If Warren County is to advance any Class AA wrestlers to next weekend's PIAA Championships in Hershey, it's going to take some work.
Only the top three wrestlers in each weight class at Friday's and Saturday's PIAA Class AA Northwest Regional Tournament at Sharon Area High School will advance to Hershey. The five county wrestlers in the field - Eisenhower's Jake Johnson and Trevor Spicer, Youngsville's Aaron Hoover and Jaykup Durlin, and Sheffield's Ricky Prosen - all finished fourth or lower at last weekend's District 10 and District 9 Class championships.
But upsets happen, and that's why they wrestle the matches.
Times Observer photo by Mitchell Wilston
Another freshman, Youngsville High School’s Aaron Hoover, wrestles at this past weekend’s District 10 Class AA Tournament at Sharon High School. Hoover returns there on Friday and Saturday for the Northwest Region Class AA Tournament.
For Eisenhower, 195-pound Johnson and 182-pound Spicer - like the other three grapplers in the field - are first-time region qualifiers. Both Ike wrestlers finished fourth at the D-10 meet a week ago.
Johnson (29-10) opens his tournament in the preliminary round with Redbank Valley's Mark Strothers. Strothers is the fourth seed out of District 9. If Johnson can get past Strothers, he would advance to face District 9 195-pound champion Logan Stout of Brookville in the quarterfinals.
Like Johnson, Spicer needs to win an opening-round match to get to the quarterfinals. And also, like Johnson, that quarterfinal match would be against a District 9 champion.
Spicer (29-12) faces District 9's fourth seed - Oswayo Valley's Jake Wichert in the prelims - and would draw Brookville's Tyler Dombrowski with a win.
While the two Knights aren't exactly favored to move on, Ike mat coach Kris Black knows his wrestlers are close to breaking through and capable of scoring an upset or two necessary to advance.
"Coach (Joe) Letko always used to say that the cream rises to the top this time of year," said Black. "I think Trevor and Jake are wrestling as well as they have all season right now and are peaking at the right time. This weekend is what these guys work all year for - the chance to go to Chocolate Town. I think it's a realistic goal for both of our guys."
Both of the Youngsville grapplers in the field collected third place finishes at sections in mid-February and sixth-place finishers at the D-10 meet last weekend. Like their Eisenhower rivals, both will open with preliminary matches.
At 113 pounds, Hoover (19-16) has exploded onto the scene during the postseason and hopes that momentum continues into the second weekend at Sharon. Hoover faces Cameron County's Paul Etchepare in the prelims and is seeking to advance to a quarterfinal matchup with District 10 champion George McGuire of Fort LeBoeuf.
Hoover's teammate, Jaykup Durlin, will compete in the 220-pound bracket. Durlin (25-8) must beat District 9's third seed - Ridgway's Chad Quail - to advance to the championship quarterfinals. Waiting there would be District 10 champion Cam Cyphert of Cochranton.
"This is the spot where you find out who the best of the best are," said Youngsville coach Scott Ishman. "Plain and simple, if these guys want to move on they have to being their A-game. There's no room for error at this point. If Aaron and Jake come out and wrestle hard, they have the ability to get themselves into that top three spot."
Rounding out the field is Sheffield 113-pound sophomore Ricky Prosen. Prosen narrowly missed a trip to regions last year as a freshman, but wouldn't be denied this time around. Prosen (21-8) draws Seneca's Cyle Yaple in the preliminary round of his bracket. A win would place him in the quarterfinals against D-10's second seed - Lakeview's Landon Clayton.
"He's got to be at the top of his game this weekend," said Sheffield coach Jack Rice. "He achieved his goal for the year by making it to this stage and this weekend will be some valuable experience for him. On any given weekend, a wrestler can get hot and pull an upset. That's what we're hoping for from Ricky this weekend. I'm very proud of the job he's done this season."
"I'd love to get into the top three and advance, but before I can do that I've got to win a couple of matches and get myself into at least that third and fourth-place match," said Prosen. "I just want to get myself ranked going into next season and try to improve from there."
