The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


March 8, 2014

AA state wrestling: All 3 Southern wrestlers take silver

HERSHEY — Blake Marks knows what is is like to win in sudden and dramatic fashion. He did it Friday night in the PIAA Class AA 152-pound semifinals.

Saturday afternoon, the Southern Columbia sophomore experienced the other side of it. In one of the best matches in the finals, Marks and Steve Edwards battled to a 5-5 draw in regulation before the takedown in overtime by the Burrell senior gave him the gold medal and left Marks laying on his back in disbelief.

Marks was the third of the Southern finalists to settle for silver on the Giant Center floor.

Freshman Todd Lane lost 3-1 to now three-time state medalist Korbin Myers, Boiling Springs. His cousin, Kent Lane, fell 8-1 to Brookville’s Brock Zacherl, also a three-time place-winner.

The Valley also returns a pair of bronze medalists in Ryan Preisch, Milton, who won 7-0 over Briton Shelton, Boiling Springs, and Cole Walter, Mifflinburg, a technical fall (26-0, 3 minutes, 14 seconds) winner over Grant Fetchett of South Fayette.

Marks (35-6 for the season, 71-14 career) got the first takedown in the first period.

Moments earlier, he thought he had a takedown near the edge, but the officials did not agree. He went right back to the center and lifted Edwards and threw him to the mat for the score.

“I knew I had to come back and get the takedown and I got the takedown, but I got a little sloppy and he reversed me,” he said. “That was a key point in the match, in the first period.”

Marks started on the bottom and got the reversal but Edwards reversed him back to tie it at 4-all. Marks escaped for a 5-4 lead. He had Edwards in a cradle in the third, but, once again, no points were awarded, and Edwards later escaped to tie it before the end of regulation.

“I was so close to getting (the points from the cradle) and I didn’t get it, and it only gave me motivation to come back the next year,” he said.

In the overtime, he said, “We were both really tired and he shot in and I just couldn’t stop him from scoring. I just have to come back next year.”

Of his postmatch reaction, Marks said, “I am more frustrated than if I would have gone out and got pinned in five seconds.”

Although he also plays baseball and football, Marks said, “I just have to come back and get two golds.”

That would tie him with his dad, coach Jerry Marks.

Todd Lane (37-5) knew he had a tough challenge versus Myers, who defeated him 9-2 early in the season. He was proud of getting a state silver medal as a freshman and giving Myers a much tougher battle. Myers finished the season 44-2 with a career mark of 137-8.

“I knew in the past month I really stepped up my game. But I didn’t really take anything away from the last one. When I come here I am zero and zero and nothing in the past matters,” he said.

Not so with the future.

“I’m going to go back and see what I’m doing, work a little harder,” he said.

Myers took Lane down early in the match and fought off numerous takedown attempts. Each wrestler had an escape.

Of the first takedown, he said he let his guard down just for one second and Myers jumped on top of it.

As the match wore on, and he was not scoring, he said, “I needed to keep my composure because, if I got frustrated, things could get out of hand,” he said.

“I needed to push the pace and if I got the takedown, I got the takedown. I didn’t so, there is nothing I can do,” he said.

“He’s just tougher on his feet, tougher on top and tougher on the bottom and there was not much I could capitalize on.”

His cousin, Kent (28-2, 101-12) never got anything going against Zacherl, who took him down twice in the first and used a tight waist and wrist control to keep Lane on the mat. He added two near-fall points on top in the second and another takedown in the third. Lane’s only point came when Zacherl cut him loose after the opening takedown.

“I got a little outmanned. He’s pretty strong. I’m used to being stronger than everyone else and I got outmanned,” he said.

As for the silver, he said, “The goal is to win so, it’s not that it’s disappointing, but I wanted to win. I guess everybody else does.”

Having another year to get the gold is not much comfort to Lane. “You shouldn’t waste opportunities like that when you get them,” he said.

“I will come back and work a little harder and keep lifting,” he said.

Preisch, (40-4), a senior headed to Lehigh University, was disappointed that he failed to win the gold in his final try, settling for the bronze for the second year in a row.

But he didn’t want the bronze and he used a three-takedown performance in his final career bout.

Preisch said it was harder for him this year than last year to battle back for the bronze medal.

“Last year, I could tell myself ‘Well, there’s next year.’ Well, this year there is no next year; that was my last chance and I didn’t do it. It’s rough.”

After the semifinal loss, he knew he had to focus on what was still available.

“I wanted the gold medal, but I lost, so I wanted to get a bronze medal,” he said.

“It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be it,” he said after winning the bronze. “It was tough to get focused for the third-place match, It wasn’t where I wanted to be, so it was rough to get focused, but I had to go hard and pull through,” he said.

Walter, 44-3 his junior season, was never challenged as he hit Fetchett with a five-point move in the first and cruised.

For the second night in a row in Hershey, Walter refused to speak with the media.

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