January 19, 2021 Tim Birney

WYALUSING — Junior Gavin Bradley and sophomore Jake Courtney set the tone early, and senior Zach Stafursky clinched the win late in Athens’ 40-25 win over Wyalusing — the Wildcats’ first win over the Rams in 12 years — here Tuesday night in NTL wrestling action.

Athens coach Shawn Bradley, who has been with the Wildcat program in one capacity or another for more than two decades, could not recall the last time they had beaten the Rams.

“Honestly, I don’t remember the last time we beat them. It sucks that I have to say that, but it’s true” laughed Bradley. “Hats off to them, they have a good program.

“I told our guys after the match, the difference between this year’s team, and years in the past is that every kid went out there and battled their butt off,” noted Bradley. “There were two matches we should have won, and two more we were in.

“I’m proud of the guys. They are all working hard in the room,” added Bradley. “These guys really pushed themselves, and gave a great effort today.”

A major key to the Athens win was bonus points. Athens scored 13 bonus points to Wyalusing’s one.

“Our guys battled, and kept every match close,” said Bradley.

After an Athens forfeit at 106 pounds, and Wyalusing forfeits at 113 and 120, Gavin Bradley, who placed seventh at Hershey last year, and sixth as a freshman, took the mat against Wyalusing’s Hunter Manahan.

Bradley scored a takedown just 14 seconds into the bout, and rode Manahan for the remainder of the period, unable to turn him for additional points.

Bradley scored a takedown five seconds into the second period, and forced Manahan to his back with a turk for three near-fall points, and a 7-0 lead. He rode top for the final 80 seconds of the period.

Bradley escaped nine seconds into the third period, and scored a takedown 10 seconds later for a 10-0 lead.

Over the next 89 seconds, Bradley cut Manahan loose and scored takedowns until he secured a 20-5 technical fall at 5:56.

“Gavin (Bradley) had to give up 12 pounds, but if we’re going to beat that team, that’s what we have to do,” said Bradley. “We need to rely on our two-time state medalist to get it done, and he did.”

“Gavin wrestled very well,” added Bradley. “The best thing about that win is the kid who beat him first at States last year was about 6-foot tall … (Manahan) is quite a bit taller, so it was good to see Gavin handle him the way he did.”

Jake Courtney was next at 132 pounds for the Wildcats.

He fell behind Owen Hadlock, 4-2, after the first two minutes, but used three takedowns in the second period, including one with 3 seconds remaining following a scramble, to take an 8-6 lead into the final two minutes.

Courtney led 10-7 when he locked Hadlock up in a cradle for a fall at 4:45.

“Jake got a really big win for us. He started slow, but he has a huge gas tank, he has that Courtney gas tank,” said Bradley. “He kept scoring points, and kept wrestling.

“He wrestles hard in practice … now if we can get him to start a little bit faster, he’ll be there with some really good guys,” added Bradley.

With Athens up 23-6, junior Kaden Setzer put on a dominating display with a series of trap-arm tilts for a 16-0 technical fall of Cade McMicken to make it 28-6. The final two-point tilt came at the first-period buzzer.

Skyler Manahan gave the Rams their first win on the mat at 145 pounds, with a 10-2 decision over Lucas Forbes.

Manahan built a 4-0 lead with takedowns in each of the first two periods, and led 4-1 entering the third period after being dinged for a stalling point.

Leading 5-2, Manahan scored a five-point move in the final 10 seconds for the majority decision to trim the Athens lead to 28-10.

At 152 pounds, Wyalusing’s Nick Woodruff earned a hard-fought, 4-2, decision over Chris Bathgate to cut the Wildcat advantage to 28-13.

Woodruff scored a takedown midway through the first period, but Bathgate tied the bout at 2-2 with a reversal with just 18 seconds remaining in the second period.

Woodruff took a 4-2 lead on a takedown with 1:12 remaining in the third period, and was able to ride top for the remainder of the bout.

The Rams crept a bit closer at 160 pounds, thanks to Colbrin Nolan’s 7-5 win over Karter Rude.

After a scoreless first period, Nolan escaped to start the second, but a five-point move by Rude gave him a short-lived, 5-1, lead. Nolan reversed Rude to his back moments later to tie the bout at 5-5.

In the third period, Nolan scored a takedown on a go-behind with 52 seconds remaining, and rode out the remainder of the bout.

At 172 pounds, Wyalusing’s Brian Arnold scored a reversal midway through the second period to take a 2-0 lead, but Zach Stafursky was able to escape moments later to trim his deficit to 2-1.

With 1:10 remaining in the third period, Stafursky registered a reversal to take a 3-2 lead, then locked in a cradle for the fall at 5:16 to give Athens an insurmountable, 34-16, lead with three weight classes remaining.