Wrestling gets underway at 5:15 p.m. Friday at Sharon Area High School. Action then picks back up at 9 a.m. Saturday with the championship semifinals and first round of consolations. The consolation finals are scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday with the championship finals slated for 5 p.m.
Here are the wrestling pairings for Friday's Northwest Region Class AA tournament at Sharon High School. Wrestlers are listed by district rank, name, grade, school and record. The top three in each division will advance to the PIAA AA tournament, scheduled March 8-10 at the Giant Center in Hershey:
106 pounds - 10-1 Tyler Vath, fr., Saegertown, 36-2 bye; 9-2 Trent Neely, jr., Smethport, 20-7 vs. 10-5 Kenny Bable, so., Grove City, 22-13; 9-4 Kolbin Altobelli, fr., Redbank Valley, 26-9 vs. 10-3 Cody Bratt, sr., Harbor Creek, 29-8; 8-1 Daequan Butler, jr., Westinghouse, 15-4 bye; 10-2 Michael Bartolo, fr., Reynolds, 30-8 bye; 8-2 Frank West,, jr., Langley, 13-17 vs. 10-6 Nick Moss, jr., Conneaut Lake, 23-12; 9-3 Devin Joiner, fr., Brookville, 23-15 vs. 10-4 Justin Walter, fr., Hickory, 29-14; 9-1 Cody Blankenship, so., Kane, 29-3 bye.
113 - George McGuire, so., Fort LeBoeuf, 30-15 bye; 9-3 Paul Etchepare, fr., Cameron County, 20-7 vs. 10-6 Aaron Hoover, fr., Youngsville, 19-16; 10-4 Alex DiGregorio, so., Reynolds, 22-18 bye; 9-2 Trey Constable, sr., Brookville, 21-7 bye; 10-2 Landon Clayton, sr., Lakeview, 27-6 bye; 9-4 Ricky Prosen, so., Sheffield, 21-8 vs. 10-5 Cyle Yaple, jr., Seneca, 26-8; 10-3 Cody Buchanan, jr., Sharon, 26-6 bye; 9-1 Willie Gruver, so., Redbank Valley, 27-3 bye.
120 - 10-1 Jarray Norris, jr., Sharon, 36-0 bye; 9-3 Tad Pierce, sr., Ridgway, 6-6 vs. 10-6 Adam Borgia, so., Fort LeBoeuf, 17-22; 10-4 Jonas Reaugh, jr., Jamestown, 36-8 bye; 9-2 Dalton Zimmerman, fr., Brookville, 32-10 bye; 10-2 Jesse Rivera, sr., Grove City, 18-6 bye; 9-4 Jon Gelsick, so., Kane, 22-13 vs. 10-5 Matt Wheeler, so., Northwestern, 29-9; 10-3 Kyle Lukowich, so., Conneaut Lake, 33-8 bye; 9-1 Nate Schwab, sr., Smethport, 28-4 bye.
126 - 10-1 Aaron Roberts, sr., Jamestown, 36-3 bye; 9-3 Cole Clever, fr., Brookville, 22-17 vs. 10-5 Mason McCollum, 29-14; 9-2 Karl Lightner, jr., Smethport, 29-3 vs. 10-6 Adam Sallot, sr., Harbor Creek, 29-8; 8-1 Jordan Perucci, jr., Langley, 16-15 bye; 10-2 Brandon Puckly, sr, Fort LeBoeuf, 36-7 bye; 10-4 Justin Mitchell, sr., Saegertown, 31-12 bye; 10-3 Nate Stidham, sr., Hickory, 33-6 vs. 9-4 Jacob Troutman, fr., Clarion, 23-6; 9-1 Corey Bush, sr., Ridgway, 31-1 bye.
