BROOKVILLE — Brookville Raiders senior Gavin Park barely cracked a smile after pinning Fort LeBoeuf’s Noah Rose in 47 seconds Thursday night.
He lightened up some afterward when asked what 100 career wins meant.
“I’m glad I won it but I have one goal and that’s to win a state title,” said Park, a two-time state qualifier and seventh-place finisher last year. “100 is a big deal I guess, but to me the ultimate goal at the end of the year is to win a state title. That’s the main focus. I mean 100 is great and I’m not trying to downplay it, but I want something more.”
Park’s milestone win helped the Raiders to an easy 61-16 win over the short-handed Bison from District 10. They forfeited five weights to the Raiders, who won six of nine bouts on the mat to improve to 14-0 and run their dual meet winning streak to 43 going into Saturday’s Johnson Motors Ultimate Duals.
Park is the 14th Raider to reach 100 wins and the eighth in the last six seasons. He’s been teammates with six of them — Brock and Brodie Zacherl, Zach Vroman, Tate Ortz, Cole Aaron and Jimmy Miller.
“It feels good to be in with guys like Zach Vroman, Brock and Brodie Zacherl, and Tate Ortz, and it’s an honor to be in with them, but I’m looking to be on the list with Tate and Brock more than anything,” said Park, who is ranked No. 3 at 120 in the latest Off the Mat state rankings.
Ortz and Zacherl won state championships.
“It’s definitely a good feeling, but it sounds like a broken record I know, but the main goal is to win a state title,” Park reiterated.
“It says a lot about any individual when you get to that point,” Raiders head coach Dave Klepfer said of Park. “It takes a lot work and dedication. People don’t realize how the type work he’s put into the sport and it’s a credit to him and the type of athlete and competitor he is. Hopefully, he can finish off his senior season reaching the goals he set for himself.”
If it looks like Park never looks satisfied, it’s because he rarely is.
“All of them (were like that),” Klepfer said of his recent 100-win wrestlers. “But when you set those standards for yourself, you tend to take things tougher when they don’t go your way. That’s why you’re that good, you expect a lot of out of yourself. He’s a team guy, but at the same time he’s put together a heckuva individual career.”
A broken ankle knocked Park out of the Raiders’ lineup last year. He sustained the injury just before Christmas and he returned to the lineup just in time for the postseason dual tournament in early February. After claiming his seventh-place medal, Park’s season finished at 23-4.
Park was blessed with good fortune at the Powerade Tournament when he injured his knee in his consolation bout against Benton’s Cole Rhone — he’s ranked No. 2 by OTM at the moment ahead of Park — and Park was forced to default out of the tournament and finished eighth.
“I thought it was way worse, but as the day went on I felt I could come back and wrestle the last bouts,” Park said. “The trainer came over and reassured me that nothing was torn and it popped right back in, so I didn’t need any MRI or anything.
“It put it into perspective how quick everything could be over, so it makes me work hard every night in practice, keeping my eyes on the thing I’ve wanted my whole career.”
Against Fort LeBoeuf, the Raiders also got pins from Park’s younger brother Cabe at 120 and Dontae Constable at 138.
Keelan Kunselman blanked Johnathan Ploss, 3-0, at 113 to start the night. Those two came in ranked 2-3 in the Northwest Region as per papowerwrestling.com. Kai Sorbin manhandled Justin Cornelius in a 17-1 technical fall at 132 and after Constable’s win, the Raiders led 26-0 after five bouts.
Fort LeBoeuf got on the board at 145 when Trenton Pace pinned Josh Keesecker. The Raiders had their last win on the mat with Caleb Hetrick’s 22-7 technical fall of Josh McCall at 152.
The Bison won the last two bouts. Brent Burbules majored Braden MacBeth, 12-4, at 160 and state-ranked Julian Gorring pinned Tyler Park at 170. Gorring, a returning state qualifier, is ranked No. 5 by OTM
Then it was a forfeit finish with five straight wins for the Raiders from 182 through 106 pounds. The Bison had two state-ranked wrestlers out of the lineup with No. 6 Steve McGarvie, a freshman, at 106 and Lane Reinwald, the No. 11-ranked wrestler in the state at 195.
“We knew we had a couple pretty good bouts coming in and I thought we wrestled pretty well as a group,” Klepfer said. “We did a lot of things we are preaching about, scoring points at the end of periods, scoring on the edge and pinning people when they are there. It happy to get out healthy and into Saturday and see what we can do against really tough competition.”