The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


March 4, 2014

H.S. wrestling: Southern cousins take talents to Hershey

SUNBURY — They have wrestled all across the state, and the country. This week, cousins Kent and Todd Lane will be together on one stage.

The Southern Columbia standouts, who have already collectively amassed an impressive collection of medals, will try to add to their bounty by getting to the podium at the PIAA Class AA championships. The tournament begins Thursday morning in Hershey’s Giant Center.

Like his cousin, Kent, Todd heads to Hershey in his freshman season, having dominated the Northeast Regional tournament last weekend in Williamsport.

Kent, a junior, qualified but did not place in Hershey as a freshman. He placed sixth last season at 126 pounds and is wrestling at 138 this year.

Kent, son of assistant coach Kent and Colleen Lane, will be proud, yet disappointed if he is not standing atop the Giant Center podium on Saturday afternoon, and wearing a gold medal.

He felt the same way since he went there as a freshman.

“My expectations were that I wanted to go and be a state champion my freshman year. You don’t train to be a state place-winner, you don’t train to be a state qualifier and (gold) is what the expectation is,” said Kent, who is 25-1 this season and 98-11 for his career.

Southern Columbia wrestling fans have been anxious for Todd to arrive in the varsity program. So was Todd.

“I knew it was going to happen, and I did what I could to prepare for it by working hard in the room,” said the son of Todd and Kelly Lane during a break in a workout this week at Bucknell University.

He has wrestled since kindergarten, including competitions on big stages with the Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling Championships and nationally in the Super 32.

Based on that background, Todd came to the high school team with a level of confidence not always prevalent in freshmen.

“I felt pretty confident because just working out in the room with Kent gave me a big confidence boost,” the Tigers’ 120-pounder said.

Todd opened his first varsity season 15-0 before his first loss in the tough Escape the Rock Tournament in mid-January, a 6-1 decision versus Justin Patrick of the Kiski School. After a consolation win, he lost 5-2 to Zack Trampe, of Council Rock South.

“A loss is a loss, you can only go up from there,” he said, noting that he always learns something from a loss.

He proved that when he lost to Williamson’s Tyrus Hamblin in the District 4 semifinals, but has not lost since. In fact he rolled over the regional field, including a dominating 7-0 decision in the semifinals over state qualifier Zack LeBarron of Warrior Run.

Southern head coach Jerry Marks said, “We told him to be aggressive. We knew he could stay with LeBarron and LeBarron is a quality wrestler. He scored points and that’s the key, and they didn’t score points on him.”

Todd, now 34-4, did not give up a point in the tournament.

The Escape the Rock tournament brought misfortune for both Lane cousins. Besides Todd’s loss, Kent sustained a knee injury in an opening 5-2 loss to Manheim Township’s Matthew Grossman. He won his next two bouts, and then underwent surgery for a torn meniscus a few days later. It cost him a little more than two weeks of wrestling.

Kent had never sustained a significant injury before that. “It was (frustrating). I wasn’t allowed to do anything, and I just wanted to work out,” he said.

Marks said Kent loves to train, something that one doesn’t often see in kids.

Marks said such an injury usually takes two weeks’ recovery time, so they knew it was going to run close to the South Sectional.

“He ran into some complications but, with his resiliency -- and the doctors were great -- he went to physical therapy, he listened to what they had to say. It was one of those things; you could see (the time off) killed him.”

Marks told Kent that life sometimes gives you challenges and you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone. He has taken that to heart, the coach said.

Kent has been on a tear since his return with eight pins and a technical fall in his last 12 bouts, all wins.

Both Lanes are one-sport athletes, although Todd played football and baseball when he was younger.

“These two guys are wrestling junkies, they really are. They are wrestling over 50-60 matches over the summer, training three or four days a week over the summer. You have to truly love the sport and you’ve got to have aspirations of going to college and wrestling, which is brutal,” Marks said.

He said what they do year-round shows in their records and is paying off for both of them.

And, more than likely, all three of them.

That’s right. Wrestling fans will see triple come the 2014-15 season. That’s when Kent’s younger brother, Jaret Lane, comes aboard. Now an eighth grader, Jaret was a runner-up in the recent Pennsylvania Junior High School Championships.

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