“(Zach) finished that match nicely. He got it done when he had to,” said Bradley. “Now, if we can get him going in the first two periods, he’ll be tough.”

At 189 pounds, Wyalusing’s Alex Hunsinger turned in a workmanlike performance in a 10-4 win over Colin Rosh to cut the Athens lead to 34-19.

Hunsinger scored takedowns in each of the first two periods, and led 5-2 entering the final two minutes.

In the third period, he scored two more takedowns to secure the decision.

After an Athens forfeit at 215 pounds cut the Wildcat advantage to 34-25, freshman Josh Nittinger put the finishing touches on the win for Athens with a pin of Dereck Baldwin in 33 seconds to provide the final margin.

After the match, Bradley succinctly summed up the feelings of most coaches and wrestlers.

“I’m just glad we’re getting the chance to wrestle.”

Athens, now 5-3, returns to action Thursday when it hosts Sayre and NEB, while the Rams, now -1-1, travel to Towanda Friday.




106: Clayton Carr (W) won by forfeit;
113: Joshua Courtney (A) won by forfeit;
120: Mason Vanderpool (A) won by forfeit;
126: Gavin Bradley (A) tech. fall over Hunter Manahan (W), 20-5 @ 5:56;
132: Jacob  Courtney (A) by fall over Owen Hadlock (W), 4:45;
138: Kaden Setzer (A) tech. fall over Cade McMicken (W), 16-0 @ 2:00;
145: Skyler Manahan (W) major dec. Lucas Forbes (A), 12-2;
152: Nicholas Woodruff (W) dec. Christopher Bathgate (A), 4-2;
160: Colbrin Nolan (W) dec. Karter Rude (A), 7-5;
172: Zachary Stafursky (A) by fall over Brian Arnold (W), 5:16;
189: Alex Hunsinger (W) dec. Colin Rosh (A), 10-4;
215: Zachary Shaffer (W) won by forfeit;
285: Joshua Nittinger (A) by fall over Dereck Baldwin (W), 0:33.

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January 16, 2021 Tim Birney

HERNDON, Pa. — Juniors Gavin Bradley and Karter Rude each went unbeaten Saturday to help Athens to a 3-2 mark at the Line Mountain Duals in District 4 wrestling action.

Junior Kaden Setzer and sophomore newcomer Chris Bathgate each went 4-1, and sophomore Jake Courtney, junior Colin Rosh, senior Zach Stafursky were both 3-2 on the day. Freshmen Mason Vanderpool, Josh Nittinger and Josh Courtney each had two wins.

The Wildcats knocked off Line Mountain, Hughesville, and Lewisburg, but dropped decisions to Benton and Selinsgrove.

Athens 41, Line Mountain 33
The Wildcats won three of the last four bouts, all by fall, to rally for a 41-33 win over Line Mountain Saturday morning.

Gavin Bradley registered a fall over LM’s Brody Long in 1:14 at 113 pounds, which pair with forfeits received by Nittinger, at 285, to open the match, and Vanderpool, at 120, gave the Wildcats, who issued a forfeit at 106, an 18-6 lead.

After LM’s Lane Schadel edged Jake Courtney, 8-6, at 126 pounds, Athens issued a forfeit at 132, and saw its lead shrink to 18-15.

After Setzer moved through Max Bingaman with a 16-0 technical fall in 3:35 to put the Wildcats ahead 23-15, Line Mountain won by fall at 145 and 152 to take a 27-23 lead.

The LM lead was brief, however, as Rude pinned Chandon Maurer in 1:21 at 160 pounds to move Athens back in front at 29-27.

Stafursky gave the Wildcats some cushion with a pin of Cale King in 2:40 at 172 pounds, and Rosh, at 189, clinched the win with a pin of Isaac Shaffer in 4:46 for an insurmountable 41-27 with one weight class left.

The Wildcats gave up a forfeit at 215 to provide the final margin.

Benton 52, Athens 13
The Wildcats managed just three wins against the powerhouse Benton squad in a 52-13 defeat.

Bradley dominated Dylan Granahan in a 6-0 decision at 120 pounds, but that was the only bout the Wildcats won through 145 pounds, and trailed 28-3.

Bathgate forged a 22-10 major decision over Nick Stevens at 152 pounds, and Rude followed with a 35-second fall over Derek Dietz at 160 pounds to trim the deficit to 28-13, but the Tigers won the next four weight classes, including three by fall to put the match away.

Athens 48, Hughesville 12
Athens won three out of four contested weight classes, and took advantage of a 30-point advantage in forfeit points to forge a 48-12 win over Lewisburg Saturday afternoon.

