Curwensville Takes Steps Backwards in 64-10 loss to West Branch

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

CURWENSVILLE – Curwensville has a group of wrestlers that are “struggling to transition what they do in practice to how they wrestle in a match”. Coach Dean Swatsworth isn’t sure what to change for his young men to develop a growth mindset, but as of late he and many who have been following the Curwensville wrestling team believe this team is taking steps backwards. But Coach Swatsworth isn’t blaming the kids: he’s displaying humility and leadership by blaming himself.  “I don’t want to go and blame the kids and say it’s their fault and point fingers. Something has happened as of late and it’s time for me to go back to the drawing board and figure out where I’m failing. I have to figure out what I need to do differently to help these guys get the results they deserve.”

Coach Swatsworth truly believed his team could win several matches Thursday night against the visiting West Branch Warriors. Instead, his three “big dogs” won as usual, but everything else in the middle was a bloodbath. “We just couldn’t win those toss up matchers tonight” Said coach Swatsworth. Three wrestlers caught some bad luck, being pinned with under five seconds remaining in the period, a couple of them rolled over, and it seemed there was really only one good match worth talking about in the middle weights: Curwensville freshman Jake McCracken vs. West Branch freshman Ethan Yingling.

Blake Passarelli works a gut wrenching tight waist and half nelson. He won his match 3-2 over Tyler Denochick (Photo by HL)

In their 152 pound bout, McCracken and Yingling wrestled a defensive match for five minutes, not taking shots, and each scoring from the bottom position. With the match tied at 2-2, both wrestlers finally began opening up, and in that short period of time there was some quality wrestling to be seen from both young men. Unfortunately, McCracken ended up in a headlock and was pinned with one second left in the final period.

Even though McCracken was taken to his back, it was due to an intense scramble where either wrestler could have won the match. As Coach Swatsworth said “right now we are too defensive. We need to open up our offense so that we can give ourselves the opportunity to win matches.”

Zach Holland wrestled with poise, posting a 9-1 major decision (Photo by HL)


Before that, the match started at 126 where the Tide’s Mason Gasper  lost a 14-4 major decision to Hudson Pase. After that, at 132 the first “big dog”,Zach Holland, returned the favor with a 9-1 major decision over Nikolaus Sample..

Coach Swatsworth also believed his team should have won matches the toss up matches at 138 and 145, but both of those matches turned into falls as well. First, Caleb Stiles was pinned with 0.1 seconds left in the first period by the Warriors’ Hayes Jones, while Adam Straw at 145 allowed William Herring to dump him for takedowns five different times before he was pinned with five seconds remaining in the second period.

“In some of those matches, we were just a move away from it favoring us. It just felt like we came out flat tonight.” Said Swatsworth.



Steven McClure blanked West Branch’s Jacob Shaw 4-0 (Photo by HL)

Following three more pins at 160, 170 and 182, then giving up forfeits at 195 and 220, Curwensville finally got their second big dog a win when Steven McClure blanked Jacob Shaw 4-0. McClure used a takedown, an escape, and received a penalty point in a handy victory where he was able to ride Shaw for the entire second period. “McClure wrestled good against a guy who has been wrestling tough against a bunch of tough kids lately. It shows you where he stands” said Swatsworth. “Now we have to work on his chop into a wrist roll to break guys down, and Steve will look even better.”

There were two more forfeits at 106 and 113 as usual for Curwensville, and then the final big dog, Blake Pasarelli took to the mat at 120 and wrestled a good match against another quality wrestler, Tyler Denochick. In that match, Pasarelli was able to get a takedown in the second period for the match’s only offensive points, and he fought off a last second headlock attempt for a 3-2 victory.

“Blake wrestled well. Denochick is a quality kid and I think he did a real good job.” Said Swatsworth.

Curwensville (3-10) is set for a good practice Friday, and then they travel to the Garrett Scott Invitational in Juniata on Saturday. Hopefully, they can start cultivating some new habits and be able to make a turnaround as they enter the final stretch of their season.

Bout by Bout Recap

Weight Class Names Curwensville West Branch
126 Hudson Pase (WB) over Mason Gasper (Cville) (MD 12-4) 0 4
132 Zach Holland (Cville) over Nikolaus Sample (WB) (MD 9-1) 4 4
138 Hayes Jones (WB) over Caleb Stiles (Cville) (Fall 1:59) 4 10
145 William Herring (WB) over Adam Straw (Cville) (Fall 3:55) 4 16
152 Ethan Yingling (WB) over Jake McCracken (Cville) (Fall 5:59) 4 22
160 Derek Yingling (WB) over Cole Bressler (Cville) (Fall 3:19) 4 28
170 Josh Cantolina (WB) over Nick Holbert (Cville) (Fall 1:07) 4 34
182 Seth Sankey (WB) over Gage Roos (Cville) (Fall 0:17) 4 40
195 Kyle Myers (WB) Received Forfeit 4 46
220 Nathaniel Thompson (WB) Received Forfeit 4 52
285 Steve McClure (Cville) over Jacob Shaw (WB) (Dec 4-0) 7 52
106 Nathan Graham (WB) Received Forfeit 7 58
113 Chris Swoope (WB) Received Forfeit 7 64
120 Blake Passarelli (Cville) over Tyler Denochick (WB) (Dec 3-2) 10 64


Golden Tide Scoreboard:

Date Opponent Score Record
12/09 Mountaineer Tourney @ PO 83 pts. 8th
12/13 REDBANK VALLEY 38 – 42 0 – 1
12/21 RIDGWAY 24 – 42 0 – 2
12/30 @ Redbank Valley Duals Tourney
12/30 vs. Brashear 54 – 9 1 – 2
12/30 vs. Conneaut 24 – 56 1 – 3
12/30 vs. Keystone 60 – 12 2 – 3
12/30 vs. Mercer 15 – 57 2 – 4
12/30 vs. Punxsutawney 36 – 33 3 – 4
01/09 @ Brookville 20 – 51 3 – 5
01/11 @ Glendale 33 – 39 3 – 6
01/15 PUNXSUTAWNEY 32 – 39 3 – 7
01/18 @ St. Marys 7 – 52 3 – 8
01/26 & 27 @ Fred Bell Tourney @ Grove City
01/30 @ Clarion 27 – 42 3 – 9
02/01 WEST BRANCH 10 – 64 3 – 10
02/03 Garrett Scott Tourney @ Juniata
02/09 @ Mo Valley
02/13 @ Indiana
02/23 & 24 District 9 AA Champs @Clfd HS
03/02 & 03 Northwest Region @ Sharon
03/08-10 PIAA Championships @ Hershey


Raiders Overtake Bison in Final Minute for 40-38 Win
Tide Second Half Comeback Dumps Glendale 60-49 Behind Terry's 34 Points

Leave a Reply