- Grove City, Pennsylvania


December 15, 2012

Mercer matmen edge Sailors

MERCER COUNTY AREA — STONEBORO -- No matter the sport, every team has aspirations of reaching the postseason.

The Lakeview and Mercer wrestling teams got an early season taste of a tournament-like atmosphere in Thursday evening’s showdown at Lakeview High School.

“That was exciting, huh,” Mercer coach Rick Whenry said after his Mustangs upended the Sailors 34-30. “There were some good matches. We knew it was going to be close. The fans were really getting into it tonight. This is a great rivalry in football, basketball and wrestling. There was a good amount of people here and there was good energy in the room. It was a pretty entertaining match.”

Although the individual matches were close, it didn’t appear as though the score was going to be particularly close.

Aside Preston Hoover receiving a forfeit at 106 pounds, Lakeview ripped off seven straight wins between 220 pounds and 138 pounds to stake claim to a 30-6 lead.

Senior 120-pounder Adam Dosch was the lone Sailor to post bonus points with a pin in 3:13, while Andrew Clayton (220), Sam Breese (285), Evan Clayton (113) and Trevor Williams (132) held on for decisions. Jake Heim and Dustin Schleifer received forfeits.

Williams needed a late reversal to upend Trevor Fowler in an exciting 11-10 decision that saw 12 points scored in the final two minutes.

“We wrestled them pretty good,” Lakeview coach Tom Tingley said. “We just came up short in the bonus points. I knew it would come down to that. They got a couple pins and we had a couple guys on their backs, but couldn’t get pin calls. That’s how it goes sometimes.

“(Mercer heavyweight Jon Hennegan) is a good wrestler. The last time Sam wrestled him, he lost. You gotta give (Hennegan) credit he worked hard. It’s early in the year, but Sam wasn’t pushing the pace like he would later in the year.”

But from 145 pounds on, it was all Mercer.

Rodney Brant (145), Clay Ruffo (170) and Austin Slagle (172) posted pins and picked up bonus points when the Mustangs needed them the most as Mercer surged back from a 30-6 deficit. Alex Shaffer (152) had a 9-0 major decision also.

Eli Rutter (160) and Zane O’Brien (195) held on for narrow 2-point victories.

“Being down 30-6, we know we have some quality kids in the middle,” Whenry said. “We won where we needed to. We knew (we needed bonus points) going in. We knew we would have to do some shuffling. A couple of the shuffles kicked us in the butt, but the kids stepped up and that’s important.

“Rodney Brant stepped up against a good kid. He did a good job, going out there and getting the pin. Shaffer got the major decision. Eli Rutter got a good decision. Slagle and O’Brien came out after a year off and they’re just not in shape yet,”

Tempers flared late in the match at 170 pounds when Lakeview’s Tony James was slammed to the mat by Ruffo after the whistle had blown.

“(Ruffo) showed a lot of composure there,” Whenry said. “The normal reaction is to turn around and swing. That would’ve been wrong on both ends. He showed a lot of maturity right there. Wrestling is a heated sport. I’m pretty pleased.”

“Tony is a first year wrestler and that was his second match ever,” Tingley said. “It’s a learning curve for him. He needs to learn to control that. His inexperience showed there. There’s a balance there. You have to balance between enthusiastic and fired up and out of control to the point where you’re not focused. He did a good job of calming down.”

Then late in the 195-pound match with Marquis Spence trailing O‘Brien 6-4, Lakeview fans thought Marquise Spence had secure a game-tying takedown in the third period, but the grapplers were ruled out of bounds.

“(The ref) said he was out of bounds,” Tingley said. “I disagree with that, but that’s his call. I was sitting (in the Lakeview team section) and he was right on top of it. We’re not allowed to disagree with him. That’s how it goes. We need to try to score in the middle so it’s not an issue.”

Despite the thrilling win, Whenry knows his team has some work to do in the wrestling room if it’s going to realize its team goals this winter.

“This was our first match and we have some work to do,” Whenry said. “We didn’t establish very much offense and we have to get in better shape. This isn’t a sprint. This is a marathon. Our ultimate goal is to get to the team championships. This is just the first step.”

