coach Rob Sintobin praised Shaffer for his two upset victories over some of the district’s tougher wrestlers in the weight class, noting that the Bobcat grappler continues to improve in every match.

Coach Sintobin also noted that “the team as a whole continues to grow and improve, with the last few weeks being great confidence boosters for the kids.”

The 6-5 varsity wrestling team closes out the dual meet season on Thursday (02/13) when they take on Johnsonburg (5:00) and Cranberry (7:30) at home.

(Thanks to Kenn Staub for this article. Great outing Cats!!!! And all the best to Tristen Shaffer and Riley Gunter!!!!)