Meadville Tribune

Sports

January 6, 2013

McLane claims first team title at Tool City

MEADVILLE — For the first time in the Tool City Wrestling Tournament’s 34-year history, the General McLane Lancers are team champions. And they’re every bit the definition of the word “team.”

The Lancers had just one individual champion — 152-pound junior Mike Sutton. Instead of relying on a few high-scoring grapplers, General McLane was solid from top to bottom during a dominant first-place finish on Saturday at Meadville Area Senior High School’s House of Thrills.

“Our strength is the team,” General McLane head coach Ryan Cook said. “With only having one champion at a tournament like this, that speaks volumes for how tough the team is top to bottom. They feed off each other. ... They expect as much out of each other as I do out of them. It’s just awesome coaching a team like that.”

GM concluded with 203 1/2 points, a number that was far and away the largest of the two-day event. The Lancers placed 11 in the top 6, including runner-up Joe Wheeling at 106 pounds and five third-place finishers, all from 160 to 220 pounds.

Ossie Bowers (160), Tyler Hendricks (171), Chris Laird (182), Alex Thayer (195) and Jake Baker (220) each took third. Keller Watkins (126) and Ken Stoll (138) were fourth, Hunter Hendricks (120) finished fifth and Ian Mallory (285) was sixth.

“These kids impress me every time they step on the mat,” Cook said. “I’m in an enviable position where I’m at. I’m at a great school district, I have great kids and I have kids that just want to go out and be part of a great team. They put on a show today.”

DuBois, which had a tournament-best three individual champs, finished first with 171 points. Boiling Springs followed with 165 points, Fort LeBoeuf was fourth with 162 1/2 and 2012 Tool City winner McDowell was fifth with 154 1/2.

All five teams competed in the King of the Mountain tournament three weeks ago at Central Mountain High School. The Lancers placed behind both LeBoeuf and McDowell, but they wouldn’t be denied at Tool City.

Sutton worked hard to earn a 5-1 decision over Cathedral Prep’s Dan Krysiak in the final. A Somerset transfer, Sutton tallied takedowns in the first and third rounds for the victory. He was champing at the bit at Tool City after missing the King of the Mountain Tournament due to injury.

“It was nice because I was able to prove to myself that I can keep up with everyone else,” Sutton said. “A lot of hard work was put into it. And it’s a great accomplishment.”

The stellar tournament continues a great start to the 2012-13 campaign for GM, which already has victories over the Bison and Trojans, who were last season’s District 10 Class AA and AAA champions, respectively.

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