Hanover's Garland stopped by a scream
Bermudian Springs' Briton Shelton in video below:
HERSHEY >> For a second, it looked like Hanover's Caleb Garland pulled off one of the biggest upsets on the first day of the PIAA Class AA state championships.
The junior 120-pounder had just taken down Huntingdon's Collin Glorioso and had him on his back in a headlock.
The referee started counting. Hanover coach Kurt Brenner leaped out of his seat with his arms in the air, about to celebrate the pin he saw developing.
Then Glorioso screamed. He let out the shrill yell of someone in pain, and the referee, who seemed to be seconds of way of slamming the mat for a pin, stopped the match. As Garland let go of Glorioso, he nearly started crying in frustration.
The scream cost Garland his best opportunity to beat the southwest regional champion, as referees awarded Garland three points for a near fall instead of a pin. Those three points were not enough for Garland, who had fallen into a 7-0 deficit to start the match and still trailed 9-4 when he nearly won it.
Glorioso, who is now 40-2 on the year, ended up winning 9-7 after Garland couldn't score in the third period.
"I felt I had him pinned," Garland said later. "He started screaming, and you can do that if you want to get out. The ref has to stop it if he thinks he's hurt. That's out of my hands.
"It's actually a good plan if you're winning and you don't want to get pinned. You gotta do what you gotta do to win. I think he did it to get off his back, but everyone has their own opinions."
Instead of ending his day with that win and a spot in the quarterfinals, Garland had to stick around for a first-round consolation match. But when that match came, he proved that the controversial loss was behind him by building a 7-0 lead and holding on for a 10-6 win against Lake Lehman's R.J. Driscoll.
"Caleb takes a good 15-20 minutes (to get past a loss)," Brenner said. "We know as coaches that he gets worked up, he gets emotional about a loss and that's what makes him a competitor. He gets to the back, absorbs it all and he's ready to go 20 minutes later."
Garland spent that time in Giant Center's locker rooms and hallways underneath the stands dwelling on what went wrong in his loss to Glorioso rather than the controversial call that didn't go his way.
"I know I can definitely do better on my feet," he said. "That's what let him score all those points. If I could've shut him down on his feet, I think it would've been a much closer match."
Garland, who went 2-1 on the day, now needs to win second- and third-round consolation matches Friday morning to ensure that he will earn a top-eight medal.
"I'm going to go back to the hotel, relax, keep my weight under control so I'm not running at 7 or 8 o'clock at night," Garland said, "and I'm going to keep the mindset that I can still place third."
JURY STILL OUT ON NEW FORMAT >> The PIAA changed the state championship format from 16 competitors per bracket to 20 per bracket this season, adding a preliminary round at the beginning of the day and an extra round of consolations.
The new format created some unusual scenarios, as Garland and Bermudian Springs sophomore Austin Clabaugh — who both won preliminary matches at 120 pounds — wrestled three matches in four hours before Bermudian Springs heavyweight Brady Linebaugh even wrestled his first match.
"It's interesting," Brenner said. "After seeing the format and watching Caleb battle the first match, then lose, then battle again — some people just lost their first match and were done for the day."
He said he wasn't sure what to make of it and that it will be interesting to see how the next two days shake out, a statement echoed by Eagles coach Dave McCollum.
"It gives more kids an opportunity, which I think is good," McCollum said. "Sometimes you feel like (you have) a kid that could've been here. ... But, I don't know, we'll see how it turns out. It definitely made the first day a little bit longer."
YAIAA WRESTLERS REMAIN >> All six Bermudian Springs wrestlers that qualified for the state tournament will return on Friday. Briton Shelton (170 pounds), Colton Dull (182) and Sam McCollum (220) will all wrestle in the quarterfinals after winning their first-round bouts. Clabaugh (120) and Noah Fleshman (160) both went 2-1 and will continue wrestling in the consolation bracket, and Brady Linebaugh (285) will also wrestle in consolations after losing his only match in overtime.
For Eastern York, Lucas Barshinger (195) won his opening bout to reach the quarterfinals, while Dakota Mackley (152) went 2-1 and is still alive in consolations. Biglerville has a similar situation with Nate Newberry (145) winning his opener to make quarterfinals and Nate Mentzer (220) going 1-1 to remain in consolations.
The only YAIAA school to have wrestlers eliminated was Littlestown, which lost Jordan Matthews (152) and Zach MacLeod (285) after both went 0-2.