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Announced crowd of more than 2,000 wrestling fans watches Rumble in Jungle 2 at Red Lion

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
717-505-5446/@ydsports
  • Lock Haven wrestled vs. Navy on Friday night at Red Lion High.
  • Lock Haven won, 19-15, in an event billed as Rumble in the Jungle 2.
  • More than 2,000 wrestling fans showed up to watch several former District 3 stars.
Lock Haven's Blake Reynolds, front, and Navy's Jacob Koser wrestle in the 197 pound weight class during Rumble in the Jungle II in Fitzkee Event Center at Red Lion Area High School in Red Lion, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. Dawn J. Sagert photo

RED LION — One fact was clear Friday evening: Former Kennard-Dale High School star Chance Marstellar was not on the marquee for the Rumble in the Jungle 2 event at Red Lion High School.

Still, despite lacking a local superstar with the resume of a Marstellar, there were still plenty of former area standouts on hand, as well as a nice crowd. They gave the local fans just what they were looking for when Lock Haven faced off against Navy in college wrestling action.

Navy freshman Jacob Koser, a former Northern York standout, highlighted an evening in which Lock Haven seniors Alex Klucker (East Pennsboro) and Kyle Shoop (Boiling Springs) also scored victories. They helped the Bald Eagles to a 19-15 triumph.

“I got to have a lot of family here, which was really nice,” Koser said after earning a 6-0 victory against Lock Haven’s Blake Reynolds at 197. “It’s always fun to come back to the great state of Pennsylvania.”

Koser’s decision was part of a run when the Midshipmen won five of six bouts to draw within a point heading into the final bout of the night.

While his squad didn’t come out on top, Koser had a lot of fun with the night.

Lock Haven's Alex Klucker, center, pins Navy's Scout Skidgel as they wrestle in the 157 pound weight class during Rumble in the Jungle II in Fitzkee Event Center at Red Lion Area High School in Red Lion, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“I know a lot of the guys on the Lock Haven team,” he said. “They have a lot of District 3 guys. They have John Ross, who was my teammate in high school. And they have another kid (Jared Siegrist, Manheim Central) that I remember wrestling as a freshman at districts, who's on their team, so that was kind of funny.”

Koser, who lost in a controversial decision in the first-round of the 2018 PIAA tournament during his senior year, has been pleased with how his freshman season has gone so far after spending a year at a prep school before entering the Naval Academy.

“It’s going good so far,” he said. “I’m making a lot improvement just because we have a lot of great people in the room with the coaches and my teammates. I feel like I’m improving by leaps and bounds.”

Lock Haven's Kyle Shoop, back, and Navy's Cody Trybus wrestle in the 141 pound weight class during Rumble in the Jungle II in Fitzkee Event Center at Red Lion Area High School in Red Lion, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Notes: Former Spring Grove standout Dalton Rohrbaugh was not with the Lock Haven team Friday evening.

“He’s going through a couple of different things right now,” Lock Haven coach Scott Moore said. “He’s got some things that he needs to figure out. Right now he’s away from us and we’ll see how that goes. I can’t really get into it.”

Last year’s inaugural event, featuring four-time PIAA champion Marsteller, drew a Fitzkee Center record 2,712 fans. Despite some poor weather in the area Friday, the announced attendance for this year’s event was still a healthy 2,103.

“I think this went really well,” Red Lion wrestling coach Matt Catullo said. “With it being so early in the high school wrestling season, to get the crowd that we got was just awesome. There were a lot of good matchups that got the crowd up off their feet.”

Catullo, who spearheaded the event's start last year, won’t get a lot of rest after hosting Friday’s showcase. He will soon be hard at work for a Rumble in the Jungle 3 for next year.

“We’ll see how it goes, but I know we have some teams that are interested,” Catullo said. “Lock Haven is hopefully one of them again.”

Klucker had the only pin of the 10 matches on the evening. Klucker needed just 40 seconds to put Scout Skidgel of Navy on his back.

Stewartstown’s Tiffani Baublitz participated in a USA women’s exhibition contest during the intermission. Baublitz, who is ranked No. 2 nationally at 152 pounds, scored a 10-0 triumph in her bout, which consisted of two three-minute periods.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.