The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 2, 2013

Harold Raker's high school wrestling column: Losses not always bad


That's what he got in Retherford. "He was very tough. I had a big weight advantage on him, but he was so strong with good awareness of every position he was at," Marks said.

"I took a shot in on him that he fought off. I nearly had him taken down. The position that he was in made it really tough to fight off, and any other kid that I wrestled if I had , him in that position would not have been able to get out of it.

"He is unbelievably strong," Marks said.

"But it is not only his strength. He is quick and fast. He has all the components that a good wrestler needs," he added of the former Line Mountain star, who is headed to Penn State University.

In the earlier meet, Marks said, Benton's regular 145-pounder was missing so they thought that Benton would bump Cotton up.

"I try to get myself as pumped as possible, but our 132-pounder pinned his guy in 16 seconds. I thought I would have a little more time to get prepared," he said.

"I knew Cotton would be a tough match and I was pretty worried before the match. After the match, my assistant coach (Kent Lane) and my dad said that should wake me up and make me realize I can do some pretty good things in the post-season," he said.

"It really boosted my confidence and got me ready for the post-season."

His father said that Benton coach Russ Hughes told him afterward they moved Retherford up for a chance to get a good match, something he hadn't had since December.

He said Blake was down 5-1 after the first period but reversed Retherford to make it 7-4 before Retherford got escaped late.

"The Cotton match was really exciting," Jerry Marks said. "Blake took him down and then was reversed (it was 2-2 after the first period)."

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