Clarion at EWL Championship Saturday

Chris Rossetti

Chris Rossetti

Published January 1, 1970 12:00 am

The 2014 Clarion wrestling team will be participating in the 39th Annual EWL (Eastern Wrestling League) Championship on Saturday, March 8th, at Cleveland State University’s Woodling Gymnasium. The tournament also serves as the NCAA Division I National Qualifier.

The EWL is comprised of seven league members including Bloomsburg, Clarion, Cleveland State, Edinboro, George Mason, Lock Haven and Rider. George Mason and Rider are first year league members.


The 2014 EWL=s at Edinboro will have two sessions. Session 1 will start at 10a.m. in a round that will feature quarterfinal action, followed by semi-finals and consolation semifinals. Session 2 starts at 5 pm and will have the consolation place bouts, the Parade of Champions, Hall of Fame ceremonies and the 10 championship bouts. The championship bouts are set to begin at 7pm. A total of 22 wrestlers will qualify for the NCAA Tournament from the EWL=s via the qualifying places determined for each weight class. Following the tournament, the new national qualifying system will then identify the next best wrestlers at each weight class who did not qualify across the country to fill out the national bracket of 33 per weight class.

Tickets will be available at the door. All Session Adult passes are $10, while All-Session Student passes are $7. Individual session tickets will also be available.


The Golden Eagles, under second year head coach Troy Letters, finished the regular season with a 9-15 dual meet record and a 3-3 mark in the EWL.

“We’re really looking forward to the EWL’s,” said Letters. “We started the year with a plan, and that plan was to mature our young team and peak at the end of the season. We feel we’ve made steady strides forward this season, but this is where all that dedication and sacrifice are meant to pay off. We want to be at our best on Saturday and qualify as many wrestlers to nationals as possible.”

Clarion’s nine dual meet wins this year came against Campbellsville (34-3), Tiffin (43-6), Columbia (20-16), Buffalo (33-7), Davidson (31-15), Brown (24-16), Lock Haven (18-12), George Mason (23-12), and Cleveland State (30-16). Key Losses were to Edinboro (40-3), Rider (21-16), Bloomsburg (28-8), Ohio U. (21-16), #5 Oklahoma State (45-0) and #2 Penn State (43-3). The Golden Eagles also placed 4th at the PSAC’s in December.

The Clarion lineup for EWL’s will have Hunter Jones (6-8, Fr. New Rochelle, N.Y.) at 125, Sam Sherlock (18-12; Jr. West Mifflin) at 133, Tyler Bedelyon (11-18; Sr. Lewistown) at 141, Justin Arthur (24-11; Fr. Huntington, W.V.) at 149; Austin Matthews (20-7; Fr. Greenville/Reynolds) at 157; Michael Pavasko (12-20; So. Munhall/Steel Valley) at 165; Ryan Darch (14-20; Jr. Batavia, N.Y.) at 174; Dustin Conti (7-19; Fr. Jefferson/Jefferson Morgan) at 184, Daniel Sutherland (4-15; Jr. North Bellmore, N.y.) at 197 and Evan Daley (18-13; Fr. Erie/Fort LeBoeuf) at 285.


Edinboro, ranked 13th in the final NWCA coaches dual Meet Poll, will be a heavy favorite to win the EWL team title in 2014. The Fighting Scots, under 17th year head coach Tim Flynn, enters the EWL’s with a dual meet record of 11-3 and was 5-0 in EWL duals meets. Bloomsburg, under first year head coach Jason Mester, posted a dual meet record of 9-8 and was 4-2 in the EWL. Edinboro defeated Bloomsburg in the dual meet 29-10. Rider, led
by 36th year head coach Gary Taylor, was 14-9 in dual meets and also 4-2 in the EWL. The Broncs lost to Edinboro 29-7 in their dual meet matchup. Bloomsburg and Rider are figured to battle for second place, with the remainder of the field battling for places. Pitt had won the three previous EWL titles, but they have moved on to the ACC this season.


