Still alive

Ike’s Head, Jaquay go 1-1, need two more wins to medal

Logan Jaquay earned a first period pin at 113 in Eisenhower's road win at Iroquois on Wednesday.

HERSHEY – Both Spencer Head and Logan Jaquay had mixed results on the first day of the PIAA State Wrestling tournament at the Giant Center.

Each went 1-1 Thursday, but the most important thing is both Eisenhower Knights are still alive to wrestle today. Both Jaquay (106) and Head (152) have second round matches in the consolation bracket.

“They were getting their feet wet today. Trying to find out if they were supposed to be here,” Eisenhower coach Kris Black said. “Both realized they were.”

Head won his preliminary round match with an 8-4 decision over Northern Lebanon’s Stephen Herb. His reward was a first round match against defending state champion and nationally ranked Justin McCoy of Chestnut Ridge. McCoy came away with an 11-1 major decision, but Head was able to gain some confidence despite the setback.

“He realized he’s not out of the ball game,” Black said. “A returning state champ, especially in Pennsylvania, you know he’s going to be good. Spence realized he was in a tough match, but it wasn’t an unattainable feat. It was good for his confidence level.”

Head earned a bye into the second consolation round where he will face Muncy’s Noah Gush (36-15).

“He understands what’s ahead of him,” Black said. “He’s sitting in a decent spot and being a senior, the urgency might be a bit more.”

Jaquay took a bit of a different path to get to the second consolation round. He had a bye into the first round, but dropped an 8-1 decision to Benton’s Gable Strickland to drop to the consolation bracket. The match gave Jaquay a taste of what he can expect from the competition.

“Logan gave up a quick two and he was trying to make something happen to get those points back,” Black said. “He was aggressive where maybe being more patient might have helped. But he’s the type of kid that goes and has a big motor.”

The aggressiveness paid off in his first round consolation match as Jaquay decked Line Mountain’s Blake Wirt early in the third period.

“To come back and dominate the kid the way he did was good,” Black said. “He was up big before the pin. He’s got a good feel for it now.”

Action begins at 9 a.m. again today. Both wrestlers must win two more matches to earn a medal and Black said they’ll know early in the day where they stand.

“We’re down to the last chip,” Black said. “We’ll know tomorrow morning where we’re at. If we’re wrestling Friday night, that’s a good thing.

“Standing on that podium,” he continued. “That’s a good way to end your season. Got to win two tomorrow.”

Live updates of Friday’s action can be found at