P-O expecting a lot in 2012-13|
Monday, December 3, 2012
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
PHILIPSBURG - The Philipsburg-Osceola wrestling team lost several outstanding athletes to graduation from last season's 15-3 squad, headlined by two-time PIAA qualifier Logan Walstrom.
But despite the loss of Walstrom's 41 wins as well as a total of 108 more from Brad Anstine, Tim Dombroski, Jared Smith and Jeffrey Thompson, the Mounties are just fine according to head coach Tim McCamley.
"There is no problem with leadership," he said. "There are a lot of seniors and they have stepped up. They are a little more vocal than last year's group. And they're a hard-working group.
"We have high expectations. We just need to get everybody to the right weight and keep everybody healthy. We have some good potential."
P-O returns 10 letterwinners in seniors Bryan Descavish, Brian Evans, Andrew Greenawalt, Justin Millard and Jay Prentice, juniors Nick Gray, Bub Lumadue, Caleb Shively and Chris Thompson and sophomore R.J. Kephart.
McCamley expects to lean on that group, while the rest of the team adjusts to the varsity wrestling experience.
"Those are the guys that are going to have to carry the load until some of the new guys round into shape," McCamley said of his letterwinners. "We have some very good wrestlers waiting to get into the lineup, and they have paid their dues. But there will be a transition period."
Thompson leads the returning talent, coming off a 34-8 season that included first-place finishes at the Mountaineer and Big Dog Tournaments and a fifth-place finish at the District 6 Class AAA Tournament.
He will reprise his familiar role as the Mounties' 106-pounder this year.
"I expect him to be at the top of his game," McCamley said. "He's a full size 6-pounder. He's working hard and has his goals straightened out."
Greenawalt (28-12), Gray (24-17) Evans (23-17), and Prentice (21-12) all eclipsed the 20-win plateau last season and ended their seasons with fourth-place finishes at districts. Descavish (19), Lumadue (18) and Millard (17) also came close to the 20-win mark, something McCamley expects a majority of this year's squad to reach.
"I see a lot of 20 match or more winners," he said. "I expect a few to make some noise at regionals. And I would like to get a few on the floor at Hershey."
After Thompson at 106, a pair of newcomers in sophomores Nathan Quick and Seth Roach look to battle for the spot at 113.
Descavish and senior Chris Barnhart are fighting it out at 120, while Evans is set to begin the season at 126.
Senior Brandon Condon is in the mix at 132, along with juniors Dallas Kephart and Scott Yarger in a deep weight class.
"We're looking for a real competitive elimination," McCamley said. "Whomever comes out of it will represent us well."
The Mounties were tough through the middle (138 to 160) last season and McCamley expects more of the same in 2012-13 where Shively, Millard. Greenawalt and Prentice are likely to compete.
P-O also has senior Jacob Earnest (138), juniors Kaleb Guy (145) and Aaron Mason (145) and sophomore Clint Rudy (152) in the mix through the middle.
"There are strong kids at those weight classes," McCamley said. "The letterwinners will have to earn their spot."
Junior Dustin Shuey and sophomore Alex Hunsaker will eliminate at 170.
"We have two young guys there, but both have a lot of ability," McCamley said. "I'm expecting a lot."
Lumadue is battling with junior Dallas Thompson at 182, while R.J. Kephart is set to begin the season at 195. He's have some competition later in the season when juniors Caleb Pepperday and Mason Pryde recover from injuries.
Gray will man the 220 weight class, and the Mounties will not have a heavyweight to start the season, although McCamley could bump up his lineup as needed to fill that hole as the Mounties are deep nearly everywhere else.
"It's nice to have that depth," McCamley said. "We have a weight class with four kids, and I haven't had that in years. We're two deep in most weight classes."
As usual, the Mounties have a rugged early-season schedule, highlighted by home matches with Bellefonte and Central Mountain on Dec. 11 and Dec. 20, respectively.
P-O will also compete in a number of tournaments, including their own Mountaineer Tournament, the Juniata Duals and the New Oxford Tournament.
"Our schedule is always tough at the beginning of the season," McCamley said. "There is no easy match on our schedule. It's tough, but we feel we can be competitive and we hope to make some noise.
"We talked about setting our goals. Mine are all team-oriented. I don't like to make predictions or put any more pressure on the kids, but it would be nice to duplicate what we did last year. But that's a pretty high bar that was set."
Dick Condo and Tracy Minarchick return to assist McCamley at the varsity level along with volunteers Aaron Dugan, Dave Yoder and T.J. Bush. The junior high coaching staff consists of Cory Wood, Jeremy Weller and Dave Caslow.
P-O begins the season Saturday, hosting the Mountaineer Tournament.
Chris Barnhart, Brandon Condon, *Bryan Descavish, Jacob Earnest, *Brian Evans, *Andrew Greenawalt, *Justin Millard, *Jay Prentice.
*Nick Gray, Kaleb Guy, Dallas Kephart, *Bub Lumadue, Aaron Mason, Caleb Pepperday, Mason Pryde, *Caleb Shively, Dustin Shuey, *Chris Thompson, Dallas Thompson.
Alex Hunsaker, *R.J. Kephart, Nathan Quick, Seth Roach, Clint Rudy, Bryant Shoemaker, Dakota Weitoish, Scott Yarger.
*Denotes returning letterwinners.
8-Mountaineer Tournament, 10 a.m.; 11-Bellefonte; 13-at Penns Valley; 20-Central Mountain; 28/29-at Brockway Big Dog Tournament, 9 a.m.
8-at Central; 12-at Juniata Duals, 9 a.m.; 15-Tyrone; 22-Bald Eagle Area; 25-at New Oxford Tournament, 4 p.m.; 26-at New Oxford Tournament, 9 a.m.; 29-at Curwensville; 31-at Huntingdon.
5-at Clearfield; 12-at Northern Bedford; 15-Holidaysburg; 22-23-at District 6 Class AAA Tournament (Altoona), TBA.
Matches begin at 7 p.m. unless noted.