Curwensville wrestling is a team with talent, but without a lot of depth. They are returning 2x state qualifier Blake Passarelli (11th grade), and two young men who did well at districts, Steven McClure (12) and Zack Holland (10).
The dust is still settling for this young team, featuring only a few seniors and juniors. Many of the wrestlers have some experience, but they need time to grow and mature into the team they are capable of being. With the right amount of pressure and patience, Coach Dean Swatsworth and assistant Johnny Sutika could fuel an impressive amount of growth.
Many of the wrestlers will wrestle heavy this weekend before they drop to their optimal weights. “Some of them aren’t allowed to drop down to the weight class they want to be at for another week, and some of them just finished football, so they had a lot of bulk weight that they’ll be shedding once they hit the practice room.” said Dean.
It’s hard to tell who’ll be on the team next week. Dean expects about 12 wrestlers to remain on the roster, but he’d like to be pleasantly surprised. The wrestlers who do show up every day are showing heart and commitment, and that’s as much as you can ask out of any group.
Blake Passarelli has the highest ambitions on the team, as he intends to finally medal in states. “He’s vastly improved. He’s got a lot more composure, where he can get taken down and keep battling. Small things don’t bother him anymore.” Blake went to Fargo this summer and competed in Greco Roman and Freestyle nationals, where he collectively went 9-4.
Then there is senior Steven McClure, who lost to four state place winners last year by one point each. He has the potential to be the best, and is a lot of fun to watch. At regionals, he was one match short of qualifying for a trip to states, losing in the semi-finals in overtime rideout.
Zach Holland hopes to improve on his district runner-up medal from last year. After sustaining a shoulder injury, he was unable to compete in regionals. He’s hungry this season, and we should expect big things out of the sophomore.
Every day, Dean tells his wrestlers “push yourself to get better than you were the day before. If you do that, by the end of the year, you’re going to be a lot better than you were before. The records will fall in as you get better.”
Curwensville begins their season this Saturday at the Mountaineer Tournament in P-O, and next week you can watch them at home on Wednesday against Redbank Valley. All home matches start at 7:00 pm.
Roster: Includes certified weights and (*) denoting letterwinner:
SENIORS: Kyle Oshenic (113), Paige Bryan, Noah Holt (132), *Steven McClure (285)
JUNIORS: *Blake Passarelli (113), *Mason Gasper (120), *Cole Bressler (152), Cross Bloom (170), Hayden Walnock (220)
SOPHOMORES: Ty Guelich (120), *Zach Holland (132), Caleb Stiles (138), Adam Straw (138), Stephen McBride (170), Gage Roos (182), Nick Holbert (182)
FRESHMAN: Jake McCracken (145)
Golden Tide Schedule:
|12/09||Mountaineer Tourney @ PO|
|12/30||@ Redbank Valley Tourney|
|01/06||@ Bo Wood Tourney @ Indiana|
|01/18||@ St. Marys|
|01/26 & 27||@ Fred Bell Tourney @ Grove City|
|02/09||@ Mo Valley|
|02/23 & 24||District 9 AA Champs @Clfd HS|
|03/02 & 03||Northwest Region @ Sharon|
|03/08-10||PIAA Championships @ Hershey|