The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 26, 2014

Harold Raker's wrestling column: Shikellamy has a rich history

By The Daily Item

KUTZTOWN — It was a cold winter’s night, so it was not shocking to see a lot of empty seats last Thursday night for Shikellamy’s meet versus visiting Shamokin.

It was a match-up of two programs that have seen their share of glory during the history of their respective programs.

But, on this night, it was 6-6 Shikellamy versus 1-12 Shamokin.

The draw for this match was that the Braves, with the expected victory, would notch their program’s 600th win: the 41st school to reach the plateau, including coach Wayne Smythe’s Warrior Run Defenders two years ago.

The Indians and coach Todd Hockenbroch gave it their all, but, with four forfeits, there was little chance that they could spoil the party.

Not to mention that they were also up against a team going for its 600th win in a facility which was recently named for the revered coach who was in the head coach’s chair for all but one of the previous “century” milestones.

The late Phil Lockcuff was the head coach for the 100th win (early in the 1977-78 season), 200th (1982-83), 300th (1989-90) and 400th (1996-97) with co-coach Rob Johnson.

The coach for the 500th win, in the 2005-06 campaign was also on hand. Brett Michaels, whose teams won 84 of those 600 matches, was doing the color for Steve Williams on the WKOK broadcast of the match.

Current coach John Supsic — who posted 134 wins as a Brave — has added 23 wins, and counting, to the team total.

It was also fitting that on Thursday night, Dave Dunkelberger was seated in his usual spot: in the front row, near the scoring table. Dunkelberger has the distinction of having been the first wrestler to take the mat for Shikellamy, in the 1965-66 season.

HELLO, AGAIN: As seems to happen every year, Shikellamy and Jersey Shore will wrestle twice in less than a week. The Braves host the Bulldogs tonight with the winner taking the Heartland Athletic Conference Division I championship.

They will meet again Saturday night in Milton in the District 4 Class AAA Team Tournament championship, with the winner heading to Hershey the following weekend.

GOING OUT ON A LIMB: Please don’t mortgage your house and bet on these predictions, but here are my picks for the team tournament this week:

Class AA

Pigtail round
: Canton over Danville.

Preliminary round: Towanda over Canton, Williamson over Montoursville, Lewisburg over Montgomery and Southern Columbia over Mifflinburg.

Quarterfinals: Lewisburg over Southern, Hughesville over Williamson, Warrior Run over Line Mountain and Towanda over  Wyalusing.

Semifinals: Towanda over Warrior Run and Hughesville over Southern Columbia.

Champion: Towanda.

Runner-up: Hughesville

Third-place: Lewisburg over Southern

Class AAA

: Jersey Shore over Shikellamy

Sports editor Harold Raker covers high school wrestling. Email comments to