Junior Lucas Forbes opened the match with a hard-fought, 8-5, win over Reese Moon at 145 pounds to give the Wildcats an early 3-0 lead.

After forfeits to Bathgate (152), Rude (160) and Stafursky (172) pushed the lead to 21-0, Rosh worked a 4-2 decision over Chase Snyder at 189 pounds to make it 24-0.

Forfeits to Bradley and Vanderpool at 113 and 120, respectively, up the Wildcat lead to 36-6, the Jacob Courtney finished off Kadin Fetterman by fall in 5:34 at 126 pounds to make it 42-6.

The teams traded forfeits, with Setzer getting his hand raised at 138 pounds, to provide the final margin.

Athens 51, Lewisburg 18
Athens won five consecutive bouts early on, and improved to 3-1 on the day with a 51-18 win over Lewisburg.

After issuing a forfeit at 106, the Wildcats won five straight weight classes to take a 26-6 lead.

Josh Courtney started the roll with a pin of Quintonq Bartlett in 3:40 at 113 pounds to even the match at 6-6, and Bradley gave the Wildcats the lead for good with a 17-7 major decision over Thomas Lyons at 120 pounds.

Jacob Courtney put on an offensive display in a 24-10 major decision of Derek Gessner at 126 pounds, and, following a forfeit to Layla Bennett at 132 pounds, Setzer capped the Athens run with a pin of Daniel Leao in 23 seconds at 138 pounds.

After a Lewisburg pin at 145 cut the Athens advantage to 23-12, the Wildcats ripped off three more wins to take an insurmountable 39-12 lead.

Bathgate initiated Athens’ three-bout run with a hard-fought, 4-3, decision over Hagen Person at 152 pounds, and Rude followed by decking Hayden Runyon in 85 seconds at 160 pounds. Stafursky finished off the stretch with an 8-0 major decision of Derek Shedleski at 172 pounds.

Following a Lewisburg pin at 189, Athens received forfeits at 215 and 285 to close out the match.

Selinsgrove 45, Athens 21

Athens gave up three forfeits, and a slew of bonus points in a 45-21 setback to Selinsgrove in the final match of the day.

The Seals used a pair of forfeits (215 and 106), sandwiched around a technical fall at 285 pounds, to build an early 17-0 lead.

The Wildcats countered, however, with three straight wins to trim the deficit to 17-15.

At 113 pounds, Josh Courtney pinned Ryan Gavason in 4:40, and Bradley followed with a dominating 20-5 technical fall of Leo Martinez in 4 minutes.

Jacob Courtney finished if off with a 13-5 major decision of Trent Turner t 126 pounds.

Selinsgrove won the next three bouts, including a forfeit at 132 pounds, to push its lead back to 33-15, but Athens stayed alive with back-to-back wins.

Bathgate forged a 6-1 decision over Josiah Foss at 152 pounds, and Rude blanked Cale Bastian, 3-0, at 160 pounds to cut the deficit to 33-21.

The Seals finished off the win with pins at 172 and 189.



285: Joshua Nittinger (A) won by forfeit;
106: Nolan Baumert (L) won by forfeit;
113: Gavin Bradley (A) by fall over Brody Long (L),1:24;
120: Mason Vanderpool (A) won by forfeit;
126: Lane Schadel (L) dec. Jacob  Courtney (A), 8-6;
132: Mason Leshock (L) won by forfeit;
138: Kaden Setzer (A) tech.fall over Max Bingaman (L), 16-0 @ 3:35;
145: Ian Coller (L) by fall over Lucas Forbes (A), 0:35;
152: Bryce Carl (L) by fall over Christopher Bathgate (A), 4:32;
160: Karter Rude (A) by fall over Chandon Maurer (L), 1:21;
172: Zachary Stafursky (A) by fall over Cale King (L), 2:40;
189: Colin Rosh (A) by fall over Isaac Shaffer (L), 4:46;
215: Dominick Bridi (L) won by forfeit.

113: Chase Burke (B) tech. fall over Joshua Courtney (A), 16-0;
120: Gavin Bradley (A) dec. Dylan Granahan (B), 6-0;
126: Ethan  Kolb (B) tech fall over Jacob  Courtney (A), 15-0;
132: Gable  Strickland (B) won by forfeit;
138: Remington  Morrow (B) by fall over Kaden Setzer (A), 5:09;
145: Mason Smith (B) by fall over Lucas Forbes (A), 0:18;
152: Christopher Bathgate (A) major dec. Nicholas Stevens (B), 22-10;
160: Karter Rude (A) by fall over Derek Dietz (B), 0:35;
172: Nolan Lear (B) by fall over Zachary Stafursky (A), 5:00;
189: Mason Michael (B) by fall over Colin Rosh (A), 1:24;
215: Jacob Bobersky (B) won by forfeit;
285: Zach Poust (B) by fall over Joshua Nittinger (A), 2:22;
106: No match.

