Ogozalek, Shubeck win titles
nancy scholz/times news Rian Shubeck of Panther Valley (top) has control of Trevor Martin of Williams Valley in a 285-pound semifinal at the Schuylkill League wrestling tournament on Saturday. Shubeck went on to capture the league championship.
Panther Valley bookended the Schuylkill League Wrestling Tournament with gold medals and managed six other place winners along the way.
The medal haul was enough to place Panther Valley fourth in the 14-team tournament, which Blue Mountain won.
Panther Valley coach Tim Robb believes the strong showing will help pay dividends as the team moves further into the season and closer to Districts.
"These last two days were good for us," said Robb. "The kids worked hard and set the right goals coming into the tournament.
"They approached it the right way and didn't just look out for themselves, they were looking for extra team points and not giving up points."
Lenny Ogozalek went 3-0 in the tournament en route to his title at 106. Ogozalek picked up a pin over Pine Grove's Daniel Diaz-Walton, who was 18-4 coming into the tournament, in the finals. Ogozalek's record now stands at 22-4 for the season.
The Panthers got their other gold medal in the last bout of the evening in the 285 finals. Panther Valley's Rian Shubeck narrowly defeated Tamaqua's Luke Matsago by a 2-1 decision in a bout that could have gone either way.
Shubeck came into the tournament with a 22-1 record and leaves with a 25-1 mark after going 3-0 in Pottsville on his way to the title. Matsago entered with a 14-8 record and leaves with a 16-9 after going 2-1.
The other place winners for Panther Valley were Darren Goida, fourth at 113; Jared Eickhoff, fifth at 152; Matt Buss, sixth at 160; Dylan Moyer, fourth at 170; Richard Nase, second at 195 and Rich Smith, sixth at 220.
Nase came close to giving the Panthers a third gold medal in the bout at 195, but fell to Williams Valley's JR Rummel by a 6-4 decision. Rummel entered the tournament with a 19-1 record.
Panther Valley coach Tim Robb was pleased that Nase wasn't overwhelmed by the situation or his opponent.
"He wrestled hard and got confidence late in the match," Robb said. "He almost had a takedown at the end and it was a good call, it wasn't a bad call, it was just a close call.
"He wrestled hard and he's got a lot of heart. He wanted it. Hopefully he'll see him (Rummel) again because I think his confidence will be different next time."
Jim Thorpe ended the tournament with three place winners, highlighted by Brian Ohl's fourth place finish at 145. Ohl went 2-2 in the tournament on his way to a fourth place finish.
The other place winners for the Olympians were Ali Capobianco, sixth at 120 and Kyle Morales, sixth at 126.
While Olympains coach Shawn Albert admitted he was disappointed with the results, he knows that his team gained valuable experience over the last two days.
"The bottom line is we gained experience," Albert said. "We need to take this and grow. We've got to grow on this and get better."
Even with the results not being what he had hoped for, Albert is satisfied with what he has seen from his team.
"Even when we lose, I see our guys wrestling and doing what we're teaching," said Albert. "Even the guys that didn't place are still getting after it so it's something we can work with."
Tamaqua didn't have as much to work with in this tournament, as many of its top wrestlers were sidelined due to illness or injury. Among those injured are star Colin Mashack, currently out with a concussion. His return date is unknown at this time.
Along with Matsago at 285, the Blue Raiders also had Dylan Rynkiewicz earn a medal with a fourth place finish at 132.
Tamaqua coach Jon Mashack was pleased with how hard his team fought considering the circumstances.
"I thought Luke wrestled really well throughout the tournament," Mashack said. "I thought he did what he had to do to stay in the matches and score when he needed to score.
"I thought Dylan wrestled a strong consolation final match but still came out on the short end of a 4-3 decision. But he didn't wrestle tight and wrestled with less mistakes."
Mashack is looking forward to having a normal week of practice with a full squad.
"We need to continue to work and hopefully we can get our guys back in the room," said Mashack "And hopefully have a good, solid week of practice."