State College Wrestling: What Lies Ahead?


Nicholas Pavlechko is announced victorious by the referee after earning himself a pin against Central Mountain’s own Brayden Blackwell. Photo courtesy of Raylene Mellott.

Elijah Russell, Staff writer

After closing out the regular wrestling season with a less-than-ideal 2-9 closing record, the State High wrestling team is looking ahead to districts, post-season work, and developments. 

State College has been working hard out on the mats – scoring, pinning, and winning since the latter half of November – but seemed to always fall short when in matches. The team went 2-4 in their own league, besting Cedar Cliff and Mifflin County, with both victories claimed by under 15 points. When it came to tournaments, State College wasn’t exactly the cream of the crop either, placing 13th of 52 teams in the “Escape The Rock” tournament, and 7th of 8 teams in the Big 7 tournament. 

Seasons like this tend to be humbling for players and coaches*, bringing them back down to earth, especially after coming off of a previous 7-5 season with multiple top 5 tournament wins. However, on the bright side, loss-heavy seasons tend to pave the way for incredible off-seasons with room for growth and development.

The off-season is the time of year when the sport in question isn’t competing, which leaves athletes with nothing to do during that window. Because the season isn’t running, most athletes turn to conditioning or strength training to improve their weaknesses. This is done in aspirations that the next season can yield positive and result than the previous. For example, the State High football team has already begun their off-season practicing, hosting speed and agility drills on Saturdays and lifting sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

The Lions wrestlers suffered a heart-wrenching 34-36 loss against the Wildcats of Central Mountain. This was a tough loss in which the Lions led comfortably up until their last match, losing after one of their players was pinned. While this is a rough start and surely a disappointment for all coaches and players involved, this is only the start. State College will be looking forward to District Six AAA Championships at Altoona High School.

Sophomore wrestler Akio Miyamoto touched on what’s next for the team. “[We have] just been practicing with each other and improving individually based off of our previous meets,”Miyamoto said.

Miyamoto elaborated that the practices have had less of a focus on learning new things, and more on finding their strengths and taking what works. Miyamoto noted that because of the devastating 36-34 loss, the team is now moving on to solo regionals, a new stage of the season in which the team no longer wrestles as a team. “You’re not really wrestling with your team anymore, you’re just going to states as an individual, as your own wrestler,” he explained.

The coaches are not implementing a specific regime during the postseason and wrestlers are left free to decide what they wish to do. Luckily, wrestling wraps up just in time for spring sports to begin. “I usually take my downtime between winter and spring sports, I try to get back in the gym and lift weights and I play lacrosse in the spring,” Miyamoto said. He also expressed the benefits of keeping yourself busy during the off-season.“I think the weight room helps. Building strength is essential in wrestling because lots of the sport is being stronger than your opponent,” Miyamoto noted. 

With the time that the off-season provides, wrestlers are able to get themselves into other fields of athleticism and practice their skills from there. Keeping yourself active during the postseason is key to preventing injury and allowing players to get better. 

*Head coach Ryan Cummins and captains Pierson Manville, Carter Weaverling, Nicholas Pavlechko, and Tom Hill did not comment when asked.