132 - 10-1 Dylan D'Urso, sr., Reynolds, 33-1 bye; 10-5 Brad Malinowski, so. Fort LeBoeuf, 15-13 vs. 9-2 Garrett Hildebrand, sr., Redbank Valley, 34-5; 9-3 Zach McKnight, jr., Ridgway, 18-10 vs. 10-3 Nick Floch, jr., Jamestown, 33-5; 8-1 Joseph Hockett, sr., Westinghouse, 9-5 bye; 10-2 Matt Bryer, sr., Cochranton, 33-2 bye; 10-6 Trevor McCray, jr., Girard, 33-8 vs. 8-2 Ryan Krause, jr., Langley, 11-13; 9-4 Jimmy Miller, fr., Brookville, 18-15 vs. 10-4 Joey Pagliaroli, jr., Sharpsville, 24-11; 9-1 Jake Keller, sr., Curwensville, 32-2 bye.
138 - 9-1 Brock Zacherl, so., Brookville, 22-1 bye; 9-4 Logan Warnick, jr., Port Allegany, 19-13 vs. 10-4 Riley Smith, sr., Fort LeBoeuf, 36-13; 10-6 Dave Ferrell, sr., Seneca, 24-13 vs. 10-2 Michael Bonner, jr., Sharon, 33-5; 8-1 Antoine Williams, sr., Westinghouse, 10-6 bye; 9-2 Ty Haines, jr., Redbank Valley, 29-10 bye; 9-3 Steve Mitchell, sr., Ridgway, 25-7 vs. 10-3 Cole Cameron, sr., Grove City, 24-7; 10-5 Robert Boozer, so., Cochranton, 32-9 bye; 10-1 Austin Matthews, jr., Reynolds, 42-1 bye.
145 - 10-1 Kody Pace, sr., Fort LeBoeuf, 42-7 bye; 9-2 Slade Horner, sr., Ridgway, 28-4 vs. 10-5 Caleb Peterson, jr., Cochranton, 28-12; 9-4 Sam Colebert, so.., Oswayo Valley, 26-9 vs. 10-3 Justin Rhodes, sr., Reynolds, 23-9; 8-1 Teshan Campbell, fr., Westinghouse, 14-2 bye; 10-2 Joe Hibbler, sr., Seneca, 29-4 bye; 10-6 Xavier Ross, sr., Sharon, 29-7 bye; 9-3 Brodie Zacherl, so., Brookville, 15-6 vs. 10-4 Trey Maher, jr., Grove City, 31-14; 9-1 Evan Delong, so., Kane, 35-1 bye.
152 - 10-1 Cody Copeland, sr., Greenville, 38-0 bye; 9-3 Zach Vroman, so., Brookville, 27-14 vs. 10-5 Alex Shaffer, jr., Mercer, 32-13; 9-2 Tanner Hannold, sr., Keystone, 31-6 vs. 10-6 Jake Parsons, so., Maplewood, 32-10; 8-1 Kyray Houston, so., Oliver, 1-2 bye; 10-2 Kevin Nowakowski, sr., Harbor Creek, 29-8 bye; 10-4 Corey Voorhis, jr., North East, 17-9 bye; 10-3 Taylor Harrington, jr., Fort LeBoeuf, 33-11 vs. 9-4 Sam Kysor, jr., Port Allegany, 24-11; 9-1 Kyle Bova, so., Coudersport, so., 29-2.
160 - 10-1 Randy Perkins, sr., Greenville, 34-4 bye; 9-3 Cole Shirey, jr., Redbank Valley, 34-3 vs. 10-5 Dylan Reynolds, fr., Cambridge Springs, 31-8; 9-2 Kyle Caggiano, sr., Ridgway, 30-2 vs. 10-6 Christian Bock, jr., Girard, 20-19; 8-1 Derrick Caldwell, jr., Langley, 7-10 bye; 10-2 Jordan Bryan, so., North East, 26-9 bye; 10-4 Jason Ondic, sr., Sharon, 33-8 bye; 10-3 Ben BuCher, so., Sharpsville, 36-7 vs. 9-4 Mike Swartwood, sr., Kane, 29-9; 9-1 Brett Smith, sr., Brookville, 34-5 bye.
