The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


February 10, 2014

MAT NOTEBOOK: Beth-Catholic on incredible run; McMath builds Fla. program

OPINION — IN MY MANY YEARS of covering high school wrestling, I have seen many powerhouse programs rise and fall.

Reynolds is one of the state’s most consistant programs and the success at the state level year after year has demonstrated that. And no offense to the Raiders faithful, but I don’t know if there have been some of Reynolds’ better teams that could beat the Bethlehem Catholic teams of the past few years.

BeCa has won the last four PIAA Class AA Dual Meet Championships during that span and as young as they are this year, there could be more titles in the future.

Last year the Golden Hawks qualified 12 wrestlers for the individual state tourney although four were seniors, including state champ Damien Cruz. It will be interesting to see how many qualify this year as they go for their third straight tournament title there.

ä Former Sharon High mat star Eric Mausser has built a strong program and Franklin Regional and the team won the PIAA Class AAA Dual Meet Championship Saturday with an easy finals victory over fellow WPIAL team Latrobe.

The team placed third at the duals last year and got an added boost this season when a couple of wrestlers transferred from the Saegertown program — including AA state champ Devin Brown.

It would have been fun to see BeCa wrestle Franklin Regional as part of the dual meet tournament.

ä Speaking of wrestling powerhouses, former Sharpsville High star Tom McMath has built one at Jensen Beach (Fla.) High School.

McMath, who after Sharpsville went on to an outstanding career at West Virginia University, is now in his 8th season at Jensen Beach in Martin County, Fla. While Florida has separate high schools, they have county school districts.

My brother Paul, who has been matside shooting photos for The Herald for the last several years at Pennsylvania postseason tournaments, caught up with McMath during the Florida regional championships held at Jensen Beach H.S., where McMath doubles as the tournament director.

According to Paul:

ä The school newly opened in 2004 and he came in 2006 as a teacher and coach.

ä When the program started there were only a few wrestlers in the room, but he now has more than 30. Some students he talked to when he first started didn’t know they had wrestling.

ä He instituted and coaches the Barricuda Wrestling Club during the off-season.

ä He feels this year is his best team since many of them came up through the system and wrestle during the off season. At the regionals, he had four champions and qualified 10 of his matmen for the state tournament this coming weekend.

ä He has 11 District champions and 4 state champions to date. He has returning state champion Chris Favoroso wrestling at 195.

ä He says, while Florida wrestling has been behind other states where wrestling has been around for awhile, such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York, it is getting much better.  He feels the top 2 or 3 wrestlers in Florida could do well in other states. He is hoping to take a couple of his wrestlers to the National High School Tourney

One of the problems is that the sport hasn’t caught on as much with the media in Florida, which focuses more on college and pro sports. One of the drawbacks for the sport is that there isn’t one major Florida college that offers wrestling.

ä Tom is engaged. He and Kimberly will be married in April. They met in Florida, although she is originally from the Philadelphia area. She is big wrestling fan and understands the time commitment it takes to coach.

ä His good friend and former Blue Devils football teammate John Napotnik comes down to visit every year during the tournaments. McMath and Napotnik were two of the several key players on Sharpsville’s state championship football team in 1997.

Note the shorts on McMath in the photo. Hey, it’s Florida! The weather is slightly different there at tournament time than it is in Pennsylvania.

ä The postseason gets under way in earnest this coming weekend as the Section tournaments open.

Mercer County matmen will be competing in either the Section 2 tourney at Sharon or Section 3 at Greenville.

Lynn Saternow is sports editor of The Herald. He can be reached at

Text Only
  • SPORTVIEW: Johnny Football claims he has learned from his 'rookie mistakes'

    HERE ARE some thoughts from a guy who might have made a few “rookie mistakes” in his life, ala Johnny Manziel.
    Johnny Football admitted this past week that he made some rookie mistakes. Really?
    Usually rookie mistakes for most NFL newbies are throwing into coverage or fumbling the football because you don’t tuck it tightly to your side.

    July 27, 2014

  • NFL NOTEBOOK: Ex-Sharon star Austin hopes to spark Lions' defense

    THE TALENTED — albeit underachieving — Detroit Lions commence camp July 27 in Allen Park, Mich. as the National Football League prepares for the 2014 season.

