Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Six local grapplers win District 6 titles

entre County wrestling teams did very well in their respective District 6 tournaments on back-to-back days at the Altoona Fieldhouse.

State College not only won the team title of District 6 Class 3A Tournament on Friday, but coach Ryan Cummins was also named Coach of the Year and 132-pounder Pierson Manville was voted the Outstanding Wrestler.

Penns Valley won the team title at the Section 2 Tournament at Bald Eagle Area and finished second by 16.5 points to Forest Hills in the team standings at the District 6 Class 2A Tournament.

Here’s a closer look at both tournaments:

CLASS 3A TOURNAMENT

State College and Bellefonte combined for four District 6 Class 3A champions (two apiece), nine runners-up and 13 qualifiers for Saturday’s Northwest Regional tournament at the Altoona Fieldhouse.

The Little Lions won the team title 31.5 points, 172-140.5, over Central Mountain. Bellefonte, which went undefeated during the regular season, finished third with 133.5 points.

Senior Carson Manville won the 189-pound title, while teammates Owen Woolcott (126), Carter Weaverling

(152), Lance Urbas (172), Ty Price (215) and Harrison Schoen (285) finished second.

“I think we did really well,” Cummins said. “I’m really proud of the guys’ effort. The guys in the consolations came back hard.”

Bellefonte’s Lane Aikey (120) and Ethan Richner (160) claimed titles, while Garrett Choates (106), Aidan O’Shea

(113) and Ethan Rossman (189) joined Swisher as runners-up.

“I think we got off to a slow start and never really got our momentum going,” Bellefonte coach Mike Maney said. “In this tournament with seven teams, every match is important. I think our guys are capable of wrestling better.”

Only the top two wrestlers at every weight class advanced to the regional tournament.

Manville, who went 3-0 with a pin and an 18-1 technical fall in the semifinals, had arguably the best weekend of the Centre County wrestlers. The 15-1 freshman earned a 2-1 finals win over Bellefonte’s Jude Swisher, the returning district champ and state fourth-placer.

Swisher, who gave Manville his only loss, 10-6, earlier this season, held a 1-0 leading into the third period. Manville received a stalling point at the 1:28 mark to tie the score and then escaped with 23 seconds left to win. Manville pumped his fists in celebration.

“That was a huge win for him,” Cummins said. “He lost earlier in the year to him, and he’s been waiting and training hard to come back. He did a terrific job and did everything he needed to do to win. Jude’s a tough kid, and we’ll probably see him a few more times maybe.”

“Both are really good guys,” Maney said. “Jude wasn’t as aggressive as he usually is and kind of slowed him down. The stall call is what it is. I guess when you put it in the ref’s hands, it’s tough. I think he’s going to be better because of it, and we’re looking forward to getting back at it.”

Carson Manville breezed to the finals with pins in 13 seconds and 31 seconds. In the finals, he earned a 5-4 decision over Rossman, a returning district and regional champ.

“He did a really nice job,” Cummins said. “He’s had a really short season, so we’re working on his conditioning a bit. He’s a gamer. He did everything he had to do to win. I’m happy for him.”

Manville nailed two takedowns in the first 1:03 of the bout and held a 5-2 lead in the third period before Rossman took him down to set the final score.

Aikey beat Central Mountain’s Zane Cooper, 7-0, in the semifinals before earning a 10-2 major decision over Altoona’s Caleb Fasick in the finals.

“It was Lane’s first action back after being out all season with injuries and things,” Maney said. “I was excited to see him get back on the mat. I think he’s going to continue to get better and better each week.”

Richner needed only 13 seconds put away his semifinal opponent with a pin. And then he pinned Hollidaysburg’s returning state qualifier Campbell Walls in 3:05 in the finals.

State College’s Bailey Weaverling (120) and Kyle Martin (145) finished third, while Jacob Campbell (113) and William Tennity

(138) placed fourth.

Bellefonte’s Nathan Smith (126), Gage Long (145), Stephen Ivicic (172) and Addison Shawley (285) finished fourth.

CLASS 2A TOURNAMENT

Led by Malachi Duvall’s 172-pound title at last Saturday’s Class 2A tournament, Penns Valley advanced four wrestlers to the rugged Southwest Regional Tournament, which starts at 8 a.m. this Saturday at IUP.

The Rams had other qualifiers in second-placer Ben Sharer (285) and third-placers Justin Darlington (126) and Ty Watson (132). Dristen Wolfe (152) finished fourth, but only the top three at every weight classed advanced to regionals.

“We don’t really talk about it,” Penns Valley coach Joel Brinker said of the team finish. “I just tell the guys just go as hard as we can. Wherever that falls it falls. It’s nice to get the accolades as they came, but don’t focus on it. I’m very happy taking second.”

Bald Eagle Area’s Coen Bainey (113) was the only other district champion.

Bald Eagle Area (64.5 points) and Philipsburg-Osceola (61 points) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the teams standings.

The area teams qualified 13 wrestlers to the regional tournament.

BEA had two runners-up in Lucas Fye

(106) and Cooper Gilham (126). Brady Proctor (172) finished in fourth place.

P-O had no champions, but it had a runner-up in Hunter Weitoish (160) and four regional qualifiers. Marcus Gable (120), Austin Foster (138) and Parker Moore (215) placed third as the Mounties went 3-for-3 in the consolation finals.

St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy had two runners-up in Zack Witmer (132) and Amonn Ohl (138).

Duvall, a two-time state placer, recorded three first-period pins in winning his second district title and first since his freshman year at St. Joseph’s. Duvall pinned Glendale’s Suds Dubler in 1:47 in the finals.

“He’s on a mission this year,” Brinker said. “He’s just wrestling at a very high level. He should be in the thick of things in Hershey for sure.”

Bainey also pinned his way through the tournament, including a fall in 3:09 over Penn Cambria’s Trent Hoover in the finals. Interestingly enough, Coen’s cousin Landon Bainey of West Branch won the 106-pound title with a 7-5 win over Fye. Landon is coached by his dad, Jason Bainey.

Gilham recorded a pin and technical fall to get to the finals, where he dropped a 3-0 decision to Forest Hills’ Easton Toth.

Weitoish had a pin in 2:25 in the quarterfinals, a 7-0 win in the semis and then lost to Forest Hills’ Ryan Weyandt, 7-2, in the finals.

Ohl, who had two second-period pins, may have been involved in the most entertaining finals bout. He dropped a 5-3 decision to Glendale two-time state champion Brock McMillen.

McMillen suffered a badly cut lip and used up much of his 5:00 of blood time. Both Ohl and McMillen fought off usually effective offensive shots with funk rolls and acrobatic maneuvers.

Ohl took a 1-0 lead into the third period and he nearly caught McMillen on his back early in the period during one of his rolls. But McMillen reversed him to his back for five points and a 5-1 lead.

Ohl reversed with 8 seconds left, but McMillen avoided any more danger to win his third district title.

Witmer had a technical fall, a 14-2 major decision and then was pinned by Forest Hills’ 2019 state champion Jackson Arrington in 4:30. Arrington was voted the Outstanding Wrestler after winning his third title.

Sharer reached the finals with a 9-2 decision a pin in 1:44. He was pinned by Marion Center’s Marvin Beatty in 56 seconds in the finals.

“This was his seventh match or something since the fourth grade,” Brinker said, “and he’s in the district finals his very first year in high school. So that’s pretty neat.”