ALTOONA - D.J. Fehlman is right where he wants to be.
The Warren junior recently won his third straight District 10 championship, and he is approaching 100 career wins. But it was a runner-up finish on Saturday at the Northwest Region Class AAA Tournament in Altoona that ensured Fehlman would return to states for the second straight year.
"It means a lot," said Fehlman, who has 98 career wins after a 3-1 weekend. "I've worked so hard this year that I'm glad I've been rewarded with a trip to states. I still have one more week to give everything I have but getting to states is definitely something special."
Warren junior D.J. Fehlman, second from left, finished second at this weekend’s Northwest Region Class AAA Wrestling Tournament in Altoona. The top three in each weight class advanced to the PIAA Tournament, beginning Thursday in Hershey. Fehlman, a three-time District 10 champion with 98 career wins, has qualified for states two straight years.
After advancing to the semifinals on Friday, Fehlman earned a 4-2 decision over State College's Anthony Meyers in the semifinal on Saturday. DuBois' Shae Bloom beat Fehlman, 7-0, in the 126-pound final.
"I felt like a was wrestling strong all weekend long and when I got to the finals I opened myself up and tried a few things that didn't work out," said Fehlman. "But at the end of the day I tried my best and that's all that matters. First place would have been great. But Bloom was a worthy opponent and he was tough. I'm not letting the loss get to me, though. My mindset is still positive going into next week."
After going 0-2 at states last year as a sophomore, Fehlman said he is much more comfortable with where he's at.
"Yes, the experience has made me more comfortable," he said. "And I think this year I will know what to expect going down to Hershey, and have more of a desire to win down at states than last year. Last year I was just happy to be there."
"Down there, it's just a matter of getting it done and making it happen," said Warren coach Glenn Baldensperger. "I know he'd like to have that (Northwest Region) medal - that first-place medal hanging with all of the other ones, but I think the big thing is getting himself a state medal... Nobody asks, 'Hey, were you a regional champ?'
"It's a stepping stone to getting to states," said Baldensperger. "We needed to qualify and that's what we did."
The top three in each weight class advanced to states and, despite three others not advancing, Baldensperger said all three displayed solid wrestling. Senior Cody Gunn (182) has been battling an illness and was eliminated late Friday.
"If I were to say, knowing how banged up (senior) Garrett (Smead, 170 pounds) was and how banged up (junior) Alex (Streich, 220 pounds) was, and they would have two wins and the possibility of getting out, I wouldn't have bet on it," said Baldensperger. "I was pretty pleased with them."
It was Streich's second straight trip to regions.
In Northwest Region Class AA at Sharon High School, Eisenhower sophomore Louie Head (152) won a match in his second straight trip, and Sheffield senior Doug Grubbs (145) did as well in his first trip. Sheffield senior Brian Fries (138) also qualified for regions for the first time, finishing 0-2.
Fehlman is the lone PIAA qualifier from the county.
"Anything can happen at states," said Baldensperger. "Ryan Uber made the (PIAA) semifinals and wasn't picked to get that far."
"Well, I am at 98 wins right now," said Fehlman. "And my plan is to just go down there and have some fun and wrestle tough and if I can get two more wins that's great and 100 wins would be cool. But I really don't think the pressure is going to be an issue. I've put in the time this year and I just need to let the pieces fall into place, hopefully in my favor."
Northwest Region Class AAA
Final team standings
1. General McLane (GM) 133.5; 2. McDowell (McD) 110; 3. Central Mountain (CM) 91; 4. Mifflin County (MC) 90; 5. Philipsburg-Osceola (PO) 68.0; 6. Punxsutawney (Punx) 60; 7. Bellefonte (Bell) 55.5; 8. DuBois (Du) 53.5; 9. Saint Marys (SM) 52.5; 10. Cathedral Prep (CP) 50; 11. Strong Vincent (SV) 48.5; 12. Clearfield (Clear) 46; 13. Shikellamy (Shik) 44.0; State College (SC) 44; 15. Jersey Shore (JS) 40; 16. Selinsgrove 38; 17. Altoona (Alt) 37.5; 18. Titusville (Tv) 36.5; 19. Hollidaysburg (Holl) 33.5; 20. Bald Eagle Area (BEA) 33; 21. Warren (W) 31; 22. Oil City (OC) 23. Meadville (Mv) 23; 24. Williamsport (Will) 21; 25. Allderdice (All) 13; Carrick (C) 13; 27. East (E) 7; 28. Bradford (Br) 4, Central Tech (CT) 4; 30. Obama Academy (OA) 2; 31. Brashear 0, Perry 0.
