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Golden Eagles outwrestle Penns Valley

Most of the matchups went as the Tyrone coaches expected on Saturday afternoon at Tyrone. The Golden Eagles won big matches at 189, and 140, and only lost by regular decision at 145, with the team score still in jeopardy, on the way to a 43-33 victory.The dual was wrestled at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at the Tyrone gym.
With the dual meet starting at 160, the two schools traded pins in the first two weight classes to set the stage for the first key toss-up.
Jaron Cunrod scored the first takedown and then added a reversal and three back points for a 7-2 lead over Tyrone senior Brady Williams at 189, after one period. Williams (9-9) reversed Cunrod to begin the second stanza and then put the Ram junior on his back for a huge fall at the 3:22 mark to continue a run for the Golden Eagles who would take three in a row and four out of five to jump ahead in the team score 22-12.
At 140, Penns Valley’s Tom Sweeley scored the first takedown against Tyrone senior John Markel. The second period was all Markel’s however, with John choosing the bottom position to begin the period. Markel started slowly with an escape, then took Sweeley down and put him on his back for a five count from referee Kevin Detwiler, to add three nearfall points and a 6-2 advantage after two periods. Sweeley took top for the third period but was unable to score any points on Markel (2-1) to stretch a small Tyrone lead to 37-30, with just two weights left to wrestle.
With the Golden Eagles holding a seven-point lead, in a must-win-big situation for Penns Valley, and talented and experienced senior Matt Orndorff wrestling for the Rams, the Eagles’ Jeremy Barlett (3-21) fought off a determined effort from Orndorff who was only able to earn a 13-6 win. Orndorff scored on a takedown and reversal in the opening stanza, then added a pair of takedowns and an escape against the Tyrone sophomore. The third period would yield only a reversal and two back points as Barlett hung tough, giving up just a regular decision.
Jake Smerekar then closed out the dual with a fall over Cody Bjalme in 5:19 at 152. Smerekar and Bjalme were scoreless through the first period, but Smerekar hit a reversal and three nearfall points for a 5-0 advantage after two periods. When the Penns Valley sophomore took neutral to begin the third period, Jake (19-10) took him down to his back and worked for the fall
“Those key matchups made all the difference in the world,” said Tyrone coach Blair Packer. “The match at 140, our kid (Markel) worked so hard to get down to that weight. I wasn’t sure how he would perform in the third period, but he handled it well. You always make those coaches decisions. Looking at the body builds of the kids, we were thinking Brady Williams could handle the 189-kid better. Then, he got down 7-2 and I was kicking myself, thinking, that we didn’t do such a good job (in deciding which weight to pick for Williams, after weighing both Williams and Donnie Conrad in for both 189 and 215), but he came through for us.
“We knew the kid Jeremy Barlett wrestled was decent. We told him when he went out, he would have to stick with his kid and duke it out and he did, against a seasoned senior. That’s the fight in Jeremy. What we got out of Jeremy tonight, was exactly what we needed to win this match.”
Eric Herrold opened the dual for Penns Valley with a fall over Shayne Tate, (17-13) in 3:30 while leading 6-1. At 171, Justin Schopp (17-12) knotted the team score at 6-6 with a quick fall over Doug Mansell in 0:49.
Donnie Conrad completed the short string for the Eagles wit a 17-5 major decision over Tyler Prisk. Conrad (19-10) gave up the first takedown to Prisk, but registered a reversal and back points to take a 5-2 lead after one period, then added two takedowns in the second period and five back points, a penalty point and reversal to complete the major decision.
Ethan Covalt broke up the Tyrone run by pinning Brandon Oswalt in 2:42. After a scoreless opening two minutes, Oswalt notched a takedown and added two nearfall points, but Covalt reversed and rolled Oswalt (2-9) to his back for the fall.
A. J. Schopp moved to within one victory of reaching the 30-win mark as a freshman with a fall over Jacob Bierley in 3:33. Schopp (29-2) scored two takedowns in each of the first two periods and added a first-period nearfall before pinning Bierley in the middle of the second period.
Penns Valley took the next two weights by pin to take their only lead of the dual 24-22. Senior Josh Manning pinned junior Donnie Hunter (4-16) in 3:16, at 112, and then senior Kelly Strouse decked sophomore Tyler Poorman (5-19) in 1:55.
At 125, T. J. Albright (23-7) led 5-0 after one period on a takedown and nearfall, reversed Fred Dawson to his back early in the second stanza for the pin in 2:30, to move the Eagles back into a 28-24 lead. Anthony Romano (13-11) kept the lead going up, at 130, with a fall over Matt Brooker gaining a takedown and working for the first-period fall in 1:33. After a slow start (21-8), Romano has rebounded to win 11 of his last 14 matches.
PIAA state qualifier Tyler Myers got Penns Valley back on track temporarily with a pin of Matt Moore (0-2) in 0:31, but Markel, Barlett and Smerekar made sure that Penns Valley would come out on the short end of the score.
“I thought we had to jump out there in the first couple weights, we knew their 160-pounder was tough and were hoping to stay with him,” said Packer. “Then we came back in the next three weights, jumped out there and had to maintain that lead. Again bonus points made all the difference in the world. Getting a win like this is a good thing for the whole team to launch us into the District Tournament next weekend. Now, we go back to work and start preparing for the post season-the reason for the season.”
Todd Campbell and Bill Dixon were honored prior to the dual meet with induction into the Tyrone Area High School Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Tyrone 43 Penns Valley 33
160 – Eric Herrold (PV) pinned Shayne Tate 3:30
171 – Justin Schopp (T) pinned Doug Mansell 0:49
189 – Brady Williams (T) pinned Jaron Cunrod 3:22
215 – Donnie Conrad (T) maj. Tyler Prisk 17-5
285 – Ethan Covalt (PV) pinned Brandon Oswalt 2:42
103 – A. J. Schopp (T) pinned Jacob Bierley 3:33
112 – Josh Manning (PV) pinned Donnie Hunter 3:16
119 – Kelly Strouse (PV) pinned Tyler Poorman 1:55
125 – T. J. Albright (T) pinned Fred Dawson 2:30
130 – Anthony Romano (T) pinned Matt Brooker 1:33
135 – Tyler Myers (PV) pinned Matt Moore 0:31
140 – Jon Markel (T) dec. Tom Sweeley 6-2
145 – Matt Orndorff (PV) dec. Jeremy Barlett 13-6
152 – Jacob Smerekar (T) pinned Cody Bjalme 5:19