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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wednesday night recap 12-12-12

Not much action on Wednesday. The Berlin-Conemaugh Township looked to be a good early season matchup but quickly turned into a rout. Ligonier Valley’s match at Shade didn’t offer much.

Berlin Brothersvalley 55, Conemaugh Township 6
220-Anthony Collins, BB, dec. Zach Svencer, 2-1.
285-Mitchell Walker, BB, pinned Robbie Mills, 3:17.
106-Emil Kiesnowski, BB, forfeit.
113-Tommy DeArmitt, BB, pinned Aaron Griffith, 3:59.
120-Joey Swank, BB, dec. Kody Ofsanko, 2-0.
126-E.J. Custer, BB, forfeit.
132-Chris Miller, BB, maj. dec. Matt Bridge, 13-3.
138-Braden Fochtman, BB, dec. Casey Berchick, 9-3.
145-Tanner Cahill, CT, dec. Eric Darr, 7-1.
152-Taylor Cahill, CT, dec. Blake Miller, BB, 8-5.
160-Bryce Fochtman, BB, dec. Ryan Grosik, 8-5.
170-Trevor Moore, BB, dec. Ryan Shifflett, 5-4.
182-Shane Pepper, BB, forfeit.
195-Stew Trulick, BB, forfeit.
Records: Berlin Brothersvalley 1-0; Conemaugh Township 0-1.

Analysis: I covered this one for The Tribune-Democrat. You can read the story here.
I had hoped this would be one of the better matches of the young season, but a Conemaugh Township team at less than full strength was no match for an improved Berlin squad. My story talks at length about the highlight matches won by Berlin freshmen Joey Swank and Braden Fochtman, so I won’t rehash that here.
One of the other noticeable differences for Berlin was in 220-pounder/heavyweight Mitchell Walker. The senior was just 6-4 last season, though that record doesn’t tell the whole story. He had a win over Chestnut Ridge’s Austin Buttry and three of his four losses – to Somerset’s Jake Hayman, Penn Cambria’s Seth McLendon and Kiski Area’s Shane Kuhn – were against quality competition. He took the lead against Kuhn, who won the WPIAL title and a fourth-place medal in Class AAA, before getting pinned in the opening minute after suffering a concussion. That injury, suffered on Jan. 7, wiped out the remainder of this season.
Berlin's Mitchell Walker works to turn Conemaugh
Township's Robbie Mills on Wednesday night.
“Mitchell Walker is a poster child for working hard,” Berlin coach Jason Cornell said. “He’s always been one of the hardest workers we’ve ever had in the room.”
Walker obviously has put plenty of time in the weight room. His physique looks much better than last season, and even reminds me a bit of Hayman.
Walker faced a much bigger Robbie Mills on Wednesday night and pushed the action throughout before getting a second-period pin.
“He’s definitely coming back with a lot to work for this season,” Cornell said. “We expect a lot out of him and he definitely looks good.”
Conemaugh Township coach Jarod Feathers couldn’t say that many of his guys looked good on Wednesday night. Perhaps the most impressive was Ryan Grosik in his 8-5 loss to Bryce Fochtman at 160 pounds. Grosik’s length and funky style troubled Fochtman all night. The Conemaugh Township senior actually caught Fochtman on his back in the opening period. If he had gotten the pair of backpoints I thought he deserved, the match would have been even more interesting.
Brothers Tanner and Taylor Cahill picked up the Indians’ only victories, but they weren’t dominant by any means. Tanner beat Eric Darr 7-1 at 145. The defending District 5 champ never looked in danger of losing the match, but he also couldn’t break it open or put Darr on his back. Taylor Cahill seemed a bit cautious with Blake Miller in an 8-5 victory, though with good reason. Miller has a unique style that seems to make him most dangerous when he’s on his back (or at the very least in the bottom position) so the decision to stay on his feet for most of the match benefited the younger Cahill.

Ligonier Valley 66, Shade 9
106-Gordon Matson, LV, pinned BlakeSheehan, :26.
113-No match.
120-Justin Patrick, LV, forfeit.
126-Josh Patrick, LV, forfeit.
132-Daniel Croyle, LV, med. def. over Mike Manges, 1:01.
138-Joseph Neiderhiser, LV, forfeit.
145-Nickolas Stahl, LV, forfeit.
152-Tyler Smith, LV, pinned Matthew Naylor,1:09.
160-Derek Croyle, LV, forfeit.
170-Justin Bellas, LV, forfeit.
182-Dominick Shawley, LV, forfeit.
195-Jason Havyer, S, pinned Jeremy Withrow,3:25.
220-Raymond Marsh, LV, pinned Cody Edwards,1:41.
285-Trevor Brown, S, dec. Kyler Kruel, 3-0.
Analysis: I haven’t heard anything about Shade so far this season and, from the looks of this, I can see why. How disappointing for the Panthers program, which had made great strides two to three years ago, to have fallen so far.
To put this one in context: The bus trip from Ligonier Valley to Shade takes about an hour; the dual meet itself consisted of 13 minutes, 47 seconds of wrestling action.
Shade only had six wrestlers take the mat on Wednesday night. To their credit, the Panthers did win two of the six matches. Shade’s top returning wrestler, Mike Manges, lost by medical default, so the night could be even more painful. I don’t know what happened to Manges or what his status for the future is. I also don’t know what the status is of Phil Aikey, who went 12-5 as a sophomore last season.
I expect Ligonier Valley to be stronger this season, with some talented youngsters joining a core that already includes the Patrick brothers and the Croyles. Unfortunately, this dual won’t give us any kind of real gauge as to how much improvement the Rams have made.

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