Junior High Wrestling Highlights: Part 2 (02/22/2018)
(By CSZ Sports Writer Kenn Staub)
Clarion vs. Curwensville (Tuesday, Jan. 30)
Clarion took one of the four officially contested bouts from visiting Curwensville, an Owen Reinsel pin of Jacob Mullins at 95-pounds. Reinsel was in total control from start to finish, racking up a 7-0 lead by the end of the first period and holding an 11-0 advantage when the end finally came for Mullins in the second (2:13).
Clarion vs. Ridgway (Thursday, Feb. 8)
The host Bobcats split the officially contested bouts against the Elkers, claiming victory in two of four.
At 95-pounds Clarion’s Owen Reinsel was dominating in his bout against Eric Gustafson. Reinsel took Gustafson down six seconds into the first period, then rode him out, tilting the Ridgway wrestler four times in the process to forge ahead 14-0. Gustafson chose to start the second period on top but proved unable to control Reinsel, giving up an escape seven seconds in. The escape gave Reinsel a 15-0 technical fall at the 1:37 mark.
The Bobcats’ Kaoz Baker squared off against Mikey Steis in the 210-pound bout. Baker took Steis down early in the first period and then scored back points late to enter the second ahead 5-0. The second period would prove to be the last of the contest. After racking up another three near fall points, Baker finally stuck Steis with one second left on the clock (2:59)
Clarion vs. Redbank Valley (Tuesday, Feb. 13)
Clarion won two of six contested bouts and one of three exhibitions in their home Valentine’s Day Eve match against the Redbank Valley Bulldogs.
The Bobcats’ first win came courtesy of 210-pounder Kaoz Baker, who overcame an early deficit against Kolby Barrett to claim victory. Barrett was first on the scoreboard, taking Baker down and exposing his back to go up 5-0. Before the opening period ended, however, Baker was able to reverse Barrett and score back points of his own, cutting into Barrett’s lead 5-4. The second period started with both wrestlers on their feet. Baker struck first and conclusively, taking Barrett down and sticking him for the win (2:12).
Clarion’s Owen Reinsel took on Jacob Kundrick in the 90-pound bout, pinning the Redbank Valley wrestler in the first period (1:04)
Baker wrestled a second time, squaring off against the Bulldogs Dustin Yarger in a hard fought 210-pound exhibition. Baker opened the first period with a takedown, but Yarger was able to escape and then take the Clarion wrestler down to go up 3-2. It was now Baker’s turn to escape, though once on their feet Yarger struck for another takedown and converted it into two near fall points, gaining a 7-3 advantage after one period of action. Baker earned the first point of the second period when Yarger was penalized for an illegal hold. Yarger then gave up an escape to Baker, which the Bobcat capitalized upon by scoring a takedown and three near fall points, taking over the lead 10-7. A tiring Baker then cut Yarger loose but managed another takedown before time expired to set the score at 12-8 heading to the third. Yarger started the second period on bottom and was awarded a penalty point when Baker locked hands. The Redbank Valley wrestler reversed Baker but was unable to benefit from his good fortune against the visibly exhausted Bobcat, with the bout ending as Baker clung to a 12-11 advantage.
Though the outcome wasn’t in the Bobcat’s favor, Clarion’s Carl Welch wrestled a tight, back and forth exhibition against Caden Kron. The first period saw Welch controlling the action, using two takedowns for a 4-1 lead. Welch chose to start the second in neutral. With both wrestlers on their feet Kron scored the first takedown, though the Clarion wrestler managed to escape, making the score 5-3. The Redbank wrestler evened the match up with another takedown and pulled ahead when Welch fell trying to escape, allowing Kron to expose his back for near fall points. Entering the third on the wrong end of a 5-7 score, Welch tied the bout with a takedown, but then gave up a penalty point during an attempt to control Kron, again fall behind, 8-7. Kron sealed his 9-7 victory with an escape later in the period.
Clarion vs. Sheffield (Friday, Feb. 16)
The junior high wrestling team finished the dual meet season with an away match against the Sheffield Wolverines. The Bobcats took one of the five officially contested bouts against the Wolverines, a first period pin by 210-pounder by 210-pounder Kaoz Baker. Of the two exhibitions, Clarion prevailed in one, a second period technical fall scored by Owen Reinsel.
District 9 Class AA Jr. High Championships-Brockway (Saturday, Feb 17)
The Clarion junior high wrestling team came away from the Class AA Jr. High Championship with two podium finishers. Owen Reinsel continued his stellar 2017-2018 campaign by claiming the 90-pound championship. First year wrestler Koaz Baker came away with third place at 210-pounds.
Reinsel, a standout for the Bobcats this season, continued his domination of the weight class. As the top seed in a three person bracket, Reinsel won his championship with a 16-0 technical fall over Brookville’s Logan Oakes. Reinsel had previously pinned Oakes in the second period of an exhibition bout during December’s dual meet against the Raiders. Clarion junior high coach Matt Liggett was complimentary of Reinsel, saying “Owen is a tough wrestler who works hard and is a great example for his teammates.”
Baker had a more active day than his Bobcat teammate when it came to securing a podium spot. The 210-pounder opened with an early second period pin against Redbank Valley’s Kolby Barrett (2:17) but then fell by pin fall to Weston Smith of Brockway during the third period of their semifinal bout (4:07). Baker resumed his winning ways on the consolation side of the bracket, sticking Coudersport’s William Rossman in the second period (3:42) and again dispatching Barrett in the bout for third, this time via a quick first period pin (0:26). Baker has now defeated Barrett three times this season, all by pin fall. Coach Liggett offered his assessment of Baker, saying “Kaoz, being a first year kid, really showed his potential and how much he enjoys the sport by placing third this weekend.”
Other Clarion wrestlers competing at districts included Ashton Rex, Breckin Rex, and Carl Welch.
Redbank Valley (116.0) with its squad of fourteen wrestlers finished third in the team standings, behind first place Brookville (171.) and second place Brockway (121.5). Clarion (37.5) entered five wrestlers, placing ninth in the field of fourteen.