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Stone and Barger win titles
Monday, February 25, 2013
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
CLARION - Christian Stone earned his fourth district title, while Nolan Barger claimed his third to lead the Clearfield wrestling team to a second-place finish Saturday at Waldo S. Tippin Gymnasium on the campus of Clarion University.
The Bison were second in the team standings at the newly-formed nine-team, District 4-9 Class AAA Tournament despite filling just 10 of the 14 weight classes.
Joining Stone and Barger in the finals, but settling for second-place medals were Josiah McClarren at 113, Noah Cline at 120 and Dylan Graham at 126.
Logan Gilbert (fourth at 106), Mike Beck (fourth at 152) and Jake Verchick (third at heavyweight) all placed in the Top 4 as well as Clearfield advanced eight wrestlers to the Northwest Regional Tournament.
Jon Sponsler (138) and Grant Climie (160) each went 1-2 and were eliminated from the tournament.
"I thought overall we had a good tournament," Clearfield head coach Jeff Aveni said. "I thought we were solid as a team. Second place in the team standings is a real good showing, especially having just 10 kids.
"We're taking eight of them out. Every kid on the team won a match, and we got two champions."
Stone added his name to an impressive list of Clearfield wrestlers to achieve four district titles with his 6-2 win over Shikellamy's Tristan Paul.
The Bison wrestling program boasts a district-best 13 four-time champs.
"It feels good to be able to categorize myself with guys like Brad (Pataky) and Tommy Barger," Stone said. "Just being on a list with guys like that ... I'm ecstatic."
"It's not an easy thing to do," Aveni said. "He's worked hard for four years and he deserves everything that he gets. He has much bigger aspirations than that. He just needs to keep working hard and believing in himself, and hopefully we'll get him to where he wants to be."
The Bison senior scored a takedown in the first period, while Paul notched an escape in the second as the score was a tight 2-1 heading into the final period.
There, Stone used a switch to reverse Paul and, after giving up an escape, notched another takedown to set the final.
"That kid only had something like two losses two years ago, and then I think he was hurt last year," Aveni said. "We knew he was a solid kid. He did a pretty good job defensively, but I don't think he ever had Christian in any kind of danger."
"I got the win, and that's what's important," Stone said. "But I didn't wrestle as well as I thought I should have. Really, I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know the guy coming in, but I have to get used to that stuff. That's what I'm going to be getting the next two weeks. "
Barger picked up an 8-0 major decision in his 145-pound final with Jersey Shore's Zach Herman after recording a pair of pins to get there.
"It feels pretty good (to be a three-time champ)," Barger said. "I would have rather won last year and been a four-time champ. But I came back this year and thought I wrestled pretty good.
"I got my offense going this year and did better on my feet. It feels good."
After a bit of a slow start in a scoreless first, Barger dominated on the mat in the second period, scoring a reversal and notching nearfall points.
"I was being cautious in the first period because (Herman) is big with throws and stuff like that," Barger said.
"I wanted to make sure I had a decent lead before I did anything dumb. I knew I could ride him out. I thought I had a takedown in the first period, but it is what it is."
He added a takedown in the third after Herman chose neutral and kept the Bulldog on the mat with an aggressive ride.
"I probably could have got a couple of the cradles I had locked up, but there was no point in risking that with the lead that I had. I know he's a funky wrestler and you never know."
"Nolan is just going to wear you down," Aveni said. "He doesn't give up anything. He's going to keep coming forward and keep looking for opportunities to score.
"He's so good on his feet. He's hard to take down. He creates his own opportunities to score points. And when he gets to the mat, he's just so solid. He's believing in what he does, and really wrestling well right now."
Clearfield's other finalists didn't fare as well as McClarren, Cline and Graham all lost decisions to familiar opponents.
McClarren fell by 9-4 decision to DuBois' Bryce Swauger, but Aveni was quite pleased with his freshman's effort.
"When you get to the final round you have to be able to open up and have fun," Aveni said. " I think we did that real well at 113. I thought Josiah wrestled a very good match. That was tech fall and fall in previous matches and now it's 9-4.
"He took his chances in the match and created opportunities for himself to score points. He took his opponent off his game a little bit, and that's how you have to wrestle."
McClarren pinned Jersey Shore's Allen Saar in the semifinals.
Cline dropped a 7-0 decision to Punxsutawney's Joel Bowers, who topped the Bison sophomore, 3-0, at the New Oxford Tournament last month.
