Bald Eagle Wrestlers battle to win in season opener, tops Bellefonte
Dec 13, 2022

By Kenny Varner

WINGATE – A strong opening performance!

The Bald Eagle Area wrestling team opened its 2022-23 campaign with a bang! They welcomed rival Bellefonte to the Eagles gym.

It was quite the early battle but in the end, the Eagles would grind out a 41-22 victory Tuesday. 

“Anytime you wrestle Bellefonte in a rival match and you get a win and that’s exciting,” said Bald Eagle Area coach Ron Guenot. “It was the first match of the year. Sometimes that first match of the year is a tough one. We haven’t competed yet. So it was good to get it under our belt and look forward to this weekend at King of the Mountain.”

It would be Bellefonte that would score the first points of the night. 

Starting at 189 pounds, Nash Irwin muscled his way to a 4-3 decision over Shawn Knepp. 

Irwin opened the first period, posting a takedown, making it a 2-0 contest going into the second.

In the second, Knepp tied it up posting two back points as Irwin started out the period in the down position. 

Knepp opened the third period with an escape and looked to have the advantage but Irwin would shoot for the legs and notched the taking down, leading 4-3. Irwin was able to hold on from there to give the Raiders a 3-0 advantage. 

“It’s a dual meet situation and I think we let some outside factors influence us. You’re going to have that with a young team,” said Bellefonte coach Michael Maney. “I was happy with some of the younger guys and how they wrestled. But we have a lot of work to do. There is a lot of wrestling left in the year. So a lot of it is how you respond. Tomorrow we’ll get back to work.”

Bald Eagle took the lead when at 215, Nate Fry won by forfeit.

At 285, the Eagles made it two-in-a-row as Eric Clark rolled through to a major decision Colton Perryman at 8-0. 

In the light weight division, Bellefonte’s Wyatt Long was able to pin fellow 107-pounder Liam Purcell at 1:42.

After an early takedown, Long was able to work Purcell to his back and roll him up for the win. 

Bellefonte would take 114, when Cameron Garcia got his hand raised as he won by forfeit.

But the Eagle would bounce back at the 121-pound weight class. 

Lucas Fye, would take an early 6-2 advantage after one and finish things out picking up a 16-5 major decision over Jackson Long. 

The Eagles picked up an easy win at 127 when Coen Bainey won by forfeit. 

133-pounder Connor Maney took down Bellefonte’s Gavin DuFour pinning him at 1:48.

139 – pounder Noah Weaver helped his team posting a major decision over Hunter Ishler 11-0. 

145 – Mason Reese (BEA) decision over Gage Long (BEL) 4-3.

At 152, Bald Eagle’s Jeffre Pifer pinned Gage Long with 28 seconds left in the first, bumping up the lead to 35-19. 

Bellefonte won its last match at night at 160 pounds when Max Murray and Cameron Dubbs battled to 6-3 decision in favor of Murray.

Murray started with a first period take down. Dubbs would cut the lead in half with an escape. But Murray would take down Dubbs again before the period ending, going into the second leading 4-1.

Ion the down position, Dubbs was able to maneuver his way out for the escape. But Murray would get Dubbs back down on the mat, going up 6-3. Neither wrestler were able to score in the third as Murray went on to capture the decision. 

Rounding out the night at 172, Bald Eagle extended its lead as Grady Garrison pinned William Garrison, at 3:73, ending the contest as a 41-22 contest.

Both teams will be back in action this weekend at the King of the Mountain Tournament.

Bald Eagle Area 41, Bellefonte 22

107 – Wyatt Long (BEL) pinned Liam Purcell (BEA), 1:42.

114 – Cameron Garcia (BEL) won by forfeit.

121 – Lucas Fye (BEA) major decision over Jackson Long, 16-5.

127 – Coen Bainey (BEA) won by forfeit. 

133 – Connor Maney (BEA) pinned Gavin DuFour (BEll), 1:48.

139 – Noah Weaver (BEL) major decision over Hunter Ishler 11-0. 

145 – Mason Reese (BEA) decision over Gage Long (BEL) 4-3.

152 – Jeffre Pifer (BEA) pinned Gage Long (BEL), :28.

160 – Max Murray (BEL) 6-3 decision over Cameron Dubbs 6-3.

172 – Grady Garrison (BEA) pin over William Garrison, 3:73. 

189 – Nash Irwin (BEL) decision over Shawn Knepp (BEA), 4-3.

215 – Nate Fry (BEA) won by forfeit

285 – Eric Clark (BEA) major decision Colton Perryman (BEL), 8-0

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