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Penn College wrestlers ready for return

While seasons are winding down for Pennsylvania College of Technology fall sports athletes, they are just warming up for those competing in winter sports as the wrestling team opens on Saturday, followed by women’s and men’s basketball next week.

Coach Jamie MillerWrestling
One day after his team’s last competitive season ended on March 1, 2020, coach Jamie Miller said, “Training for next year starts today.” Of course, due to the pandemic, that turned into a 19-month layoff that will end this weekend in the Ned McGinley Invitational at King’s College.

“When you say it that way, it certainly does sound like we should be prepared, doesn’t it?” the Wildcats’ fifth-year coach asked.

Reflecting on the past year and a half, Miller continued, “Recruiting was a major focus, bringing in 12 incoming freshman and two transfers. Last year, the Klingerman family established the Klingerman Family Wrestling Fund, which allowed us to renovate the wrestling room and enlist the services of a sports dietician, who we are thrilled to be working with this year. We did our best to stay in shape through the 2020-21 season, but with limited mat time, we mostly focused on strength and conditioning.

“COVID certainly affected everyone differently. Some guys used the year to get bigger, stronger and freshen up their technique. Other guys took a bit of a break and we’re seeing the effects of both at the start of the season. The biggest challenge for most guys was weight maintenance over that period of time with very little formal training. The guys that will have success early on will be the guys who stayed disciplined over the 19-month period.”

The team’s biggest individual loss over the “offseason” was that of Dylan Gettys, of Etters, who would have been a senior last year after he placed eighth in NCAA Division III regional action in 2020 and finished sixth at regionals in 2019.

According to Miller, Gettys entered the workforce and is doing well for himself in the HVAC industry.

The squad’s top returning grapplers are seniors Colin Jens, of Centreville, Maryland; and Jesse Walker, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, at 141 and 165 pounds, respectively; and juniors Matt Carpenter, of Tioga; and Nicholas Semon, of Norristown, both at 149.

Miller, whose team was 6-20 in 2019-20 and placed 15th among 18 teams in the Mideast Region, said that it is too early to tell who his starters will be, and added, “we have a lot of individual tournaments to start the year and we’ll get a better idea from seeing how guys compete against outside competition who will get the bulk of the matches during the dual meet season.”

According to the coach, other wrestlers to watch include:

  • Juniors Ryan Berstler, of Middletown, at 125 pounds, and Jake Kallenborn, of Port Allegany, at 184.
  • Sophomores Noah Hunt, of Muncy, 141; Logan Ledebohm, of Mechanicsburg, 149/157; Andy Muzika, of Chalfont, 157; Mike Molloy, of Levittown, 157; Garrett Storch, of Canton, 184; and Gabriel Kennedy-Citeroni, of Blairsville, 197.
  • Freshmen CJ Trimber, of Moon Township, 125; Patrick Snoke, of Northampton, 133; Cullen van Rooyen, of Dresden, Ohio, 149; Anton Esterbrook, of Wyomissing, 157; Derek Kallenborn, of Port Allegany, 197; and Dylan Toback, of Kinnelon, New Jersey, 197.

Assessing his team and season, Miller, whose career record at Penn College is 25-56, said, “These guys are hungry, I feel like that’s the best way to describe them. They couldn’t wait to get into the new mat room, they were excited for the first day of practice and they are eager for our first competition. They are going to be a lot of fun to watch this year.

“We have a great mix of veteran leadership in Jens, Walker and Semon. Our sophomores and juniors are very mature and have been setting a great example for the freshmen. And our freshmen bring an excitement and eagerness to get better that is contagious.

“It’s a long season – we have to find ways to sustain that positive energy through March. The last year we competed, we found ourselves in a lot of close matches. That year showed us that we can compete with some of the teams that had beaten us up pretty good in the past. This year’s group has a very different mentality. They are not going to be content with being in close matches. They are going to go into every match expecting to win and that is the progress that we are looking for this year. I am confident that we will have our first national qualifier on the team this year.

“Our depth heading into the year is better than in years past. There are definitely weights we are deeper than others – mainly 125, 141, 149 and 197.

