HERSHEY — Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi once said that the only good thing that comes for losing is the desire never to lose again.
For Reynolds High 152-pound mat star Austin Matthews today, that desire is twice as strong.
The Raider senior, for a 3rd straight year, will be making an appearance in the finals at the PIAA State Class AA Wrestling Championships at Hershey’s Giant Center. But the last 2 years, his bid for the gold medal fell short.
He hopes to rectify that this afternoon as he leads a Mercer County group of 6 wrestlers into placement matches for medals.
Matthews will be joined in the finals by Lakeview junior Sam Breese (285) who is trying to make some history here of his own. A pair of Sharon seniors are closing out their careers in the consolations. Michael Bonner (138) will battle for 3rd, while Jarray Norris (126) will go for 5th. Matthews’ Raider teammates Levi Stoyer (145) and Jamar Henry (182) are both competing in 7th-place consolation bouts..
“This is his third state finals and he’s determined,” said Reynolds coach Casey Taylor after watching Matthews demolish Milton’s Ryan Preisch in Friday night’s semis, 16-7. Matthews built a 5-0 lead, but Preisch tied it at 5 early in the 2nd. After that, it was all Matthews as he tacked on a reversal and near-fall for a 9-5 lead, then and escape and 3 takedowns in the final frame.
“I give that kid (Preisch) a lot of credit,” said Taylor. “He came to win the match, not just to keep it close like so many kids do. That kid never stops. And that’s good for Austin. I’m pleased that after it was tied, Austin decided it was time to wake up and time to go.”
Matthews (48-1) will see a familiar face in the finals, Kyle Bova (39-1) of Coudersport. The only loss on Bova’s log came in the region finals where Matthews romped 18-6.
“It won’t be easy,” said Taylor. “They’ll change a few things and so will we. But Austin is determined to win that gold medal.”
In the quarterfinals, the 3-time state place-winner notched a pair of 1st-period takedowns and went on to a controlled 6-2 victory over Blairsville’s Andrew Doak.
Breese had a tough battle in the quarterfinals, beating Central Columbia’s Alex Shiber, 2-1. But it wasn’t that way in Friday night’s semifinals where the Sailor star built a 14-3 lead before pinning Bethlehem Catholic’s Andrew Dunn in 4:34.
“The first few matches here were close,” said Lakeview coach Tom Tingley. “But he’s really wrestling well now and starting to peak. He wrestled a smart match tonight. He kept the pace and took it to that kid.”
In the finals today, it will be an all-Northwest Regional meeting of champion Breese (36-4) and 3rd-place finisher Nicholas Budd (36-1) of Port Alleghany.
“They didn’t wrestle at regions,” said Tingley. “But we know (Budd’s) tough. He beat the defending state champ (Nazar Mironenko of Mifflinburg) earlier.”
Breese said the experience of being here last year as a sophomore helped, and he’s ready for the finals. One of the first people to congratulate Breese after the win was Boiling Springs’ coach Rod Wright, a 3-time state champion for Lakeview.
The consolation matches and finals are wrestled simultaneously on 4 mats. Following is a look at the locals who competed Friday and where they will compete in today’s consolation bouts:
Vying for 3rd
138 — Bonner scored an escape and takedown in the waning seconds of his quarterfinal bout to top Juniata’s Sean Heggs, 8-6. In the semifinals. However, the Tigers’ senior couldn’t come up with the same late-match magic and dropped a 3-2 decision to Line Mountain’s Seth Landsbury, the 7th-place finisher at 132 last season. A 3rd-period takedown by Landsbury made the difference. Bonner fell into the consy semis where he tangled with Burrell’s Steve Edwards in a low-scoring affair that ended 1-1 in regulation. In OT, Bonner finished off a leg shot for a 3-1 victory.
“Michael wrestled tough,” said Sharon coach Dave Ciafre. “That kid was a good counter-wrestler. Michael was more aggressive the whole match and finally got that takedown.”
Bonner (36-4) will have a Northwest Region finals rematch with Brookville’s Brock Zacherl (35-5) won won a controversial overtime match against Bonner .
Vying for 5th
126 — Norris lost his quarterfinal match, 7-4, to Beth-Catholic’s Zeke Moisey, runner-up at 120 last year. Norris fell behind, 6-1, after the 1st period, giving up 2 takedowns and a near-fall. The Tiger senior controlled the rest of the match, but couldn’t catch up. In the 2nd-round conys Norris bounced back with an 8-4 victory over Valley’s Patrick DeWitt to move into the medal rounds. In the consy quarters, Norris faced Saegertown’s Nick Monico, who Norris defeated 5-1 in the region semis. This time it wasn’t as close as Norris jumped out to a 4-0 lead and rolled to a 9-4 victory. In the consy semis, Norris met Jefferson-Morgan’s John Demaske. Norris gave up a 1st-period takedown and never was able to catch up, losing a tough 5-2 decision.
“Jarray didn’t wrestle his match,” said Ciafre. “But he’s in for a medal. Hopefully, he’ll get excited and go get a fifth.”
In the consys today for fifth, Norris (38-4) will take on Southern Columbia’s Kent Lane (39-2).
Vying for 7th
145 — Stoyer, a junior, fell into the consolations after losing a 5-1 decision to Williamson’s Billy Barnes in Friday morning’s quarterfinals. A pair of takedowns on leg shots was the difference in the match. In the 2nd-round consys, Stoyer took on a familiar foe – Cochranton’s Robert Boozer. Stoyer beat the Redbird junior in the district and region finals by scores of 3-1 and 3-2. This time, it was another close win for Stoyer, 5-4. With the bout tied at 3 in the final frame, Stoyer nailed a spin-behind takedown for the deciding points.