"We made some adjustments with Noah, and then we let (Bowers) in on our leg," Aveni said. "When we were shooting early, we were where we needed to be. We had to finish in those situations, and we didn't. We have to make some adjustments in that match that are going to work."
Cline reached the finals after scoring a 16-4 major decision over St. Marys' William McGonnell.
After pinning DuBois' Austin Gahr in the semis, Graham went to overtime with Punxsutawney Kaleb Young, who he had split a pair of meetings with this season.
Graham dropped a 3-1 decision in overtime when the Chuck freshman was awarded a takedown at the end of a flurry where it looked to Aveni like Graham had Young's legs first.
"Maybe we had the takedown first," Aveni said. "A different referee may have given us the call before (Young) gets to roll through and come out with our legs. Tough call, but we're both moving on and we're going to be in opposite sides of the bracket. Hopefully we'll wrestle again in the regional final.
"Part of our problem in the finals, with Noah and Dylan specifically, is we didn't execute our game plan. It's nice when you light it up in the final round. That didn't happen here, but if it happens next week, that's even better."
Verchick was Clearfield's lone third-place finisher as he came through a 285-pound weight class that saw him giving up 50 to 75 pounds to all his opponents.
The Bison senior, who wrestled at 182 and 195 throughout the year went 3-1 in the tournament, including a pair of pins.
"I think he became sort of a crowd favorite, which was fun to watch," Aveni said. "I think he learned some things, and he's happy with where he ended up."
Verchick scored a 3-1 overtime win over DuBois' Nate Petitti in the third-place bout after scoring a fall against the Beaver in the quarterfinals.
But a five-point move by Bradford heavyweight Dakota Sera was the difference in a 7-3 loss in the semis.
Verchick hit a headlock and had Sera on his back briefly in the third, but the Owl junior was able to roll through and stay off his back.
"I knew from 182 to 220, there were going to be a lot of good kids in there," Aveni said. "I wanted to get Verchick to the regional tournament and give him an opportunity to win a district championship. I talked to Jake about it and he said, ‘I'll do whatever you want me to do.' He took a third, but he's moving on.
"Looking forward to next year, it's very possible he's going to be our heavyweight. I like his style for that weight class. He needs to be a little bigger and stronger, but he likes to lift and wants to put on a little weight.
"He had a nice size frame and a giant heart. You put a nice frame and a giant heart on a kid that wants to win and he could go out there and win a lot of matches."
Gilbert had a tough semifinal matchup with eventual champ Shae Bloom of DuBois. Bloom pinned Gilbert, who came back to score a 3-2 decision against Shikellamy's Nick Gittens in the consey semis.
Gilbert lost, 10-3, to Jersey Shore's' Noah Ulmer in the third-place bout after beating the Bulldog, 2-1, on Friday.
"Logan came out of a tough weight class here," Aveni said. "He had a couple good wins. We talked about the things that are separating him from the kids that are beating him. Hopefully he can make those adjustments. 106 is a very talented weight in our region, but other than a couple kids, he's right there with everybody.
"Part of Logan's problem this weekend was he did some hanging on instead of wrestling to score at all times. I think he's a better wrestler than what he showed, but he stilled wrestled good enough to get out of the tournament with six quality kids in the bracket."
Beck scored two wins in the consolation bracket on Saturday to work his way into the third-place bout where he got caught and pinned by DuBois' Mark Troisi in 1:51. But Beck's charge through the conseys and advancement to regionals pleased Aveni.
"I thought Mike could get out of the tournament. I thought he had a chance to win the tournament," Aveni said. "I don't think he wrestled his best, but it's a big atmosphere for him right now. Getting him to the regional tournament will make a big difference for him for next year."
Clearfield's 123.5 points was a distant second to DuBois, which crowned six champs and earned 184.5 points on the way to its third consecutive team title.
Beaver head coach Luke Bundy won his third straight District 9 AAA Coach of the Year award, and Beaver 170-pounder Tom Sleigh was voted the Outstanding Wrestler by the coaches.
Joining Beavers Bloom, Swauger and Sleigh as champs were Garrett Brown (138), Mike Kennelly (160) and Landon Hanna (195).
Shikellamy crowned three champs on the way to a third-place finish in the team race. Indians' Jesse Shambach (182), Dwayne Pepper (220) and Dan Karpinski (285) earned District 4's only titles as District 9 won 11 of the 14 weight classes and had 20 of the 28 finalists.
Bradford's Joshua Corignani was the 152-pound champ.
The Northwest Class AAA Regional Tournament is set for Friday and Saturday at the Altoona Fieldhouse.
"With the bracket change, there's no guarantee being a district champ that you're going to get a bye next week," Aveni said. "We're going to be in the tournament with 14 other kids, and we have to come out in the Top 3.
"Hopefully we're going to go in there and wrestle our best and get some guys down to Hershey."

