PHILIPSBURG — The most frequently asked question inside the Philipsburg-Osceola gym last night was not, "Who's going to win?" but rather, "Has it started snowing yet?"
Perhaps with an eye toward the impending storm, the Mounties made quick work of the Bison, 53-21, scoring seven falls and a tech fall.
That got them to the post-meet celebration of 75 years of wrestling at P-O pretty quickly.
At least 93 former Mountie wrestlers were guests at the meet during which the Mounties wore old uniforms going back to 1978. And some of the former wrestlers on hand dated back to the pre-singlet days when they wore three-piece uniforms consisting of tights, shorts and tank top that buttoned through the crotch.
“I just stumbled on those old uniforms tonight and thought it would be neat for the kids to wear them,’’ said Mountie coach Tim McCamley. “I mentioned it to the kids and they jumped all over it. I warned them those uniforms had not been washed in a long time and they were double-knits, not the lycra we have now.
“I am just so proud to be a part of this program. I started wrestling when I was eight, so I’ve been involved in it for 50 years. There are so many good people here, so many who get involved. This is just a great place to be. It’s neat to look up in the stands and see so many good guys from the past.’’
His Mounties gave him the luxury of being able to steal a glance into the audience as they surged to a 35-9 lead.
They got up 18-0 thanks to pins by Dallas Kephart and Dennis Lumadue and decisions by N ick Patrick and Kaleb Guy.
After Clearfield got on the board when Travis Ogded pinned Mason Pryde at 195, Nick Gray gave the Mounties the momentum again when he flattened Nate Lash in 2:48.
Clearfield got another win when Jacob Verchick beat Logan Day, 7-3 with three takedowns to make it 24-9. Then the Mounties went on a run as Bryce Bennett teched Thayne Morgan, 17-1 in 4:45 and Chris Thompson pinned Hunter Blake in 1:17 to make it 35-9.
The Bison won the next two bouts as Logan Gilbert decked Nathan Quick in 2:48 and Josiah McClarren pinned Payton Moore in 1:50 to make it 35-21.
But P-O closed ou the meet with three straight falls as Levi Hughes pinned Logan Puit in 4:00, Dakota Weitoish decked Tallin Norris in 2:42 and Caleb Shively pinned Jaret McCracken at the3:32 mark.
Clearfield coach Jeff Aveni pointed to the falls as the decisive factor in the meet.
“We’ve had problems with that all year,’’ he said. “In most of those falls we were just out-gunned. We gave up way too many of them. P-O just had too much balance.
“We set the tone in a lot of matches but they forced us into taking bad shots and they scored off our shots.’’
The celebratory mood in the gym also had an effect, Aveni thought.
“You could see it in their kids before the meet,’’ he said. “They were all fired up. Something like this can have one of two effects and it had a positive effect on them.’’