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Grapplers headed to NCAA regionals; baseball, archery teams opening 

The basketball season ended for Pennsylvania College of Technology teams last week and, this week, the college’s wrestlers are headed into NCAA tournament competition while the baseball and archery teams are scheduled to open. 

Coming off a 12-win, dual-match season – their most in the college’s NCAA era that began in 2014-15 – the Wildcats look for more success on Friday and Saturday at the NCAA Division III Southeast Regional at Lycoming College. Action begins at 10 a.m. both days. 

“Getting off the bus (after last weekend), knowing that we completed our season with 12 wins, gave us a good opportunity to appreciate the progress that we’ve made,” second-year coach Jamie Miller said. “We still have a lot of work to do. We still want to make history this year and send somebody to nationals. … We’ve got to stay focused for two more weeks and then we will appreciate the season as a whole.” 

A year ago as a freshman, Jared Mooney, of Palmerton, became the first wrestler in Penn College history to place in the NCAA regionals, where he was fourth in the 197-pound weight class. Going into this year’s event, Miller said the first goal for all of his wrestlers is to advance from the first day of competition among the top eight and reach the second day, putting them in position for a top-three finish and trip to nationals March 8-9 at Roanoke, Virginia. 

“While nationals are the goal for everybody, it’s probably more realistic for some than others. … The three that stand out at probably having the best shot are junior Dylan Otis, of Wyalusing, at heavyweight; Mooney at 197; and sophomore Dylan Gettys, of Etters, at 174,” Miller said. … “Those are the guys who have been most competitive with the upper echelon nationally ranked guys.” 

Weight-by-weight, representing Penn College will be: 

  • 133 – Colin Jens, a freshman from Centreville, Maryland 
  • 141 – Gavin Link, a freshman from Gallitzin 
  • 149 – Jesse Walker, a freshman from Ridgefield, Connecticut
  • 157 – Alec Dickey, a freshman from Williamsport
  • 165 – Dan Bergeron, a sophomore from Jackson, New Jersey 
  • 174 – Gettys
  • 184 – Colin Browne, a freshman from Wilkes-Barre
  • 197 – Mooney
  • 285 – Otis

The key, Miller said, will be composure. 

“I noticed last year that we were at a point in the season where our guys were still hungry to keep wrestling and there were guys that we beat at this tournament who you could tell were just exhausted. We hope to keep these next two weeks fun, keep them energized and get everybody healthy. … If you go into this tournament and you want to keep wrestling, that’s a huge advantage that you have over some guys who are ready for their season to be over,” Miller said. 

“I am so thankful for the group that we have, for their work ethic and the character of the guys. I’m super thankful for the coaching staff that we have, our assistant coaches Rich Shnyder, Matt Bolt, Patrick Sparks, Dan Frankenfield, these guys are volunteering a great deal of their time and I don’t think they get nearly enough credit for the success of our program, but they’ve been such a huge addition this year to work with guys on an individual basis,” the coach added. 

In a recent addition to their schedule, the Wildcats competed on Sunday in the Northeast/Mideast Futures Tournament at Muhlenberg College, where Cam Dickey, of Williamsport, finished fifth at 141 and Alec Dickey, of Williamsport, finished sixth at 157. Also competing were Link at 141; Makeela Fabrizio, of Montrose, at 157; and Browne at 174. 

Last season, after finishing second in the North Eastern Athletic Conference to Penn State Berks for the second year in a row, coach Chris Howard said that, with new recruits coming into the program, “We’re really close, really close to turning this thing around and getting to that place where Berks is right now.” The Wildcats begin that quest on Saturday when they open their season with a nonconference doubleheader at Lebanon Valley College. 

“We had a good class come in, but I think even better is the guys that we had here have that one extra year under their belt, as well. They’re hungry. They’re just as tired as everybody else of coming in second,” Howard said.  

Last year, when Penn College finished 20-15 overall and 11-5 in all conference games, returning junior catcher Brittan Kittle, of Millville, was named to the all-NEAC first team and junior infielder Ben Flicker, of Topton, was named to the second team. Overall, according to the NEAC website, the Wildcats have 20 returning players, eight of them starters.  

