Clearfield Falls to Shikellamy in District 4/9 Wrestling Championship Semi-Finals

DUBOIS – Clearfield wrestled in the District 4/9 Team Championships this past weekend, where they fell short to the eventual champion, the Shikellamy Braves. Clearfield came into the tournament as the third seeded team, and Shikellamy was the second seed.

Hunter Wright meant business on Saturday, displaying an offensive clinic. He pinned Joel Derr with this cement job. (Photo by HL)

Clearfield held the lead only one time during the match after senior Bison Hunter Wright (21-9) laid waste to Shik sophomore Joel Derr. Wright was up 7-0, using a takedown, arm bar, and merkel before cementing Derr to his back for the fall in 3:54. This put Clearfield up 6-3.

Prior to that match, Bison junior Cole Smay (1-4) returned to the lineup to begin the match at 160. Though Smay wrestled well in the first period, his lack of conditioning eventually caught up with him and he lost the match 10-4 to Shik sophomore Baryn Emerich.

Then at 182, junior Evan Bingaman pinned Bison sophomore Brett Zattoni (4-11) in just 1:17.

Forfeits were exchanged at 195 and 220, and then Bison junior Avry Gisewhite (15-12) found himself in a tight match at heavyweight against the Brave freshman Adam Young. Though Gisewhite would be pinned in the third period, he was only down 3-0 before he was put on his back.

Going into the lightweight rounds, Clearfield was down 21-12. Bison Freshman Angelo Maines (8-16) found himself outmatched by the Braves’ junior Jared Zartman. Down 4-0 in the second period, Maines elected to take neutral, but he was again taken down and pinned in 2:37.

Peyton Smay returns Damian Wolfe to the mat with a classic “up-down.” Smay won his match 12-0. (Photo by HL)

Clearfield won the next two matches at 113 and 120, as Peyton Smay and Matt Ryan both dropped down a weight class and looked well where they’ve settled in. At 10-11, the Bison sophomore Peyton Smay put on an “up-down” clinic, returning Shik sophomore Damian Wolfe to the mat time after time in their matchup. Smay was able to mentally break Wolfe in the first two periods, and he turned a 4-0 lead into a 12-0 major decision, using two sets of backpoints in the third period.

Then at 120, Bison Senior Matt Ryan (22-7) wrestled an outstanding match, beating a pretty good wrestler in Shik freshman Drew Balestrini. After recovering from an early take down in the first period, Ryan took bottom in the second. Using a reversal and takedown of his own, the match was tied at 4-4 in the third period. Again, conditioning and heart paid off for the Bison as Ryan notched six consecutive takedowns in the third period to win 16-9. This put the match as close as it would be from this point at 27-19, Shikellamy.

Matt Ryan notched six takedowns in the third period to win 16-9 over Drew Balestrini. (Photo by HL)

When Bison junior Jude Pallo (14-13) wrestled Brave senior Frank Quinones at 132, he encountered a kind of wrestler rarely seen in today’s atmosphere – a wrestler great at scoring offensively from the bottom position. While Pallo was the dominant wrestler on his feet, Quinones time and again was able to roll reverse Pallo, often dangerously to his back. Pallo notched all three takedowns in the match, but Quinones had three reversals and two sets of backpoints and won the match 12-7.

To begin the third period, Pallo chose to give Quinones an escape. Head Coach Jeff Aveni told Pallo he would need five takedowns to win the match, but the sense of urgency just didn’t come to him. Pallo notched another takedown, but rather than cut Quinones, he was again reversed. This made the match 30-19, Shikellamy.

The Bison then gave up a forfeit at 132 before Bison senior Quentin Edwards (10-16) would bump up to 138 to wrestle Shik junior Doug Hallman. Edwards, having surged in confidence over the last two weeks, used two takedowns and finally pinned Hallman with an arm bar in 3:40.

The Bison knew they needed falls at 138, 145, and 152 to win the match. But when sophomore Nate Barr (8-9) was pinned in the second period and Caleb Freeland wasn’t dressed to wrestle, presumably due to his head injury sustained at the Ultimate Warrior Tourney a week ago, the air for the Bison was quickly shut out of the room. The Bison forfeited at 152 and lost the match 48-25.

To recap, Hunter Wright dominated his opponent. Matt Ryan and Peyton Smay both mentally broke their opponents and showcased how Bison wrestling is done. There is an old saying that is often repeated in the wrestling room: “In the first period, the wrestler with the best technique wins. In the second period, the strongest wrestler wins. In the third period, the wrestler with the most heart wins.” Even though Clearfield lost the match, there was a true sense of heart and desire among the wrestlers on Saturday. Clearfield was out wrestled, but many of the young men left it all out on the mat, and that bodes extremely well for them if they maintain their drive and will to win going into the post-season.

Clearfield (9-6) is now set to finish their season by wrestling Philipsburg on Tuesday at home. The match is expected to be packed, and the past two “Takedown Cancer” events have raised tens of thousands of dollars toward the Emily Whitehead Foundation. Tuesday is also the Clearfield Bison Senior Night, where four starters will say farewell to the school that they have bled for in the past four years. The match beings at 7:00 pm. The junior high match will begon the night’s festivities at 5:30.

To view the full brackets of this weekends District 4/9 Championships, click here

Bout By Bout Recap

Current Records as of 02/04/18

Bison Scoreboard:

Date Opponent Score Record
12/08 & 09 Top Hat Tourney @ Williamsport 112 pts. 8th
12/12 BALD EAGLE AREA 30 – 40 0 – 1
12/15 @ DuBois 8 – 53 0 – 2
12/19 @ Central 45 – 30 1 – 2
12/22 @ Punxsutawney 61 – 17 2 – 2
01/03 PENNS VALLEY 37 – 32 3 – 2
01/05 & 06 @ Tool City Tourney (Meadville) 84.5 pts. 14th place
01/09 @ Huntingdon 18 – 46 3 – 3
01/11 @ St. Marys 43 – 28 4 – 3
01/16 BELLEFONTE ppd. 4 – 3
01/17 BELLEFONTE 30 – 35 4 – 4
01/20 vs. Port Allegany 38 – 31 5 – 4
01/20 vs. Altoona 43 – 30 6 – 4
01/20 vs. Freedom 35 – 37 6 – 5
01/20 vs. Union City 42 – 28 7 – 5
01/20 vs. James M Coughlin 39 – 32 8 – 5
01/23 TYRONE 65 – 10 9 – 5
01/26 & 27 @ WB Ultimate Warrior Tourney 95 pts. 12th place
02/03 D9 Team Duals @ DuBois
02/03 vs. Shikellamy 25 – 48 9 – 6
02/06 Takedown Cancer Match
02/24 District 9 AAA Champs @Clfd HS
03/02 & 03 Northwest Region @ Altoona
03/08-10 PIAA Championships @ Hershey
Clearfield vs. Philipsburg-Osceola "Take Down Cancer" Match Set for Tuesday
Reese Wilson Drops 22 Points in Bison Victory over Bald Eagle

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