Clarion Wrestlers to Participate at 40th Annual Eastern Wrestling League at Rider on Saturday

brock-zacherl-ics-2-214x300LAWRENCEVILLE, New Jersey – The 2015 Clarion wrestling team will be participating in the 40th Annual EWL (Eastern Wrestling League) Championship on Saturday, March 7th, at Rider University’s Alumni Gymnasium. The tournament also serves as the NCAA Division I National Qualifier.

(Photo: Brock Zacherl)

The EWL is comprised of seven league members including Bloomsburg, Clarion, Cleveland State, Edinboro, George Mason, Lock Haven and Rider. George Mason and Rider are second year league members.

EWL CHAMPIONSHIP HAS 2 SESSIONS

The 2015 EWL=s at Rider will have two sessions. Session 1 will start at 10a.m. in a round that will feature quarterfinal action, followed by semi-finals and consolation semifinals. Session 2 starts at 5 pm and will have the consolation place bouts, the Parade of Champions, Hall of Fame ceremonies and the 10 championship bouts. The championship bouts are set to begin at 7:30 pm. A total of 17 wrestlers will qualify for the NCAA Tournament from the EWL=s via the qualifying places determined for each weight class. Following the tournament, the new national qualifying system will then identify the next best wrestlers at each weight class who did not qualify across the country to fill out the national bracket of 33 per weight class.

Tickets will be available at the door. Chairback reserved seats are $20, General Admission is $15 and Student tickets are $5.

CLARION 1-16 OVERALL AND 1-5 IN EWL IN 2015 SEASON

The Golden Eagles marked a rebuilding season under first year head coach Keith Ferraro. Ferraro was named interim head coach on September 26 when Troy Letters stepped down, and then Ferraro was named “head coach” on December 16.

Clarion was 1-16 in dual meets this season and 1-5 in the EWL. Recently the Golden Eagles lost to #7 Oklahoma State (46-0) on Feb. 13, #13 Pitt 51-0 on Feb. 8, West Virginia (26-9) on Feb. 6 and Lock Haven (34-6) on Feb. 4. Prior to that Clarion lost a close 21-15 matchup at Cleveland State, lost to George Mason (29-9) on Jan. 18, lost to EMU on Jan. 10 (34-7) and #28 Ohio U. (42-5) on Jan. 8th. On December 19 Clarion posted its first dual meet victory under coach Ferraro with an exciting 20-19 criteria win over EWL and PSAC rival Bloomsburg at Waldo S. Tippin Gym.

The Golden Eagles opened the 2014-15 wrestling season hosting the Clarion Open on November 2 with three Clarion wrestlers in Saturday’s lineup earning places including Daniel Sutherland (3rd at 174), Michael Pavasko (4th at 174) and Evan DeLong (4th at 157). On November 15 Clarion participated in the Eastern Michigan duals and lost four dual matches to Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (19-12), #19 Northwestern (39-6). Central Michigan (34-6) and Northern Illinois (31-7). Then on November 22, Clarion hosted four-time and defending NCAA D-I National Champion #4 Penn State at Tippin Gym and lost a 44-0 decision in front of 2,875 fans. On November 30 the Golden Eagles traveled to #17 Rider and lost a 38-3 decision to the Broncs and a 25-13 loss to Penn.

Clarion placed 5th at the PSAC Championships on December 6th at Bloomsburg with Evan Daley finishing second and Slade Horner, Mike Pavasko and Ryan Darch finishing third, while losing a week later at #10 ranked Edinboro 32-6.

Clarion’s lineup on Saturday will be: Hunter Jones (7-11; So. New Rochelle, N.Y.) at 125, Matt Liggett (0-18; Fr. Chardon, Oh.) at 133; Sam Sherlock (7-13; Sr. West Mifflin) at 141; Brodie Zacherl (13-21; Fr. Brookville, Pa.) at 149; Evan DeLong (12-21; Fr. Kane) at 157; Slade Horner (14-11; So. Ridgway) at 165; Michael Pavasko (19-12; Jr. Munhall/Steel Valley) at 174; Daniel Sutherland (14-19; Sr. N. Bellmore, N.Y./Mepham) at 184, Ryan Darch (14-14; Sr. Batavia, N.Y.) at 197 and Evan Daley (11-7; so. Erie/Fort LeBoeuf) at 285.

