Gavlock among Bald Eagle winners

LOCK HAVEN – If you would have said that Wednesday night’s Eastern Wrestling League dual meet between Clarion and Lock Haven would be for the birds, you would have been right on.

After spotting Clarion a 3-0 lead in the first bout, the Bald Eagles ran off five straight wins and captured victories in eight of the final nine bouts to sprint to a 34-6 win over the Golden Eagles at Thomas Field House.

Hunter Jones gave Clarion its only lead of the night at 125 when LHU’s David Sheesley fell short, 13-11, but that is when the Bald Eagles started flapping their wings as they ripped off the five straight wins to take a commanding 21-3 lead.

“We tried something a little different at 125,” said LHU coach Scott Moore. “We have a local wrestler (Dave Sheesley of Mifflinburg) who walked on the team this year and had previously beaten the Clarion kid earlier in the year in a tournament so we figured we would give him another shot in the match for the local community. He wrestled hard, but he just came up a little short.”

Following Sheesley’s narrow loss, Moore and his assistants knew they wanted to get some wins and bonus points to make things easier for the upper weights, and they did just that.

Ronnie Perry started the LHU ball rolling at 133 when he was all over Matt Liggett for a 20-0 technical fall in 5:59 and Bobby Rehm followed suit to Perry when he used a pair of takedowns, an escape and time point for a 6-1 win over John Pezze at 141.

Dan Neff made the most of seven takedowns to post a 19-6 major decision over Brodie Zacherl at 149 and former Warrior Run standout Elias Biddle made it four LHU wins in a row with a 2-0 win over Evan DeLong.

Getting an opportunity to get into the lineup, former Central Mountain grappler Dillon Gavlock woke the crowd up when he took Slade Horner to his back for the fall in 2:23 of the first period.

“That is what I used,” said Gavlock about his front headlock to an inside trip. “I work on it all the time in practice and I have a lot of confidence in it. A lot of things go into it, but a big part of it is me pulling him in. He was pushing in, he had his head down and because of that I was able to work the trip and take him to his back.”

Having wrestled for Central Mountain in high school, Gavlock said it feels real good to have the chance to wrestle in front of a lot of local fans and his family.

“First it is great because of the opportunity God has given me and secondly, for the home community because that is why I am here,” Gavlock said. “To wrestle in front of the people who have raised me and the community that has supported me makes it special. These people are everything to me and I really enjoy being out there for them.”

Moore likes what he is seeing from his local product.

“He (Gavlock) has been working real hard on his offense positions and his pinning combinations,” said Moore. “Coach Fittery has been doing a real good job working with him on putting different things together and hitting the big moves. He had a couple of opportunities to score earlier in the match, but he stuck with it and eventually got it.”

Michael Pavasko temporarily stopped the Clarion bleeding at 174 when he made a first-period takedown stand up for a 2-0 win over Tyler Wood, but after that, it was all LHU as Fred Garcia, Phil Sprenkle and Brad Emerick were all strong in closing out the dual meet victory with decisive wins.

Garcia was in the process of building a lead toward a technical fall when he caught Dan Sutherland on his back for the fall at the 5:58 mark of their match.

Sprenkle used three takedowns, three sets of back points and a time point for a 15-3 major over Ryan Darch and Emerick put the lid on the team victory when he tossed a 5-0 shutout at Josh Davis to set the final.

“When you have guys who score bonus points it makes it easier on their teammates who follow them,” said Moore. “When that happens, it allows our guys in the upper weights to wrestle a little easier and that is what happened. We knew Fred would get bonus points and he just wore on the guy and finally got the pin. The match at 195 was a pretty good matchup, but when Phil (Sprenkle) got that first takedown, it opened the match up for him. Give credit to him for trying some tilts and putting a lot of points on the board. Any time you can get a major against someone who is very similar to you it is big.”

In the finale, Emerick was all over Davis from the opening whistle.

“He actually has the potential at times to become more physical,” said Moore. “That is something that we are definitely working on with him. More confidence and a little bit of a mean streak on his part would be big for him. We saw a lot of that at the end of last year and if he is going to continue to win and beat some of these guys he needs more confidence and to get a little meaner.”

125: Hunter Jones, C, dec. David Sheesley, 13-11. (0-3) 133: Ronnie Perry, LH, tech. fall Matt Liggett, 19-0, 5:59. (5-3) 141: Bobby Rehm, LH, dec. John Pezze, 6-1. (8-3) 149: Dan Neff, LH, maj. dec. Brodie Zacherl, 19-6. (12-3) 157: Elias Biddle, LH, dec. Evan DeLong, 2-0. (15-3) 165: Dillon Gavlock, LH, pinned Slade Horner, 2:23. (21-3) 174: Michael Pavasko, C, dec. Tyler Wood, 2-0. (21-6) 184: Fred Garcia, LH, pinned Dan Sutherland, 5:58. (27-6) 197: Phil Sprenkle, LH, maj. dec. Ryan Darch, 15-3. (31-6) 285: Brad Emerick, LH, dec. Josh Davis, 5-0. (34-6)

Record:?Lock Haven (5-10, 2-1 EWL) Clarion (1-13, 1-5 EWL) Next:?LHU at Edinboro, Friday