Bellwood-Antis displays good sportsmanship
Sometimes you hear about the ugly side of high school sports like riots, shootings, trash-talking fans and fights in the stands.
Then there’s the good side, like what happened at Thursday’s wrestling match at Bellwood-Antis.
I figured there was going to be a big crowd for the Blue Devils’ match against Glendale when I didn’t find any parking outside of the high school. I got lucky when I circled the block once and, after a vehicle left, found an open spot right outside the gym entrance.
That big crowd showed their appreciation for a milestone when Glendale junior Brock McMillen pinned Nick Kost in 1:07 at 132 for his 100th career victory.
The Glendale fans, of course, erupted in celebration, held up 100-win signs and took photos of McMillen and coach Billy Dubler on the mat.
As the referee raised McMillen’s arm toward the B-A section and turned him around to do the same thing toward the Glendale section, the public address announcer recognized the milestone.
Even the Bellwood-Antis fans, including Kost’s parents, who I was sitting behind, and bench gave McMillen a standing ovation.
“It was good to see Brock get 100,” B-A coach Tim Andrekovich said. “You’ve got to root for a kid like that. He’s a good wrestler, good kid. We’re proud to acknowledge him.”
It would be nice if all fans and competitors would follow the Blue Devils’ example of good sportsmanship.
Two big tourneys this week
Two big tournaments are coming up this weekend in the Thomas Chevrolet Tournament at Bedford and Ultimate Warrior Tournament at West Branch.
Chestnut Ridge is aiming for its sixth straight Thomas title, and junior Kai Burkett is going for his third. Bedford’s Kaden Cassidy will look to add to his technical falls total and win his second title.
The tournament is traditionally pretty deep and serves as sort of a mini Class 2A Southwest Regional Tournament.
Southern Columbia won last year’s 32-team Ultimate Warrior Tournament. Altoona’s Matt Sarbo (132) and Philipsburg-Osceola’s Chase Chapman (138) are returning runners-up.
Lee becoming PSU’s star
Nick Lee was overshadowed in his first two years at Penn State by three-time NCAA champions Bo Nickal and Jason Nolf, two-time NCAA champ and three-time finalist Vincenzo Joseph, 2017 champ and three-time finalist Mark Hall and 2019 NCAA champ Anthony Cassar.
But Lee, a returning All-American, has become dominant at 141 and the most enjoyable Penn State wrestler to watch during a season filled with injuries and an ever-changing lineup. Lee is ranked No. 2, is 11-0 and racked up his fifth technical fall in Penn State’s 38-6 win over Rutgers on Sunday.
It will be interesting to see what Lee does in the Big Ten Championships and NCAA Championships. We’ll get a preview when he meets up with Ohio State’s top-ranked Luke Pletcher when the teams tangle at the Jordan Center on Feb. 15.
Murin suffers first loss
Lee could get tested when he faces Central Cambria graduate Max Murin at top-ranked Iowa on Jan. 31.
Murin, a redshirt sophomore, suffered his first loss of the season, 6-2, to Nebraska’s Chad Red, on Saturday. Murin was ranked No. 6 by Intermat going into the bout with the ninth-ranked Red. The two-time state champ is now 10-1 at 141.
Todd Irwin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be followed on Twitter at @ToddIrwin1.