Pine-Richland’s Spencer brothers each win wrestling championships
Friday, March 6, 2020 | 5:15 PM
Pine-Richland’s Cole Spencer snared his first WPIAL wrestling title Feb. 29 at Canon-McMillan High School, earning his status as a champion after edging Kiski Area’s Sammy Starr, 2-1.
To make the win even sweeter, Spencer (38-0) clinched career win No. 100 with the victory at 152 pounds, and did so in dramatic, last-second fashion.
“First period it was 0-0. Second period, he went down and got out right away, so 1-0 now. Third period, at the very beginning, there was a huge flurry of action so I wasted a lot of energy there. I was thinking I might be in trouble,” Spencer said.
“He ended up riding me pretty tough, and I didn’t think I could get out. He had my arm flattened out on the mat and there was about 10 seconds left so I thought I might as well just go for something here.
“I turned into him, he fell off my back and I just caught him right on his back and got two points for the reversal right as the buzzer sounded. It was sweet.”
Just hours after being crowned a WPIAL champ, Spencer was journeying to Johnstown to utilize his wrestling expertise in an entirely different capacity — as a coach for his younger brother, Vaughn, who was competing in the Pennsylvania Junior High Wrestling state championships.
By the end of the junior high title tournament March 1, the Spencer brothers had made it 2 for 2 in championship-winning performances during the course of one weekend.
Vaughn Spencer, a seventh-grader, earned first place at 138 pounds by virtue of his 9-3 victory in the final match.
“I drove up to Johnstown right after wrestling at WPIALs on Saturday,” Spencer said. “Sunday morning, I was there to coach Vaughn in the quarters, semis and finals matches. It was pretty cool to experience all of that in one weekend. I love being down there with him, to support him on the mat.”
As a result of his win in the title match, Vaughn Spencer became just the second wrestler in Pine-Richland history to bring home a junior high state championship. The first Rams grappler to accomplish the feat was his older brother.
While the Spencer brothers are one another’s biggest supporters and fans, each of their successes only adds fuel to the motivational fire for the other, according to the younger of the two.
“It motivates me every year. At the end of the year, I always want to compare and see where I’m at with what Cole did at my age,” Vaughn Spencer said.
“It felt amazing to win the junior high title. All the work I put in, it felt like it all paid off. Cole won his title in eighth grade, and this is my seventh-grade year, so hopefully I can win it next year and get that one extra title over him. Right now, I got the upper hand on him. I loved seeing that he won WPIALs. But it makes me work harder, too.”
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