---- — By Harold Raker
The Daily Item
SUNBURY -- With a move typically confined to the light- and middle-weight wrestlers, Shikellamy's Jeremy Bacon on Thursday night set himself up to be a part of history.
Starting on the bottom for the second period, the Braves sophomore 285-pounder used a knee slide, elevated and reversed Shamokin's Adam Miller for a 2-0 lead. Miller escaped in the third, but Bacon stayed on the attack and pinned the Indian in 5 minutes, 3 seconds.
Bacon's pin in the final bout wrestled put the icing on the cake in Shikellamy's 48-19 Heartland Athletic Conference Division I win, the 600th in program history. Started in 1965, the Shikellamy program's all-time record is now 600-180-6.
There were two bouts remaining in the meet at the Phil Lockcuff Gym at the Shikellamy Fieldhouse, but the teams double-forfeited at 106 and the Indians forfeited to the Braves at 113.
The win also clinched a berth in next week's District 4 Class AAA Duals Championships for the Braves (7-6 overall, 5-0 HAC I). After a trip to Bald Eagle Area on Saturday in a Big Seven League meet, Shikellamy hosts Jersey Shore on Monday night in what will in essence be the HAC-I championship meet.
The Braves found themselves in a battle through the first half of the meet, with Shamokin leading 19-15 at the halfway point.
Shikellamy's AJay Baker, a hero in the team's win over Mifflinburg last week, again fought out of early trouble and eked out a 6-5 win over Ty Fisher at 170 to get the home team within 19-18. At 182, Joe Snyder's fall in 1:21 over Brayson Pauelczyk essentially iced the milestone win.
The Shamokin lead was just 24-19, but coach Todd Hockenbroch's Indians (1-12, 0-5) were out of ammunition, forfeiting four of the final five bouts.
Being a part of the historic win, and the last Brave to compete in the milestone meet, was special for Bacon.
"I like being a part of the program and being able to look back and say I was part of this. The little kids coming up who are looking up to us see that we were part of that, and they're going to think more highly of us," Bacon said.
"It's just a wonderful feeling that we got it," he said.
As for his nifty second-period move: "This year I've been working on knee slides and I've lost weight since last year and that's helped me get faster coming off the bottom," he said. "I've been working hard doing stand-ups."
Shikellamy coach John Supsic, whose family played a significant role in the program's win mark, said the coaches didn't pay much attention to milestones until the win total reached 500. "To get 600 tonight is a huge accomplishment," he said.
John and his brother, Bob, wrestled in the program. Their father, John, who still helps out, was instrumental in starting the Ivy League (youth) program, and now the coach's son, John, is in the Braves' lineup as a freshman.
"It's great for the kids and we want to build off that. There are not many programs in the state that have that many wins," coach Supsic said.
However, the coach said he thought his team wrestled flat, thinking that, because of the forfeits, Shamokin would not present much of a challenge.
"We told them before the match, 'They've got tough kids, don't take anybody lightly,''' he said. "They didn't listen to us and they did have some tough kids."
Hockenbroch wanted to see his team perform well after watching the Indians get rolled 59-12 by Line Mountain the night before. And he did.
"We knew coming in we were giving up the forfeits, and we were sort of not looking at the score, but looking at individual performances," Hockenbroch said. "I thought they performed pretty well, compared with what they did the night before."
Shamokin got a pin from Bill Leon at 126 and a major decision (17-7) by Brett Rebuck at 160, the Indians' final win of the night.
"We told them to do a little soul searching and start taking the fight to the opponents," Hockenbroch said, "and they responded well."
Brett Long used a third-period reversal to edge Nick Cashdollar at 132, but, at 138, Jared Brown escaped with 30 seconds left to nip Tyler Allmond 3-2.
Shikellamy's Tristan Paul and Shamokin's Josiah Miller traded falls at 145 and 152, respectively.