Rankings are by Intermat:

125 (top 2 Qualify): — #14 ranked Robert Duetsch (Rider) 27-4 and #19 ranked Kory Mines (Ed) 20-8 are the favorites to reach the finals. Duetsch defeated Mines 3-1 sudden victory in the dual. Mines finished 2nd last year at 125 and 4th in 2012. Bloomsburg’s Sean Boylan (17-19) was 5th last year and 6th in 2012 and 3rd in 2011. Clarion’s Hunter Jones, LH’s Kaleb LeMaire, CSU’s John Martin and George Mason’s Bill Prochniewski will also battle to place.

133 (Top 3 Qualify) — Two-time defending champion #2 A.J. Schopp (Edinboro) 28-1 is favored to repeat at 133. Also hoping to get to the finals are Bloomsburg’s Nick Wilcox (21-11), Clarion’s Sam Sherlock (18-12), Lock Haven’s Cody Wheeler (23-11) and Rider’s Chuck Zeisloft (20-13) all will battle for high places. Wilcox was 3rd last year, 4th in 2012 and 6th in 2011. Sherlock was 3rd last year at 141 and Wheeler 4th last year at 133. CSU’s Dan King (22-15) and GM’s Vince Rodriguez (13-10) are also competing.

141 (Top 2 Qualify) — Edinboro’s defending champion and #1 ranked nationally Mitchell Port (24-0) is expected to win another title here. Last year’s runner-up Dan Neff (LH) 29-7 is expected to make a strong push to get back to the finals after losing to Port 6-1 last year. Port was second in 2012. Also looking to place are Clarion’s Tyler Bedelyon (11-18), Bloom’s Matt Rappo (20-17), GM’s Sahid Kargbo (19-11), Rider’s Paul Kirchner (9-13) and CSU’s Jared McKinley (17-14). Bedelyon was 4th at 149 last year, 4th at 141 in 2012. Rappo was 4th here last year.

149 (Top 3 Qualify) — Edinboro’s #15 Dave Habat is the lone top 20 ranked wrestler in this weight class. Habat is the defending champ at 149 after placing 2nd in 2012. Vying for the other two NCAA qualifying spots will be Bloomsburg’s Bryce Busler (17-5), Clarion’s Justin Arthur (24-11) and LH’s Mac Maldarelli (30-13). Busler was 3rd at 149 in 2012, while Maldarelli was 5th here last year. Also in the lineup are Nick Montgomery (CSU) 16-10, Rider’s Curt Delia (17-13) and GM’s Shohei Takagei (11-12).

157 (Top 2 Qualify) — Edinboro’s #15 Johnny Greisheimer (22-8) will be the favorite at 157 after placing 3rd at 165 a year ago. Greisheimer also was 3rd at 157 in 2010 and 2011. Likely to battle to get to the finals will be Clarion’s Austin Matthews (20-7) and Bloomsburg’s Kevin Hartnett (18-12). Hartnett defeated Matthews in the dual 8-5. Matthews has split with Greisheimer — losing in the PSAC finals 9-8, but winning 14-8 in the dual. Also looking to battle are GM’s Greg Flournoy (17-12), LH’s Elias Biddle (23-17), CSU’s RJ LaBeef (11-21) and Rider’s Wayne Stinson (4-23).

165 (Top 2 Qualify) — Bloomsburg’s #16 Josh Veltre is the defending champion and pre-tourney favorite. He also placed 5th in 2011. Edinboro’s Kasey Burnett (17-9) is talented enough to get to the finals, and will battle Jake
Kemerer (LH) 20-7) and Ramon Santiago of Rider (17-12) to get to the finals. Kemerer was 4th at 157 last year. Also wrestling will be Clarion’s Michael Pavasko (12-20), CSU’s Matt Donohoe (13-17) and GM’s Ryan Forrest (612).
Donohoe was 6th at 157 last year and 6th at 157 in 2011.

