The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

High School Sports

December 12, 2008

Notching a pretty special number

SIDMAN — Wrestling is an individual sport up until the last bout is concluded.

Then a glance at the scoreboard verifies it as a team sport.

On Thursday night, a more seasoned Forest Hills outmuscled visiting Greater Johnstown 63-9 to earn Rangers coach Jim Bowser his 100th dual-meet victory.

“When I look back to where I started, whether as a volunteer coach, I put many years in and this is my seventh year as coach,” Bowser said. “I just have had a lot of great kids, a lot of great families, a lot of kids that I was fortunate to be able to be a head coach with them, it’s their recognition. It’s something that I’m proud of but I’m more proud of the Forest Hills community and the school district because I’ve had some great kids come through the program.”

The Forest Hills wrestling program has amassed 202 dual-meet victories in 17 seasons.

“That’s a heck of an accomplishment for our school district,” Bowser said.

Shane Valko, an All-American at Pitt-Johnstown, Jake Strayer, a standout at Penn State and two-time PIAA Class AA champion, and state-qualifiers Tom McVicker, Art Moss and Sean Kisel all wrestled under the tutelage of Bowser.

Johnstown coach Gary Radnoti praised Bowser, a former state runner-up as a wrestler at Richland.

“They’re a well-trained bunch of kids,” Radnoti said. “Jimmy Bowser, I’ve known him a long time, and he’s been doing this for years. We learned some lessons from guys that have a lot more experience than us.”

Forest Hills recorded six falls Thursday night. R.J. Brydon (135 pounds), Mitchell Brewer (152), Zach Glessner (215), Bob Oshaben (285), Brock Gallaher (119) and three-time state placewinner Dave Fogle (125) each recorded a fall.

“It feels really good to be part of this,” Fogle said. “I’ve been with Mr. Bowser for three years so it’s been great along the way and hopefully there’s many more to come. He’s a great coach on and off the mat. He’s constantly pushing us. He’s great to have as our coach.”

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