“I touched on it earlier, but the strength of this team is their mentality entering competitions. They want to make a statement. They want to put Penn College on the map. They are working exceptionally hard and I think they are preparing to put a high-quality product out on the mat.

“We haven’t proven that we can win pivotal matches yet. We have a lot of invitationals (individual tournaments) to start the year and it’s going to be important that we perform at our best in semifinal and finals matches, as well as wrestling back after taking a loss. Those are mental toughness battles that we frankly haven’t won in the past but I believe this team has the mentality to bust through that ceiling.

“We set some lofty goals for ourselves. We want to get some individual champs at these invitationals. We want to start placing top 10, top five as a team. We need to bust through the regional tournament and get some guys into the top three. I’m looking forward to booking a plane ticket to Iowa (site of nationals) in March.

“Most importantly, we want to continue to increase our scholar all-American numbers and look forward to this year being the first year we are in consideration for a national team academic award.”

Penn College golfers totaled 345 and finished third among eight teams on Monday in the United East Conference Fall Preview at Rancocas Golf Club in Willingboro, New Jersey. Alex Acree, of Brookville, fired an 81, good for fifth, to lead the Wildcats, finishing 10-over-par on the 6,602-yard, par 71 course. Also for the Wildcats, Gavin Baer, of Bainbridge, shot an 82 and tied for sixth; Sean McNamara, of Lancaster, shot a 90 and tied for 17th; Trevor Keaton, of Lansdale, shot a 92 and tied for 23rd; and Nate Hoyer, of Windsor, shot a 93 and tied for 27th. Playing as an individual, Karson Felty, of Pine Grove, shot a 92 and was among those tying for 23rd.

Penn State Harrisburg took team honors with a 328 while William Patterson’s Jack Maloney claimed medalist honors in a 42-player field with a 4-over-par 75. Behind Harrisburg were Rosemont College at 333; Penn College; Rutgers-Camden, 347; William Patterson, 355; New Jersey City University, 358; Penn State Abington, 372; and Stockton University, 399.

“It was a long day … we were pushing a six-hour round,” Wildcats coach Matt Haile said afterward.

“The course was tough for all golfers – challenging,” he continued. “It was one of those courses that you needed to see ahead of time to get the sightlines. The front nine was certainly harder than the back nine. … It was tough. It was a good test of golf and gave them a good look of what they’re going to see in the spring (at the end-of-the-season UEC Championship). They know what they need to do and what they need to improve on.

“I would have liked to have had some more reps (repetitions) in the fall, but we have a good group of guys and we’ll see how the spring plays out and who is going to be in those (top) five positions.”

Men’s/women’s cross-country
Competing in the UEC Championships on Saturday in Lancaster, the Penn College men were sixth and the Wildcat women were fifth in seven-team fields. Individually, Alec Rees, of Centerport, New York, finished 17th to lead the Wildcat men, and Cinnamon Digan, of Mifflinburg, placed 18th to pace the Penn College women.

For the men, Rees turned in a time of 30:41.60 over an 8K course, while Dean Fulton, of Palmyra, was 20th in 31:05; Nick Snow, of York, was 28th in 31:54.40; Noah Bowers, of Burnham, was 33rd in 32:38.40; Will Deem, of Furlong, was 42nd in 34:46.20; AJ Wiles, of Glenville, was 46th in 36:14.50; Chad Bomboy, of Unityville, was 51st in 37:22.90; and William Roever, of Moosic, was 57th in 41:55.40.

For the women, Digan was timed in 29:39.1 over a 6K course and she was followed by Taylor Schon, of Selinsgrove, 21st in 30:27.7; Avery Baker, of Lock Haven, 24th in 30:43; and Aubrey Stetts, of Jersey Shore, and Kayleigh Miller, of Sayre, tied for 39th in 36:39.40.

St. Mary’s (Md.) College, conference newcomers this year, captured both team titles – the men with 33 points and the women with 28 points. Payton Jones, of Morrisville State College, took the men’s individual title in a 63-runner field with a time of 27:40.50 and Madeleine Blaisdell, of St. Mary’s, was the women’s winner in 24:25.

