Northwestern Press

Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Caleb Clymer is this year's Northwestern Press Male Athlete of the Year. Caleb Clymer is this year's Northwestern Press Male Athlete of the Year.

Clymer reached his final goals

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 by TODD KRESS tkress@tnonline.com in Sports

Caleb Clymer had one more goal to check off his list in his final high school wrestling season. It would be the toughest to ink a line through, however.

Following in the footsteps of his older brothers, Caleb sought that elusive PIAA gold medal that both Scott and Ben Clymer were able to hang around their necks. Like Ben did in 2008, Caleb accomplished that coveted feat in his final high school season.

That was the culmination of another impressive season on the mat for Clymer. Throw in a standout football campaign, and Clymer has been named the Northwestern Press Male Athlete of the Year.

“This past season was another goal that I checked off on my list,” Clymer said. “That was what I’ve been working for since I’ve been in youth wrestling at Northwestern—to earn state gold. My brothers did it, and I wanted to be the next Clymer to accomplish it. Now it’s onto a whole other level.”

His oldest brother, Scott, was the first of the siblings to earn state gold in 2006. Ben did it two years later, and Bobby came close as well in his career. Then it was Caleb’s turn.

En route to his 43-1 record this past winter, Clymer looked virtually unstoppable. He won districts over Panther Valley’s Tanner Kennedy, regionals over Northern Lebanon’s Blaise Bressler and capped it with state gold over Port Allegheny’s Jacob Kallenborn.

Clymer leaves Northwestern with three district championships and three state medals, including gold this past winter.

“I would say the biggest impact that probably was on me was Bobby,” Clymer said. “He was in the room with me every single day and right in the corner during my matches for four or five years. That was more than just a blessing to have him help me get better.”

Bobby Clymer was an assistant coach for Northwestern during much of Caleb’s time with the Tigers. That first-hand experience pushed him to become the third brother to earn state gold.

Wrestling isn’t the only sport in which Clymer etched his name into the record books. During the fall he played football and became a force on both sides of the ball for head coach Josh Snyder’s Tigers that went 4-6 in the Colonial League.

Clymer, a tight end, was the primary aerial threat for quarterback Deven Bollinger’s. He finished with 39 receptions for 643 yards and five touchdowns. The 643 receiving yards set a new Northwestern record for a single season.

Defensively, Clymer was a ball hawk that found himself in a majority of the plays. He accumulated a record-setting 135 tackles at the middle linebacker position. He also finished with a team-high two interceptions and 0.5 sacks.

“Football, in my opinion, is a little bit more fun than wrestling,” Clymer said. “Football, going up through youth and middle school, also had an impact on the way I wrestled because I think it made me tougher. Even then, football coaches were pushing me to be a great football player, but in the back of their heads they were pushing me to be a great wrestler, too.”

Football may have prepared Clymer for wrestling in some aspects, but moving forward it will be wrestling year-round for the Lock Haven University commit. Clymer has already been to Lock Haven three times this summer and is feeling more like a part of the Bald Eagles’ family already.

“It’s back to the bottom and working my way back up,” Clymer said. “It was fun doing it in high school and seeing my progression throughout those four years. I’m excited to do the same thing in high school.

“I come from a small school that is country, and now I’m going to Lock Haven, which is a small school in the country. It feels just like home. All of the guys are real relaxed and a bunch of hard-nosed wrestlers. I feel at home already.”

Now that he checked off all of his high school goals, Clymer has set his focus on the next four years at Lock Haven. And he isn’t shy about what he plans to accomplish as a member of the Bald Eagles.

“My main goal out there is to finish as an All-American and a national champion,” Clymer said. “My goals right now are to make it out to nationals and get on the podium. It might not happen my freshman year. It might not happen next year. But goals are goals, and I will reach them.”