In the consy quarterfinals, Stoyer took on Brookville’s Zach Vroman, who led 5-0 in the 2nd period after an escape, takedown and backpoints. Stoyer battled back, but lost 5-3. For 7th place today, Stoyer (41-8) will meet Briton Shelton (43-9).
182 — Henry, a senior, moved into the medal rounds with a 10-1 victory over Benton’s Logan Womelsdorf in the 2nd-round consys. Henry grabbed 4 takedowns in the win. The Raider then bowed to Lancaster Catholic’s Stephen Loiseau, 3-1 in a hardfought battle. Today, Henry (37-12) will face Canton’s Garrett Wesneski (34-4).
“I’m proud of Levi and Jamar,” said Taylor. “Even though they lost those last consolation matches, they wrestled hard. They set goals of getting a medal here and they’ve accomplished that. And Levi will be back next year for another shot.”
106 — Hogue, freshman, bowed out of the tourney with a 14-8 loss to Bishop McDevitt’s Tyshawn White in the 2nd-round consys. White dominated the match on his feet. Hogue was a Section 2 champ this season and posted a 31-15 record.
Notes: The only 0ther District 10 wrestler going for a championship today is Saegertown’s Devin Brown (106). Several others will be competing for places. ... Defending heavyweight champ Mironenko of Mifflinburg was eliminated from the tourney Friday. He lost to Port Allegany’s Nicholas Budd in the quarterfinals, then was disqualified for allegedly punching at Biglersville’s Trevor Stover when he was losing.
HERSHEY — Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi once said that the only good thing that comes for losing is the desire never to lose again.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wilson wins Herald-Tamie Jr. golf crown
It was a case of family history trumping golfing history!
Hickory High golfer Billy Colbert had a chance to become only the second player ever to win the Herald-Tam O’Shanter Golf Championship four times. But he missed the final round of the tourney Wednesday along with his brother Colbert to attend his great-grandma’s funeral in Pittsburgh.
“I kind of wish he was here,” said the 2014 champion Jacob Wilson, a Kennedy Catholic High player who lost in a sudden-death playoff to Colbert last year. “But you play whoever is here. And in golf, you play against yourself too.”
Wilson holds 2-stroke lead over Colbert at Herald-Tamie Junior Golf Championship
It’s never easy in a golf tournament when you are chasing the leader. It’s even more difficult when you are chasing history, as well.
Such is the case for Hickory High senior Billy Colbert who has a chance to become only the second golfer in history to become a 4-time champion of the prestigious Herald-Tam O’Shanter Junior Golf Championship.
ALL-STAR NOTEBOOK: County coaches can relax since Dunn is done!
REST EASY, Mercer County coaching fraternity. Joe Dunn played his final scholastic athletic contest Saturday evening.
After wreaking havoc on the area aggregation’s football and basketball teams during this past year’s District 10 playoffs, Girard High’s Dunn is bound for Penn State-Behrend to become a nurse anesthetist and play basketball.
For one series during the latter stages of the 3rd annual North-South All-Star Game, Dunn demonstrated his deadly demeanor.
SPORTVIEW: Polanco looks like he has been ready for the majors
IF IT WEREN’T so sad, it would be laughable. The Pirates declared that they kept Gregory Polanco in the minor leagues because he wasn’t ready for the Bigs.
Give me a break!
Of course that was the company line. If they had admitted that they didn’t bring him up because it saved them millions of dollars under baseball rules, they would have felt the wrath of the league and the players union.
Former Lakeview High product Miller wins NCAA javelin title
Very few high school athletes get the opportunity to go to Division I schools and even fewer excel on that national stage, but University of Florida junior track and field star Fawn Miller has done just that.
Miller, who was crowned PIAA champion twice during her high school days at Lakeview High in Stoneboro, won the javelin title on Wednesday night at the NCAA Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.
Kubiak guides Scrappers; open season tonight at Jamestown
NILES — If you’re an 18-, 19- or 20-year-old athlete attempting to break into professional baseball and you’re fortunate enough, your first manager will be Teddy Kubiak.
The Mahoning Valley Scrappers are commencing the 2014 Class A Short-Season tonight in Jamestown, N.Y. against the Jammers, and it will be the professional debut for many of the newest of the Cleveland Indians’ affiliate.
SPORTVIEW: Herald-Tamie junior tourney, First Tee of Sharon anniversary coming soon
THERE AREN’T many things that are free in this life, but that’s only one of the reasons the annual Herald-Tam O’Shanter Junior Golf Championship is so special.
It is an opportunity for any boy and girl to play free golf at a premier course, whether they have a chance to win the prestigious tourney title or not.
The event is open to any boy or girl, who doesn’t reach his or her 18th birthday by Sept. 1 and lives or goes to school in the Shenango Valley or Brookfield. It was started in 1949 as a collaboration between Tamie owner Jack Kerins and Herald Sports Editor Johnny Pepe.
Lady Hounds fall to BEA in PIAA Class AA quarterfinals
SLIPPERY ROCK — Whether it’s baseball or softball.
From Little League ... through the scholastic and collegiate ranks ... up to the professional and Olympics levels.
There’s one absolute.
Fight for life
Marlin Jackson rose to fame as one of the greatest athletes to ever come out of Mercer County. But he’s even greater as a human being since he never forgets his roots.
In fact, he’ll be here this weekend at Sharon High Tigers Stadium to conduct his annual clinic on football fundamentals as well as speaking on life-lessons to youngsters.
It’s only one of the projects Marlin conducts locally to help youngsters through his “Fight for Life Foundation.” And it’s apply-named because Marlin himself had to fight for life to become a football star at Sharon High, the University of Michigan and finally the NFL.
- More Sports Headlines
- Oprah lands first interview with Jerry Sandusky's adopted son, Matthew