Behind St. Mary’s in men’s action were Penn State Harrisburg with 70 points; Morrisville State College, 80; Lancaster Bible College, 85; Penn State Berks, 102; Penn College, 127; and Gallaudet University, 218.

In the women’s race behind St. Mary’s were Penn State Harrisburg with 82 points; Morrisville State College, 87; Lancaster Bible College, 99; Penn College, 119; Penn State Berks, 133; and Gallaudet University, 156.

“Without a doubt, this season was the toughest one we’ve had since I have been head coach. Each week we were faced with challenges and obstacles but little by little we chipped away and continued to improve,” Nick Patton said.

“I told the team nothing would come easy this weekend, and it didn’t, but both teams ran as well as they could’ve. We battled in both races and left it out on the course. We had several PRs on the women’s side and a few on the men’s side. We were definitely at our best this weekend when it mattered.”

Penn College runners will compete in the NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional at Carlisle on Saturday, Nov. 13.

Men’s soccer
Closing out its season on Saturday at Gallaudet University, Penn College won, 4-0, to snap an eight-match winless streak that included two ties, and finish 4-11-4 overall, 2-3-3 in the UEC. All four Wildcat goals came after a scoreless first half with Daniel Jackson, of Phoenixville, booting the first one in unassisted in the 53rd minute; Dylan Dailey, of East Stroudsburg, scoring the second in the 62nd minute unassisted; Tanner Layne, of Chesapeake, Virginia, adding the third unassisted in the 71st minute; and Michael Dougherty, of Lancaster, finishing things in the 85th minute with an assist from Josiah Potts, of Brooklyn, New York. The Wildcats led in shots, 34-4 (21-2 on goal), and in corner kicks, 8-1. In goal for Penn College, Braeden Eckard, of Danville, and Justin Potts, of Media, combined for the shutout, with Eckard improving to 3-6-4 in the net.

Final UEC regular-season standings: Penn State Harrisburg, 8-0; St. Mary’s (Md.), 6-1-1; Lancaster Bible College, 4-1-3; Penn State Abington, 4-2-2; Penn State Berks, 4-4; Penn College, 2-3-3; Morrisville State College, 1-6-1; Gallaudet University, 1-7; and Wells College, 1-7.

Women’s soccer
In a nonconference match at Susquehanna University on Tuesday, the Wildcats lost, 9-1, to drop to 5-11. Kaelynn Sheetz, of Elizabethtown, scored in the 53rd minute for the lone Penn College goal. Susquehanna led in shots, 36-3 (23-3 on goal), and in corner kicks, 8-0.

In its season finale at Gallaudet University on Saturday, Penn College won, 7-0, to snap a four-match loss streak and end 6-11 overall, 3-5 in the conference. Kaelynn Sheetz, of Elizabethtown, started the scoring in the 25th minute, unassisted; followed by Shannon O’Day, of Honesdale, unassisted in the 27th minute; Ashley Donat, of Lenhartsville, on an assist by Kristina Mease, of Richlandtown, in the 34th minute; BillieGean Hennessy, of Holtsville, New York, on an assist by Cassie Johnson, of Richland in the 52nd minute; Abby Williams, of Mechanicsburg, assisted by Kaelan Cronan, of Leesport, and Johnson in the 55th minute; Sloane Tressler, of Mill Hall, on an assist by Morgan Feeley, of Bridgewater, New Jersey, in the 75th minute; and Cronan in the 86th minute on an assist by Feeley. The Wildcats led in shots, 35-4 (18-2 on goal), and in corner kicks, 7-0. Nicole Lichtinger, of Erie, and Alicia Passmore, of Houtzdale, split time in goal to record the shutout with Lichtinger improving to 4-7 during her freshman season.

Final UEC regular-season standings: Penn State Harrisburg, 7-0-1; St. Mary’s (Md.), 6-0-2; Penn State Berks, 6-2; Lancaster Bible College, 5-3; Penn State Abington, 3-4-1; Penn College, 3-5; Morrisville State College, 2-4-2; Wells College, 1-7; and Gallaudet University, 0-8.

