MORRISDALE — The Clearfield Bison only entered 10 wrestlers in the 5th Annual Ultimate Warrior tourney, but managed to get seven out of those 10 on to the second day of action.
The Bison are tied for 10th in the team standings out of a 34-team field. Their 53.5 points ties them with St. Joe’s Catholic Academy. Leading a two-team race for the title is Mifflin County with 108.5 points, just a half a point ahead of last year’s team champion, Southern Columbia.
Reaching Saturday morning’s 11:00 am semifinals are fellow sophomores Mark McGonigal at 160 pounds and Oliver Billotte at 285.
McGonigal (21-3), the three seed, reached the semis with a 16-0 tech fall in 2:46 over Mount Union’s Jayce Reck (13-9) and a 5-2 win in the quarterfinals over Brockway’s Noah Bash (18-4). McGonigal racked up 12 near fall points in his win over Reck and only gave up a meaningless takedown in the waning moments against Bash. McGonigal’s semifinal opponent will be Gavin Garcia (6-0), the number two seed out of Southern Columbia. As a freshman last year, Garcia was an Ultimate Warrior runner-up and fourth place finisher at the PIAA AA state championships. McGonigal took sixth at last year’s Ultimate Warrior.
Moving up from his usual 220 pounds to 285 for this tourney, Billotte (23-2) made short work out of Ambridge’s Jacob Traupman (7-8) with a 54 second fall, then won 10-4 over Evan Pellegrine (19-3) from Bellwood Antis. Tied 2-2 early in the second period and only leading 4-2 going in to the final period against Pellegrine, Billotte turned up the heat and had a six point final two minutes to move on to the semis. The number four seed, Billotte will also face a Southern Columbia Tiger when he meets up with top seeded Lear Quinton (21-3) in the semis. Quinton took third at last year’s Ultimate Warrior and also placed fourth at the state championships in AA.
The Bison will have five wrestlers in the 9:00 am fourth round of consolations. A win in that round will assure a top-8 place on the podium Saturday evening.
The number six seed, freshman 106 pounder Evan Davis had a 17 second fall in his first match, but was then pinned in the second period in the quarterfinals. Davis (17-9) will meet Wilson’s Jonathan Wohlbach (11-11) for the right to move on to the consi semis.
At 120, Nolan Barr (16-8) needed a five point move at the end of his first match to pull out a 5-4 win, and then was tech falled by the number one seed in the quarters. Barr, the eight seed, will meet Hunter Manahan (16-8), the number six seed from Wyalusing.
Karson Kline (17-8) picked up a fall in his first match, then lost a 5-2 match to the number five seed in the quarterfinals. His consi round four match up will be against Kohl Holderbaum (15-11), the number 10 seed from Shippensburg.
170 pounder Hayden Kavolick (19-9) was the lone Bison to win three matches on the day, as he picked up a first round fall, lost a tight 5-3 match to the number five seed, then had to win two wrestlebacks to reach the fourth round. Kavolick, the number 12 seed, will wrestle Johnsonburg’s number seven seed, Isaac Zimmerman (20-5).
Senior Brett Zattoni (14-12) will be the fifth and final Bison in the 9:00 am time slot. The number eight seed, Zattoni won his first match 6-3 and then ran in to the number one seed in the quarters and was pinned late in the first period. Zach Cunningham (10-8), a 14th seeded Bellwood Antis Blue Devil will be Zattoni’s foe.
At 138, Luke Freeland (17-9) picked up two major decisions, but was also beaten twice, once in the quarters against the number one seed and a second time in the third round of consies.
Justin Hand (5-7) at 132 and JD Graham (4-8) at 152 went two and through in the tourney.
Last year the Bison finished in 18th place with 67 team points, so barring a disaster on the second day of wrestling, they should greatly improve over last year’s point total and standing.
Click here for complete bracket results courtesy Flo Wrestling.