“We’re really looking forward to the EWL’s,” said Ferraro. “Our team wrestled a very difficult schedule, and now we hope the hard work of the season and the experience gained will pay dividends.”

2015 EWL TEAM RACE

Edinboro, ranked 13th in the final NWCA coaches dual Meet Poll, will be a heavy favorite to win the EWL team title in 2015. The Fighting Scots, under 18th year head coach Tim Flynn, enters the EWL’s with a dual meet record of 14-5 and a perfect 6-0 EWL mark. Rider, led by 37th year head coach Gary Taylor was 13-8 overall and 4-2 in the EWL, as was Cleveland State (7-3; 4-2 EWL) under head coach Ben Stehura. Lock Haven, under second year head coach Scott Moore was 7-12 overall and 3-3 in the EWL, while George Mason under 4th year mentor Joe Russell was 10-12 overall and 3-3 in the league. Clarion was 1-16 overall and 1-5 in the EWL and Bloomsburg under second year coach Jason Mester, was 0-12 overall and 0-6 in the EWL

2015 WEIGHT CLASS PREVIEW:

Rankings are highest by either Intermat/AWN:

125 (top 2 Qualify): – Edinboro’s #17 ranked Kory Mines (28-7) and Cleveland State’s #19 rated Ben Willeford (20-7) expect to face each other in the finals. Willeford defeated Mines by fall in 2013 for the title, and placed 4th in 2011 and 5thin 2012. Mines was second a year ago, 2nd in 2013 and 4thin 2012. The rest of the places are up for grabs with LH’s Jake Field (15-9), Clarion’s Hunter Jones (7-11; 5th last year), Bloom’s Jon Haas (14-16), J.R. Wert (Rider) 11-13 and Ibrahim Bunduka (5-16) of George Mason all hoping to place.

133 (Top 2 Qualify) – The class of the field is three-time defending champion A.J. Schopp (16-1) of Edinboro. The #2 ranked wrestler at 133 in the nation has won the last three years at 133. Rider’s Rob Deutsch (22-8) was first at 125 last year and is moving up to 133. LH’s Ronnie Perry (17-17), Rider’s Vince Rodriguez (13-14), Andy Schutz (13-14) of Bloom, Cleveland state’s Alfredo Gray (11-10) all could get to the finals. Clarion will have Matt Liggett (0-18).

141 (1 Qualifier – Champion) – Edinboro’s defending champion and #2 ranked nationally Mitchell Port (30-1) is expected to win another title here. He was 1st in both 2014 and 2013, while placing second in 2012. Looking to get to the finals will be Rider’s Chuck Zeisloft (17-12) who was 3rd at 133 in 2014, along with Rob Rehm (LH) who was 4th at 125 in 2013 and 3rd at 125 in 2012. Clarion’s Sam Sherlock (7-13) was 3rd here in 2013 and 6th at 133 in 2014, while Sahid Karbgo (12-14) of George Mason was third here last year. CSU’s Mike Carlone (7-7) placed 4th at 133 in 2013, and Bloom’s Tanner Cahill has an 11-17 record this season.

149 (Top 3 Qualify) – Edinboro’s #1 Dave Habat (30-1) is the heavy favorite to repeat at 149 and is having his top career season as a senior at (30-1). He was first here in 2014 and in 2013, and second in 2012. Rider freshman B.J. Clagon is rated #15 in the nation with a 21-9 record and hopes to challenge. LH’s Dan Neff (14-8) was 2nd at 141 in 2014 and 2nd at 141 in 2013. CSU’s Nick Montgomery (5-7) was 4th here a year ago, while Clarion’s Brodie Zacherl (13-21), Kevin Laubach (12-16) of Bloom and George Mason’s Blake Roulo (5-11) are looking to place.

157 (Top 2 Qualify) – This is the first weight class that is totally wide open. George Mason’s Greg Flournoy (24-9) was third her a year ago, and Rider’s Chip Walsh has a record of 26-8, are thought to be finals candidates. But LH’s Elias Biddle (18-10) who was 4th at 141 in 2014, Edinboro’s Chase Delande (12-11) and Clarion’s Evan DeLong (12-21) might all have a chance to final. CSU’s Latrell Davis (8-6) and Bloom’s Matt Hammerstone (4-17) round out the field.