Women’s volleyball
On Monday in the makeup of an earlier postponed match at Penn State Altoona, the Wildcats lost, 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-15), and dropped to 1-14 overall. Altoona led in kills, 47-15; aces, 7-3; and digs, 63-49. Individually for Penn College, Sierra Yaggie, of Troy, and Emalie Marnati, of Canton, each had 14 digs, while Cheyenne Stein, of Orwigsburg, had 12 assists, and Marnati had six kills.

Wrapping up its season with a UEC home tri-match on Saturday, Penn College lost to Penn State Berks, 3-0 (25-8, 25-15, 25-14), and Penn State Abington, 3-0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-19), to finish 1-16 overall and 0-8 in the conference. Berks led in kills, 31-14; aces, 18-2; and digs, 57-53. Marnati topped Penn College with 20 digs and seven kills. Abington led in kills, 27-21; aces, 11-5; and digs, 56-51. Marnati led the Wildcats with five kills (tied with teammate Lauren Hergert, of Brookville, and two aces, tied with teammate Hailey DeBrody, of Cogan Station, while Yaggi was tops with 14 digs and Stein the leader with 12 assists.

Final UEC regular-season standings: Penn State Berks, 8-0; Gallaudet University, 7-2; Penn State Harrisburg, 6-2; Morrisville State College, 4-4; Lancaster Bible College, 4-4; St. Mary’s (Md.) College, 4-4; Penn State Abington, 2-6; Wells College, 1-7; and Penn College, 0-8.

In its next-to-last events of the season, Penn College lost in Overwatch to DeSales University, 3-1, to fall to 3-5, and lost in Rocket League to Cumberlands University, 3-0, dropping to 1-7. In iRacing, Penn College finished 11th in a field of 48, according to coach Joshua Young.

Men’s soccer
Final overall: 4-11-4
Final UEC: 2-3-3
Saturday, Oct. 30 – at Gallaudet University (UEC), W, 4-0
End of regular season

Women’s soccer
Final overall: 6-11
Final UEC: 3-5
Tuesday, Oct. 26 – at Susquehanna University, L, 9-1
Saturday, Oct. 30 – at Gallaudet University (UEC), W, 7-0
End of regular season

Women’s volleyball
Final overall: 1-16
Final UEC: 0-8
Monday, Oct. 25 – at Penn State Altoona, L, 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-15)
Saturday, Oct. 30 – host Penn State Berks (UEC), L, 3-0 (25-8, 25-15, 25-14); vs. Penn State Abington (UEC), L, 3-0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-19)
End of regular season

Men’s cross-country
Saturday, Oct. 30 – United East Conference Championship at Lancaster, finished 6 of 7
Saturday, Nov. 13 – NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional at Carlisle

Women’s cross-country
Saturday, Oct. 30 – United East Conference Championship at Lancaster, finished 5 of 7
Saturday, Nov. 13 – NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional at Carlisle

Monday, Oct. 25 – United East Conference Fall Preview, finished 3 of 8
End of season

Overall: 3-5
Monday, Oct. 25 – vs. DeSales University, L, 3-1
Monday, Nov. 1 – vs. Arcadia University, 7 p.m.
End of season

Rocket League
Overall: 1-7
Monday, Oct. 25 – vs. Cumberlands University, L, 3-0
Monday, Nov. 1 – vs. Edinboro University, 7 p.m.
End of season

Tuesday, Oct. 26 – Watkins Glen Race, 11th of 48
Tuesday, Nov. 9 – Spa Francorchamps Race, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 6 – at King’s College Ned McGinley Invitational, 9:30 a.m.
Sunday, Nov. 14 – tri-match at SUNY Oswego with Ithaca College, 1 p.m.

Women’s basketball
Wednesday, Nov. 10 – at Elmira (N.Y.) College, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 17 – host Carlow University, 4 p.m.

Men’s basketball
Friday, Nov. 12 – Crosstown Challenge host McDaniel College, 5 p.m. (Pitt-Greensburg at Lycoming College, 5 p.m.)
Saturday, Nov. 13 – Crosstown Challenge host Pitt-Greensburg, 1 p.m. (McDaniel College at Lycoming College, 1 p.m.)

For more about the United East, visit the conference website.

For additional information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

No. 11

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