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PIAA Wrestling: Ram Grappler Falls Short in Medal Quest

Wyalusing Valley wrestler Mike Cobb accomplished a great deal during a highly successful mat career.

The Ram senior concluded his career with a 124-37 record, 13th on the Rams' all-time victory list, including a 35-5 record this season. He was also a three-time North Section champion and a member of two Northern Tier League championship teams.

He also became just one of eight Wyalusing wrestlers to qualify at least three times for the PIAA tournament.

Anyone with his name on the same list as four-time qualifiers Matt Fisk and Sam Bocchino and three-time qualifiers Ed Moore, Cassidy Shults, David Patrick, Justin Johnson and Zac Sheldon, can rest assured that his place in Ram mat history is secure.

But Cobb's elusive quest for a Class AA PIAA medal came up short in his third and final try in Hershey last Friday.

"I didn't reach my goal of medaling at states," Cobb said later. "But I've had a pretty good career."

After winning his 171-pound preliminary bout Thursday morning at Hershey's Giant Center, Cobb was eliminated from medal contention with a pair of losses Friday morning. This was the same scenario that befell him in his attempts to medal at 160 pounds in 2009 and 2010.

On Friday morning, Cobb lost his quarterfinal bout, 9-5, to Grove City's Wes Phipps and was eliminated with a 12-5 loss to Bentworth's August Mizia in their second-round consolation bout.

Cobb led early in his match against the undefeated Phipps, scoring a quick takedown. But in a wild flurry to open the bout, Phipps responded with an escape and a takedown for a 3-2 lead through the first period.

Starting down to open the second period, Cobb took the lead for the last time with a reversal, but chose to allow Phipps to escape, knotting the score at 4-4.

Phipps, who finished second in the weight class behind Lewisburg's Nathaniel Brown, answered with a takedown, but Cobb escaped before the buzzer to enter the third period trailing, 6-5.

Phipps escaped to open the third period and countered a late rush by Cobb with a takedown for the final score.

With his medal hopes on the line in the consolation bracket—Cobb needed to win to guarantee himself a piece of hardware—he was caught by surprise by Mizia.

Mizia scored a takedown and three back points almost immediately at the whistle to open the bout.

Down 5-0 to open the second period, Cobb rallied. After he escaped to open the stanza, Mizia answered with a takedown. Cobb reversed Mizia to cut the deficit to 7-3 entering the final frame.

Mizia, choosing to start the third period in the neutral position, controlled the action en route to the win.

"I lost to the kid who took second in a close match," Cobb said.

"In the second match, Mizia hit me with a five-point move right off the bat and that drained me. It is definitely hard to overcome a five-point deficit at states when you are wrestling the best."

In Thursday's preliminary round, Cobb easily advanced to the quarterfinals with a 10-2 win over Bedford's Brian Gibbons.

Cobb was never threatened in his victory.

After taking a 2-1 lead through the first period, Cobb added three back points in the second period.

Leading 5-1 entering the final period, Cobb pulled away with an escape and takedown. After giving up an escape to Gibbons, Cobb scored another takedown for the final margin of victory.

"In the first round, I did pretty well," Cobb said.

Cobb plans to wrestle in college and major in criminal justice.

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