165 (1 Qualifier – Champion) – Only 1 qualifier at this weight class – which should make the championship bout very interesting. Edinboro’s Casey Fuller (14-16), LH’s Aaron McKinney (22-9 – 5th in 2013), Connor Brennan (10-5) of Rider – 1st at 174 last year; and Clarion’s Slade Horner (14-11) all could claim a spot in the finals. CSU’s Matt Donohoe (14-13) in a 3-time EWL placewinner (3rd last year; 6th at 157 in 2013 & 2012), Patrick Davis (11-12) of George Mason and Bloom’s Kurt Meske (5-10) round out a level field.

174 (1 Qualifier – Champion) – Again – 1 qualifier at 174 but it appears that Edinboro’s #20 Patrick Jennings (27-9), who was 3rd here in 2014 and 4th in 2013, will be the tourney favorite. Clarion’s Michael Pavasko (19-12) expcts to challenge to get to the finals, while LH’s Tyler Wood (16-15), Rider’s Ryan Wolfe (12-10), GM’s Ryan Forrest (12-13; 5th at 165 last year), CSU’s Gabe Stark (7-10) and Bloom’s Austin Hummel (15-15) will all try and get a ticket to nationals.

184 (Top 2 Qualify) – Edinboro’s #10 Vic Avery (26-6) will be the favorite at 184. He is the defending champion here and placed second in 2012. LH’s Fred Garcia (23-3) has been runner-up in 2014 and 2013 and hopes to get to the finals to claim another berth to nationals. Rider’s Clint Morrison (8-10) was third her in 2014, CSU’s Xavier Dye (10-7) placed 5th in 2014 and 5th at 174 in 2013, while Clarion’s Daniel Sutherland (14-19) placed 6th at 197 last year. Ryan Hemburg (4-8) of George Mason and Bloom’s Brad Miccio (1-11) will also compete.

197 (1 Qualifier – Champion) – Only 1 qualifier at 197 and that spot will be up for grabs. The likely favorite is Edinboro’s Vince Pickett (14-16) who was 3rd here in 2014 and 3rd at 184 in 2013. Lock Haven’s Phil Sprenkle (9-7) has missed some time but is talented and could challenge after placing 2nd last year and 3rd in 2013, while Rider’s Don McNeil (13-10), Ryan Darch (14-14) who was 4th at 174 in 2014 and 3rd at 174 in 2013, Matt Meadows (8-16) of George Mason who was 4th in 2014, CSU’s Nick Corba (9-6) and Bloom’s Michael Mirra (12-14) all could place high.

HWT (Top 2 Qualify): The favorites to reach the finals are Cleveland State’s #10 Riley Shaw (24-4) and George Mason’s Jake Kettler (25-10). Shaw was 3rd at 285 in 2014 and in 2013, while Kettler was 5th here a year ago. Clarion’s Evan Daley has missed January and February with an injury (11-7), but was 4th here a year ago and could finish high if healthy. Edinboro’s Warren Bosch (14-18), who placed 5th at 197 in 2013, and Rider’s Greg Velasco (14-15), who was 6th last year all return as placewinners. LH’s Brad Emerick (11-15) and Bloom’s Dom Carfagno (6-15) could also place.

PREVIOUS EWL TOURNAMENT RECAPS FROM 2001-2014:

Cleveland State hoisted the 2014 EWL’s at Woodling Gymnasium and Edinboro won the team title with 140.5 points, Bloomsburg was second with 113, Lock Haven third with 87.5, Rider fourth with 80, Cleveland State fifth at 74.5, Clarion sixth with 69.5 and George Mason seventh with 43.5 points.

Edinboro hosted the 2013 EWL’s championships which were won by Pitt with 125.5 points, Edinboro was second with 117 points and Bloomsburg third with 114. Clarion ended fourth with 93.5, Lock Haven fifth with 88.5 and Cleveland State sixth at 67.5

Clarion hosted the 2012 EWL Championships at Tippin Gym with Pitt winning the team title with 135.50 points, Edinboro was second with 116.50, West Virginia third at 112, Clarion fourth with 91, Bloomsburg fifth with 89.5, Lock Haven sixth with 64.5, Cleveland State seventh with 23 and Millersville eighth with 6.5 points. Millersville, not a member of the EWL, did not have a qualifying tournament to participate at and was directed to the EWL qualifier by the NCAA.

Bloomsburg hosted the 2011 EWL tournament and Pitt won its first team title scoring 132.5 points, with West Virginia second at 116.5, Bloomsburg third with 102.5 and Clarion fourth at 99.5. Rounding out the seven team field were fifth place Edinboro (95.5), sixth place Lock Haven (70.5) and seventh place Cleveland State 26.5 points.

