Polls and rankings are not an exact science in any sport for determining who’s good or who will succeed once the postseason rolls around.
(Photo of Redbank Valley 145-pounder Ethan Wiant. Photo by Mike Maslar)
This is especially true in wrestling, where preseason polls and early-season rankings primarily take into account performance during the previous year, are frequently not mindful of potential in- and out-of-season weight class changes, and try to extrapolate from a limited data set.
Now that the midseason is about here, however, they do start to give more of an educated estimate of who might make some noise once the run-up to Hershey begins. That isn’t to say there won’t be sleepers, some grapplers who will put it all together at the right time in late February and early March, but they are nonetheless a barometer of the emerging state of affairs.
With the above in mind, presented below is a compilation and summary of the most recent District 9-relevant Class 2A (Jan. 9) and Class 3A (Jan. 8) rankings as proffered by PA Power Wrestling, a media outlet devoted exclusively to amateur wrestling in the state.
By examining this information one starts to gain an appreciation of who in the area is garnering recognition and how highly they are regarded by people “in the know.”
For context, it is important to remember that in Class 2A four district wrestlers in which weight class advance to the NW Regional Tournament, where they will compete with grapplers from District 10 to be one of the quartet who advance to states. With regard to 3A, wrestlers from both District 9 and District 4 compete for one of the five spots per weight that make it to regionals. From the NW Regional Tournament, which includes District 6 and District 8, three grapplers in which weight class move on to Hershey.
2A: The 106-pound weight class features two state-ranked wrestlers, both freshman. Wyatt Shaffer (16-5) of Johnsonburg comes in at 23rd and Cole Bish (19-1) of Redbank Valley at 25th. Shaffer is ranked fourth in the NW Region, with Bish fifth. A quartet of sophomores are also regionally ranked; Port Allegany’s Chase Weimer (10-3) in sixth, Kane’s Alex Bechakas (9-4) in seventh, Brookville’s Logan Oakes (5-4) in eighth, and Curwensville’s Jake Carfley (13-4) in ninth.
3A: No district 106-pounders are ranked statewide or regionally. Clearfield freshman Evan Davis (11-6) comes the closest, being recognized with Honorable Mention status in the NW Region.
2A: Port Allegany’s Bryent Johnson (13-1), a senior, is the highest state-ranked 113-pounder in the district, holding down the fourth spot. Cayden Walter (17-2), a Brookville junior, is ranked 12th in the state. Johnson is second in the regional poll and Walter’s third. Also ranked in the NW Region are sophomore Ridge Cook (16-4) of Redbank Valley at nine and freshman Isaak Johnson (10-4) of Kane at 10.
3A: No grapplers from the district have cracked the state or regional rankings at 113 pounds so far this season.
2A: Like the preceding two weight classes, 120 pounds is highlighted by two wrestlers who’ve garnered state rankings. Brookville sophomore Owen Reinsel (19-2) is 13th in the state and second in the NW Region. Brockway’s Mark Palmer (4-3), also a sophomore, is 23rd in the state and fifth in the region. Scott Fuller (14-3), a Port Allegany junior, is positioned in 10th on the NW Region poll.
3A: Cranberry’s Carter Stanley (14-1), a senior, is the 23rd ranked 120-pounder in the state. He is ranked third in the NW Region. Clearfield sophomore Nolan Barr (9-6) is the recipient of regional Honorable Mention recognition.
2A: Only one of the district’s 125-pounders has garnered state recognition at this point in the season. Braedon Johnson (12-4) of Port Allegany is 14th in Pennsylvania. He is ranked second in the NW region. Other regionally ranked wrestlers are Brookville freshman Brayden Kunselman (17-3) at eight, Kane sophomore Harley Morris (9-4) at nine, and Redbank Valley junior Trenten Rupp (8-6) at 12.
3A: Ben Skarbek (8-4), a Punxsutawney sophomore, is the most highly regarded of the district’s 126-pounders, being ranked seventh in the NW Region.
2A: Brockway senior Anthony Glasl’s, 19-0 at this point in the season, holds down the second position in the state ranking of 132-pounders and is first in the NW Region. Nolan Shaffer (20-1), a Johnsonburg junior, is 25th in the state and ninth in the region. Others ranked in the NW Region poll are senior Gary Emerick (16-2) of Ridgway in 11th, junior Isaiah Caden (17-5) of Port Allegany in 12th, and junior Dalton Bish (16-4) of Redbank Valley in 13th.
3A: DuBois senior Trenton Donahue (16-4) is ranked fifth in the state and second in the region. Two sophomores, Clearfield’s Karson Kline (11-5) and St. Marys’s Lane Dellaquilla (5-10), are NW Region Honorable Mention recipients at 132 pounds.
2A: Eli Petruzzi (14-2), a senior at Port Allegany, is the district’s only state-ranked 138-pounder, coming in at 24th. He is ranked third in the NW Region, with Johnsonburg junior Dalton Stahli (16-4) in fourth and Redbank Valley sophomore Kris Shaffer (10-2) in 13th.
3A: While no district wrestlers have a state ranking at 138 pounds, two are included in the NW Region poll; Chandler Ho (14-6), a DuBois junior, is at four and Brett Thompson (8-3), a Bradford sophomore, at eight.
2A: There are currently two undefeated 145-pounders in the district, both seniors. Ethan Wiant (19-0) of Redbank Valley is eighth in the state, second in the NW Region, and Zack Holland (15-0) of Curwensville is 25th in the state, fifth in the region. Three others have spots in the regional poll; Kane senior Lane Hillard (7-3) at eight, Port Allegany senior Montgomery Tanner (16-5) at 10, and Johnsonburg freshman Kaden Dennis (16-5) at 14.
