Penn College wrestling, women’s basketball teams show well
Competing in the Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference Championships for the first time, Penn College had two individual thirds, two fourths and placed seventh in a nine-team field on Saturday.
Finishing third after both going 4-1 in their matches were Ryan Berstler, of Middletown, at 125 pounds, and Mason Leshock, of Shamokin, at 165. Fourth-place finishes were recorded by Noah Hunt, of Muncy, who went 3-2 at 141, and Patrick Snoke, of Northampton, who went 4-2 at 133.
Berstler, Hunt and Leshock all reached the semifinals before suffering their first defeats, while Snoke made it to the quarterfinals before his first loss of the day.
“Berstler (unseeded), Leshock (fifth seed) and Snoke (fifth seed) all out-wrestled their seeds,” first-year coach Pankil Chander observed.
Also for the Wildcats, Anton Easterbrook, of Wyomissing, and Liam Goodrich, of Cogan Station, ended their days 2-2 in the 157 and 149-pound weights, respectively, while Gabriel Kennedy-Citeroni, of Blairsville, at 197, and Billy Bumbarger, of Morrisdale, at 285, each went 1-2 among those scoring team points, while Nicholas Semon, of Norristown, at 157, and Colin Jens, of Centreville, Maryland, at 149, both came away with two wins among the team’s non-scoring grapplers.
“Overall, I thought we fought hard in our first appearance in the very strong Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference,” Chander said. “This conference is an extremely competitive and deep league with perennial NCAA Division III powerhouse programs like Ithaca College and Brockport. These are teams that have won team national championships at the D-III level and with decades of tradition.
“I’m proud of the fight and belief our guys had all day. We scored 30 more team points than we did at the last tournament we competed in (Ned McGinley Invitational) two weeks ago, and we were missing a few key point-scorers due to working them back from sickness and mild injuries. Some guys on the roster already have more wins three weeks into our schedule than they did all of last season.
“We are developing and heading in the right direction at every turn. We still have a significant amount of work to do, and the growth and attitude of this team makes me confident that they’ll have fun while putting in the work.
“This is a fun and tough group of young men. We talk often about competing with a full heart every time we step on the mat. The way we competed shows that they are digesting this concept and bought into it. Wins and losses don’t define who we are – we wrestle for the love of the sport and invite the challenges as an opportunity to grow – it’s the Wildcat Way.”
Earlier in the week, it was announced that freshman Isaac Cory, of Montoursville, was ranked third in the National Wrestling Coaches Association Mid-East Region 184-pound weight class. Cory was one of those who did not compete Saturday.
The Wildcats snapped a season-opening 0-2 start with a 72-45 home nonconference win over Mt. Aloysius College on Wednesday. Freshman Lexi Troup, of Huntingdon, scored 12 points to lead 12 Penn College players in the scoring column as the Wildcats led in points in the paint, 36-18, and points off turnovers, 24-10.
Hosting Juniata College on Monday, Juniata built a 10-point halftime lead and went on for a 93-67 win that snapped the Wildcats’ season-opening three-game win streak. Obens Luxama, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, led Penn College with 20 points.
On Wednesday at crosstown rival Lycoming College, Penn College saw a six-point halftime lead quickly evaporate in the second half of a 93-69 nonconference loss, dropping it to 3-2. Gavin Barrett, of Roselle, New Jersey, led the Wildcats with 31 points.
Also last week, Barrett was named the United East Men's Basketball Player of the Week for Oct. 6-13 after averaging 19.3 points per game in the Wildcats’ season-opening three wins, including a career-high 31 against Clarks Summit and the third triple-double of his career coming against John Jay.
“It was a busy season where our squads squared off five days a week for the past eight weeks in Rocket League, Overwatch 2, League of Legends, Valorant, CS: Go and iRacing. We saw success in our established Rocket League, Overwatch 2 and Valorant teams as they made the NACE Starleague varsity and conference playoffs,” coach Joshua Young said.
“Overwatch 2 had a big win in the first round of the playoffs against the University of Central Michigan and fell to the University of Cincinnati, 3-1 in best of five. All of the student-athletes will be returning for the spring NACE Starleague season, where we can use our great team chemistry to make it to the playoffs again,” Young said.
“Our esports program would like to thank Joey LaCerra, of Williamsport, as he graduates this December. He had a wonderful career and led our Rocket League squad as team manager for the semester. We took a commanding win in the first round of the playoffs against Camden County College, then fell to the University of Central Missouri in the second round,” Young said.
“Valorant battled their way to a 3-3 record, which was enough to get into the play-in match for the NACE Starleague East 5 Conference. They came up short against the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Our Valorant squad will regroup and prepare for Riot Collegiate Valorant and the spring NACE season,” Young said.
“We had two new squads for this season in League of Legends and Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO). They both were learning the ropes of competitive play and working together as a team. We made great progress even if our records do not show it and look forward to the spring season. Our League of Legends team finished 1-4 and CS:GO 0-7,” Young said.
“The esports teams led a fundraising campaign for Extra Life this semester. Extra Life is a fundraising program of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and donations go to member children’s hospitals to fund critical life-saving treatments and health care services, along with innovative research, vital pediatric medical equipment and child life services. Through our various events, we raised $473 and were one of the top five schools in the NACE Starleague for the charity,” Young said.
Esports racing events continue into December.
Monday, Nov. 14 – host Juniata College, L, 93-67
Wednesday, Nov. 16 – at Lycoming College, L, 93-69
Tuesday, Nov. 22 – host Wilson College, 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 30 – at Mt. Aloysius College, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 16 – host Mt. Aloysius College, W, 72-45
Tuesday, Nov. 22 – at Lycoming College, 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 30 – at Penn State Altoona, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 19 – Empire Collegiate Championships Tournament at Oswego, N.Y., 7 of 9
Saturday, Dec. 3 – at RIT Invitational, 9 a.m.
Monday, Dec. 19 – at King’s College Quad Match, TBA
Formula Four Championship
Monday, Nov. 14 – Watkins Glen, 8 of 28
Monday, Nov. 28 – Red Bull Ring, 9 p.m.
Collegiate iRacing League GT3 Challenge
Tuesday, Nov. 15 – Monza, 6 of 27
Tuesday, Nov. 29 – Red Bull Ring, 9 p.m.
Collegiate iRacing League Premier Series
Tuesday, Nov. 22 – Dover, 9 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 6 – Michigan, 9 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 29 – Round 4, Nashville Superspeedway, 8 p.m.
Overall record: 5-4 (1-1 playoffs)
Monday, Nov. 14 – vs. Central Missouri, L, 4-1
Overall record: 5-4 (1-1 playoffs)
Tuesday, Nov. 15 – vs. Cincinnati, L, 3-1
Overall final record: 3-4 (0-1 playoffs)
League of Legends
Final record: 1-4
Final record: 0-7
For more about the United East, visit the conference website.
For additional information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.