Seth Martin laughed when recalling that he read in this column last week that it looks like the Heartland Athletic Conference Division I title will come down to the Jan. 26 meet between Mifflinburg and visiting Williamsport.
Martin's reaction at the time, he said, was, "So that's the way it is."
Well, coach Dave Murray's Wildcats are still the overwhelming favorite to win the title, but Martin and his Seals shaved a bit of luster off that Jan. 26 meet when they took down the Millionaires on Thursday night in dramatic fashion.
The Seals, with a depleted lineup since early in the season, are now 7-3 overall and 3-1 in the HAC-I with division meets left at Jersey Shore, at Shamokin and home with Shikellamy. They lost to Mifflinburg by eight points on a day when senior 145-pounder Max Beach was injured in an automobile accident and his replacement that night got pinned.
Martin knows that it would have been different had the Wildcats not been missing the standout brother duo of Cole and Ty Walter but, as it was, his team missed an opportunity.
The Seals also lost junior 160-pounder Mike Ede for the season to a shoulder injury sustained in the first placement bout of the late-December Bethlehem Hurricane Classic. Beach is recovering from a concussion sustained in the accident and is expected back, but no one knows when.
"I would like to have seen what we could have done with a full lineup," said Martin. "We have only had a full lineup for about half the season."
So what the Seals did in Billtown could only be described by Martin as "awesome."
Martin told his assistant coach, Jim Roush, going into Thursday's meet that there was no way they could beat the then HAC-I unbeaten Millionaires straight-up. He said they would have to bump everyone up a weight.