There are times in doing this job where you can almost predict everything that's going to happen in a wrestling match, football game or any other sport out there.
But the way Central Cambria's Shane Morris, Claysburg-Kimmel's Corey Aungst and Penn Cambria's Jon Stoy and Todd Niebauer have superbly handled interviews about the deaths of loves ones, has pleasantly surprised me.
Morris talked eloquently about his brother, Nathan, a former state wrestling champion who died in a motorcycle accident. Aungst candidly talked of his sister, Kristen, who was a big supporter of his and a wrestling manager.
Stoy's remarks about always looking for his twin brother, Joey, died in automobile accident in the fall, break your heart, and Niebauer's strength and vivid memory of that tragic and long October day, are remarkable.
Some of us, including me, would have not been able to keep it together while talking about a departed brother, sister or athlete.
Niebauer said he "bawled" for most of Joey Stoy's funeral and wake, but he talked about a calm that came over him when it was time to speak at the funeral. Maybe it's therapeutic to talk about someone during troubled times.
During a time of death, people's character comes to the surface. The wrestling community certainly showed its character after Joey Stoy's death. Wrestlers and coaches from around the region filled the church for the viewings in support of Penn Cambria and the Stoy family.
"District 6 and District 5 were unbelievable as far as support," Niebauer said. "Other kids from all around the area just showed their support. Wrestling is a big family."
Weyandt making impact
Bedford's Doug Weyandt is certainly making an impact since his return to the lineup Jan. 8 against Claysburg-Kimmel, going 4-1 and winning a big and emotional bout against Northern Bedford's Matt Sollenberger Saturday.
Weyandt, a 140-pound senior, missed the first half of the season because he lost the end of a finger in an elevator lift while helping a friend at work in late October. A doctor was able to surgically re-attach the end of the finger, but Weyandt's hand is always wrapped heavily when he wrestles.
He used all of his injury timeouts in his first bout back and had to default, but the physical Weyandt has won four in a row since.
"It's tough coming back," he said, "but I have some perfect wrestling partners. Brian Gibbons is helping me out. I finally got a good tape job. The first match I wrestled, I injury defaulted, but I'm coming back strong."
No doubting Thomas
The Thomas Tournament is always a good one, but this year's version, which begins Friday at Bedford, will be even more interesting.
Bedford has won the team title four straight years, but look for Huntingdon, Claysburg-Kimmel and Northern Bedford to also be in the hunt for the title.
There's also some possible intriguing finals matchups, but the most intriguing is the expected 112-pound bout between Penn Cambria's Evan Link, who is ranked third at 112 in the statewide Off The Mat rankings, and North Star's second-ranked Nick Roberts.
Todd Irwin can be reached at 946-7464 or at firstname.lastname@example.org