“Kittle and Flicker have been mainstays for the last couple of years and will be again this year. … And we’re also seeing a lot of leadership from the (nine) seniors, which is nice. (Pitcher) Devon Sanders, of Bloomsburg, for one, and also (infielder) Rylan Whitmyer, of Williamsport,” Howard said. 

Conference play won’t begin until March 30 when the Wildcats already will have had up to 12 games under their belts – eight of them played in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, from March 9-14 – and NEAC coaches again have picked Penn College to finish second behind Berks, followed by Penn State Abington, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, SUNY Poly, Wells College, Gallaudet University, Cazenovia College and SUNY Cobleskill. 

“Berks is the team to beat. They have an All-American third baseman coming back who did a lot of damage to us last year. They are well deserving of the No. 1 seed. It’s nice to be up there at No. 2 … Preseason polls are nice, but they don’t win ballgames. … I really don’t concern myself with all that because that really doesn’t mean a thing until you get out on the field,” Howard said. 

“It was a good off-season, it was a good summer; we had a really good, solid fall. There is a new kind of excitement. The focus that the entire team has gone over the top. It really has changed, for the better,” the coach continued. “I’m really excited with the way we have worked. 

“Once you get outside, that’s when you start to put some things together. We have the same philosophy this year as we do every year: We’re out there trying to win every single game. 

“Everybody is itching to go. This is that time of year when you are tired of being indoors. You’re looking forward to getting out and playing, and, more importantly, seeing what all of this hard work equals up to. … I’m really looking forward to seeing these guys get out on the field and see what they can do,” the coach said. 

“Working hard and outworking everybody else doesn’t guarantee wins or championships, but what it does guarantee you is that you’re going to put yourself in a position to and that’s just what we are trying to do, just try to be the best possible team that we can be,” Howard added. 

In 12 seasons, Howard’s teams have gone 270-166. Assisting Howard this season are Levon Whitmyer, Ian Catherine and Tyler Cooklin. 

At the end-of-the-season outdoor collegiate championships last May, the Wildcats came away with one individual national champion, a team third, four All-Americans and an overall seventh-place team finish. Coach Chad Karstetter, entering his 17th season, is hopeful of that kind of continued success. 

Among this year’s returnees, then-freshman Nathaniel Haefka, of Wyalusing, captured the men’s bowhunter national championship, and, as a result of their indoor and outdoor national efforts, was joined by teammate Rylee Butler, a sophomore female bowhunter shooter from Bellefonte, as All-Americans. Another All-American from last year’s team, Tim Lamont, of Eldred, did not return and is focusing on his studies, according to the coach. 

“(Haefka and Butler) both are very important assets to the team, they bring their experiences to the table of being in the top of their class. They will also be leaders as this year progresses,” Karstetter said. 

The Wildcats open their season Friday at the U.S. Indoor Nationals in Lancaster and have just two other events on their schedule this year – the Adam Wheatcroft Memorial/U.S. Archery East Regionals on April 13-14 at James Madison University and U.S. National Outdoor Collegiate Championships at Darree Fields Park in Dublin, Ohio, on May 16-19. 

“Everything is coming together for the start of the season. We have a young, talented team. Even though our season this year is short, we are hitting the important (events) that count for All-Americans and national championships,” Karstetter said.  

“Our bowhunter team looks strong with the returning national champion along with David Fox, a junior from Coburn; Ryan McCrickerd, a freshman from Bethlehem; and Sidney Alpaugh, a freshman from Muncy. We will also be competing in the women’s compound, mixed compound, mixed recurve and mixed bowhunter,” the coach said. 

Assisting Karstetter this season is Dustin Bartron. 

Men’s basketball
At Penn State Berks on Wednesday, the Wildcats battled back from an 88-77 deficit in the last 1:34, scoring the game’s final eight points in an 88-85 loss. Spencer Bartron, of Camden, Delaware, led Penn College with 26 points while Carson Garvis, of Taneytown, Maryland, scored 21, and Elijah Vazquez, of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, 17. Garvis and Bartron also each pulled down 10 rebounds. 

