KUTZTOWN, PA – The York College wrestling
squad took a tough defeat Friday evening, 19-16 as they visited
Kutztown University. The 25th-ranked Spartans now stand at 14-6 on
the season while the Golden Bears improve to 10-3-1.
Kyle Flickinger (New Oxford, Pa./Bermudian Springs) opened the match on a high-note as he pinned Kutztown’s Eddie Harris merely 1:30 into their 125-pound bout. The junior is now 27-6 on the season and is ranked tenth in his weight-class according to the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association Brute-Adidas poll.
Sean Hightman (Dover, Pa./Northeastern) then dropped a tough 4-3 overtime decision to Rob Vollrath. A tight match all the way through the initial three periods and into the four overtime sessions, Vollrath eventually earned the victory with points for an escape and riding time.
The 141-pound Ryan Catton (Blairstown, N.J./North Warren) counter-acted Vollrath’s win as the Spartan sophomore grabbed a 2-1 decision over Jaime Soupik.
Kutztown would go on to take the next two matches. Chris Chambers earned a 6-4 decision against the Spartan’s Erik George (Wrightstown, N.J./Northern Burlington County) in the 149-pound class and Dave Zeek captured his win over Spartan standout John Niedrich (Freehold, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) at 157-pounds with a 4-2 decision.
With the score tied at 9-9, the green and white jumped right back on top with a 13-4 major decision from 165-pounder Brian Alwine (Hanover, Pa./Southwestern).
Unfortunately for the visitors, the Golden Bears would grab wins in each of the next three matches. Curtis Beardsell, Kyle Davis, and Scott Snyder each captured decisions over their Spartan counterparts at the 174-, 184-, and 194-pound classes, respectively. Hank Conklin (Milford, Pa./Delaware Valley) and Snyder went into overtime during their 194-pound bout, but Snyder came out on top earning a two-point takedown to win the match 3-1.
With the Spartans down 19-13 and going into the heavyweight bout, Spartan senior Luke Panizzi (Eatontown, N.J./Monmouth Regional) needed a pin to even the team score. A fall would not be earned here on this night as the Golden Bears’ Kevin Bolinsky avoided the pin. Panizzi would go on to win the match 5-2, improving his senior mark to 28-5, but Kutztown took the team victory 19-16.
With their regular-season now complete, the Spartans are set to travel to Wilkes University on Sunday, February 24 for the Metro Conference championships. Flickinger will look to defend his 2007 title, as he, Niedrich, Panizzi, and the entire Spartan squad will each seek strong performances to capture the league championship and gain berths into the NCAA National Tournament. The grappling action begins from Wilkes-Barre, Pa. at 10:30 am.
Kyle Flickinger photo courtesy of Eric Linsley