Bobcats Pin To Win In Sheffield (02/22/2018)

(By CSZ Sports Writer Kenn Staub)  The Clarion Bobcats trekked to Sheffield on Friday, Feb. 16 to wrestle the Wolverines in the final dual meet of the 2017-2018 season. For the evening, Clarion won seven of eight bouts, six via pins, and picked up two forfeits to rout Sheffield 51-6. In fact, it wasn’t till the final bout, when Sheffield 285-pounder Nick Knowles stuck his Clarion opponent during the first period (1:06), that the home team got on the board to avoid a shut-out.

Bobcat head man Brian Luton was pleased with his team’s performance, especially with the postseason looming. “The team wrestled tough and we came out of the match healthy for the postseason. It feels like we are peaking at the right time of the year. Hopefully we can carry that into districts this weekend [Feb. 23 & 24 in Clearfield],” said Luton.

Login Dehner got the Bobcats rolling, scoring a takedown off a collar tie and then pinning Jeffrey Rivera in the first period of the 120-pound bout (1:48).

With no bouts at the next two weight classes, wrestling resumed at 138-pounds when Clarion’s Cutter Boggess squared off against Sheffield’s Ethan Finch in the only scrap to be decided by decision. Finch scored first, converting a high crotch into a takedown about halfway through the first period. Unfortunately for the Wolverine grappler he began riding a bit high, setting the stage for a Boggess reversal to tie the bout 2-2 heading to the second. Boggess opted to start the second in the down position and was rode by Finch through much of the period. With fifteen seconds remaining, however, Finch again got to high on his ride, allowing the Clarion wrestler to come out through the back and score another reversal, making the score 4-2 in Boggess’s favor. Boggess scored a takedown during the third period to seal a 6-2 victory, making the team score 9-0. Luton was complimentary of Boggess, saying, “Cutter was able to overcome some early points against a quality opponent. He really wrestled a smart match and was able to gain the upper hand.”

The Bobcat’s Frank Weber used a headlock to takedown and stick Kevin Marfink at the midpoint of their 145-pound bout (3:33).

Ryley McMasters demonstrated prowess riding legs during his 152-pound pound bout against the Wolverine’s Kevin Rivera. McMasters took Rivera down with twenty-five seconds remaining in the first period and immediately slipped in legs, using a tilt to expose his opponents back for another two points and then adding an additional two off a grapevine. Leading 6-0, McMasters started the second from the bottom, hitting a switch to score a reversal five seconds in and then riding legs throughout the remainder of the period, scoring near fall points in the process to surge ahead 10-0. The third period began with both wrestlers on their feet, but only for a brief period, as McMasters again took Rivera down, quickly transitioning from a cradle to a reverse headlock for the pin (4:25) to give Clarion a 21-0 advantage. “Ryley had a nice match for us. After missing the first part of the season he’s really come on and should battle for a trip to regionals in the postseason,” said Luton.

Nick Porciello (160-pounds) and Camden Boggess (170-pounds) each accepted Sheffield forfeits, extending the Bobcats’ lead to 33-0.

Seth Nellis moved from a single leg attempt to a duck under as he took Jake Davidson down in the first period of the 182-pound bout. Once he had Davidson on the mat, Nellis began running an arm bar before switching to a reverse headlock to notch a first period pin. Following the match, Luton said, “Seth has been gaining a lot of confidence and it was nice to see again tonight. If he can keep it going he could make a nice run at districts.”

Ben Smith followed Nellis’s pin with one of his own at 195-pounds, sticking Sheffield’s Justin Bailey at the 1:16 mark. Smith’s pin, the quickest of the match for Clarion, put the Bobcats up 45-0. “Ben showed a lot of focus and put his guy away quickly. He was very fundamental, but also very physical,” said Luton.

Clarion’s Tom Wurster took two periods to pin Austin Gregerson (3:10), using an arm bar to close out the bout.

Luton summed up the 2017-2018 dual meet season saying “The goal for the season was ten wins and we were able to finish with eleven. I’m really proud of the guys for reaching their goal.”

Clarion ends the season with an 11-5 record. They will next compete at this weekend’s District 9 tournament as the first step for individual grapplers in the run up to March’s state championships in Hershey.