LEXINGTON, Va. — The Clarion University wrestling team rolled in its final tune-ups before the start of Eastern Wrestling League competition, with the Golden Eagles routing VMI 30-12 and Davidson 36-3 last Saturday Lexington on Saturday.
The Golden Eagles (5-3) have now won four straight dual matches going into its stretch of six straight EWL matches, starting with a trip to George Mason this Sunday. They’ll host Edinboro Jan. 26 at Marwick-Boyd Auditorium followed by another home match with Cleveland State Jan. 28.
The two wins leading into the EWL stretch has helped the Golden Eagles shake off some early setbacks on the schedule.
“Honestly, we’re not happy about where we’re at right now,” head coach Keith Ferraro said. “We’ve lost a couple of duals that I’m unhappy about. That’s college wrestling. If you’re not firing on all cylinders at all times, you get burned. That happened to us this season, but we continue to improve. We are definitely getting better as a team.”
It was an active weekend for four former Brookville wrestlers.
Reigning PSAC Wrestler of the Week and 2017 PIAA champion from Brookville Gavin Park extended his streak of wins by fall to six straight, pinning VMI’s Clifton Conway in 39 seconds and Davidson’s Michael McLellan in just 12 seconds. Those highlighted a day in which Clarion wrestlers won 10 bouts by bonus points.
Park’s pin of Conway set the Golden Eagles in the winning direction against the Keydets, though VMI quickly tied the team match with a win by fall at 133 pounds.
Another former Raider Brock Zacherl, No. 6 in the latest intermatwrestle.com Division I national rankings, claimed a major decision at 141 pounds to put Clarion back ahead, and Brookville’s Taylor Ortz added a 14-4 major of his own over Dominic Gallo to put Clarion up 14-6.
Taylor Cahill continued his transition to 165 pounds with a 3-2 decision over Blake Hohman, and Dom Rigous added a major decision over Cade Kiely at 174 pounds to put the Golden Eagles ahead 21-4. Greg Bulsak clinched the team win for the Golden Eagles with a win in the 184-pound bout, beating Christopher Beck by 7-1 decision. Toby Cahill wrapped up the win with another win by fall, pinning Jake Koch in the second period.
The match against the Wildcats was not even that close, as the Golden Eagles won nine of 10 matches to blow away Davidson. Park again opened with a win by fall and Cameron Butler picked up a win by decision at 133 pounds. Zacherl added another major decision, this one a 14-4 score over Dustin Runzo, and Ortz posted his second of the day to make it 18-0. Port Allegany’s Mac Tanner snapped a three-match losing streak with a 9-3 win over Tony Palumbo at 157 pounds, and former Raider Jimmy Miller added a victory in his Golden Eagles dual meet debut with a 10-2 major over Hunter Costa.
Rigous clinched the team win by pinning Noah Satterfield in the second period at 174.
The Davidson match saw all four Raiders win bouts.
“Saturday was a good day,” Ferraro said. “We’re back on track. Having four Brookville guys win in the same dual is pretty special. It says a lot about what (Raiders head coach) Dave Klepfer has accomplished. It also speaks volumes about his approach as a coach. What he teaches leads to success in college. It should make the town of Brookville proud.”