145: Lucas Forbes (A) dec. Reese Moon (H), 8-5;
152: Christopher Bathgate (A) won by forfeit;
160: Karter Rude (A) won by forfeit;
172: Zachary Stafursky (A) won by forfeit;
189: Colin Rosh (A) dec Chase Snyder (H), 4-2;
215: No match;
285: Caleb Burkhart (H) by fall over Joshua Nittinger (A), 0:58;
106: No match;
113: Gavin Bradley (A) won by forfeit;
120: Mason Vanderpool (A) won by forfeit;
126: Jacob  Courtney (A) by fall over Kadin Fetterman (H), 5:34;
132: Caiden  Puderbach (H) won by forfeit;
138: Kaden Setzer (A) won by forfeit.


106: Jace Gessner (L) won by forfeit;
113: Joshua Courtney (A) by fall over Quintonq Bartlett (L), 3:40;
120: Gavin Bradley (A) major dec. Thomas Lyons (L), 17-7;
126: Jacob  Courtney (A) major dec. Derek Gessner (L), 24-10;
132: Layla  Bennett (A) won by forfeit;
138: Kaden Setzer (A) by fall over Daniel Leao (L), 0:23;
145: Logan  Bartlett (L) by fall over Lucas Forbes (A), 2:28;
152: Christopher Bathgate (A) dec. Hagen Persun (L), 4-3;
160: Karter Rude (A) by fall over Hayden Runyon (L), 1:25;
172: Zachary Stafursky (A) major dec. Derek Shedleski (L), 8-0;
189: Trent Wenrich (L) by fall over Josiah Stringham (A), 1:58;
215: Colin Rosh (A) won by forfeit;
285: Joshua Nittinger (A) won by forfeit.

215: Ryan Aument (S) won by forfeit;
285: Nate Schon (S) tech. fall over Joshua Nittinger (A),16-0 @ 1:50;
106: Blake Rising (S) won by forfeit;
113: Joshua Courtney (A) by fall over Ryan Gavason (S), 4:40;
120: Gavin Bradley (A) tech. fall over Leo Martinez (S), 20-5 @ 4:00;
126: Jacob  Courtney (A) major dec. Trent Turner (S), 13-5;
132: Andrew Sassaman (S) won by forfeit;
138: Aiden Gaugler (S) major dec. Kaden Setzer (A), 11-2;
145: Garrett  Paradis (S) by fall over Lucas Forbes (A), 1:26;
152: Christopher Bathgate (A) dec. Josiah Foss (S), 6-1;
160: Karter Rude (A) dec. Cale Bastian (S), 3-0;
172: Coy Bastian (S) by fall over Zachary Stafursky (A), 3:03;
189: Steven Miller (S) by fall over Colin Rosh (A), 3:07.

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January 12, 2021 Chris Manning

CANTON — Athens went into Canton not knowing exactly what to expect, with only a week of practice, but, despite coming out on the short end of the match, 40-22, Wildcat coach Shawn Bradley felt good about what he saw Tuesday.

“The kids wrestled well,” said Bradley. “It’s a tough one to start out with ... start out with Canton. The kids were in the match.”

The defending NTL champion Warriors showed why they were the favorites coming into the season, but Athens made them work for a it.

They lost 3-point decisions at 160 and 132, while in the first match of the day, 120 pounds, Athens freshman Josh Courtney was leading in the third period, when he got turned and pinned by Canton’s Miah Lehman, a 9-point swing.

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January 12, 2021 Tim Birney

ATHENS —   Longtime Athens wrestling coach Shawn Bradley says the Wildcats will be a mix of experienced grapplers and newcomers in 2021.

“We had some guys not come out that we were expecting to be here, but we have some studs back, and some promising young kids,” he said.

Two-time PIAA place-finisher Gavin Bradley, who was 40-4 and finished seventh in the state, is the headline wrestler returning for the Wildcats.

“Gavin (Bradley) is back. He worked his butt off again this summer, and works hard in here every day,” said Shawn Bradley. “He didn’t get the 80 matches he wrestled last offseason, but he still food a way to get his work in.”

Also returning are Kaden Setzer (21-9), Jake Courtney (13-9), Zach Stafursky (20-20), and Karter Rude (19-11).

“Jake Courtney and Kaden Setzer, who have both worked their tails off, are back,” said Bradley.

“Zach (Stafursky) had a little knee injury in the spring, but he’s healthy and he’s back for us,” noted Bradley. “He’s our lone senior.

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