Corry’s trip to Hershey for the state dual tournament was not a first.
Here’s the rest of the story.
The Beavers from the 2000-2001 season, under coach Skip Laird, had qualified the year before by beating Warren for the District 10 title.
“That year there were regional wrestle-ins and only eight teams went to Hershey,” Laird explained. “That year we lost to State College at Clarion University.
“The following year (2000-2001) we beat Prep for the D-10 title and were undefeated. But the format changed so that all district winners went directly to Hershey,” he recalled. “We lost to Easton as we drew them in the opening round. Unfortunately those first two or three years, the team tournament was single elimination.
“Easton was ranked seventh in the nation and they easily won the state championship,” Laird noted. “We felt we were strong enough to have given them their toughest match and would have relished a wrestleback format.
“Three weeks later we took 10th place in the individual event taking three regional champs and one runner-up to Hershey,” he said. “That’s where Jesse Blount placed seventh, Kris Rhodes was fifth and Chris Bailey fourth. Derek McCray was a regional champ but got injured and went 0-2.”
For the season, Bailey (160) went 37-3, Rhodes (135) 34-5, Blunt (145) 33-6 and McCray (171) 31-4. Ken Hovis (152) was 26-8, Nick Peterson (119) 25-10, Nick Wood (140) 24-7 and Corey Murphy (125) 22-12.
Wood placed seventh in the state tournament in 2003.
This year’s Beavers have eight wrestlers with at least 25 wins, hoping to add to that total in the postseason.