Hitting the mats

Ethan+Richner+wrestling+Tyrone%27s+Jermaine+Myers++during+the+Tri-Meet+on+1%2F16

Allison Ivicic

Ethan Richner wrestling Tyrone’s Jermaine Myers during the Tri-Meet on 1/16

Allison Ivicic, Photo and Graphics Editor

This year is certainly not like the rest. During mid-December of the wrestling season, Governor Tom Wolf suspended all extracurricular activities until January 4. This eliminated practices and competing at tournaments and meets. Although the team has experienced a lot of change early in the season, the boys still have hopes to have a successful season due to being led by seniors. 

The nine seniors include: Lane Aikey, Max Barrier, Dylan Dann, Stephen Ivicic, Pierre James, Chris Paloskey, Ethan Richner, Ethan Rossman, and Nate Smith. These seniors make one of the largest groups to stick together from youth to varsity wrestling. The seniors have a close bond between each other, as they have been such great friends for so long. History teacher and coach Mr. Micheal Maney has personally seen the seniors grow over the years. 

“When I arrived at Bellefonte, many of these individuals were in Kindergarten and just beginning their wrestling careers so I have seen them grow up,” Mr. Maney said. 

This group is also special because they have accomplished many things together. 

“They have won three Mountain. League Titles, set many team and individual records, and last year, won the PIAA Northwest Regional Title for first time since 2000,” Mr. Maney said. 

Ethan Richner is a senior with valuable qualities, making him a role model to the rest of the team. 

“I support the whole team, and try to get everyone to be prepared and wrestle the best they can before every match,” Ethan said. 

As a whole the team, they have prevailed during these uncertain times. However, there are still some challenges the team will have to overcome. A new rule that came with the COVID-19 and wrestling season requires all wrestlers to wear face masks during practices, as well as when competing.  

Junior Jude Swisher describes that another setback to this year’s wrestling season is the limited number of fans allowed into each event, as he “loves hearing the crowd roar.”

Although there are some setbacks, the team remains optimistic for the season. Many of the wrestlers have set goals for themselves to back it to postseason wrestling. Jude hopes to wrestle is best to make it to the State Championship in Hershey, PA. 

“My goal is to be the 2021 AAA 132 lb State Champion,” Jude said. 

Seniors Max Barrier, Stephen Ivicic, Ethan Richner, and Ethan Rossman and other teammates are hoping to make a name for themselves in the postseason. 

“I will work hard every day at practice and prepare both mentally and physically,” Stephen said. 

The Raiders received their first win of the season against Jersey Shore on January 13. They beat the Bulldogs 51-18. For Ethan Richner it was sentimental wrestling in his last, first match of his high school wrestling career. However, this did not stop his determination. 

“It was a little different obviously due to [COVID-19] restrictions but we just needed to stay focused and go out there and wrestle hard,” Ethan said. 

Something Mr. Maney preaches to the wrestlers is to control the uncontrollables. This includes attitude, effort, focus, and preparation. 

“When you do these things, you will get the most out of each day and the goals and results will take care of themselves,” he said.

As of press time the Raiders will travel to Central to take on the Dragons on January 21.