On a night meant for seniors, it was the underclassmen who stole the show.
There were a combined 11 wins from the young guns on both sides in Bald Eagle Area’s 57-18 victory over State College on Tuesday night.
The Eagles (15-1) amassed eight such wins with half of them via pin. They had a total of seven pins on the night with five in a row to close the dual out.
“It was a good way to rebound after a tough loss Saturday,” BEA coach Ron Guenot said. “Ultimately, that’s what you want your wrestlers doing, going out for bonus points and work for the fall. It paid off tonight.”
Dylan Bisel (182 pounds, junior), Cooper Gilham (106, freshman), Drake Holderman (126, freshman) and Alex Holt (138, junior) were the underclassmen to record falls. Seniors Lucas Holderman (132), Seth Koleno (145) and Garrett Rigg (152) picked up the other pins for BEA. Drake Holderman began the string of the pin parade for the Eagles.
Sophomores Gage McClenahan and David Close each earned identical, hard-fought 4-2 wins over Little Lion seniors.
McClenahan and Ian Barr traded escapes in regulation at 160 pounds. Neither scored in the one-minute overtime period and again traded escapes in the ride-out periods. In the final tie-breaker period, McClenahan hit a reversal three seconds into the frame for the win.
“I weighed in light today, which is never the goal, but it happens,” McClenahan said. “He’s obviously a lot bigger than me, so I knew it was going to be a challenge. I knew if I kept the pace up, I’d be fine.”
Close snapped off the lone takedown of his match with the much larger Jackson Heasley. He earned it with seven second left in the first period, but Heasley escaped but the buzzer. The pair traded escapes in the second and third periods. Also in the third, Close frustrated Heasley to the point that he received a penalty point for roughing from the State College wrestler.
“Gage is a gamer. That was a heck of a match, worth the price of admission,” Guenot said, before adding about Close: “We are going to start calling him one-point David. It seems like a lot of times he’s in those one-point matches. It was a nice win for him. He stayed in good position and kept himself out of trouble.”
Freshmen Lance Urbas and Owen Woolcott — along with junior Cole Urbas — were all victors for State College (5-12).
Cole Urbas and Woolcott each won by forfeit. Lance Urbas pinned the Eagles’ Richard Taylor with 26 seconds remaining in the first period of their 170-pound bout.
“They have definitely turned it on here at the end of the season,” Little Lions’ coach Ryan Cummins said of his team’s recent four-match win streak. “We are happy to see that. It didn’t turn out the way we wanted tonight, but we got another shot next week with DuBois.”