Punxsutawney – The Curwensville Golden Tide Wrestling Team avenged an earlier season loss Monday night by beating the Punxsutawney Chucks 36-35. The match that sealed the deal? According to Head Coach Dean Swatsworth, it was sophomore Jake McCracken’s (9-5) loss to Punxsutawney standout Garrett Eddy.
McCracken and Eddy were the first bout of the night after junior Nick Holbert (3-5) received a forfeit for Curwensville at 170 pounds. Eddy was able to dominate McCracken for over two and a half minutes before he received a 15-0 tech fall. Swatsworth said McCracken had given up 20 pounds to Eddy at their 182 pound bout, and he was told if he could win, to win, but if not, just don’t get pinned. McCracken didn’t get pinned. Though he was put on his back several times, McCracken never gave up the fall, and Punxsutawney settled for five team points instead of six.
Following no match at 195 pounds, senior newcomer Alec McGarry (1-1) wrestled his first varsity wrestling match against the Chucks’ Joshua Miller at 220. Miller wasted no time getting the fall, and his teammate Jacob Shuckers pinned junior Gage Roos (2-5) at 285 in the first period as well. Coach Swatsworth noted McGarry is completely new to the sport and is learning as he goes.
Heading to the lightweights, the score was 17-6 in Punxsutawney’s favor.
At 106 pounds, the Jacob Carfley improved his freshman season to 10-4 by pinning the Chucks’ Jacob Good in the first period. Carfley ran a bar and got back points after getting an initial takedown. Then Carley switched from the bar to a half nelson and secured the fall in 1:55, narrowing the team score to 17-12, Punxsutawney.
Forfeits were exchanged at 113 and 120 pounds and there was a no match at 126 pounds. Then senior Blake Passarelli (12-1) earned his eighth pin of the year in 38 seconds over Punxsutawney’s Garrett Fischer in their 132 pound bout.
“Passarelli took his kid down and put him on his back and pinned him.” said Coach Swatsworth. Finally, Curwensville had turned the tide and went up on the scoreboard, leading 24-23 with four bouts remaining, of which Curwensville obtained two forfeits. Effectively, the match was secured.
Punxsutawney would receive a forfeit at 138 and Punxstuwney’s Jake Skarbek pinned junior Adam Straw (6-8) at 145, but Curwensville’s two forfeits at 152 and 160 made the final match score 36-35 in Curwensville’s favor.
Curwensville and Punxsutawney had previously met on December 29, and the Chucks had come ahead 42-36 that day. Avenging the loss came down to a couple of slick moves. First, Moving McCracken up to 182 pounds gave Curwensville a better chance of winning because McCracken didn’t give up a fall and Holbert received a forfeit at 170. Coach Swatsworth noted that although he didn’t like to send his wrestlers to be outgunned, McCracken did everything he was asked to do. Second, choosing to exchange forfeits at 113 and 120 meant Curwensville was putting their fate into their best wrestler’s hands with Passarelli.
Coach Swatsworth was happy with the win that improved his team’s record to 4-10. He said getting a win was good for the team, and he hopes they have a couple of days of good practice before heading to Saint Mary’s on Thursday night where they will grapple with the Flying Dutchmen.