By Bill Albright
For The Daily Item
WILLIAMSPORT -- Technology is great but when it doesn't work, well, you know the rest of the story.
Having to work the bugs out of a new computer system to conduct the tournament, the first day of the 40th Top Hat Wrestling Tournament began 90 minutes late.
Once it began, it became clear that weather and time would both be a problem so only one of two championship rounds were wrestled.
Going into the tournament with less than a full field, Line Mountain qualified seven of its dozen wrestlers for the quarters.
Staying alive for a possible individual title for the Eagles were Collin Klinger, Brian Earlston, Cameron Newman, Blake Carl, Brendan Renn, Rayce Boyer and Garrett Kieffer.
Working with a young squad, Eagles head coach Mike Martz was pleased with what he saw from his matmen.
"We are a super young team," said Eagles coach Mike Martz. "We have seven freshmen, a couple of sophomores, so overall we know that some of them are going to take their lumps. It is going to be a learning curve for them and we are pretty happy with the guys who wrestled. The results were pretty similar to what we thought going in.
"We had some question marks going in and a lot of that was that we didn't know some of our opponents," added Martz. "We felt with our best effort we could get seven into the quarters and we were able to do that. We were happy with getting seven into the next round. Three of those guys were freshmen, one sophomore and two juniors so we were happy with that."
Mifflinburg ran into some bumps in the road, but still managed to qualify five wrestlers for the quarters.
That group consisted of D'Varon Felicano, Noah Kuba, Cooper Wagner, Cole Walter and Ryan Gessner.
"I thought our kids were aggressive and going after it," said Mifflinburg head coach Dave Murray. "I want these guys to take it step by step to eventually prepare for the post-season. They are making mistakes, but that is because they are being aggressive and going after it. Overall, I am happy with what I saw."
Of the Wildcats who advanced, Walter turned in an impressive effort.
"The training that Cole is involved in right now is almost like nothing I have ever seen," said Murray. "He is almost training like they do at the college level and that might be due to the fact that he is around those kids a lot. Just watching his work ethic, I think all of his dreams are coming true and I am very confident that he can do whatever he wants to this year."