District 4-9 Class AAA Tournament
Team Standings and Key
1. DuBois, D, 184.5; 2. Clearfield, C, 123.5; 3. Shikellamy, SH, 119; 4. St. Marys, SM, 107; 5. Punxsutawney, P, 95; 6. Jersey Shore, JS, 91.5; 7. Bradford, B, 73; 8. Williamsport, W, 48; 9. Selinsgrove, SE, 44.

Semifinals
106-Roshaun Cooley, W, pinned Eli Lambiotte, P, 5:53; Shae Bloom, D, pinned Logan Gilbert, C, 4:27.
113-Bryce Swauger, D, pinned Andrew Bullers, P, 1:55; Josiah McClarren, C, pinned Allen Saar, JS, 2:57.
120-Joel Bowers, P, pinned Tyler Hepler, SH, 1:36; Noah Cline, C, maj. dec. William McGonnell, SM, 16-4.
126-Dylan Graham, C, pinned Austin Gahr, D, 1:35; Kaleb Young, P, maj. dec. Colton Killion, JS, 11-0.
132-Christian Stone, C, maj. dec. Hayden Swartwood, JS, 26-14; Tristan Paul, SH, dec. Josh Schuckers, P, 6-2.
138-Garrett Brown, D, dec. Steffen Yaskoweak, W, 5-2; Perry Arrington, P, dec. Alex Coudriet, SM, 6-0.
145-Nolan Barger, C, pinned Jeff Bottenhorn, P, 1:14; Zach Herman, JS, dec. Tyler Yetzer, SM, 9-3.
152-Alex Feldbauer, SM, dec. Nathan Bingaman, SE, 9-5; Joshua Corignani, B, dec. Curtis Welch, JS, 5-2.
160-Mike Kennelly, D, pinned Dustin Coles, B, 3:38; John Rohrbach, SH, dec. William Gabor, SM, 7-2.
170-Tom Sleigh, D, pinned Darryl Englehardt, SH, 2:28; Joshua Cameroni, SM, maj. dec. Matthew Moonan, B, 12-0.
182-Shane Marshall, D, dec. Andrew Boob, SE, 6-2; Jesse Shambach, SH, dec. Joey McLaughlin, SM, 3-1.
195-Landon Hanna, D, pinned Nate Lose, JS, 1:51; Austin Lewis, SE, pinned Kyle Langdon, B, 3:59.
220-Gary Fledderman, SM, inj. def. Nick Davido, D; 0:23; Dwayne Pepper, SH, dec. Billy Kennedy, W, 9-4.
285-Dan Karpinski, SH, pinned Michael Wolfel, SM, 3:22; Dakota Sera, B, dec. Jake Verchick, C, 7-3.

Second Round Consolations
106-Nick Gittens, SH, bye; Noah Ulmer, JS, pinned Nathan Young, SE, 2:03.
113-Ethan Fox, SM, bye; Dylan Kremer, SH, bye.
120-Kody Cox, D, bye; Cory Killion, JS, bye.
126-Dylan Houseknecht, SH, bye; Marcus Winn, SE, maj. dec. Matt Sherman, W, 17-7.
132-Kyle Pecht, SM, bye; Dylan Zimmerman, D, pinned Brett Harpster, SE, 2:01.
138-Austin White, JS, pinned Brett Benfer, SE, 3:57; Jon Sponsler, C, dec. Nick Cashdollar, SH, 2-1.
145-Logan Boyer, SE, pinned Dustin Heiser, W, 2:42; D.J. Carney, D, dec. Anthony Best, SH, 6-4.
152-Mike Beck, C, pinned Keegan Fischer, P, 1:32; Mark Troisi, D, pinned Joe Snyder, SH, 1:30.
160-Grant Climie, C, pinned Mike Betts, SE, 2:36; Zarin Hornberger, W, pinned Spencer Lane, JS, 0:59.
170-Travis Perry, P, dec. Darion Lavonwitz, SE, 5-2; Utoa Agai-Naipo, JS, pinned Shawn Watkins, W, 1:11.
182-Domonic Loffredo, JS, bye; Brandon Wingert, P, pinned Malik Short, W, 1:21.
195-Daniel Salinas, B, bye.
220-Jake Huling, JS, won by forfeit over Austin Covatch, P; Zach Zawatski, B, dec. Shane Keller, SE, 9-2.
285-Darren Holloway, W, bye; Nate Petitti, D, bye.