174 (Top 2 Qualify) — Bloomsburg’s Mike Dessino (26-7), an EWL champ in 2011 and runner-up in 2012, returns to lay claim to the title at 174. No ranked wrestlers at this weight class, so it could be the most wide-open. Rider’s Connor Brennan (23-7), LH’s Travis Moyer (14-17), GM’s Zach Martinez (12-13), CSU’s Nick Corba, Edinboro’s Patrick Jennings (9-12) and Clarion’s Ryan Darch (14-20) . Darch was third last year and Jennings 4th when Darch won the third place bout 3-0. Moyer was 6th last year.

184 (Top 3 Qualify) — Edinboro’s #14 Vic Avery 20-4) will be the favorite at 184. He placed 2nd at EWL’s in 2012 and sat out last year. Trying to join him in the finals will be LH’s Fred Garcia (22-6), who was second here last year or Rider’s Clint Morrison (16-3). Also ready for action are Bloom’s Sam Shirey (12-21), CSU’s Xavier Dye (12-14), GM’s Ryan Hembury (11-15) and Clarion’s Dustin Conti (7-19). Shirey was 4th here last year, 6th in 2012, while Dye was 5th last year at 174.

197 (Top 1 — Champion) — Bloomsburg’s #6 ranked Richard Perry (28-1) is the heavy favorite to win at 197. He was 2nd here last year, 3rd in 2012 and 5th in 2011. Any challenge would come from Vince Pickett (18-10) of Edinboro or Phil Sprenkle of Lock Haven (20-10). Pickett was 3rd last year at 184, Sprenkle 3rd at 197 last year. Others wrestling here include Corbin Boone (CSU) 12-11, GM’s Matt Meadows (13-16), Rider’s Don McNeil (13-8) and Clarion’s Daniel Sutherland. Boone was 6th at 184 in 2011.

HWT (Top 2 Qualify): The favorites to reach the finals are Edinboro’s #16 Ernest James (24-5) and Bloomsburg’s #18 Justin Grant (27-5). Grant defeated James 2-1 in the PSAC finals, while James won a 2-1 rematch in the dual
meet. Grant was 2nd last year, while James was 5th in 2013, 2nd in 2012 and 4th in 2011. Plenty of good heavyweights including Clarion’s Evan Daley (18-13), CSU’s Riley Shaw (19-12), and LH’s Cody Mason (15-16) are ready to
roll, along with GM’s Jake Kettler (11-14) and Rider’s Greg Velasco (10-18). Shaw was third here last year.


Edinboro hosted the 2013 EWL’s championships which were won by Pitt with 125.5 points, Edinboro was second with 117 points and Bloomsburg third with 114. Clarion ended fourth with 93.5, Lock Haven fifth with 88.5 and Cleveland State sixth at 67.5

Clarion hosted the 2012 EWL Championships at Tippin Gym with Pitt winning the team title with 135.50 points, Edinboro was second with 116.50, West Virginia third at 112, Clarion fourth with 91, Bloomsburg fifth with 89.5, Lock Haven sixth with 64.5, Cleveland State seventh with 23 and Millersville eighth with 6.5 points. Millersville, not a member of the EWL, did not have a qualifying tournament to participate at and was directed to the EWL qualifier by the NCAA.

Bloomsburg hosted the 2011 EWL tournament and Pitt won its first team title scoring 132.5 points, with West Virginia second at 116.5, Bloomsburg third with 102.5 and Clarion fourth at 99.5. Rounding out the seven team field were fifth place Edinboro (95.5), sixth place Lock Haven (70.5) and seventh place Cleveland State 26.5 points.

The 2010 EWL’s were hosted at the West Virginia Coliseum, Edinboro took the team title with 135.5 points, Pittsburgh was second with 125.5, and Clarion a strong third with 111 points. Rounding out the seven team field were Bloomsburg in fourth with 84.5, West Virginia fifth with 78, Lock Haven sixth at 58 and Cleveland State seventh with 37.

The 2009 EWL’s were hosted at Lock Haven with Edinboro taking the team title with 126.5 points, WVU second with 95.5, Bloomsburg third with 88.5, Pitt fourth with 84.5, Lock Haven fifth with 80, Cleveland State sixth with 62 and Clarion seventh with 60.5 points.

