On Sunday, Clarion University’s wrestling team upset 26th ranked Rider, at Clarion, to improve to 3-4 overall.
The win gave the Eagles a record of 2-1 in the Eastern Wrestling League for the season.
The Golden Eagles jumped out to an early lead after winning their first four matches to give them a 15-0 advantage over the visitors, including victories by Patrick DeWitt (125), Michael Bartolo (133), Brock Zacherl (141) and Brodie Zacherl (149).
Rider wouldn’t go away.
They went on to take four of the next five matches, the lone Clarion victory due to Michael Pavasko’s decision at the 174 pound battle.
Zack DeLuca finally put the match away by pinning Maurco Correnti in the 285 pound match, setting the score at 24-15.
Clarion’s sophomore Nick Shawley summed up the upset by saying, “It was an awesome win. It put Clarion wrestling on the map. It sends a message to other teams letting them know not to shrug us off. It’s also a huge confidence builder, as they were the second ranked team in the EWL.”
Shawley made it clear that the wrestling team is far from its peak, stating, “There is more to come though; we are a solid team this year.”
He also stressed that the team is staying level-headed with its confidence saying, “We already were training to win; that win just let us know we can. Practices are always tough, but we have to keep them that way to produce more turnouts like Sunday. That definitely did change the practice room atmosphere, though.”
Shawley also said a winning record for the league is, “very crucial for seeding in the EWL tournament, and for the word to get out to other teams in the EWL.”
Clarion will travel to Mercyhurst on Dec. 5 for the PSAC Championship, and then they will wrestle two times on Dec. 13 in Fairfax, Virginia.
At noon, they face George Mason for a EWL match, and then they will be up against Grand Canyon at 1:30 p.m.
The Golden Eagles’ next home matches will take place on Dec. 19, where they face Appalachian State and Buffalo.
Those matches start at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively.
In closing, Nick says that the keys to success in those matches, and for the rest of the season, will be to, “Practice hard, and keep our attitude right as a team.”