On Saturday at home against Gallaudet University, Penn College found itself in a hole as it trailed 66-48 with 8:34 remaining before rallying back to within three at 78-75 and losing 79-75 to complete a 3-22 overall and 2-14 NEAC season. Bartron again topped the Wildcats in scoring with 17 points while Anthony Deitrick, of Troy, scored 14 points and Vazquez 12. Seniors Bartron, Brandon Fedoriw, of Williamsport, and Matthew Salvent, of East Brunswick, New Jersey, were honored before the game. 

Final NEAC South Division standings: Lancaster Bible College 8-2, Penn State Abington 8-2, College of St. Elizabeth 6-4, Gallaudet University 5-5, Penn State Berks 3-7, Penn College 0-10. 

Final NEAC North Division standings: Morrisville State College 10-0, SUNY Cobleskill 5-5, Cazenovia College 5-5, SUNY Poly 5-5, Keuka College 3-7, Wells College 2-8. 

Statistically speaking in the NEAC: Ryan Lockman, of White Salmon, Washington, was 5th, hitting 58.3 percent of his field goal shots; 6th, averaging 1.1 blocks per game; and 14th in rebound average with 7 per game. Garvis was 14th, hitting 37.8 percent of his 3-point shots. 

Women’s basketball
On Wednesday at Penn State Berks, the Wildcats lost, 93-56. Kaylah Brown, of Suffolk, Virginia, and Ja’Quela Dyer, of Dover, Delaware, each scored 12 points for Penn College and Dyer had a team-high 10 rebounds. 

At home against Gallaudet University on Saturday, Penn College dropped a 98-71 decision to finish 1-24 overall and 0-16 in the NEAC. Tori Wolfe, of Dalmatia, led the Wildcats with 17 points while Dyer tallied 16, Gwendolyn Lavelle, of Pocono Summit, 14, and Maci Ilgen, of Spring Mills, 11. Before the contest, seniors Lavelle and Erin Shaffer, of Liberty, were honored. 

Final NEAC South Division standings: Gallaudet University 9-1, College of St. Elizabeth 8-2, Penn State Abington 6-4, Penn State Berks 4-6, Lancaster Bible College 3-7, Penn College 0-10. 

Final NEAC North Division standings: SUNY Poly 9-1, Keuka College 9-1, Morrisville State College 5-5, Cazenovia College 4-6, SUNY Cobleskill 2-8, Wells College 1-9. 

Statistically speaking in the NEAC: Madison Klock, of Elysburg, was 7th, averaging 2.5 steals per game, and was tied for 8th, averaging 3.7 assists per game. Cassi Kuhns, of Loyalsock Township, was tied for 9th, averaging 0.8 blocks per game. Wolfe was tied for 13th, averaging 6.9 rebounds per game.  

Men’s basketball
Final overall: 3-22
Final NEAC: 2-14
Wednesday, Feb. 13 – at Penn State Berks (NEAC), L, 88-85
Saturday, Feb. 16 – host Gallaudet University (NEAC), L, 79-75 

Women’s basketball
Final overall: 1-24
Final NEAC: 0-16
Wednesday, Feb. 13 – at Penn State Berks (NEAC), L, 93-56
Saturday, Feb. 16 – host Gallaudet University (NEAC), L, 98-71 

Final overall: 12-16
Sunday, Feb. 17 – Northeast/Mideast Futures Tournament at Muhlenberg College
Friday-Saturday, Feb. 22-23 – NCAA Division III Southeast Regional at Lycoming College, 10 a.m.
Friday-Saturday, March 8-9 – NCAA Division III Championships at Roanoke, Va.

Overall: 0-0
NEAC: 0-0
Saturday, Feb. 23 – at Lebanon Valley College (2), noon

Friday-Saturday, Feb. 22-23 – U.S. Indoor Nationals at Lancaster Archery Supply
Saturday-Sunday, April 13-14 – Adam Wheatcroft Memorial/U.S. Archery East Regionals at James Madison University
Thursday-Sunday, May 16-19 – U.S. National Outdoor Collegiate Championships at Darree Fields Park, Dublin, Ohio. 

For more about NEAC, visit the conference website.

For more information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

No. 28

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