News from April-July...2005

Don Osinski Wins Second Consecutive Keystone Games Title
Eric Zelina Places 3rd

Don Osinski won his second straight Keystone Games folkstyle wrestling title. He placed first in the 145 lbs. Cadet Division Saturday in York, PA. Donald did what he's done so many times before, pulled out a couple of squeakers.

He won a 5-4 decision over Delton Mitzell of Capitol Region then pulled out a 2-1 win in the finals over Great Lakes Region's Sean Mack. Donald went 3-0 in last year's tournament to claim his first crown.

Teammate, Eric Zelina took 3rd place in the 130 lbs. Schoolboy Division. He lost his first bout by fall but came back to win 3 straight. Eric was locked in a tight battle with Capitol Region's Kyle Byerts in the quarterfinals when got caught in a headlock and pinned. Zelina responded by pinning his next 3 opponents. He pinned Kaufman (Capitol Region) in 32 seconds and Paul Griffith (Lehigh Valley) in 58 seconds. In the consolation finals, Eric disposed of Jordan Hernandez (Capitol Region) in 20 seconds.

The Keystone Games were formed in 1983 and have become known as Pennsylvania's largest amateur athletic event. Last year's games were held in Wilkes Barre, PA.



Branden Stearns Finally Strikes Gold
at NHSCA Folkstyle Nationals in Virginia Beach

They say the third time is a charm. After a 2nd place finish at last year's NHSCA Folkstyle Tournament and a 2nd at this year's AAU Nationals, Branden Stearns finally hit the jackpot. And his timing couldn't have been better. In his last bout as a high school wrestler, he racked up a convincing 8-4 decision over Illinois' Garrett Washington and won the NHSCA Folkstyle Nationals 189 lbs. title.

After an opening round bye, Stearns knocked off Californian, Jake Bingham by a 5-1 count. Branden's scariest six minutes came in the following round to Ohio's Brad Rice. Rice scored the first 4 points and took a 4-0 lead into the 3rd period. Branden rallied with 5 unanswered points to pull out a 5-4 win. In the quarterfinals, Stearns knocked off North Carolina's Shane Bryant, 14-4. He made the finals when he beat fellow PA. wrestler Nate Rapsey, 10-2 in the semis.

Branden has been on a roll after a disappointing showing at the PIAA tourney. Since PA. states he's had an 11-3 record at AAU, NHSCA and Senior Nationals, including wins over two state champs and a defending national champ. Congratulations Branden. What a way to end a great high school wrestling career.

Also competing in this year's event for the Lancers were Dale Sanders, Ben Rucker, Joel Stearns, Keith Scharrer, Eric Zelina, Brandon Saraceno and Louie Decker. Ben Rucker had a good tournament. He went 3-2 with 1 fall against some very tough competition before bowing out in the consolation quarterfinals. Eric Zelina went 2-2 and scored a fall. Brandon Saraceno went 1-2. The other GM wrestlers all went 0-2.

Mercer's Braden Bice won the 275 High School title. He pinned all 5 of his opponents and was named the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler. Josh Voelker from Harborcreek placed 5th in the 152 lbs. high school class.

Other local wrestlers who placed in the event were:

Middle School Class
Andrew Church (Fort LeBoeuf) 5th place- 160 lbs.
Dylan Simmer (Ragin' Raisins Wrestling Club) 2nd place- 103 lbs.
Devin Miller (Ragin' Raisins Wrestling Club) 4th place- 93 lbs.
Ryan Johnson (Ragin' Raisins Wrestling Club) 3rd place- 85 lbs.

Elementary Class
Shawn Spearman (Ragin' Raisins Wrestling Club) 1st place- 70 lbs.
Steve Spearman (Ragin' Raisins Wrestling Club) 2nd place- 80 lbs.
Khlique Harris (Ragin' Raisins Wrestling Club) 8th place- 85 lbs.
Kris Hess (Ragin' Raisins Wrestling Club) 7th place- 90 lbs.
Ryan Kenski (Ragin' Raisins Wrestling Club) 4th place- 95lbs.

This year's NHSCA tournament was held in Virginia Beach, VA. from June 26th throught the 29th.



10 McLane Wrestlers Qualify for NHSCA
Folkstyle Nationals

Ten McLane wrestlers placed at the The Ragin' Raisins 3rd Annual Spring Tournament and qualified for the NHSCA Folkstyle Nationals Tournament in Virginia Beach, VA. This weekend's qualifier was held at Mercyhurst North East.

Ben Rucker, Don Osinski and Brandon Saraceno placed 1st in the event. Branden Stearns, Lou Decker and Keith Scharrer placed 2nd. Eric Zelina, Shawn McFadden and Joel Stearns took 3rd. Seth Stonis was 4th in the Middle School-152 Division.

Rucker won his quaterfinals bout by fall over Nordonia's Mike Tomaro. He was leading 2-0 when he chin-dropped Tomaro and switched off to a reverse half for the fall. Rucker then disposed of Ragin' Raisins' Matt Boyd by fall in 45 seconds. Rucker secured the High School, 189 lbs. title with a forfeit win over teammate Branden Stearns. Stearns had to leave the tournament before the finals match, because it was prom night.

Don Osinski wrestled in the High School 140 lbs. class and scored a 9-0 major decision over Ragin' Raisin, Cody Warr. Osinski used 3 single leg takedowns and a bar-arm turn for back points to win the bout in dominating fashion. Donald was awarded the title by forfeit over LeBoeuf's Scott Waite.