Consolation Semifinals
106-Gilbert, C, dec. Gittens, SH, 3-2; Ulmer, JS, dec. Lambiotte, P, 7-4.
113-Saar, JS, pinned Fox, SM, 0:39; Bullers, P, pinned Kremer, SH, 0:39.
120-Cox, D, dec. McGonnell, SM, 7-2; Hepler, SH, pinned Cor. Killion, JS, 0:41.
126-Col. Killion, JS, pinned Houseknecht, SH, 0:54; Winn, SE, dec. Gahr, D, 7-6.
132-Schuckers, P, dec. Pecht, SM, 4-0; Swartwood, JS, pinned Zimmerman, D, 2:45.
138-Coudriet, SM, pinned White, JS, 0:49; Yaskoweak, W, pinned Sponsler, C, 1:55.
145-Yetzer, SM, maj. dec. Boyer, SE, 10-0; Bottenhorn, P, dec. Carney, D, 5-2.
152-Beck, C, dec. Bingaman, SE, 7-4; Troisi, D, dec. Welch, JS, 4-2.
160-Coles, B, pinned Climie, C, 2:20; Gabor, SM, pinned Hornberger, W, 1:35.
170-Moonan, B, dec. Perry, P, 3-0; Englehardt, SH, dec. Agai-Naipo, JS, 4-3.
182-McLaughlin, SM, dec. Loffredo, JS, 6-5; Boob, SE, pinned Wingert, P, 1:36.
195-Langdon, B, dec. Salinas, SM, 4-0; Lose, JS, bye.
220-Kennedy, W, pinned Huling, JS, 1:35; Zawatski, B, inj. def. Davido.
285-Verchick, C, pinned Holloway, W, 0:54; Petitti, D, pinned Wolfel, SM, 1:46.

Consolation Finals
106-Ulmer, JS, dec. Gilbert, C, 10-3.
113-Saar, JS, maj. dec. Bullers, P, 14-6.
120-Hepler, SH, dec. Cox, D, 5-2.
126-Col. Killion, JS, inj. def. Winn, SE, 3:08.
132-Swartwood, JS, dec. Schuckers, P, 2-1.
138-Yaskoweak, W, dec. Coudriet, SM, 3-1 OT.
145-Yetzer, SM, maj. dec. Bottenhorn, P, 10-0.
152-Troisi, D, pinned Beck, C, 1:51.
160-Gabor, SM, pinned Coles, B, 3:26.
170-Englehardt, SH, dec. Moonan, B, 7-4.
182-McLaughlin, SM, dec. Boob, SE, 7-1.
195-Langdon, B, maj. dec. Lose, JS, 14-1.
220-Kennedy, W, pinned Zawatski, B, 1:33.
285-Verchick, C, dec. Petitti, D, 3-1 OT.

Finals

106-Bloom, D, dec. Cooley, W, 4-1.
113-Swauger, D, dec. McClarren, C, 9-4.
120-Bowers, P, dec. Cline, C, 7-0.
126-Young, P, dec. Graham, C, 3-1 OT.
132-Stone, C, dec. Paul, SH, 6-2.
138-Brown, D, dec. Arrington, P, 3-1.
145-Barger, C, maj. dec. Herman, JS, 8-0.
152-Corignani, B, dec. Feldbauer, SM, 7-2.
160-Kennelly, D, dec. Rohrbach, SH, 5-0.
170-Sleigh, D, tech fall Cameroni, SM, 16-0, 5:59.
182-Shambach, SH, dec. Marshall, D, 3-1 OT.
195-Hanna, D, pinned Lewis, SE, 0:20.
220-Pepper, SH, dec. Fledderman, SM, 6-4.
285-Karpinski, SH, dec. Sera, B, 6-5.
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