GREENVILLE — Going 4-1 in the re-start to the season, the Brookville Raiders wrestling team was back at it at last Saturday’s Sheetz Kickoff Classic.
The only blemish on the day was a 40-30 loss to Greenville, but the other four wins over Laurel (52-15), Eisenhower (42-27), North Star (42-25) and Cambridge Springs (57-9) helped the program and its coach reach a couple of milestones.
In the final match of the day against Cambridge Springs, the Raiders won their 700th dual meet while at the same time head coach Dave Klepfer, after tying his former coach and Hall of Famer Les Turner in career wins after beating North Star, passed Turner and notched his 270th victory.
Since the program started in 1960-61, the now 4-2 Raiders are now 700-360-11 as they start their 61st season. Klepfer, in his 17th season overall, stands at 270-111. His former mentor Turner coached from 1963 through 1993 and served as interim coach for part of 1998 and compiled a 269-182-11 mark.
Klepfer was on Turner’s last squad before he retired following the 1993 season. Turner stepped in to help the program after the death coach Lenny Ferraro in 1998.
“I’d be lying that I said yes that I was thinking about coaching back when I was wrestling for Coach Turner,” Klepfer said Sunday afternoon. “But Roland Reitz brought me in to help as an assistant when he was running the program and it went from there.
“Both records are important, you could say. The kids put in a lot of work, all the coaches put a lot of work in and I was fortunate to have two Hall of Fame coaches precede me at Brookville (Turner and Ferraro) and they set the bar here and I’m trying, along with bunch of other coaches to continue that. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve had a lot of help and of course you have to have the athletes throughout the years who want to put in the time and work to have a successful program. I’m pretty fortunate all the way around.”
As with any “re-opening” weekend filled with plenty of matches and bouts, Klepfer’s squad had plenty of ups with some downs as well. It really was a fresh start even though their season had started already on Dec. 11 with the 29-27 loss at Reynolds.
“We won some matches, gave away a couple, but again, I thought everyone got tested,” Klepfer said.
Returning state medalists and state-ranked Nathan Taylor and Owen Reinsel both turned in 5-0 days as well as sophomore Jackson Zimmerman who was a dominating 5-0 with five pins.
Taylor had four first-period pins and a forfeit. Three of the pins were the quick times of 11, 21 and 29 seconds. Ranked No. 2 by papowerwrestling.com in December, Taylor pinned No. 7 Mitch Miles of Laurel in the first period.
Reinsel, ranked No. 4 at 126, was 5-0 with four pins. His 5-0 decision came against Cambridge Springs’ Gunnar Gage, ranked No. 16 at 132. He also pinned Greenville’s Blayke Knauf, who was No. 5 on papowerwrestling’s Northwest Regional rankings at 126. Reinsel is No. 1 on that list.
Zimmerman, No. 3 at 172 in the regional ranking, pinned Cambridge Springs’ Eli Mosconi in the first period. Mosconi was ranked regionally No. 8 at 189.
The Raiders’ other returning medalist Cayden Walter was 4-1 with two forfeits as was Jared Popson. Logan Oakes finished 4-1 with two forfeit wins.
Other Raiders in action were Breckin Cieleski (1-4), Josh Popson (2-3), Coyha Brown (1-4), Wyatt Griffin (2-3) and Caden Marshall (2-3).
The Raiders return to the mat Thursday at Curwensville. That match was originally scheduled for Friday but moved back a day. The Raiders added a trip to this Saturday’s Mid-Winter Mayhem at the Monroeville Convention Center.
MAYHEM DETAILS — The tournament is a 28-team setup that has two sets of 14-team individual brackets wrestled in different locations on the floor with social distancing protocols in effect.
Group 1 wrestles at 8 a.m. while Group 2 starts at 10 a.m. At 3 p.m. the finals for each eight-man bracket will begin with crossover placement matches starting at 5 p.m.