HYDE — The DuBois wrestling team entered Saturday’s Bison Duals Saturday at Clearfield healthier than it’s been in close to a month, and the end result was an impressive showing that saw the Beavers take home the title.
DuBois welcomed back sophomore 160-pounder Grant Barr, and his return helped spark an all-around team effort that saw the Beavers finish a perfect 5-0.
DuBois went 3-0 in Pool A, scoring lopsided wins over Williamsport (51-23), Benton (64-6) and Forest Hills (54-19). The Beavers then blasted Pool D champ West Branch, 56-16, in the semifinals before pulling out a hard-fought 36-33 victory over Montoursville in the finals late Saturday night.
“The kids wrestled really well,” said DuBois coach Luke Bundy. “We’re getting healthy and moving past the flu bug, and I thought we really started to come together team-wise.
“We talked to the kids going into this weekend about using this as a springboard heading into the team postseason and then the individual after that. And, I definitely think we did that have and things pointed in the right direction.”
One of the big highlights of pool action was senior Kolby Ho capturing his 100th career victory, which came on a forfeit in the opening match against Williamsport — a team DuBois will see in the postseason at the district level.
Ho is just the 11th DuBois wrestler to reach the century mark and first since Tom Sleigh achieved the milestone as a junior in 2013. Sleigh graduated in 2015 as the school’s all-time wins leader (140-24). After going 5-0 with five bonus-point wins (2 pins, 2 forfeits and 1 major decision) Saturday, Ho currently sports a 104-28 career record.
“I’m not sure if Williamsport realized he was going for his 100th win or not,” said Bundy. “They had kids weighed in at each weight and elected to forfeit to him, which sucked for him because you always like to see a kid have a match for their 100th. But, reaching 100 wins is a great accomplishment, and there aren’t a lot of wrestlers in our history who have 100 victories.
“It (100th win) was more of a formality for him this year, and a question of when it was going to happen than if. Getting it this early in the season (as a senior) is a testament to what he’s done the past three years.
“It is nice to get it out of the way now still being early in the season because he has some big goals for himself as the year goes along. Ultimately, he would like to win a high state medal to cap his senior year. Now, he can put this behind him and focus totally on the goals he has set for himself.”
Ho was one of three Beavers to go 5-0 Saturday, with Trenton Donahue and Ed Scott being the others. They also scored bonus points in all five victories. Donahue received three forfeits and had two pins, while Scott had four pins and a forfeit.
Teammates Chandler Ho, Dalton Woodrow, Barr and Matt Starr all went 4-1, while Alex O’Harrah was 3-1. Eric Schneider and Izsak Kerner enjoyed 3-2 days.
Overall, every wrestler who hit the mat for DuBois won at least one match with that effort leading to huge bonus-point day for the Beavers. DuBois scored bonus points in 39 of its 49 individual wins — including 25 pins — on the day.
“We got a lot of bonus points and they came from up and down the lineup,” said Bundy. “There wasn’t any one person who carried us. It was a total team effort in that respect, and we had different guys pick up the slack in different matches.
“We also had some guys do a nice job of not giving up a lot of bonus points (in losses).”
Ironically, DuBois actually lost the bonus-point battle in the finals to Montoursville, 15-12, but won the match on the strength of a couple key decision victories as the Beavers finished with an 8-6 edge in total wins in the match.
Woodrow notched a pin in the opening bout of the finals at 132, while Ho added a fall of his own at 145. Barr added a 6-1 win at 160, and Schneider captured a key 1-0 win over Jaxon Dalena at 182.
Despite those wins, DuBois trailed 27-18 entering the heavyweight bout, which Starr won 4-0 over Dalton Tubbs. Chandler Ho followed with a big 6-0 win over fellow freshman Brock Lutz at 106. That win pulled DuBois within three points before the Warriors forfeited to Donahue at 113.
The teams then traded falls to end the match, with a 48-second pin by Scott in the final bout giving the Beavers a thrilling 36-33 victory and the tournament title.
“We got some key wins in the final from Schneider, Starr and Chandler as we turned the corner in that match,” said Bundy. “We knew we had Ed Scott left in the final match, and there’s no better position than having that. Those three wins put is in position for Ed to win us the match and he did.”
Host Clearfield went 4-1 on the day to come away with a fifth-place finish.
The Bison went 2-1 in pool action, beating Port Allegany (38-31) and Altoona (43-30) before dropping a close 37-35 decision to Freedom. Clearfield then topped Union City, 42-28, in the semifinal round before besting James M. Coughlin, 39-32, in the fifth-place match.
Matt Ryan, Caleb Freeland, Hunter Wright and Luke McGonigal led the Bison with perfect 5-0 records on the day. Jude Pallo, Nathan Barr and Avry Gisewhite all had 3-2 days.
Both teams are back in action Tuesday. DuBois travels to Altoona, while Clearfield (8-5) hosts Tyrone.