3A: Though none of the district’s 145-pounders is state-ranked, two are regionally recognized. DuBois’s Austin Mitchell (9-7), a sophomore, is ranked third in the NW Region and St. Marys’s Gregory Tettis (11-5), a senior, is fourth.
2A: Aiden Zimmerman (20-2) of Johnsonburg has the highest ranking of the three district freshmen who have cracked the state polls, coming in 14th at 152 pounds. He is ranked third regionally. Ridgway’s Jacob Wickett (15-4), a senior, is ranked 24th in the state and fourth in the NW Region. Joining Zimmerman and Wickett in the regional rankings are Oswayo Valley senior Colton Geitler (9-3) at five, Coudersport junior Thomas Wilson (11-3) at eight, and Brookville senior Wyatt Kulick (14-5) at 11.
3A: Ed Scott (18-0), a state champion last year, shows no sign of a letdown. The DuBois senior’s undefeated streak continues from last season (39-0 then) and he has already won several prestigious high school tournaments. The 152-pounder is ranked first in the NW Region and state. Tyler Herzing (6-4), a senior at St. Marys, is ranked third in the NW Region.
2A: Two district juniors have achieved state rankings in the 160-pound class; Cole Casilio (21-1) of Johnsonburg and Noah Bash (16-2) of Brockway, 11th and 12th, respectively. Bash (second) actually has a higher regional ranking than Casilio (third). Joining Bash and Cailio in the regional rankings is fellow junior Wyatt Griffin (8-3) of Brookville, who occupies the tenth spot.
3A: At 13-2 Clearfield sophomore Mark McGonigal is the eighth-ranked 160-pounder in the state. He occupies the second spot in the NW Regional poll. Senior Johnny Wittman (14-7) of St. Marys is ranked seventh regionally, while Gauge Gulvas (12-7), a DuBois senior, has earned Honorable Mention recognition.
2A: Three 170-pounders from the district have earned state rankings, the highest being undefeated Kane senior Cameron Whisner (12-0) at fourth. Junior Jake McCracken (14-3) of Curwensville is ranked 20th, while fellow junior Isaac Zimmerman (18-4) of Johnsonburg is 24th. Regionally Whisner is ranked first, McCracken seventh, and Zimmerman eighth. Also ranked in the NW Region poll are a pair of freshmen, Brookville’s Jackson Zimmerman (10-5) in 10th and Seth Stewart of Johnsonburg in 11th.
3A: Derek Sunafrank (10-2), a Bradford senior, is the only state-ranked 170-pounder from the district, coming in at 22nd. He is fifth in the NW Region poll, with Clearfield’s Hayden Kavalick (11-6), a sophomore sixth.
2A: Like 170 pounds, the 182-pound weight class also has three grapplers who have garnered state recognition at this point in the season. Senior Teddy Race (13-1) of Kane is ninth in the state poll, junior Ethan Finch (11-1) of Sheffield 10th, and senior Tyler Watts (18-3) of Johnsonburg 23rd. Regionally Race is fourth, Finch is fifth, and Watts is eighth. Elliot Park (15-7), a Brookville junior, is ranked ninth in the NW Region and another junior, Dalton Distrola of Port Allegany, is 11th.
3A: None of the district’s 182-pounders have earned a state ranking yet, though they are regionally recognized. Junior Garrett Starr (11-7) of DuBois is third in the NW Region poll and freshman Waylon Wehler (13-5) is eighth.
2A: Redbank Valley junior Aiden Gardner (15-4) has the highest state ranking of the district’s 195-pounders, holding down the 12th spot. He is joined in the state poll by sophomore Bryce Rafferty (7-4) of Brookville, who is ranked 25th. In the NW Region poll Gardner is fifth, Rafferty 11th, Port Allegany junior Derek Kallenborn (12-5) 12th, and Johnsonburg sophomore Camron Marciniak (17-3) 13th.
3A: Two District 9 195-pounders, both juniors, have earned statewide recognition. Punxsutawney’s Garrett Eddy is 24th (8-4) with Jeremy Garthwaite (18-3) of St. Marys right behind at 25th. In the NW Region Eddy is ranked second, Garthwaite third, and junior Seth Yeager (12-3) of Cranberry eighth.
2A: Four District 9 wrestlers are ranked in the top 20 among the state’s 220-pounders. Eric Johnson (19-0), a Brockway senior, is the only one of the four ranked in the top 10, coming in at sixth. Brookville’s Nathan Taylor (19-3) is 13th, Port Allegany’s Justin Young (10-3) 17th, and Coudersport’s Cale Ayers (12-0) 18th. Taylor, Young, and Ayers are all juniors. Regionally each member of the quartet is ranked in the top 10, with Johnson first, Taylor fourth, Young fifth, and Ayers sixth.
3A: Oliver Billotte (14-2) is the only state-ranked 220-pounder in the district. The Clearfield sophomore is ranked 12th statewide and fifth in the NW Region. St. Marys’s freshman Alex Lukachunis (11-8) is eighth regionally.
2A: Returning state champion Colby Whitehill (18-0), a Brookville senior, is the top ranked heavyweight in both the NW Region and the state. He is joined in the state rankings by Kane sophomore Shawn Nystrom (9-4), who is 16th. Nystrom is ranked fourth in the NW Region. Freshman Gavin Thompson (14-6) of Brockway is eighth regionally, junior Jacob Kunselman (16-5) of Rigdway ninth, and junior Kobe Bonanno (12-3) of Ridgway 10th.
3A: DuBois’s Alex O’Harah (15-5), a senior, is ranked fifth in the NW Region. No other regional 285-pounders have yet garnered state or regional recognition.
* won/loss records are those reported to PA-Wrestling.com as of Sunday, Jan. 12