By Marion Valanoski
For The Daily Item
SHAMOKIN -- Mike Martz literally had envisioned both sides of the coin prior to Line Mountain taking to the mats Tuesday against Shamokin Area in the Eagles first regular-season matchup in 25 years at the Shamokin Elementary Annex and in each case the visitors came out on top. However, little did he expect the final outcome to come down to criteria when the match ended in a 36-36 deadlock.
In a meet that featured five forfeits, including a double at 120, the Eagles claimed their ninth win of the season based on criteria 4, most wins in the match including forfeits (7-6), to secure not only a winning season (9-8) but in the process a berth in the upcoming District 4 Class A Team Duals.
"One of our goals as a team heading into the season was qualifying for the district duals," Martz said. "Given the hardships experienced throughout the year the wrestlers left on the roster are truly team players.
"The way I had the match figured out if we won the toss our chances of being victorious were better than 90 percent but if we lost the flip it would be around 40 and we'd be in a dogfight. As it turned out we had to battle Shamokin right to the end."
Sprinked between the series of forfeits were several big bouts for both teams but probably none bigger than at 126 where, for the second match in a row, Blake Carl (7-14) came up with an upset win that helped propel the Eagles toward their final victory.
Carl opened the scoring for Line Mountain with a hard-fought but convincing 6-1 decision at 126 over Shamokin's Bill Leon. He used a single-leg takedown for a 2-0 first-period lead and then added a second takedown prior to the buzzer to take a 4-1 advantage into the final stanza when he used a reversal to secure the win.