By Harold Raker
The Daily Item
SUNBURY -- Everyone in the Shikellamy Field House on Thursday night witnessed the unveiling of the next generation of Braves' wrestlers.
The Braves opened the season against rival Selinsgrove with five freshmen in the lineup and four of them won, including a Seals' forfeit in the final bout at 120 pounds, as Shikellamy rolled to a 62-9 Heartland Athletic Conference Division I victory.
The home team was so dominant that the Seals (1-1 overall, 0-1 HAC-I) did not score a point until the fifth bout when, in a battle of sophomores, Seal Nate Bingaman scored a s takedown with 1 minute, 18 seconds left in the second period en route to a 6-1 win over Joe Snyder. That made it 18-3 Braves and the Seals did not get on the board again until first-year varsity wrestler senior Harley Stahl got a first-period fall at 285 pounds. The Braves had a 23-3 takedown advantage.
Selinsgrove coach Seth Martin said he thought his team could win every match or it could lose every match. "I have an inexperienced team and tonight it showed, getting turned on half-Nelsons ...Our inexperience showed big-time tonight."
His Shikellamy counterpart, John Supsic, said the coaches are high on several of the freshmen, coming off the recent success of the junior high program.
He said he didn't expect such a lopsided score, but added, "You get momentum and start winning; momentum goes a long way in high school sports. We got the momentum and kept it going."
The first freshman to wrestle for the Braves (1-0, 1-0), Darryl Engelhart at 170, impressed quickly. Seals junior Darian Levanowitz hit Engelhart with a double-leg and looked like if he could keep the Braves frosh inbounds, he would score the first takedown. Engelhart not only fought out of it, he immediately scored a single-leg takedown for a 2-0 lead.