GREENVILLE — Starting the season once again at the Sheetz Kickoff Classic Saturday, the Brookville Raiders wrestling team went 4-1 and got its head coach Dave Klepfer a milestone.
Klepfer, in his 14th season with the Raiders, became the sixth coach in District 9 history to reach the 200-win milestone. He stood at 197 wins going into the season and the Raiders’ third win of the day — a 54-21 rout of Erie High — he reached 200.
He’s now 201-96 in his 14th season. He went 7-3 as an interim coach to finish out the 2002-03 season after the resignation of Roland Reitz and then began his current tenure in 2005-06. The seven-time D9 Class AA Coach of the Year’s teams have won 20 or more matches the past six seasons and are 156-25 over the past seven seasons.
The Raiders opened with a 66-10 win over McDowell before dropping a 45-19 decision to WPIAL Class AAA Waynesburg. They rebounded with wins over Greenville (40-27), Erie High and Harborcreek (34-30) to finish the day.
They open the season at home Tuesday against Clarion. The Raiders will honor last year’s state champion and current Clarion University freshman Gavin Park with his banner.
In the opener against McDowell, the Raiders won 10 of 12 bouts on the mat and took two forfeit wins at 106 and 113 pounds. But the Raiders ran into a strong Waynesburg team after that and won just four of 10 bouts.
Tyler Cook (pin) and Colby Whitehill (major decision) won the first two bouts at 220 and heavyweight, and Parker Fleming’s 4-2 win at 113 gave the Raiders a 13-6 lead, but Waynesburg won nine straight bouts from 120 through 170 to lead 45-13. Xavier Molnar had a second-period pin to set the final score.
It was the Raiders’ first loss outside of the annual Johnson Motors Ultimate Duals or dual meet postseason since losing 60-12 to another Class AAA WPIAL team back in 2011 at the same Greenville High School event.
After the loss to Waynesburg, the Raiders beat host Greenville, taking seven of 12 bouts on the mat while trading forfeits. In the win over Erie High, the Raiders won nine bouts, four of them forfeits.
The closing match against Harborcreek, the Raiders secured the win when Parker Fleming’s pin at 113 gave them a 34-21 lead with two bouts remaining.
Raiders sophomore heavyweight Colby Whitehill was the lone unbeaten regular, going 5-0 with two pins, two majors and one forfeit. Caleb Hetrick, Kai Sorbin and Braden MacBeth each went 4-1 while Dontae Constable and Xavier Molnar each finished 3-1. Cayden Walter was 3-2, getting two forfeit wins.