Tussey Mountain looks to build on the accomplishments of last season with this year’s team. The Titans have a new head coach, a good size roster, and nine returning letter winners.
Mason Replogle takes over the team for the departed John Husick. Husick had two stints as wrestling coach, totaling 17 years, and owns a 95-189 record.
Replogle was a volunteer with last year’s team. He wrestled at Northern Bedford and then at Penn Tech in Williamsport. He owns a garage in New Enterprise.
“I thought I might as well put in for it,” Replogle said of applying for the job.
“We have a good number of guys out and I’m hoping to keep our numbers up. It’s nice to have a couple per weight class. Some others are lacking a little bit. We can’t afford injuries. There are a lot of seniors and our junior high team last year was good so that should make for some nice elimination matches.”
Six of the eight seniors are returning lettermen. Those wrestlers are Chris Pierce (120), Colton Riley (132), Brady Villa (138), Jacob Morales (152), Cole Weist (170), and Damon Lemin (182). The junior lettermen are Nevin Sloan (120) and Noah Foor (160). Sophomore Hunter Horton (120) rounds out the letter winners.
The Titans have good numbers with 22 on the roster. The rest of team includes seniors Bill Russell (170) and Nick Hafer (220); sophomores Michael Lazor (113), Liam O’Hagan (120), Dominic Seiberling (126), Brendan Wright (132), Nick Brumbaugh (132), Dave Smith (138), Aden Scott (152), Bryan Rankin (152), and Gavin Spangler (170); and freshmen Trevor Husick (106) and Matt Watkins (285).
“I am looking forward to the season. It is going to be a learning experience for not only the guys, but the coaching staff as well. If the guys keep working hard I think we will end with a season to be proud of,” said Replogle.
Last year the Titans finished 10-13 after going 3-15 the previous season. The team made it to the District 5-AA team duals. Tussey Mountain has not been .500 or better since going 11-4 in 2005-06.
“I would like to see us improve from last year. We have a lot of got good individuals that I think will be proving themselves for the next couple years,” Replogle remarked.
Tussey has seven wrestlers back that competed at districts or past that. The top name is Villa.
In 2016, Villa missed a lot of the season but came back in time to place third at districts and make it to regionals. Last year he really showed his talent by going 27-12. Villa was runner-up in District Five at 126 pounds. At the Southwest Regionals, he won his first two matches to stamp his ticket to Hershey.
Villa showed heart and desire in his PIAA state tournament matches. He lost in the first round but took an 8-6 decision to stay alive before a second loss ended his time in the chocolate city.
Villa starts his final year with a 55-25 career record and is focused on finding his way to the podium in Hershey.
“Brady works hard every day. He’s a man on a mission to prove himself and get back there and get on the podium,” remarked Replogle.
Lemin was 17-13 last year and also made it out of districts and to the region tournament. Lemin finished third in District Five at 195 and went 1-2 at regionals.
Sloan finished last year at 12-18 and was 2-2 at the district meet. Weist (15-15), Foor (9-13), and Horton (12-12) each had one win at districts. Pierce (13-17) was 0-2 at the district meet.
Brumbaugh had a good ninth-grade season and will find himself in the varsity lineup. Freshmen Husick and Watkins will also be starters.
“I’m looking for big things out of all of them,” remarked Replogle. “Right now we want to get conditioned and used to being back on the mat.
“We have a good group of upper classmen. I believe they will push and lead the group that just came up from last year’s successful junior high team.”
The assistant coaches are John Horton and Mike Villa. Victor Heath is the junior high coach.
The Titans begin the season at Juniata Valley Dec. 11. The home opener is Dec. 13 versus Glendale. Tussey Mountain will see action at the Southmoreland Holiday Classic Wrestling Tournament Dec. 27-28, the Everett Bloody Run Duals Jan. 5, and the Thomas Tournament Jan. 25-26.