UNION CITY - The opening night of the District 10 Class AA Section 1 Tournament at Union City Area High School had its share of ups and downs, especially where Warren County is concerned.
Members of the Eisenhower Knights and Youngsville Eagles had their share of setbacks, but also will send a combined eight wrestlers to the championship semifinal round scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
The Knights have five wrestlers in the semifinals, including senior Jeb Fedorchuk at 126 pounds, sophomore Tyler Gourley at 132 pounds, freshman Louie Head at 145 pounds, senior Jake Johnson at 195 pounds and senior Dylan Raines at heavyweight.
Still in the hunt for a section title for the Eagles are 138-pound sophomore Aaron Hoover, 182-pound junior Stone Sivak and 220-pound junior Jaykup Durlin.
Wrestlers must finish in the top four of their respective weight classes to advance to next weekend's District 10 Class AA Championships at Sharon Area High School.
It was a short night for many of the Eisenhower wrestlers that advanced to the semifinals. One wrestler - Head - advanced to the 145-pound semifinals against Iroquois' Jacob Kruize without even taking the mat. Head received a bye straight into the semis.
Fedorchuk was another Ike grappler that didn't take long to advance, tech falling Corry's Mark May by a score of 17-2. Up next for Fedorchuk is North East's Adam Ballew.
Gourley, Johnson and Raines all needed to survive intense, close matches to cement their spots in the round of four. Gourley held off Corry's Jake Bickerstaff, 5-3, to set up a semifinal showdown with Seneca's Adam Fish. Fish, a freshman, is 27-4 this season and is the top seed in the tournament.
Johnson (23-5) needed overtime to hold off the charge of Fort LeBoeuf's Garrett Reinwald. Johnson's 4-3 overtime win moves him one step closer to a fourth consecutive trip to the district level. A victory over Corry's Ryan Morris in the semifinals would secure that trip.
Two county wrestlers provided one of the most dramatic bouts of the night in the heavyweight quarterfinals. Ike's Raines and Youngsville's Austin Slocum battled deep into overtime before Raines emerged with a 2-1 overtime, rideout victory. With the win, Raines will face top-seeded Jeff Burger of Union City (20-1) in Saturday's semifinals.
"Those close matches right at the end of the night could really provide a shot in the arm for the rest of the weekend," said Ike coach Kiel Woodburn. "Jake and Dylan both had to go all the way into triple overtime and they found a way to suck it up and win matches they needed to have.
"Hopefully we feed off that tomorrow. No matter what it takes, we need to finish among the top four. If we can do that we get a clean slate and a new tournament next week at districts."
A year after advancing to regionals as a freshman, Eagles sophomore Aaron Hoover is locked into the semifinals in his 138-pound weight class. Hoover topped Eisenhower's Graham Johnson, 7-0, in the quarterfinals and will try to reach the final when he faces Seneca's Chris Hibbler in the semifinals.
A pair of Youngsville juniors are also in the semifinals after Friday's competition. Sivak built a nice lead in his 182-pound match before pinning Corry's Alex Suydan at the 4:45 mark of the bout. Up next for Sivak is Union City's Cody Thomas.
Like Eisenhower's Head, Youngsville's Durlin also had the day off Friday, receiving a bye into the semis. Durlin will battle former teammate Tim Suydan of Corry on Saturday morning with a trip to the finals on the line.
Wrestling resumes at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. The Parade of Champions is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. with the Championship Finals and Consolation Finals scheduled for 6 p.m.
District 10 Class AA Section 1 Tournament
at Union City Area High School
Friday's results (county matches)
Team standings: 1. Saegertown (S) 48, 2. Fort LeBoeuf (FL) 27, 3. Corry (C) 20, 4. Union City (UC) 19.5, 5. Seneca (S) 18, 6. Harbor Creek (HC) 16, 7. North East (NE) 16, 8. Eisenhower (E) 15.5, 9. Iroquois (I) 6, 10. Youngsville (Y) 6.
120: Emilio Thomas (I) p. Alex Wolcott (E), 0:53
126: Mark May (C) md. Chandler Flinn (Y), 14-2
106: Devin Brown (S) p. Julian Colwell (E), 0:20; Dustin Weilacher (UC) p. Hayden Victor (Y), 3:42
113: Bingbong Elizon (S) d. Steven Haner (E), 5-3
120: Jonathan Hammond (C) d. Chester Ciukaj (Y), 7-1
126: Jeb Fedorchuk (E) tf. Mark May (C), 17-2, 2:11
132: Tyler Gourley (E) d. Jake Bickerstaff (C), 5-3
138: Aaron Hoover (Y) d. Graham Johnson (E), 7-0
145: Aaron Jackson (S) p. Tristin Gibson (Y), 0:33; Louie Head (E) BYE
152: Lance Neuschler (S) p. Robbie Wilston (E), 2:57; Kodi Skarzenski (NE) p. Kris Wilcox (Y), 2:26
160: Andrew Boylan (S) p. Zach Ishman (Y), 1:07
182: Stone Sivak (Y) p. Alex Suydan (C), 4:45
195: Jake Johnson (E) d. Garrett Reinwald (FL), 4-3, OT
220: Jaykup Durlin (Y) BYE
285: Dylan Raines (E) d. Austin Slocum (Y), 2-1, OT, rideout
120: Cristian Fernandez (UC) md. Alex Wolcott (E), 11-2
126: Alex Locco-Neilsen (HC) p. Chandler Flinn (Y), 1:12