The 2008 EWL’s were wrestled at Pittsburgh and Edinboro won the team title with 133 points, Pitt was second with 111.50, West Virginia third with 103.5, Bloomsburg fourth with 86, Lock Haven fifth with 70.5, Clarion sixth with 55 and Cleveland State seventh with 53 points.

The 2007 EWL’s were hosted by Cleveland State and Edinboro won the team title with 113 points, West Virginia was second with 104.5 and Lock Haven was third with 98 points. Rounding out the seven team field were Pitt in fourth with 95.5 points, Bloomsburg fifth with 94.5, Cleveland State sixth with 77.5 and Clarion seventh with 35 points.

In 2006 at Edinboro, the Fighting Scots finished first with 120.5 points, West Virginia was second with 110.5, Pitt third with 97, Bloomsburg fourth with 94.5, Cleveland State fifth with 82, Lock Haven sixth at 70.5 and Clarion seventh 29.5 points.

The 2005 EWL’s were hosted at Clarion’s W.S. Tippin Gym. Edinboro won the team title with 113 points, with Lock Haven second at 104 and Pittsburgh third with 98. Rounding out the field were fourth place West Virginia with 93, Bloomsburg fifth with 81 and Clarion and Cleveland State tied for sixth with 62 points.

The 2004 EWL Tournament, hosted at Bloomsburg, saw the most closely contended title race in league history. When the dust settled, West Virginia and Edinboro tied for first place with 99.5 points, while Pittsburgh was third with 97 points, Cleveland State fourth with 80.5, Bloomsburg fifth with 79, Clarion sixth with 70, Lock Haven seventh with 57.5 and Virginia Tech eighth with 44.5

The 2003 EWL Tournament, hosted by West Virginia, saw Edinboro win the team title with 129.5 points and West Virginia second with 123.5. Cleveland State finished a distant third with 80.5, Lock Haven fourth with 75.5, Pitt fifth with 75, Clarion sixth with 63.5, Virginia Tech seventh with 44.5 and Bloomsburg eighth with 44.

The 2002 EWL Tournament was won by West Virginia with 114.5 points, Edinboro second with 104.5, Lock Haven third with 104, Pitt fourth with 87.5, Cleveland State fifth with 67, Clarion sixth at 66, Virginia Tech seventh with 48.5 and Bloomsburg eighth with 41 points. The 2002 EWL’s were hosted by Lock Haven.

The 2001 EWL tournament was won by Edinboro with 123.5 points, with Lock Haven finishing second at 95, Pitt third with 94.5 and Clarion fourth with 87 points.

CLARION EWL NOTES: Clarion has crowned 54 EWL champions since the league started in 1976… The Golden Eagles have crowned at least one individual champion in every year except 1983, 1989, 2000, 2006-2010 and 2013 … Clarion has three team titles including 1980, 94 and 95 … Kurt Angle won 4 titles (1988. 1990-92) … Charlie Heller (1980-82), Sheldon Thomas (1994, 96, 97) and John Testa (2001-2003) are the only other Clarion wrestlers to win three EWL individual titles since the league began in 1976… The NCAA=s are in Oklahoma City March 20-22. … The new qualifying system has already established qualifiers across the country in each weight class — all weight classes had 29 qualifying spots… the brackets are limited to 33 — so 4 wrestlers will be added to each weight class by the next best wild card entries left available via the season ranking system. Those will be determined in the days following the completion of all national qualifiers.

EWL TOURNAMENT FACTS: Edinboro has won or tied for first place in 12 of the last 16 EWL Tournaments including titles in 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, the tie in 2004, a win in 2003, and a string of four straight from 1998-2001. West Virginia tied for first in 2004 and won the title in 2002, while Lock Haven won in 1997, West Virginia in 1996 and Clarion won back-to-back titles in 1994 and 95. Pitt has 2 team titles in 2011 and 2012.

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