The 2010 EWL’s were hosted at the West Virginia Coliseum, Edinboro took the team title with 135.5 points, Pittsburgh was second with 125.5, and Clarion a strong third with 111 points. Rounding out the seven team field were Bloomsburg in fourth with 84.5, West Virginia fifth with 78, Lock Haven sixth at 58 and Cleveland State seventh with 37.

The 2009 EWL’s were hosted at Lock Haven with Edinboro taking the team title with 126.5 points, WVU second with 95.5, Bloomsburg third with 88.5, Pitt fourth with 84.5, Lock Haven fifth with 80, Cleveland State sixth with 62 and Clarion seventh with 60.5 points.

The 2008 EWL’s were wrestled at Pittsburgh and Edinboro won the team title with 133 points, Pitt was second with 111.50, West Virginia third with 103.5, Bloomsburg fourth with 86, Lock Haven fifth with 70.5, Clarion sixth with 55 and Cleveland State seventh with 53 points.

The 2007 EWL’s were hosted by Cleveland State and Edinboro won the team title with 113 points, West Virginia was second with 104.5 and Lock Haven was third with 98 points. Rounding out the seven team field were Pitt in fourth with 95.5 points, Bloomsburg fifth with 94.5, Cleveland State sixth with 77.5 and Clarion seventh with 35 points.

In 2006 at Edinboro, the Fighting Scots finished first with 120.5 points, West Virginia was second with 110.5, Pitt third with 97, Bloomsburg fourth with 94.5, Cleveland State fifth with 82, Lock Haven sixth at 70.5 and Clarion seventh 29.5 points.

The 2005 EWL’s were hosted at Clarion’s W.S. Tippin Gym. Edinboro won the team title with 113 points, with Lock Haven second at 104 and Pittsburgh third with 98. Rounding out the field were fourth place West Virginia with 93, Bloomsburg fifth with 81 and Clarion and Cleveland State tied for sixth with 62 points.

The 2004 EWL Tournament, hosted at Bloomsburg, saw the most closely contended title race in league history. When the dust settled, West Virginia and Edinboro tied for first place with 99.5 points, while Pittsburgh was third with 97 points, Cleveland State fourth with 80.5, Bloomsburg fifth with 79, Clarion sixth with 70, Lock Haven seventh with 57.5 and Virginia Tech eighth with 44.5

The 2003 EWL Tournament, hosted by West Virginia, saw Edinboro win the team title with 129.5 points and West Virginia second with 123.5. Cleveland State finished a distant third with 80.5, Lock Haven fourth with 75.5, Pitt fifth with 75, Clarion sixth with 63.5, Virginia Tech seventh with 44.5 and Bloomsburg eighth with 44.

The 2002 EWL Tournament was won by West Virginia with 114.5 points, Edinboro second with 104.5, Lock Haven third with 104, Pitt fourth with 87.5, Cleveland State fifth with 67, Clarion sixth at 66, Virginia Tech seventh with 48.5 and Bloomsburg eighth with 41 points. The 2002 EWL’s were hosted by Lock Haven.

The 2001 EWL tournament was won by Edinboro with 123.5 points, with Lock Haven finishing second at 95, Pitt third with 94.5 and Clarion fourth with 87 points.

CLARION EWL NOTES: Clarion has crowned 55 EWL champions since the league started in 1976… The Golden Eagles have crowned at least one individual champion in every year except 1983, 1989, 2000, 2006-2010 and 2013 … Clarion has three team titles including 1980, 94 and 95 … Kurt Angle won 4 titles (1988. 1990-92) … Charlie Heller (1980-82), Sheldon Thomas (1994, 96, 97) and John Testa (2001-2003) are the only other Clarion wrestlers to win three EWL individual titles since the league began in 1976… The NCAA=s are in St. Louis, Missouri March 19-21.

EWL TOURNAMENT FACTS: Edinboro has won or tied for first place in 13 of the last 17 EWL Tournaments including titles in 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, the tie in 2004, a win in 2003, and a string of four straight from 1998-2001. West Virginia tied for first in 2004 and won the title in 2002, while Lock Haven won in 1997, West Virginia in 1996 and Clarion won back-to-back titles in 1994 and 95. Pitt had 3 team titles in 2011, 2012 and 2013 before leaving for the ACC.


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