BROCKWAY— The Brockway wrestling team celebrated its annual Senior Night Monday against the DuBois Area Beavers, and though teammates and friends sent the Rovers off in grand fashion, the match itself produced more mixed results.
Though the Rovers received solid outings from many of their wrestlers, Brockway ultimately couldn’t put a full-night effort together, and by night’s end DuBois had earned a decisive 56-18 victory over the home team.
Coming off a hard-fought 35-29 win in the District-9 Class AAA Team Championships Saturday, the DuBois wrestling squad was riding a wave of momentum, and though his squad’s win helps prepare them for the PIAA AAA State Team Tournament this Thursday, DuBois head coach Luke Bundy also recognizes the importance of the night for the local community as a whole.
“The Team States are coming up on Thursday, which is a big, exciting time for the kids,” Bundy said. “We’re just continuing to work and gear towards the postseason. We’ll take that in stride... But, it was nice to get Brockway back on the schedule. It’s a match the local fans like to come see, you know, because we’re so close together.
“So, it was nice to finally get them on the schedule. It hasn’t happened in a bunch of years for whatever reason, but it’s nice to wrestle in Brockway close to home, get a lot of fans out. Overall, it was a good night for us and we got the job done.”
Though the Beavers ultimately won the night, the Rovers were the ones to strike first blood in the night’s event.
Beginning at the 182 bout, Brockway’s Garrett McClintick gave opponent Blaise Carney no room for competition, taking Carney down in the early goings of the first period and nearly pinning him in the same frame to end the period leading 9-0.
The Brockway sophomore finally forced his opponent’s shoulders to the floor in a total time of 2:35 and gave his team an early 6-0 lead.
The Rovers wouldn’t have to wait long for DuBois to respond.
At 195, Dave Henninger pinned Pierce Yahner in 0:51 to even the score at 6-6.
However, a solid showing from Brockway senior Mark Latuska at 220 saw him pinned Matt Starr in 1:47, giving the Rovers back the lead at 12-6.
Brockway’s fortunes continued to build at the 285 bout, where Hayden Thompson came from behind and earned a 6-5 decision over Alex O’Harrah.
O’Harrah got off to a quick start against the Brockway sophomore with a takedown moments into the first period. Heading into the second period trailing 2-0,
Thompson reversed out of O’Harrah’s starting lock to even the score 2-2 before following it up with a takedown of his own to end the period leading 4-2.
Enter the third period, and O’Harrah was back on the attack, working Thompson over and nearly pinning him, earning three more points and taking the lead at 5-4.
But, a reversal on O’Harrah’s lock got Thompson ahead 6-5 and by buzzer’s end, Thompson had won by a decision of 6-5.
The bout at 106 featured far less scoring moments than its predecessor, but was fought just as hard. In a bout that lasted all three periods, a late escape from Trenton Donahue was just enough to allow the DuBois freshman to go over Brockway’s Anthony Glasl for a 1-0 decision.
Brockway was still up 15-9 on their visiting opponents, but four forfeits in the 113-132 bouts on the Rovers part saw DuBois take over by a margin of 33-15.
From there, the Beavers won four out of the remaining five bouts, receiving victories at 138, 145, 165, and 170.
Austin Fairman pinned Bryce Grecco at 138 to put DuBois ahead 39-15, while another fall for the Beavers courtesy of Brock Adams at 145 made them all but uncatchable at 45-15.
An impressive 5-0 decision at 152 by Angelo Inzana got Brockway to within 45-18, but a technical fall at 165 by Carson Hanna and a pin at 170 by Izsak Kerner ensured that DuBois would walk away the victors by a score of 56-18.
Despite what the scoreboard read, the Rovers up good individual putting, and Brockway head coach Eric Grecco says that in itself is a positive his team can take away from the night.
“We know DuBois is a solid team and we know they’re AAA D-9 champs, and we knew coming in we had some holes at the bottom half of our lineup,” Grecco said. “Overall, I think we competed pretty well. I know we need to fix some things going into this week, but overall it was a pretty good performance from us.
“Our goal was to win that head-to-head battle the matches that were wrestled, and I think we did that or came pretty close.”
On the night, DuBois won five of the nine bouts contested, earning four falls, one technical fall, and four forfeits overall.
For Brockway’s part, the Rovers managed to pin two opponents in the night’s event.
Despite the loss, Brockway was able to honor its three seniors — Erik Botwright, Mark Latuska and Jake Allenbaugh — and Grecco says that their contributions have been felt by the rest of his squad.
“What they’ve done for this team, being able to come out and wrestle only a year or two and still be competitive out there on the mat each time we put them out there, has been great,” he said. “They’re great kids, great leaders and we’re so pleased to have them. They’ve only wrestled a combined four years between three kids, but they’re just great kids. They listen, pick up on it, and they all seem to enjoy being out for this team.”
DuBois looks to gear up for the State Team Tournament this Thursday, while Brockway returns to the mat next Tuesday when it hosts Keystone.