Brandon Saraceno took the 135 lbs. High School Class. In the semis, he pinned Fairview's Brandon Pratt with a half nelson in 59 seconds. Brandon won by forfeit in the finals over Youngsville's Paul Waite.

Branden Stearns took the High School 189 lbs. runnerup spot with a pair of impressive wins. He scored a 16-1 tech fall over Fairview's Matt Michael in the quaterfinals. He followed with a 14-0 major decision over Southwestern's Mike Bush in the semis. Stearns forfeited to Ben Rucker in the finals.

Lou Decker took 2nd in the High School 160 lbs. class. He won a come from behind, 10-8 overtime barn burner over Union City's Scott Bacon. Decker who was down 2-1 at the end of the first period, took a slim 5-4 lead into 3rd. Louie found himself on the short end of an 8-7 score late in the bout. He managed to escape with 8 seconds remaining to tie the score and send it into overtime. Louie scored a takedown on Bacon in the first OT to pull out the win. Decker lost 8-2 in the finals to Meadville's talented Alex Hamilton.

Keith Scharrer took second in the High School 103 class. Keith dropped his finals bout to Eden's Rob Broda.

Eric Zelina had a third place finish in the High School 130 lbs. class. He beat Connoton Valley's Anthony Nicholas in the quarters, by a 16-1 technical fall. Zelina suffered his only loss in the semis, a 9-1 major decision to Greensburg Central Catholic's Rudy Chelednik (Chelednik was a 7th placer at this year's PIAA state tournament). Eric was award a forfeit win in the consy semis, then claimed 3rd place with a 2:42 fall over Anthony Nicholas in the consolation finals.

Six other McLane wrestlers also competed in the event. Dan McConnell (1-2), Kyle Goss and Corey Goss (0-2), Dale Sanders (0-2), Phil Williams (0-2), and former McLane wrestler, Nate Saraceno (1-2).


Stearns Goes 2-2 at NHSCA Senior Nationals

Senior, Branden Stearns who wrestled in his last sanctioned high school event, went 2-0 on the first day of the National High School Coaches Association's Senior Nationals Tournament. The grueling event was held in Cleveland, Ohio for the fourth consecutive year. Stearns was in a bracket with 61 other 189 pounders from all over the U.S., most of them state champions or runnerups. Senior Nationals has long been considered one of the toughest high school wrestling tournaments in the country.

Branden got off to a good start by winning his opening round bout over nationally ranked, Michael Hurst of California. Stearns got the first takedown just 30 seconds into the bout to take a 2-0 lead. Hurst hit a reversal with 14 seconds remaining to tie it, but Branden switched him 3 seconds later to go up, 4-2. In the second period, Hurst chose down, escaped and nailed Stearns with a headlock at the edge of the mat to take a brief, 5-4 lead. Branden reversed the Californian again to go back on top 6-5. In the final period, Stearns escaped and added another takedown to win it by a score of 9-5.

In his second round bout, Stearns wrestled Texas state champ, Matt Cole. Cole got the first takedown 45 seconds into the fray. Branden escaped to make it, 2-1. He then set up and hit a picture perfect, jap whizzer that put Cole face down on the mat. He added 2 near fall points with a tilt to go up 5-2. Cole chose down in the 2nd period, but Branden did a masterful job of riding his opponent for the entire period. In the 3rd period, Stearns reversed Cole, locked up a cradle near the edge of the mat and pinned his opponent at the 5:08 mark.

On Saturday morning, Branden ran into nationally ranked (8th), 3 time Missouri state champion, Louis Caputo. Caputo racked up two first period takedowns and took a 4-1 lead. Stearns gave up a penalty point and an escape in the second stanza to make the score, 6-1. He managed to escape early in the third period to pull to within, 6-2. But Caputo got the final takedown to win, 8-2. That sent Stearns to the consolation rounds.

Branden lost his 4th and final bout to Nebraska's, 189 lbs. 2 time state champ, Levi Wofford. Wofford is well known in his home state for having pinned his way through the state tournament and racking up a perfect 75-0 record over the past two seasons. He is also a four time Nebraska state medalist.

Stearns wrestled a great match against Wofford. He scored the first takedown to take a 2-0 lead into the 2nd period. Wofford scored a reversal in the 2nd, but Branden escaped to take a 3-2 lead into the 3rd period. He chose bottom and extended his lead to 4-2. Wofford scored a takedown to tie the score, but Stearns escaped to go up, 5-4 again. Branden was clinging to that slim lead when he attempted a jap whizzer, which had worked well for him all season. He nearly scored but Wofford stepped over with seconds left to get the takedown and a 6-5 win.

News and Notes from Senior Nationals:

Branden's 2nd win on Friday put him in 3rd place in the GM record books for Career Wins. He now has 112, which moves him ahead of Greg Leehan (111). He also added to his record for Career Reversals and tied Jake Keene for 4th place on the Season Wins list (38).

Branden Stearns is's latest edition to the McLane Wrestling Dream Team. He was included in the 171 lbs. weight class along with Mike Caro and Tom Kirdahy.

Branden also became the first G.M. wrestler to win matches at NHSCA Senior Nationals. Hayden Harrison went 0-2 last year.





© 2001 All rights reserved.
Thanks to Blue Sparks for use of the Blue Send script.
Thanks to The JavaScript Source
for the free JavaScripts.