    July 21, 2014

  • Fighting cancer Racing to fight cancer

    Former Hickory High athlete Amanda Budzowski is on the run — the run to raise money to fight cancer.
    Budzowski is part of Team in Training, an organization that has raised more than $1.4 billion for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since forming in 1988. Her division is known as IRONTEAM and she is currently training for the 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon in Mont Tremblant, Canada, in August.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians need fast start after All-Star break

    SO FAR, so good. I’m referring to the start of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians after the All-Star break on Friday night.
    Both teams rallied to win. The Buccos beat the Colorado Joints — err, I mean Rockies — by coming from behind in the 8th inning. Since they legalized marijuana sales in that state, it gave new meaning to John Denver’s song “Rocky Mountain High.”

    July 20, 2014

  • Sky high Rutters earn spot in national motocross event

    The brother-sister racing duo of Elijah and Dannah Rutter of Mercer are set to travel to Hurricane Mills, Tenn., to compete soon in the prestigious 33rd annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships presented by AMSOIL at Loretta Lynn Ranch.
    Elijah, 18, and Dannah, 16, earned a ticket to the event with their performances at qualifiers and then regionals and are among the top 5 percent of riders in the U.S. Overall, 20,000 hopefuls from across the U.S. competed and there are only 1,446 qualifying spots at nationals.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sharon Football scramble Notebook: Sharon football greats meet, reunite at inaugural golf scramble

    Mid-July, with the temperature 80-plus degrees at Avalon at Buhl Country Club; however, it felt like a fall, football Friday.
    The inaugural Sharon Football Boosters 4-man golf scramble took place recently, and served as a Who’s Who in the Tigers’ triumphant tradition.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: All is right with the world - LeBron has come home!

    HAPPY DAYS are here again. The prodigal child has returned!
    The announcement that “King James” is returning to Cleveland has created a level of euphoria not seen since the Browns won the city’s last major sport championship a couple of years ago.
    What’s that? Oh, yeah — make that 50 years ago (1964).

    July 13, 2014

  • LeBron James Full text of LeBron's essay in SI

    LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday in an essay that he wrote for Sports Illustrated. The following is the full text of that essay.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Snyder, Gordon, Popatak named to All-State team

    Grove City High’s David Gordon, Sharpsville’s Greg Popatak and Lakeview’s Logan Snyder recently were named to the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state team.
    Synder was selected 1st-Team in Class A as a designated-hitter, while Gordon was honorably-mentioned in Class AAA and Popatak similarly was honored in AA. Gordon gained his laurels as a pitcher; Popatak as a 3rd baseman.

    July 10, 2014

  • Oprah lands first interview with Jerry Sandusky's adopted son, Matthew

    Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, is breaking his silence for the first time since his father's 2012 conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, sitting down with Oprah to tell his story.

    July 8, 2014

  • County champs Little League Tournaments

    Sharon won the District 2 Major Division (12-year-olds) Championship, while Greenville 9-10 and West Middlesex 11 teams notched tournament victories in recent action.

    Hermitage Brennan Chiropractic won the Mercer County 14-under championship recently.

    Following are game reports:

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cook The First Tee of Sharon celebrates 15th anniversary

    Professional golf star John Cook has received many honors and awards in his illustrious career, but probably none mean as much as those similar to the one he received Monday afternoon at The First Tee of Sharon.
    During a special ceremony to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the local program, a permanent plaque was unveiled in his honor describing the contributions he has made to junior golf.

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: John Cook here Monday for First Tee; other celebs on July 11

    THE RETURN of Tiger Woods to a PGA event sparked a lot of interest this past week. The return of John Cook to Buhl Farm Golf Course Monday will do the same locally.
    Cook, a standout on the Champions Tour and outstanding TV golf analyst, will conduct a clinic at 11 a.m. Monday at the course to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of The First Tee of Sharon program.
    It is open to the public at no charge.

    June 29, 2014

  • Tri-Athletes Hickory honors Tri-Athletes

    Hickory High honored its 2013-14 tri-athletes in a recent ceremony, the latest installment in a program that began in 2003-04.
    Fifty student-athletes (grades 9-12) were cited for having competed in at least one sport in the fall, winter and spring while maintaining a minimum B (85 percent) grade-point-average during the first three 9-week grading periods of the  academic year.

    June 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Ex-Greenville man to enter Bedford County Hall

    HUGHEY TATE was the greatest baseball player that ever lived — hitting 10,000 home runs and never making an out in 50 years on the diamond.
    OK, that’s not true of course. But that’s the way Hughey would have told it before bursting into laughter.
    Tate, a Greenville man who was as good at spinning a yarn as well as he was in hitting home runs, will be inducted posthumously into the Bedford County (Pa.) Hall of Fame Saturday. Some of his relatives from this area will attend the ceremonies.

    June 22, 2014

Top 25 (AP Poll)
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter