HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING: Blairsville's Doak becomes fastest in school history to reach 100 wins
BLAIRSVILLE — Only a second postponement due to inclement weather would have stopped Blairsville junior Drew Doak from becoming the fastest wrestler in school history to reach 100 career wins Wednesday.
A day removed from a snow delay, Doak pinned Forest Hills sophomore Blake Custer, joining his uncle Matt Doak and three other Bobcats — Matt Moore, Adam Weinell and Noah Tarr — in the school’s exclusive 100-win fraternity.
On what was Senior Salute Night, four other Blairsville wrestlers scored falls, and the Bobcats bested the Rangers, 52-30, in a District 6 non-conference match in the middle school gymnasium.
Blairsville (6-3) travels to Marion Center tonight.
“I’m excited,” said Doak, the first wrestler in school history to nab medals at the PIAA championships in his freshman and sophomore campaigns. “I’m in the company of a great group of guys now with my Uncle Matt, Adam Weinell, Matt Moore and Noah Tarr. It’s just one of the small milestones that I have for myself.”
“It was awesome,” added Blairsville coach and Doak’s father, D.J. Doak. “You look forward to it all year, and when you see it coming and it’s getting closer, you definitely want to see him wrestle. We didn’t want a forfeit.
“I give that kid (Custer) a lot of credit for cutting down and wrestling one of the best kids in the state. That says a lot about his character.”
Doak manhandled Custer before flattening him with a half-nelson 1:05 into the first period, prompting a celebration from a large contingent of Blairsville fans.
Doak (19-2) won 42 matches his freshman year and 39 his sophomore campaign. D.J. Doak’s brother, Matt Doak, became the first wrestler in school history to reach 100 wins on Feb. 1, 2000.
“It’s definitely something I envisioned. I’m just glad I stayed healthy enough to do so,” said Doak. “A lot of great guys have come through this school, and a lot of other schools, but they couldn’t stay healthy enough to reach the accomplishment. I’m just glad my health allowed me to.”
Although temporarily satisfied with the feat, Doak, a two-time District 6 champ and a two-time Southwest Regional runner-up, certainly won’t rest on his laurels. In fact, Doak remains adamant that he’ll only feel satisfied when he wins a state title.
“I’d like to get the school record or even the county record in wins, but it’s all small talk as I work my way up to the state title,” Doak said.
Another standout Blairsville junior, Scott Thompson (182), scored a first-period pin over James Nevins to notch his 78th career win.
Thompson, a two-time district champ, a regional runner-up, and a two-time state qualifier, piled up 42 wins his freshman year and placed sixth at states. Thompson suffered a broken wrist early in the season last year but placed second at regionals.
The Bobcats’ lone senior, Lucas Mowery, scored a second-period fall over Josh Gould. Tyler Lenhardt (160), Jake Smith (220) and Brandon Cunkleman (285) each won by fall, and Jake Weinell (132) won by major decision.
Forest Hills coach Jake Strayer, a former All-American wrestler at Penn State and a two-time PIAA champ for the Rangers, said Doak’s goals are within reach.
“He’s definitely capable of doing it,” Strayer said. “He’s just got to bring his best stuff to the state tournament. That’s what you’ve got to do. Hopefully he can put it all together and get one.”