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Four county grapplers earn wrestling silver

by on March 15, 2018 10:18 AM

HERSHEY — On March 8, 9 and 10, Centre County high schools sent 11 wrestlers to Hershey's Giant Center to participate in the PIAA championships. Six wrestlers — five from St. Jospeh's and one from Penns Valley —  took part in the AA tournament. Five — three from BEA, one from Philipsburg-Osceola and one from State College — wrestled in the AAA tournament. 

Here are the results from both divisions:

BALD EAGLE AREA

The Eagles wrestling team sent three of their best to Hershey — Seth Koleno (138), Garrett Rigg (145) and Gage McClenahan (152). As a team, Bald Eagle placed seventh in the AAA championship tournament, with 44.5 points.

Koleno and McClenahan both earned second-place honors.

Koleno’s first match ended in a 4-2 victory over Joseph Pecaitis, of Gettysburg. He followed it up with another decision victory, this time a 5-3 win over Parkland’s Zach Ortman.

In his semifinal bout, Koleno took Paul Feite, of Northern York, to overtime, where he pulled out the 3-1 victory. Advancing to the 138-pound final, he then faced Bethlehem Catholic’s Ryan Anderson, who won be technical fall, 20-4 in 4:34.

McClenahan won his first bout by way of decision over Bangor’s Edward Hay, 10-2. That was followed by a technical fall victory over Dillon Sheehy, of Council Rock North, by a score of 18-2 in 3:48.

McClenahan won his semifinal match over West Allegheny’s Ty McGeary by a 7-5 decision, but Scranton’s William Evanitsky got the better of McClenahan in the 152-pound final, winning by a 5-2 decision.

Rigg didn’t place in the 145-pound bracket. His tournament started off with a loss in the first round to Pope John Paul II’s Ryan Vulakh, by a 4-0 decision. In the consolation bracket, Rigg bounced back, earning a major decision victory over Nick Barnhart, of Avon Grove, with a score of 15-3.

In his third bout, Rigg’s weekend was ended by Connor Finkey, of Garden Spot, in a 7-2 decision.

PENNS VALLEY

Baylor Shunk, at 106 pounds, represented the Rams wrestlers in Hershey for the AA championships.

Shunk started his tournament strong, taking the victory over Line Mountain’s Blake Wirt by a 13-4 major decision in the preliminary round. He then fell to Reynolds’ Gary Steen in his next bout by a 7-0 decision.

Shunk’s weekend ended in the consolation bracket, when Blake Showers, of Biglerville, pinned him in 3:44.

PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA

Matt Johnson (152) was the only Mountie present in Hershey for the AAA championships, and he won his first bout by a 7-2 decision over Spring-Ford’s Ben D’Arcangelo in the preliminaries.

Johnson lost to Clayton Ulrey, of Lower Dauphin, by pinfall in 2:19 in his second matchup. His tournament ended in the consolation round, when Pine-Richland’s Cole Spencer defeated him by a 4-2 decision.

ST. JOSEPH'S ACADEMY

The Wolves led Centre County in wrestler representation at the state tournament, sending five grapplers to Hershey. As a team, St. Joe’s tied for fourth, with 48 points.

Caleb Dowling led the Wolves with a second-place finish in the 138-pound weight class. He started his journey through the tournament with a pin in only 23 seconds, followed by a 13-4 major decision victory and a 5-0 decision victory to make it to the semifinals, where he defeated Bloomsburg’s Matthew Milbrand, 7-2, for another decision victory.

Dowling’s run came to an end against Cole Matthews, of Reynolds, with a 5-2 decision loss.

Zack Witmer earned fifth place in the 120-pound weight class. Starting with an 8-0 major decision victory in Round 1, he continued his form in the quarterfinals with a 6-0 decision win over Andrew Ischo, of Reynolds.

Witmer fell in the semifinals to Jaret Lane, of Southern Columbia, by a 6-0 decision. Witmer and Ischo met again in the fifth-place bout; Witmer took their second meeting, as well, with a 2-0 decision victory.

Amonn Ohl placed sixth in the 106-pound weight class. An 8-6 decision victory over Blake Showers from Biglerville started his tournament, but Ohl's championship run ended in the quarterfinals as Reynolds' Gary Steen took a 7-3 victory.

Ohl won his next two bouts, taking a 12-7 decision and a 12-11 decision victory. His final two matchups didn’t go as well, as he fell 2-0 to Quaker Valley’s Conner Redinger, which sent him to the fifth-place match. There, Ohl lost by a 5-3 decision to Benton’s Gable Strickland.
Evan Courts, at 145 pounds, didn’t qualify for the championship bracket after he fell to Pequea Valley’s Gabe Miller by an 8-0 major decision. In the consolation bracket, Courts won his first bout by a 13-4 major decision over Benton’s Colton Babcock, before falling in his second match to Slippery Rock’s Mikey Doeflinger in a 3-0 decision. 

St. Joe's 132-pound Jacob Powers lost his first bout to Joseph Klock, of Muncy, by way of pinfall in 1:38. Bouncing back, he took his first victory over Athens’ Chris Horton with a 13-5 major victory. His tournament ended, though, when Zach Rupp, of Upper Dauphin, took the 7-3 decision victory.

STATE COLLEGE

Cole Urbas, weighing in at 195 pounds, was the lone Little Lion wrestler at the Giant Center's AAA state tournament.

Urbas looked dominant in his first three bouts, which sent him to the finals. He opened his tournament run with a 15-0 tech fall in 5:58 over Indiana’s Alex Donahue, followed by two pins over Mitchell Talboot, of Central Dauphin, in 1:32 and Nate Ansell, of Connellsville, in 1:57.

Clearfield’s Luke McGonigal ended Urbas’ streak with a pin in 1:37.

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