“We got a big match from Jon Hennegan against Sam Breese, who was a state qualifier and was one win away from placing. Our (113) pounder did a good job against Clayton.”


Text Only
  • THE CHECKERED FLAG: Up and down week for Sodeman

    LAST FRIDAY I headed south to add I-77 Raceway Park to my track attended list, which made for 162nd track all-time.  I-77 is located south of Ripley, West Virginia just off Interstate 77.  This season, I-77 moved from the crowded Saturday night line-up to Friday night racing and teamed up with Ohio Valley Speedway.  I-77 normally runs Super Late Models, Semi-Late Models, E-Mods, Mod Lites, and 4-Cylinder Mini Stocks.  With the Sprint Cars on the schedule, I decided to make the trip and they were joined by the Super Late Models, Semi-Late Models, and E-Mods.

    July 21, 2014

  • THE CHECKERED FLAG: Blaney still running hot on area tracks

    LAST THURSDAY I headed southwest to Atomic Speedway, formerly known as KC Raceway.  The 1/3-mile high-banked dirt oval is located an hour south of Columbus, Ohio just off Route 23 near Alma.  It was my first visit in a couple years.  A big crowd turned out on Independence Day Eve as the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars were back along with the Super Late Models and E-Mods.  The Ohio Speedweek event the week before drew a huge 62-car field and Thursday’s event drew 33.
    After an astounding Speedweek winning the final three races and four of six, Dale Blaney returned to the track that he last got defeated at.  On the Speedweek show, Jac Haudenschild made the winning pass of Blaney, while Blaney finished second.  Last Thursday, even a seventh starting spot didn’t derail Blaney for long.  The Hartford, Ohio racer worked his way to the front and made the winning pass of race-long leader Tim Shaffer on lap 16.  One caution three laps from the finish was all that slowed Blaney’s run to another $5,000 payday.  It was Blaney’s fourth straight win, sixth of the season, and all-time leading 105th of his career with the All Stars.

    July 13, 2014

  • EXTRA INNINGS: Bucs fans loved Burnett, but let's leave him in Philly

    THERE IS NO no doubt that A.J. Burnett made a huge impact during his two seasons with the Pirates.
    When he arrived in the spring of 2012, so did hope for fans wearied by teams that hadn’t seen a winning record in 20 summers.
    While he certainly did not turn the tide by himself, he turned the wheel. His swagger sometimes didn’t play well with management, but even the Buc brass had to appreciate the new culture that Burnett helped his teammates create.

    July 9, 2014

  • NCAA Football: Rock 6-1 after 17-3 win over Cal U

    Slippery Rock University rode a length-of-the-field scoring drive by its offense and a goal-line stand by its No. 1-ranked defense late in the first half of action Saturday to a 17-3 win over 14th-ranked visiting California (Pa.).

    October 19, 2011

  • steez pc.jpg NFL: Steelers top Jags as Mendenhall makes return

    Mike Tomlin isn’t ready to say the Pittsburgh Steelers are back. Not after watching his team sleepwalk through the second half against Jacksonville on Sunday.

    October 19, 2011 1 Photo

  • wheldon, dan pc.jpg IndyCar Racing: Crash takes Wheldon’s life

    Every race car driver heads onto the track understanding this race could be the last and hoping it won’t be. On Sunday, IndyCar drivers got a harsh reminder when the worst happened to one of their own.

    October 19, 2011 3 Photos

  • pens pc.jpg NHL: Sabres beat Penguins 3-2

    The Buffalo Sabres have had trouble with the Pittsburgh Penguins whether Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin play or not.

    October 19, 2011 1 Photo

  • canadiens logo pc.jpg NHL Quick glance: Montreal at Pittsburgh

    A breakdown of the National Hockey League game Thursday night between the Pittsburgh Penguins and visiting Montreal Canadiens.

    October 19, 2011 4 Photos

  • High School Highlights: Oct. 19, 2011

    A look at the last few days in local high school fall sports action.

    October 19, 2011

  • washington, ron pc.jpg Leading Off: Oct. 19, 2011

    News and notes from the local, regional and national sports scene.

    October 19, 2011 5 Photos

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide