Clarion Falls to Brookville in Wrestling Season Opener (12/14/2017)

(By CSZ Sports Writer Kenn Staub)  On Tuesday, Dec. 12 the Clarion Bobcat wrestling team traveled east to open the 2017-2018 season against the Brookville Raiders.  The Bobcats would not only face the Raiders without five projected starters in the line-up, but they would be squaring off against a Brookville team that already had five dual meets under their belt.  Though the Bobcats showed their toughness and willingness to compete, a full Raider line-up proved a little too much, winning the match 60-18.

Wrestling began at 152-pounds with Clarion’s Frank Weber facing off against Dontae Constable.  Constable, a state qualifier a season ago, controlled the early action, scoring a takedown and near fall to lead 5-0 going into the second period.  After choosing bottom, Constable reversed Weber, scoring a pin at 2:41.  Caleb Hetrick received a forfeit at 152-pounds, giving the Raiders a 12-0 advantage.  The forfeit to Hetrick, a reigning district and regional champion, was the first of five bouts the Bobcat’s would have to concede in such a manner.

Tom Wurster gets set on the top against Brookville’s Tyler Cook (photo by Susan Staub)

The Bobcats would get on the board when Nick Porciello pinned the Raiders’ Brian Himes at 170-pounds.  Porciello had Himes in trouble during the second period, but could not put the bout away until the third, with the pin coming at 5:12 and cutting Brookville’s lead in half, 12-6. Brookville followed up their first defeat of the match by reeling off six straight wins.  Braden Macbeth, a regional qualifier for Brookville last season, took on Clarion’s Camden Boggess at 182-pounds.  Boggess scored a takedown with less than forty second remaining in the first period, but was quickly reversed by Macbeth to make the score 2-2 entering the second.  In the second Macbeth racked up 5 near fall points and scored a reversal in the third to win the bout 9-2.  At 195-pounds Brookville’s Xavier Molnar, who placed sixth at the 2017 state tournament, used an arm bar to pin Clarion’s Seth Nellis in the second period (3:27).  With the team score 21-6 in Brookville’s favor, the Raiders’ Tyler Cook faced the Bobcats’ Tom Wurster in the 220-pound bout.  Cook, a state tournament qualifier a season ago, ground out a 3-0 decision over Wurster, a regional qualifier last spring.  At 228-pounds Brookville’s Colby Whitehill used a bear hug to set up his second period pin (2:53) of a game Matt Coleman.  Brookville’s six bout streak concluded with Cayden Walker and Parker Fleming accepting forfeits at 106-pounds and 113-pounds, respectively.

The Bobcats’ Logan Dehner received a forfeit at 120-pounds to make the team score 42-12 in Brookville’s favor.  Cabe Park of Brookville received a forfeit at 126-pounds and the Raiders’ 132-pounder Kai Sorbin, a regional qualifier last season, extended Brookville’s lead to 54-12 when he pinned Clarion’s Colton Zacherl in the first period.  It is worth noting that this was Zacherl’s first ever wrestling match.  Brookville added six more to their team total when Wyatt Kulik accepted a forfeit at 138-pounds.

Cutter Boggess works on the top during his bout against Brookville’s Cody Hetrick (photo by Susan Staub)

The match would end on a positive note for the Bobcats, however, as Cutter Boggess took advantage of a Cody Hetrick mistake to score a pin with less than a minute remaining in their 145-pound bout.  This victory set the final score at 60-18 in Brookville’s favor.

Following the bout Bobcat Head Coach Brian Luton expressed being “pleasantly surprised with where we are at as team.  With most of the guys coming in late from football it’s hard to teach all the necessary techniques.  Throw a lack of conditioning into the mix and you never know how the guys will respond until the first match.  We proved to be a group that fights regardless of the score or situation.”  Luton knows his team has some to ground to cover and weak spots to address, noting “we struggled with our positioning on the mat and have to do a better job of getting to our feet.  On top we had opportunities to put guys away but didn’t capitalize.”

Luton was especially pleased with the performances of Porciello and Cutter Boggess, who each made their varsity debut.   Their coach liked the fact that they stayed focused and took care of business in what could have been an intimidating situation.

The Bobcats (0-1) return to action on Wednesday, Dec. 20 when they travel to Knox for a dual against the Keystone Panthers.  Junior high wrestling begins at 6:00PM

(Best wishes for team and individual success during the coming season!)