Individual state qualifiers (top 3)
106: Manley (Alt) d Barzona (CM) 1-0
113: Ehrgott (Mv) d Thompson (PO) 11-4
120: Port (Bell) md Bortoff (CM) 12-4
126: Cline (Clear) d Luben (Mv) 1-0
132: Ciotti (SV) p Long (Holl) 2:41
138: Kauffman (SC) d Watkins (GM) 11-6
145:Swortwood (JS) d Schuckers (Punx) 5-3, OT
152: Jacobson (All) d Sutton (GM) 1-0
160: Laird (GM) d Young (JS) 10-4
170: Caprio (CM) d Starocci (SV) 1-0
182: Spearman (McD) md Taylor (SM) 11-3
195: Pearce (MC) d Lewis (Sel) 10-4
220: Boob (Sel) d Gray (PO) 3-1
285: Verchick (Clear) d Hanley (CM) 4-2, TB
106: Lenox (McD) d Ciotti (SV) 3-0
113: Wheeling (GM) d Huff (Holl) 5-3
120: Gromacki (CP) d Cooley (Will) 7-0
126: Bloom (Du) d Fehlman (W) 7-0
132: Corl (Bell) d Bowers (Punx) 3-1
138: Hidlay (MC) d Young (Punx) 4-2
145: Twitchell (GM) d Probst (CM) 3-1, OT
152: DHollingshead (Alt) d Stewart (MC) 4-2
160: Lee (Tv) d Reese (CM) 3-2
170: Zdarko (OC) d Cousins (McD) 7-2
182: Hartsock (MC) d Lumadue (PO) 3-1
195: Sleigh (Du) tf Laird (GM) 15-0
220: Pepper (Shik) d Mallory (GM) 9-4
285: Augustine (McD) d Fye (BEA) 3-1
Northwest Region Class AA
Individual state qualifiers (top 3)
Team results: 1. Reynolds 147, 2. Brookville 138, 3. Fort LeBoeuf 79, 4. Saegertown 71, 5. Redbank Valley 59, 6. Kane 50, 7. Conneaut 46, 8. Greenville 39, 9. Brockway 37, 10. Jamestown 34, 11. Lakeview 33, 12. North East 23, 13. Corry 22, 14. Cambridge Springs 21, 15. Cochranton 19, 16. Franklin 18, 17. Coudersport 16, 18. Oswayo Valley 15, 19. Sharon 15.
106: Carlson (By) d Bayless (Re) 5-2.
113: Ortz (Bv) p Messai (Ja) 1:39.
120: Carter (FL) d Gruver (RV) 7-6.
126: Blankenship (Ka) d Bartolo (Re) 4-3.
132: Vath (Sa) d Lukowich (Ct) 2-0.
138: Zacherl (Bv) md McGuire (FL) 11-2.
145: Stoyer (Re) d Vroman (Bv) 7-0.
152: Zacherl (Bv) md Boozer (Co) 11-2.
160: Bova (Cp) p Miller (Bv) 1:28.
170: Delong (Ka) d Geer (Fr) 6-2.
182: Reynolds (Sa) inj. def. over Bruce (Cr) 4:32.
195: Morris (Cy) d Stafford (CS) 6-4.
220: Rickert (Re) d Overman (Ct) 8-5.
285: Breese (La) p Carillo (RV) 1:42.
106: Lineman (Gv) d Hancock (Cr) 4-0.
113: Hogue (Re) d Vollmer (PA) 4-0.
120: Wheeler (NW) d Aaron (Bv) 5-1.
126: Altobelli (RV) p Alfreno (Sh) 4:54.
132: Zimmerman (Bv) d Brown (Ka) 5-1.
138: Monico (Sa) d Fish (Se) 5-1 OT.
145: Ellis (Ct) d Humes (Sa) 7-4.
152: Malinowski (FL) d McCollum (Re) 3-2.
160: Colebert (OV) d Gladysz (Gr) 2-1.
171: Millero (Re) d Benson (By) 4-3.
182: Messai (Ja) md Moffett (Re) 12-1.
195: Reinwald (FL) d Spence (La) 3-1 OT.
220: Phelps (NE) d Town (Bv) 11-5.
285: Ringer (Re) d Karsten (CC) 3-1.