By Mike Ricchione
The nationally-ranked wrestling team continued its seven-game winning streak by beating conference rivals Lock Haven on Jan. 27 and Bloomsburg on Jan. 28 to remain undefeated at home this season.
Heading into the first match against No. 23 Lock Haven, both teams were undefeated in Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) play.
Rider gained momentum early on when it won the first three matches, jumping out to an 8-0 team lead.
At 125 pounds, senior JR Wert defeated Luke Werner thanks to a coach’s challenge that would have otherwise given Werner the decision.
At the end of the third period, Head Coach John Hangey challenged the non-call of a takedown by Wert. After the review, Wert received credit for the takedown and they restarted with 10 seconds left in the third. Werner managed to escape, tying it at five. However, thanks to riding time, Wert got an extra point to make it a 6-5 decision.
At 133, junior Anthony Cefelo defeated DJ Fehlman by a 4-2 decision, and at 141, senior Tyson Dippery defeated Kyle Shoop by a 7-1 decision.
Normally, Rider would be leading by nine, starting off with three decisions, but they got a one-point deduction for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Rider suffered its first loss of the match in the 149-pound bout when Ronnie Perry won an 8-3 decision over sophomore Gary Dinmore.
The Broncs bounced back when senior All-American BJ Clagon secured a pinfall victory over Alex Klucker at 157 in 3:55 to put them up 14-3.
Clagon, confident after the win, said, “No one can beat us when we’re on point.”
Rider dropped another matchup, this time at 165, when back-to-back All-American Chad Walsh lost to Chance Marsteller by an 8-4 decision.
A week after being awarded the EWL Wrestler of the Week, junior Dean Sherry continued his stellar performance with a 10-5 decision over Jared Siegrist at the 171 match.
At 184, senior Wayne Stinson got disqualified after a violent club to the back of the head of Corey Hazel. A loud chorus of boos came from the crowd at Alumni Gym.
As a result of the disqualification, Lock Haven gained six points as if it were a pinfall victory or a forfeit, and Rider got a two-point deduction for flagrant misconduct. Suddenly, Lock Haven was only down by three with two matches left. Rider secured the victory when freshman Ethan Laird won at 197 over Trey Hartsock by a 9-2 decision and graduate student Mauro Correnti won at 285, via a major decision over Derek Dragon.
The final score was 22-12 in Rider’s favor and the Broncs came out of Alumni Gym still undefeated in EWL play.
Hangey was proud of his team for defeating Lock Haven, who was ranked No. 18 in the Intermat Dual Rankings. “To get a win like this against a team that’s ranked in the top bodes well for our kids and what they did,” Hangey said after the win.
The Broncs continued their strong wrestling on Jan. 28 when they beat Bloomsburg 36-6.
The big scoring bouts included a tech fall by Dippery at 1:19 over Shawn Orem, a 15-5 major decision by Clagon over Kevin Laubach Jr. and a pinfall recorded by Walsh at 6:12 over Nate Newberry.
The No. 19 Broncs will hit the road next weekend to take on Clarion on Feb. 2 and Drexel on Feb. 4.