Jaquay, Head advance to states

Eisenhower’s Logan Jaquay (left) and Spencer Head will compete at the PIAA wrestling championships in Hershey, beginning today.

SHARON – Logan Jaquay and Spencer Head are heading to Hershey!

The duo of Eisenhower Knights punched their tickets via third and fourth place finishes respectively at 106 and 152 at the Class 2A Northwest Regional at Sharon High School on Saturday.

Both wrestlers, after advancing to the semifinals on Friday, had their sights set on a potential regional championship, but instead found their paths blocked by Reynolds’ Gary Steen and Conneaut’s Payton Hearn.

Jaquay and Steen, who met back at the District 10 team duals (a 6-4 decision for Steen), squared off again with a similar result, with a 6-2 win for Steen.

Head, meanwhile, dropped a heartbreaking 3-2 decision to Hearn to also drop into the consolation semis.

Still needing a win to get to states (AA takes the top four in NW), both came up clutch.

Jaquay was dominant against North East junior Caiden Eastman, earning a pin late in the second period to secure his spot.

“Logan is one of our hardest workers,” said Eisenhower assistant coach Denny Johnson.

“Coming back through and taking third, he totally dominated the match after he got beat.”

Not long after, Head met a familiar foe in Sharpsville’s Cameron Prebble. Like their previous matchups, this one also went the way of the Eisenhower senior, as earned a 12-7 decision to join his teammate Jaquay in earning trip to states.

Jaquay battled Smethport’s Bryent Johnson, who earned a 7-2 decision in his consolation semifinal to advance, with Jaquay besting the D-9 champ 5-0.

Head, meanwhile, met another District 10 foe in his consolation final, Fort LeBoeuf’s Trenton Pace. And while Pace won via a 3-0 decision, Head already knew he was moving on.

“Spencer lost a tough one in the semifinals,” Johnson said. “It was one of those deals where a couple calls went one way, could have went the other. He really had to find a way to come back after that, because that was a heartbreaking loss.”

Head’s brother, Garrett, fell in his first consolation match of the day, 8-2 against Port Allegany’s Isaac Smoker, while Joey Bauer also lost to Cochranton’s Dalton Boozer, 11-0. Those two wrapped up very good seasons, as did Youngsville’s Mason Benjamin, whose season also came to a close with a pin fall loss to Mercer’s Bobby Gregory.

The PIAA championships begin Thursday and run through Saturday.

Jaquay (34-5) will meet Benton’s Gable Strickland (28-9), while Head (32-7) squares off with Northern Lebanon’s Stevie Herb (42-11) in their respective opening matches in Hershey.

“Once you get down there, anything can happen,” Johnson said. “It speaks to where we’re headed as a program. We’re trying to get better every year. This year, being first time to district duals and being ranked in the state, we’re setting a tone for the future.”