Bellefonte racked up six falls and added a major decision and a pair of forfeits as the Red Raiders rolled over Philipsburg-Osceola 55-18 in the season-opening dual meet for both teams Tuesday night.
Raider coach Mike Maney wasn’t sure what to expect going into the meet but was happy with the outcome.
“With the first dual meet, the first time guys are down to weight, first time they’re going against foreign completion, it’s always tough,” he said. “We tried to have wrestle-offs to simulate a dual meet, but the first meet is always tough.
“The kids were looking for bonus points and falls. I’d like to see us get better on our feet, be more aggressive. This lets us gauge where we are because with the first dual meet you’re unsure what you have.”
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What he has is a bunch of head-hunters as Aaron Witherite, Brock Port, Trevor Corl, Dillon Kephart, Brien McChesney and Tim Benford all registered falls.
“I thought Corl wrestled well,” Maney said. “Kephart had a great preseason and he wrestled well, McChesney went out and got a win and he only had one win last year and Benford went out and got a fall. And the kid Witherite wrestled (Matt Johnson) had a successful junior high so that was a good bout to end the match with.”
Witherite was leading Johnson 4-0 with a takedown and reversal when he got the fall in 2:57 to end the dual meet, which began at 126 pounds.
Luke Leathers got the Raiders started with a 4-0 win over Bryce Bennett thanks to a first-period takedown and third-period reversal.
Port followed with a fall over Levi Hughes in 5:11 before P-O got its first win from Dakota Weitoish, who took down Chase Gardner three times on his way to a 9-3 win.
The Raiders answered with a 10-0 major decision from Zach Musser at 145 and a fall from Corl in 1:38 at 155.
Nick Patrick picked up a 5-0 win for P-O, beating Nathan Rosenberger, before Kephart decked Jake Anderson in 1:34 to set the dual meet score at 25-6.
The teams traded falls in the next four weights as P-O’s Noah Quick and Michah Sidorick picked up pins at 195 and 220 before Benford got a fall over Ed Voyzey at 285.
Following forfeits at 106 and 113, Witherite ended the meet with his fall over Johnson.
“I saw some positives but when we were looking at our lineup before the meet we had seven guys who had never wrestled a dual meet in their life,” said Mounties coach Tim McCamley. “They just had a couple more experienced guys than we did. And when it came to matchups, our good guys were going against their good guys.
“I thought Bryce Bennett wrestled well against Leathers. Bryce is up 20 pounds from last year. Levi (Hughes) and Dakota (Weitoish) both wrestled smart matches.”
Bellefonte returns to action this weekend at the rugged King of the Mountain Tournament at Central Mountain while P-O is idle until Tuesday when it visits Penns Valley.