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Seniors Honored at Year-End Banquet
A pizza banquet was held at the McCalmont Township Fire Hall on Sunday April 30th to celebrate the end of the 2013-2014 wrestling season. All Punxsy wrestlers, elementary through varsity, were recognized at the banquet by their coaches.
The guest speaker was Dave Conaway who is originally from Philipsburg, PA, which is well known as a strong wrestling community. After high school, Conaway wrestled at Clarion University (Div. I) as a walk on, and eventually became a very successful coach at New Oxford High School for several years.
Conaway spoke about building a wrestling "tradition" through hard work and perseverance by sharing his experiences as a high school and college wrestler as well as a successful coach. He also included testimony about his son, Jordan Conaway, who has also become a successful wrestler through hard work and determination. While Jordan struggled as a youth wrestler, he became a 3x time Pennsylvania AAA state qualifier and 1x state champion, and is currently a wrestler at Penn State, the NCAA Div. I National Champions for the past four consecutive years.
Following Conaway's speech, Mat Hog Wrestling Club president, D.J. Gould, spoke briefly about the Club and then the elementary wrestling program. Gould recognized Punxsy's youth wrestling state qualifiers and medal winner.
Jr. High Coaches Bill Burke and Mark Smith spoke briefly about the Jr. High season and recognized each wrestler as well. Burke mentioned how the team was quite successful despite the low numbers for the season. Burke also announced his likely resignation as Jr. High coach.
The banquet was then closed out with Punxsy varsity coaches Eric Eddy and Buddy Young honoring the five outgoing seniors, Joel Bowers, Andrew Bullers, Josh Schuckers, Steph Smith, and Justice Vance. Eddy and Young summarized each senior's high school career at Punxsy and issued a gift to each.
Giavedoni Places 7th at States
Conner Giavedoni finished 7th at PJW states in Harrisburg on March 22nd. Congratulations Conner. More info coming soon.
Four Area V Champs
Punxsutawney had a perfect record in the finals at the 2014 Area V Youth Championships held at Clarion University on March 15th. Posing with their awards in the adjacent photo from left to right are Jake Skarbek, Ben Skarbek, Dysen Gould, and Conner Giavedoni; the four Punxsy wrestlers that have earned a trip to the PJW State Championships which will be held at The Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg on March 21st and 22nd. Congratulations boys! More info coming soon.
Young Places 5th at PIAA States
Punxsutawney's Kaleb Young placed fifth overall at the PIAA State Individual Wrestling Championships held March 6th, 7th, and 8th in Hershey, PA. Young, a sophomore, competed at 138 pounds.
After a dominating 13-0 win over Easton's James Saylor (35-8) in the Preliminary Round, Kaleb fell 5-3 in OT to Patrick Duggan (45-2) of Cumberland Valley in the quarter-finals for his first loss of the tournament. He then defeated Wesley Hoover (30-9) of Dallastown in the 2nd Round Consolations and then Demetri Dorsaneo (35-11) of Owen J. Roberts in the 3rd Round Consolations before falling to Colby Ems (36-2) of ES South in the Consy 4th Round. Young then went on to seal up fifth place with an 8-3 OT win in the Final Consolation Round over Hayden Hidlay (37-5) of Mifflin County, avenging a loss to Hidlay from the previous week in the regional finals. Kaleb finished his sophomore season with an impressive overall record of 34-3.
Punxsy senior wrestler, Joel Bowers also qualified for the state tournament at 132 pounds, but was eliminated early as he fell to Tommy Stokes (41-3) of Bensalem by a 5-3 decision. Bowers then lost his second bout in the Consy 1st Round to Greg Warner (29-9) of Big Spring by a score of 4-1. Joel finished the 2013-2014 season with an overall record of 28-4. He was a three-time state qualifier during his varsity career at Punxsy.
Congratulations to both Joel and Kaleb on a great season!!
Smith Bows out Early at Jr. High States
Punxsutawney eighth-grader and jr. high wrestler, Stone Smith, competed in the124 pound weight class at the Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling - Jr. High State Championships held at Hempfield High School in Greensburg on March 1st. Stone was the only jr. high state qualifier for Punxsy this year, but was eliminated by suffering losses in his first two bouts at the tournament. Congratulations to Stone on a very successful season none-the-less.
Siple Earns 2014 Joey Garrison Award at Redbank
Punxsutawney Elementary Wrestler, Brock Siple earned the 2014 Joey Garrison "Extra Effort Award" at The 3rd Annual Joey Garrison Memorial Open Wrestling Tournament at Redbank Valley High School on Sunday, Feb. 9th.
The award is in honor of Sgt. Joseph M. Garrison of New Bethlehem who died while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Sgt. Garrison was a 2002 graduate of Redbank Valley High School and a three year starter for the Bulldogs wrestling squad. On June 6, 2011, he lost his life while serving with the United States Marine Corp. in Southern Afghanistan. He was on his 4th tour of duty with the Marines when he paid the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
Joey was a tenacious competitor who wrestled with a great amount of emotion and heart. He served his country with the same enthusiasm.
The Sgt. Joey Garrison "Extra Effort Award" is given in his memory to the wrestler who shows the same competitive spirit that he did.
The award was presented to Brock by Joey's mom, Natalie Schoonover, sister, Judy Rupp and nephew, Rylan Rupp. Congratulations Brock!!
Mat Hog Wrestling Club Selects New Officers
New officers were elected at a meeting of the Mat Hog Wrestling Club held at the Walston Club on Sunday, October 6th. The new Club leaders include: D.J. Gould - President, Greg Skarbek - Vice President, Kelly Skarbek - Co-Treasurer, and Mark Miller - Secretary. Missy Spack agreed to stay involved and will continue to serve as Co-Treasurer until further notice. Many other items, such as, the upcoming youth wrestling season, youth tournaments, camps, and equipment needs were also discussed. We welcome our newly elected officers and continue to encourage others to become involved in our club. The registration date for the Punxsy youth wrestling program will be announced very soon once all dates are confirmed.