On July 4th, 1776, while a bunch of famous rich white guys congregated in Philadelphia and declared independence from Britain, another, nearly anonymous group of poor white guys congregated beneath an elm tree on the banks of Pine Creek near its confluence with the West Branch of the Susquehanna, in what was then Native American land, and declared their own independence from Britain, France, the Iroquois, Tuscaroras, and everybody else. They elected three officials to settle any potential internal disputes, and called it a day. Self-rule, leave us alone, we don't need government - nice and simple. These Fair Play Men governed, more or less, their own mini country inside of present day Lycoming and Clinton counties from 1776 thru 1785 (with some exceptions), when the territory on which they were squatting officially became part of Pennsylvania.
Present day Clinton county didn't become present day Clinton county until 1840, though. Even then, Clinton county was only born through subterfuge. Jerry Church, a prominent Lock Haven resident, wanted to form a new county out of parts of Lycoming (seat: Williamsport) and Centre (seat: Bellefonte), because who had a mule that could go between those two towns twice a week, amiright? Every time he proposed the new county, the Williamsport and Bellefonte politicos would have none of it - they wouldn't willingly cede land for a new county, which Church and friends had petitioned to name "Eagle". For three years, as Church tells it in J. Milton Furey's 1892 historical book, he proposed "Eagle County", and every time it was voted down. Then he changed tactics. He had a friend propose the same thing, but with a different name, "Clinton County". Not recognizing the "Clinton" name, and not reading the petition, the Williamsport and Bellefonte dudes abided, and unwittingly ceded parts of their two counties to create Clinton County. Score: Persistence 1, Laziness 0.
The seat of Clinton county is, of course, Jerry Church's hometown, Lock Haven, which remains an easy mule ride from great trout fishing. My favorite spot is a stretch of Fishing Creek on Narrows Road where, as written in the same Milt Furey book above, my great great grandfather was robbed at gunpoint August 6th, 1887, by a man who "wore light side whiskers, a mustache, had on a slouch hat and a dark cut-away coat." That man was later identified as Luther J. Shaffer, who, one day prior to robbing my ancestor, according to judicial proceedings, had murdered Isiah and Nora Colby. Shaffer was found guilty of the murder, and was hanged April 4th, 1888 from a gallows in Lock Haven, as ordered by Governor James A. Beaver (pages 409 - 413), whose name now adorns a 107,000-seat football stadium. By the way, if you need a license holder for your fishing license, please check out this place in Sugar Valley.
The Lock Haven University (Bald) Eagles - a mocking taunt to the lazy Bellefonters - will take buses, not mules, to State College for a wrestling dual with the Nittany Lions. Former Penn Stater Scott Moore is in his first year at the helm of the wrestling team; former PSU Associate AD Mark Sherburne - fired during the scandal crap - is now Scott's boss. The Iggles, from their perches high above the banks of the nearby cricks, have already knocked off Bucknell on the resilite. At stake this Sunday at 2pm? Loser has to run the Hyner Challenge.
#3 Nico Megaludis vs. Fr. Kaleb LeMaire (Rehoboth Beach, DE)
Kaleb went 17-13 unattached as a true frosh last season, after winning 3 Delaware state titles. I thought we'd seem Bobby Rehm (Penn Manor) here, but he's been absent from the recent dual lineups, and just won the East Stroudsburg Open unattached, at 133.
Line: Nico by Fall in 6 minutes
#13 Jordan or #16 Jimmy vs. So. Cody Wheeler (Towanda)
Wheeler, I'm fairly certain, is a former PIAA State Champ for Towanda. He finished 8-9 last season, taking the spot in the lineup towards the end of the year.
Is it Jordan's turn in the lineup? I think it is.
Line: Conaway minus 4.5
141 LBS - Match of the Meet
#12 Zain vs. #18 So. Dan Neff (Solanco)
Well it didn't take long for true frosh Zain Retherford to get ranked, did it? He lands at #12 in Intermat's second set of rankings. And he gets an awesome test this Sunday from Dan Neff. Neff went 10-3 in duals last season with 7 majors. He qualified for NCAAs (unseeded) but dropped a heartbreaker to Iowa's Mark Ballweg in the first round. This will be a tough test for Zain - Neff won't get bullied easily.
Line: Zain minus 2.5
Jim English or Zach Beitz vs. Sr. Mac Maldarelli (Nassau CC)
Maldarelli transferred from the JuCo ranks to The Haven last season, and is a tough, experienced wrestler, finishing 16-11 last season.
Line: English minus 2
Jimmy Vollrath vs. Sr. Billy Randt (West York)
Randt turned in a 16-14 record as a junior. Vollrath supposedly can dunk on people, despite standing just 5'5".
Line: Rath of Voll minus 4.5
Relax, friends. Have another brew; try to stuff another hot dog in your mouth. Enjoy the rest of the show, and remember: these guys have to cut weight.
#1 David Taylor vs. Sr. Jake Kemerer (Hempfield)
On November 14th, 2010, freshman Jake Kemerer scored the winning takedown in overtime against #11 Brandon Hatchett of Lehigh. That upset allowed the Lions to beat the #15 Mountain Hawks 21-17. By the end of that year, Jim Vollrath had stepped into this spot in the lineup, and took 7th at Big Tens to help the Lions win their first ever Big Ten title, by one point over Iowa. Things didn't work out for Jake at Penn State, but here's hoping he gets a nice cheer in his last visit to Rec Hall.
Line: Taylor minus 13
#3 Matt Brown vs. So. Travis Moyer (Blue Mountain)
Travis is a true sophomore, and he doesn't appear to possess the length or quickness of Hulk Hands' last opponent, Lehigh's Elliott Riddick. That portends bad news for Travis.
Line: Brown by Fall in 6 minutes
James Frascella or Fr Wes Phipps vs. #12 Jr. Fred Garcia (Ringgold)
Wes Phipps was a top 100 recruit out of D-10 Grove City, and a 4x PIAA placewinner. He's aggressive from neutral, and if his hand injury is healed, expect to see him on the mat Saturday against Fred Garcia. Fred's a tough opponent, though. He went 28-12 last season with 5 tech falls, qualifying for NCAAs, where he finished 2-2 (round of 16).
Line: Phipps plus 3.5
#4 Morgan McIntosh vs. So. Phil Sprenkle (Dallastown)
Phil went 13-17 last season, finishing 3rd at EWLs. But Morgan's really wrestling well already this season.
Line: Morg minus 12
#10 Jimmy Lawson vs. Fr. Brad Emerick (Coughlin)
Brad's just a true frosh, but appears to have taken this spot in the lineup. He's a 2x PIAA placewinner, and won the Wade Schalles Pinner Award in 2013. But James Lawson is a full-grown man.
Line: Jimmy minus 8.5
Penn State's favored in 9 of 10 matches by my count - call it 37-3. This one should be a snoozer, except for the 141 matchup, and if Phipps can make the lineup.
Line: Penn State minus 34