By Kenny Varner
PHILIPSBURG – Up for the challenge.
The Bellefonte wrestlers muscled their way through the competition Saturday finishing a perfect 5-0 in the Mountaineer Duals at Philipsburg-Osceola High School.
“I’m proud of the way our team responded from a tough loss earlier in the week,” said Bellefonte coach Michael Maney. “We didn’t have a practice where we punished them or anything like that. Some times people think they have a hard practice after a dual meet, but we just had a real heart-to-heart talk with them. It came down to care.”
Others competing in the Duals were Altoona, PO, West Branch, Punxsutawney and Glendale.
Bellefonte opened its day with a hard fought 30-20 victory over Glendale.
Starting at 127, Jackson Long got things going early as he pinned Ryder Krise at 1:23.
Teammate at 139, Noah Weaver, also notched a pin over Dayton Johnson, at 2:31.
At 145, Gage Long notched his team’s third pin in-a-row as he was able to get Malachi Richards on his back at :15
Bellefonte’s 172-pounder, Max Murray,pinned Brady Vereshack at :39.
Rounding out the wins for Bellefonte was 189-pound Grady Garrison, won by major decision beating Dravin Beatty, 10-0.
“There is a standard in Bellefonte wrestling. Their job is to keep that standard. We set that message and worked on some things, but the biggest thing was care and fight,” added Maney. “It was a total team effort. It is a huge turnaround from earlier in the week. We needed it. Some times that first win is the toughest to get.”
The Red Raiders found themselves in a nail biting second contest against West Branch, winning 38-30.
Starting at 139: Weaver notched another pin, this time he pinned Hunter Schnarrs at 3:36.
Bellefonte picked up yet another pin at 145. Gage Long pinned Reed Yingling at :56.
The pins continued to come for Bellefonte at 160. Murray pinned Carter Yingling, at :47.
At 215 Addison Shawley pinned Austin Keirn, at 1:23.
In the lightweight division, 107 pound Long, pinned Bryce English late in the contest at 3:20.
At 121, Swisher finished with a major decision over Kaleb Sallurday, 14-1
Rounding out the contest at 127: Long won a major dec. over Drake Taylor, 8-0 .
“When you get some momentum going, and you have that first loss and the second one, it’s sometimes hard to right the ship,” said Maney. “It speaks to the character of the team. They came and fought for each other.”
Next up for the Red Raiders line of sight was a very tough Altoona
team that Bellefonte defeated 46-27.
Starting things off for Bellefonte at 139, Weaver won by major decision over Wyatt Young, 10-0.
145-pounder Long, pinned Eli Wisor, :57.
Bellefonte was back at it at 160.
Murray pinned Hayden McMillon at 1:19.
The pins continued at 172. It would be Garrison’s turn as he pinned Julian Fetter, at 1:02.
At 189: Irwin pinned Evan Boose at 1:51.
107-pounder Long pinned Nick Irwin, at 3:55.
121: Swisher, B, pinned Phillip Sarbo, 1:19
Rounding out the scoring at 127: Long went onto to pin Logan Brandt, at 4:36.
In Round 4, Bellefonte continued its intensity as it battled to come out victorious 37-22 over Philipsburg-Osceola.
Starting at 145, Long, pinned Haydn Kephart at 3:50.
At 172, Murray won major decision over Koptchak, 15-5.
189-pounder Garrison, took his match against Hensal by a 2-0 decision.
Pins were a regular sight for Bellefonte. During the 215 match Irwin pinned Jake Shaw, 1:22.
At 285, Shawley pinned Cort, at 1:53. Garcia took the 121-pound contest as he won by forfeit.
At 127, Swisher, took home a 5-1 decision over Gustkey.
133-pounder Long won by major decision over Kephart, 9-0.
In their final match of the day Bellefonte dominated Punxsutawney 53-18.
At 160: Murray won by forfeit.
215-pounded Irwin pinned Fischer, at :34.
Things continued to soar for the Raiders at 107. Long, pinned Dobson, at 1:18
Bellefonte picked up a technical fall at 114. Garcia, shut out Twigg, 15-0.
At 121, Swisher won by forfeit and at 127, Long also won by forfeit.
At 133: DuFour pinned Motter, 1:13
139-pounder Weaver continued his strong tournament as he notched a win at 139 pinning Kunselman at 1:01.
145: Long won by forfeit Records:
When the dust settled on the Red Raiders day, the pumped up their record to 5-3 on the year.