Somewhere Glenn Smith is smiling.
The late Bellefonte wrestling coach, to whom the wrestling room was dedicated in a pre-meet ceremony Tuesday night, would have been happy with the Raiders’ 46-15 victory over Philipsburg-Osceola in the first dual meet of the season for both teams.
The Raiders got out to a 9-0 lead, then went on a four-bout run to take an insurmountable 27-6 lead over the Mounties on their way to a win that pleased coach Mike Maney and disappointed P-O’s Tim McCamley.
Among the speakers at the ceremony were Dave Adams, who wrestled for Smith, Ron Pifer, who won two state titles at Bellefonte and Galen Dreibelbis, a former State College wrestler who talked about the awe in which Smith was held by opposing teams.
“Our guys should be honored to be around some of the Bellefonte greats,” said Maney.
The Raiders had a 16-11 edge in takedowns and recorded three falls to one for the Mounties.
“With this being the first meet you don’t know what to expect,” Maney added. “We definitely have a lot to work on. We’ve got to finish matches stronger, score more points when we’re ahead. But I was proud of our effort. Top to bottom, our kids gave 100 percent.”
Senior Shafiq Blake got the Raiders rolling with a 10-6 win over Noah Twoey at 113 to start the meet and Cameron Coppolo followed with a fall over Trevin Hampton in 37 seconds to make it 9-0.
“Shafiq is a senior and he got us started,’’ Maney added. “And Cameron Coppolo is sort of like James English was at Penn State. He has been behind guys for years and now he’s getting his chance to be a starter.’’
P-O cut into the deficit when Matt Johnson pinned Jonathon Berenty in 59 seconds to make it 9-6 but the Raiders racked up four straight wins as Aaron Witherite scored a key, 9-4 win over Bryce Bennett at 132, breaking open a close match with a reversal and three back points in the second period, Colin Westley got a forfeit at 138, Brock Port pinned Levi Hughes in 3:40 and Chase Gardner edged Dakota Weitoish, 3-2 with a takedown with 15 seconds left in the bout.
“Witherite and Bennett used to have barn burners,’’ Maney said. “I think they split the last two times they wrestled so that was a nice surprise. And that was a big win for Gardner. I think he lost to Weitoish by six or seven points last year.”
The Mounties got a win from Nick Patrick at 160 when he beat Dakota Parsons, 7-3 thanks to three takedowns, while at 170 Bellefonte’s Dakota Bair was too much for Ian Klinger, scoring three takedowns and six back points on his way to a 14-3 major decision.
Brian McChesney outscored Jake Anderson, 10-6 at 182, getting three takedowns, and at 195, Dillon Kephart pinned Brandon Anderson in 1:00 to give Bellefonte a 40-9 lead.
P-O’s Micah Sidorick beat Sean Irvin, 4-2 on the strength of a pair of second-period reversals at 220, while at heavyweight P-O’s Bradley Dunkel forced overtime against Tim Benford with a takedown at the buzzer and then got the win with a quick takedown in overtime.
Bellefonte’s Cole Steward pinned Brandon Butler in 1:33 to end the meet.
“I really don’t know what to say,” said McCamley, whose team had won the Mountaineer Tournament on Saturday. “I’m disappointed. We didn’t wrestle with our heads. I thought this would be a better match. We gave up way too many points that they should have had to fight harder for. This didn’t look like the same team that wrestled Saturday.
“But this gives us some indication of what we have to work on. I was really disappointed with our technique but not the effort.”