Fehlman helped lift Bald Eagles to a victory

RED LION — With his left leg draped across the neck of Navy’s Casey Cobb, Lock Haven’s DJ Fehlman wrenched as hard as he could on Cobb’s right arm. It’s a position Fehlman swears he’s been in before and one he swears he’s comfortable in.

It may have looked unnatural, but it worked for the 133-pounder during the final bout of Friday’s Rumble at the Jungle II at Red Lion High School.

As Fehlman torqued Cobb’s arm, slowly, his right shoulder inched toward the mat until the official declared he was in danger and began his count. Those three danger counts quickly turned into near-fall counts and Fehlman got all four of them. The redshirt senior’s six-point move set the stage for a convincing win which lifted Lock Haven to a 19-15 victory over the Midshipmen.

The Bald Eagles moved to 2-0 in the Rumble in the Jungle, having previously upset Arizona State in the showcase event back in January.

“I’ve been there a lot. I’m not the quickest or the fastest guy, but I’ve got some stuff for when I’m almost beat,” Fehlman said. “That was one of those spots where I’m sure that kid felt comfortable, but I was actually the one feeling a little bit more comfortable. It’s something you work on and you go for it when it’s there.”

Fehlman was one of four fifth-year seniors to pick up wins Friday night for Lock Haven, which split the bouts with Navy, 5-5. But the difference was two bonus-point wins from Alex Klucker and Corey Hazel, two of the Bald Eagles’ four fifth-year wrestlers.

On a night where coach Scott Moore introduced three new wrestlers to the lineup, it was those veteran leaders he was counting on to lead the Bald Eagles. The only senior not to win last night was redshirt sophomore Brock Port, who picked up a bout-winning takedown at the buzzer with a danger three-count similar to Fehlman’s.

“Our fifth-year seniors are our mainstays,” said Klucker, who needed just 40 seconds to win by fall at 157 pounds. “Those are the guys we rely on to come out and score team points. Fehlman was close, Hazel got it, Shoop had a good match. We rely on us a lot.”

“They’ve been here and they’ve been through it, so they need to win,” Moore said. “If you’re a fifth-year in a program that has been in the Top 20 for two years, your job is to win and your job is to lead and lead by example in big matches like this.”

Fehlman did just that, showing a relatively young lineup how to handle a pressure-packed situation of stepping on the mat with Lock Haven holding a 16-15 lead after Navy had run off three consecutive victories. He was calm in the moment and didn’t get overwhelmed.

Instead, he waited for his opportunity and capitalized. Fehlman couldn’t get to his leg attack, so when it looked like Cobb had gotten into a good position for a takedown, Fehlman got into that comfortable, but awkward, position with his leg pressuring the chest of Cobb and Cobb’s right arm locked up.

Fehlman heard the official’s three-count as Cobb was put in a position where his back was exposed to the mat. He figured it was all he would get out of the move, but the official then went immediately into a count for back points. With just 3 minutes left in the bout, Fehlman had a 7-0 lead. He eventually won 9-3 to secure the Bald Eagles’ first dual win of the season.

“He was definitely stuck there,” Fehlman said. “The danger rule brings a whole new world into effect. You only have to get him to 90 degrees and hold him there for three seconds and you’ve got a takedown. But I had his foot real nice and was able to get back points, too. The danger call is a game-changer.”

“That’s something he’s worked on a long time,” Moore said. “He picks up stuff well. He pays a lot of attention to detail. He couldn’t get to his leg attack, so he went to his counter offense and it paid off.”

Klucker was the one who got the crowd going early in the dual, though. Returning All-American Shoop led off the dual with a 3-0 win, and Port’s 6-4 victory pushed the LHU lead to 6-0. But Klucker came out looking for a big move.

He got the setup he wanted for a cement job throw which won him the last two EWL championships. But he had to chase Navy’s Scout Skidgel around the mat for about 15 seconds before he was finally able to throw it and get Skidgel to his back. The official hadn’t even finished his four count for back points before he slapped the mat for a fall which gave Lock Haven a 12-0 lead.

“I’m pretty strong, and once I get in that position you have to go for it,” Klucker said. “I could feel it coming, so once you get there it’s a matter of getting it done.”

“He’s awesome because he goes out there right away, guns firing,” Fehlman said. “That’s something I’m not really good at, but I love that he brings the fire early every time. He’s just fun to watch, man.”

Lock Haven 19, Navy 15

141: No. 18 Kyle Shoop, LH, dec. Cody Trybus, 3-0. 149: Brock Port, LH, dec. Wyatt Long, 6-4. 157: No. 18 Alex Klucker, LH, pinned Scout Skidgel, 0:40. 165: No. 9 Tanner Skidgel, N, dec. Caleb Clymer, 6-3. 174: No. 24 Spencer Carey, N, dec. Jared Siegrist, 9-4. 184: No. 13 Corey Hazel, LH, maj. dec. Andrew Buckley, 12-3. 197: Jacob Koser, N, dec. Blake Reynolds, 6-0. 285: John Birchmeier, N, dec. Trey Hartsock, 5-1. 125: Logan Treaster, N, dec. Matt Maloney, 10-4. 133: DJ Fehlman, LH, dec. Casey Cobb, 9-3.

Takedowns: Lock Haven 11, Navy 11.

Records: Lock Haven (1-1, 0-1 MAC); Navy (3-3, 0-0 EIWA).


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