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Wrestling Preview: vs. Lock Haven

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Penn State opens the wrestling season with an old foe.

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, Pennsylvanians, 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 (he founded the town), 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 each time it was voted down.

So Jerry Church changed tactics. He had a friend propose the same thing, but with a different name, "Clinton County". Not recognizing the "Clinton" name or the friend, 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, Political Laziness 0.

The seat of Clinton county is, of course, Jerry Church's town, 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, he 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.

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 our Nittany Lions. Former Penn Stater Scott Moore is in his third year at the helm of the wrestling team; former PSU Associate AD Mark Sherburne - fired during the scandal crap - is Scott's boss. There are a lot of reasons to cheer for the Haven - when they're not wrestling our Lions.

Loser has to run the Hyner Challenge.

How To Watch

Date: Friday, November 13th

When: 7pm ET

Where: Rec Hall, University Park, PA

Audio: Jeff "Ironhead" Byers, for free, via GoPSUSports

Video: also FREE, via GoPSUSports

#1 Penn State (0-0, 0-0 in Big Ten) Hosts Unranked Lock Haven (0-0, 0-0 in EWL)

The Projected Lineups

Penn State WT Lock Haven
#2 - Nico Megaludis (Sr., Murraysville, PA) 125 UR - Jake Field (So., South Elgin, IL)
#8 - Jordan Conaway (Sr., Abbottstown, PA) 133 UR - Bobby Rehm (Sr., Lancaster, PA)
#2 - Jimmy Gulibon (Jr., Derry, PA) 141 #12 - Dan Neff (Sr., Quarryville, PA)
#2 - Zain Retherford (So., Benton, PA) 149 UR - Cody Wheeler (Sr., Towanda, PA)
#6 - Jason Nolf (Fr., Kitanning, PA) 157 UR - Aaron McKinney (Sr., McDonald, PA)
#14 - Shakur Rasheed (Fr., Coram, NY) 165 UR - Dillon Gavlock (Jr., Mill Hall, PA)
#14 - Bo Nickal (Fr., Allen, TX) 174 UR - Tyler Wood (Jr., West Chester, PA)
#14 - Matt McCutcheon (So., Kiski Area, PA) 184 UR - Tristan Sponseller (Fr., East Berlin, PA)
#1 - Morgan McIntosh (Sr., Santa Ana, CA) 197 UR - Phil Sprenkle (Sr., Seven Valleys, PA)
UR - Jan Johnson (TrFr., Mohnton, PA) 285 UR - Brad Emerick (Jr., Wilkes-Barre, PA)

If you're Scott Moore, you're probably hoping to start at any weight other than 125.  Hard to build momentum for your team against the PSU lightweights.

125 LBS

We've waited an agonizing 12 months to see Nico Megaludis back on the resilite for Penn State.  I'm not sure how long we'll see him out there for this first match of the season - probably less than the full 7 minute match.

Prediction: Nico by Tech Fall.

Score: PSU 5, LHU 0

133 LBS

Bobby Rehm is a tough kid, and this should be a good match for Jordan, up at his new (old) weight, 133 lbs.  This probably starts a little slower, as the two feel each other out.  Jordan has the gas tank, though, and turns on the points in the 3rd period.

Prediction: Conaway just missed the major

Score: PSU 8, LHU 0

141 LBS - Match of the Meet

Dan Neff broke through the blood round last year and made All-American - at 149lbs.  So did Jimmy Gulibon - at 133 lbs.  The pair will meet in the middle, at 141.  This should be a great match.  I have Jimmy scoring first, and when he scores first, he's usually winning.

Prediction: Gulibon by decision

Score: PSU 11, LHU 0

149 LBS

Copy-paste our note from 125lbs.  Can't wait to see Zain back on the mat in blue and white.  This one might last a bit longer, though.  Wheeler is - going off of memory here - a past PIAA Champ.  Like all District 6 (whoops) District 4 kids, he's not just going to roll over lay flat. He'll fight you.

Prediction: Retherford by Major

Score: PSU 15, LHU 0

157 LBS

Aaron McKinney is a very good wrestler.  Jason Nolf is a machine.  A merciless point scoring machine that will not stop, ever.

Prediction: Nolf by MAJ

Score: PSU 19, LHU 0

HALFTIME

Stretch, relax, eat some junk food.  Drink lots of liquids.  Enjoy yourself, as you watch crazy-disciplined young men fight for your entertainment.

165 LBS

The word from the room is that Shakur Rasheed's taken this spot in the lineup from Garett Hammond, at this juncture (Penn State Pat Donghia still lists "OR" in the lineup).  If true, we're excited to see what he brings to the mat.  More than likely, his opponent will have a bunch of family in the stands.

Prediction: Rasheed by decision.

Score: PSU 22, LHU 0

174 LBS

Another PSU super frosh.  Bo Nickal can roll, folks.  Can't wait to see him in the PSU singlet.

Prediction: Nickal by MAJ

Score: PSU 26, LHU 0

184 LBS

I've been on the Matt McCutcheon bandwagon for 18 months.  Have my seat way up by the cab, directly behind Mouse, who's driving his own bandwagon.  And it's gonna pay off big this year, is my prediction.  B.I.G.

Prediction: Big Pay Off (Mouse by MAJ)

Score: PSU 30, LHU 0

197 LBS - Match of the Meet 2

Phil Sprenkle's probably The Haven's second best wrestler.  Unfortunately for the Eagles, he's paired against Morg.  Phil's tough, but Morg's special.

Prediction: Morg by MAJ

Score: PSU 34, LHU 0

285 LBS

Three weeks ago Jan Johnson was running scout team at Holuba Hall.  Yes, he was a walk-on linebacker for our Lions this season.  But don't let the "walk-on" tag fool you.  He had scholarship offers from MAC schools, plus a bevy of wrestling scholarship offers, as a 2x PIAA State Champ (Governor Mifflin).  And he's a wrestling legacy, so rolling on the mats in Rec Hall is a family tradition.  Still, Emerick is a pretty stout heavy, and three weeks isn't a lot of mat time.

Prediction: Emerick by DEC

Score: PSU 34, LHU 3