Golden Tiger wrestlers taste first victory

HOLLIDAYSBURG – Both Tyrone and Hollidaysburg were 0-3 going into Saturday night’s match. Both are dealing with injuries. Both needed a win badly.

So, it’s only fitting that Hollidaysburg’s 42-34 win didn’t come easy.

In fact, the last half of a tightly-contested dual meet was kind of confusing.

The confusion came before 120 pounds, with Hollidaysburg holding a 30-22 lead with four weights to go.

Tyrone coach Blair Packer and Hollidaysburg assistant coach Mitch Johns, along with the referee and scorekeepers, debated at the scorer’s table about who should have to send their wrestler out first at 120. It was finally decided, because of the pre-match disk flip, that the Golden Tigers had to send out a wrestler.

Hollidaysburg coach Mike Moore sent out Darren Bowser, who won by forfeit. Tyrone’s Parker Alley moved up to 126 and won by forfeit, leaving the Tigers with a 36-28 lead. Both teams got pins in the last two weights to set the final score.

“It wouldn’t have mattered there at 120 what they were going to do. We were going to send out at 120,” Moore said. “With the confusion, I was just waiting to see what was going on myself.”

“It really didn’t make a difference,” Packer said.

One of the key bouts that did make a difference came early, at 152, after Tyrone’s Jason Schopp rang up a 14-0 major decision of Colton Walls with his deadly tilt.

There were four lead changes in the 152-pound bout between Hollidaysburg’s Matt Young and Tyrone’s Phoenix Farias. The last one was the decisive one. Farias led, 9-8, but Young took him down to his back and pinned him in 4:47.

It was only the second pin of the season for Young, who attends Bishop Guilfoyle but wrestled in Delaware when he was younger.

“That was a big pin,” Moore said. “When he moved here, he didn’t have the opportunity to wrestle, and he’s just getting back into it his senior year. It was great to see him get a win tonight.”

“Our kid at 152 was in the match, and he just got caught,” Packer said. “It turned in to be a six-point match.”

At 160, Tyrone’s Jacob Damon earned his first win, 5-2, over Calob Walls, thanks to two takedowns and an escape.

“I think he did a nice job out there. He’s coming along,” Packer said. “He’s getting stronger every week

After Tiger 170-pounder Noah Worley won by forfeit, his teammate, sophomore Braden Curry, came up big at 182, when he took a 3-2 lead over Darren Reese with a reversal in the second period, put Reese on his back and pinned him in 3:23.

Packer moved Jared Beckwith (12-0) up to 220, where he received a forfeit, and sent Ricky Reader out at 195, where he found himself down 3-2 in the third to Oeyvind Singstad. But Reader headlocked Singstad to his back for four points and a 6-3 win.

Hollidaysburg freshman 285-pounder Hunter Gill built a 10-2 lead on Dakota Walk before getting a fall with 3 seconds left in the bout.

“Wrestling at 285 is a tall task for a freshman,” Moore said, “and he just gets after it from the start. It doesn’t matter who he’s wrestling.”

Dalton Long’s pin of Ty Snyder in 1:06 sealed the win for the Tigers.

The Tigers have been dealing with a lot of injuries, including concussions for star 113-pounder Damian Huff and 126-pounder Mark Kociola, so getting a win felt pretty good.

“Everybody talks about it being an individual sport, and it is,” Moore said, “but when you’re up there training in the room with your teammates, and you’re not being successful teamwise, it certainly puts a negative spin toward some attitudes from time to time. So, to get a win is a big for us.”

145-Schopp, T, maj. dec. Co. Walls, 14-0; 152-Young, H, pinned Farias, 4:47; 160-Damon, T, dec. Ca. Walls, 5-2; 170-Worley, H, won by forfeit; 182-Curry, H, pinned Reese, 3:23; 195-Reader, T, dec. Singstad, 6-3; 220-Beckwith, T, won by forfeit.

285-Gill, H, pinned Walk, 5:57; 106-Barroner, H, won by forfeit; 113-C. Hunter, T, won by forfeit; 120-Bowser, H, won by forfeit; 126-Alley, T, won by forfeit; 132-Long, H, pinned Snyder, 1:06; 138-Hunter, T, pinned Hagg, 1:19.

Records: Tyrone (0-4); Hollidaysburg (1-3).