Lions become slimmer at 125 - Sports | Centre Daily Times

The buffer between senior Brad Pataky’s heavily-wrapped knee and Penn State’s potential postseason fate at one weight is gone.

Coach Cael Sanderson said Wednesday that freshman 125-pounder Frank Martellotti has been ruled academically ineligible for the spring semester.
Martellotti, a four-time PIAA Class AA placewinnner at Shady Side Academy, went 18-3 and was ranked 16th in last week’s Intermat poll. Martellotti successfully held down the 125-spot until Pataky, who suffered a preseason knee injury, returned at last month’s Southern Scuffle.

Martellotti, a true freshman, is permitted to practice with the team. But Sanderson said Martellotti’s primary focus will be on his studies.

“Frank did a great job for us,” Sanderson said. “He just has to get on track academically now, obviously. There’s no excuse for that from our staff, but that’s the case. With the timing and the way things worked out, Brad is able to wrestle and that’s why we were pushing Brad a little harder.”

Pataky, a two-time NCAA qualifier, has returned to form after missing the first seven dual meets and finishing 3-2 at the Southern Scuffle. Pataky went 4-0 at last weekend’s Virginia Duals, hitting a cement mixer to defeat 10th-ranked Nic Bedeylon of Kent State. The performance helped Pataky debut at No. 11 in this week’s Intermat rankings.

Pataky also avenged one of his Scuffle defeats by defeating Michigan’s Sean Boyle 8-2. Boyle majored Pataky during the Scuffle.

“I’m really pumped and confident,” Pataky said. “It’s one of those things where once you get going it all starts coming together. I think I am going to wrestle better and better.”

Pataky endured noticeable pain during his victory over Boyle. Pataky took a lengthy injury timeout after being taken down in the second period. Pataky recovered to take Boyle down in the third period.

“I really can’t remember the situation,” Pataky said. “I have to watch it again. It was just a little bang there. I just regained my composure and got back at it.”

Pataky’s injury requires him to wear a knee brace. It’s possible he will experience similar pain in future bouts.

“We’re real happy with Pataky, not necessarily because he won,” Sanderson said. “The wins are great. But it’s more about the effort and doing the things the right way and staying focused, and he stayed focus. He had some pains in there, but he did what he had to do and won some big matches in some big dual meets.”

Wright getting closer

Sophomore 184-pounder Quentin Wright said he’s on schedule to return from his shoulder injury next Friday against Pitt. Wright, who didn’t travel to the Virginia Duals, hasn’t wrestle since the finals of the Nittany Lion Open on Dec. 5.
Wright’s shoulder received a big test Wednesday.

His practice partner was Sanderson, a four-time NCAA champion and Olympic gold medalist.

“It’s more progressive,” Wright said of his recovery. “I have to test my limits and see how far I can go depending on how things feel. I have to be real smart with it.”