Penn State Boxing Puts On A Show In The White Building
The Penn State Boxing Club held a fight card at the White Building on Saturday. Boxers from Army, Navy, Shippensburg, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Lock Haven University descended upon State College for the event.
The afternoon card kicked off at 2 p.m. and was followed by the evening card, which began at 5 p.m.
Scrappy John Gomez and Dan Gibson from West Point and WVU respectively kicked off the evening card in heated fashion, with Gibson taking the decision win. After a back-and-forth, exciting win by national runner-up Emily Appleman of Shippensburg over national champion Shannon Reilley of WVU, the Penn State evening card fighters finally took to the ring.
Pierce Hessinger was first up at 165 pounds, facing off with Ruben Druckrey of Navy. Hessinger’s combination of head movement, effective body movement, and endurance allowed him to pick up a big win.
Penn State boxer Marquis Craig lit up Lock Haven’s Tyler Long a few fights later at 145 pounds. Craig’s hand speed proved too much for Long to handle, and Craig bloodied him up badly by the end of the fight.
“It was amazing,” an exhausted Craig said after the big win. “We practice every day of the week like we’re a varsity sport. All of that hard work translates into the ring.”
Penn State’s Harrison Slater took to the ring next in front of many of his brothers from the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Slater’s supporters filled the gym with plenty of noise as they cheered on their fraternity brother. Slater put up a valiant effort but ultimately fell to West Point’s Mitchell Yelenosky.
Jodie Villegas followed the Slater bout with a dominating win over Lock Haven’s Mikayla Myers, but the most exciting bout of the evening may have come from Penn State’s Taylor Varner and Navy’s Sam Gleaser. Varner mounted a furious comeback after a tough first round but lost in a very close fight.
Following Alex Nicholson’s loss in the second-to-last bout, Penn State’s Chris Strauss took to the ring against West Point’s Josh Huribut at 137 pounds in the main event. Strauss put on a great performance, earning a huge win in front of a rowdy crowd in a highly competitive bout.
“It was the best feeling in the world,” Strauss said immediately following the win. “There’s nothing better than winning in front of your home fans. I loved hearing them chant my name. It was like I couldn’t lose.”
Afternoon Card (2 p.m.):
- Haziz Self (Ship) def. Beau Cisneros (Navy)
- Tim Ford (Army) def. Mike Dihn (UNC)
- Tylik Guilford (Ship) def. Anders Freiberg (Army)
- Derrick Wagoner (Army) def. Jake Beeson (UNC)
- Mike Garrett (Army) def. Stephen Lorentz (PSU)
- Pat Doherty (PSU) def. John Fiorell (LHU)
- VJ Sakbun (Navy) def. Derrick Sokolo (PSU)
- Michael Geitner (PSU) def. Nate Sanders (Ship)
- Zaire Ali (LHU) def. Eric Behringer (PSU)
- Tre Sherrill (Army) def. Mohammed Al-Jasser (PSU)
- Christian Morales (LHU) def. Jed Lipp (Army)
Evening Card (5 p.m.):
- Dan Gibson (WVU) def. John Gomez (Army)
- Kevin Fuss (WVU) def. Jordan Looney (Navy)
- Emily Appleman (Ship) def. Shannon Reilley (WVU)
- Pierce Hessinger (PSU) def. Ruben Druckrey (Navy)
- Josh Melendez (Army) def. Roebuck Dredden (PSU)
- Eric Toombs (WVU) def. Liam Farrell (PSU)
- Marquis Craig (PSU) def. Tyler Long (LHU)
- Mitchell Yelenosky (Army) def. Harrison Slater (PSU)
- Jodie Villegas (PSU) def. Mikayla Myers (LHU)
- Sam Gleaser (Navy) def. Taylor Varner (PSU)
- Carlos Perez (Navy) def. Alex Nicholson (PSU)
- Chriss Straus (PSU) def. Josh Huribut (Army)
Photo: Penn State Boxing