170 - 10-1 Craig Cihon, sr., Fort LeBoeuf, 41-6 bye; 9-3 Zach Bruce, so., Cranberry, 30-10 vs. 10-6 Austin Andrews, jr., Cochranton, 36-4; 10-4 Ian Anthony, sr., Commodore Perry, 23-12 bye; 9-2 Jake Himes, sr., Ridgway, 32-4 bye; 10-2 Tim Vargo, jr., Union City, 32-5 bye; 9-4 Taylor Cudworth, jr., Brookville, 26-13 vs. 10-5 Jamar Henry, jr., Reynolds, 30-13; 10-3 Weston Stafford, sr., Cambridge Springs, 28-8 bye; 9-1 Alex Gular, jr., Port Allegany, 32-6 bye.
182 - 9-1 Tyler Dombrowski, sr., Brookville, 29-13 bye; 9-4 Jake Wichert, jr., Oswayo Valley, 25-5 vs. 10-4 Trevor Spicer, so., Eisenhower, 29-12; 10-6 Austin Moffett, so., Reynolds, 22-14 vs. 10-2 Kyle Mariacher, sr., Mercer, 7-2; 8-1 Rodjecko Christian, jr., Westinghouse, 10-6 bye; 9-2 Forest Tuttle, so., Coudersport, 20-5 bye; 9-3 Aaron Hook, jr., Redbank Valley, 25-15 vs. 10-3 Tyler Landfried, sr., Greenville, 34-3; 10-5 Joey Hines, jr., Hickory, 37-9 bye; 10-1 Wes Phipps, sr., Grove City, 33-0 bye.
195 - 10-1 Tyler Gentile, sr., Greenville, 32-4 bye; 10-5 Josh Tomiczek, sr., Saegertown, 31-10 vs. 9-2 Aaron Burnside, sr., Cameron County, 25-1; 9-3 Luke Wilson, sr., Oswayo Valley, 18-1 vs. 10-3 Alex Svetz, sr., North East, 22-2; 8-1 Jamir Guinn, jr., Langley, 12-12 bye; 10-2 Shawn Reynolds, sr., Cambridge Springs, 29-6 bye; 10-6 Hayden Rohrbacher, sr., Hickory, 22-11 bye; 9-4 Mark Strothers, so., Redbank Valley, 24-14 vs. 10-4 Jake Johnson, jr., Eisenhower, 29-10; 9-1 Logan Stout, sr., Brookville, 37-4.
220 - 10-1 Cameron Cyphert, jr., Cochranton, 34-1 bye; 9-3 Chad Quail, sr., Ridgway, 25-8 vs. 10-6 Jaykup Durlin, so., Youngsville, 25-8; 10-4 Forrest Christmann, jr., Slippery Rock, 37-2 bye; 9-2 Nick Budd, jr., Port Allegany, 28-6 bye; 10-2 Evan Daley, jr., Fort LeBoeuf, 44-4 bye; 9-4 Jacob Cieleski, sr., Brookville, 25-11 vs. 10-5 Parris Warner, sr., Harbor Creek, 25-12; 10-3 Matt Mongera, sr., Seneca, 23-4 bye; 9-1 Zachary Brinkley, sr., Brockway, 29-3 bye.
285 - 10-1 Jeff Burger, jr., Union City, 34-5 bye; 10-5 Sam Breese, so., Lakeview, 26-7 vs. 9-2 Lee Russell, sr., Cranberry, 31-4; 9-3 Ben Carrillo, so., Redbank Valley, 20-12 vs. 10-3 Branden Stafford, sr., Saegertown, 36-3; 8-1 Kadale Coles, fr., Oliver, 4-3 bye; 10-2 Blake Heim, sr., Reynolds, 38-7 bye; 10-6 Justin East, sr., Cambridge Springs, 35-7 vs. 8-2 Preston Calhoun, sr., Langley, 8-14; 9-4 Brad Stubbs, jr., Curwensville, 12-7 vs. 10-4 Nate Conti, so., Fort LeBoeuf, 30-19; 9-1 Josh Kibbie, sr., Kane, 33-1 bye.