By Scott Shindledecker
HERSHEY, Pa. — Punxsutawney’s Kaleb Young kicked off his pursuit of a state championship with a first-period pin at the PIAA Class AAA Championships Thursday at the Giant Center in Hershey.
The Chucks senior 160-pounder took a 33-0 record into Thursday’s first-round match with Bangor junior Jesse Rocco and he didn’t need much time in adding to his win total with a fall in 1:39.
Young’s quarterfinal round opponent is Pennridge sophomore Josh Stillings (41-7). Stillings beat Penn Manor junior Jonah Barley, 9-6, in the first round. Young is one of two returning state medalists in the bracket. Young placed fourth at 152 pounds a year ago.
The other returning medalist is Lower Dauphin senior Bailey Shutt and he edged Jersey Shore’s Hadyn Swartwood in the lower half of the bracket.
Two of the three other D-9 wrestlers are still alive in the consolations after Thursday’s action.
DuBois Beavers freshman Dalton Woodrow (34-6) dropped a 5-2 decision to Penn Trafford freshman Nick Coy (34-9) in the first round at the 113-pound weight class. Coy won a preliminary match, 3-1, to advance to face Woodrow.
Woodrow’s defeat dropped him into the second round consolations where he will wrestle Nazareth sophomore Ryan O’Grady (32-15). O’Grady lost a 3-2 decision to Central Dauphin’s Chris Wright in the first round, but came back with a 5-2 win over Dover senior Brandon Rodriguez to set up a match against Woodrow.
For Clearfield’s Luke McGonigal, he is alive in the consolation round while teammate Travis Ogden lost both his matches Thursday and is done.
For McGonigal, a sophomore, he lost his preliminary match, 10-5, to Penn Trafford junior Matt McGillick. But the Bison 170-pounder rebounded well with a 10-1 major decision over Boyertown sophomore Elijah Jones.
McGonigal will take on Greater Latrobe senior Jake Shaffer in the second round consolations. Shaffer won a major decision, then lost a major decision to fall to the consy matches.
Ogden, a senior, saw his career come to a close with a 37-4 record. In the first round, Ogden fell to Upper St. Clair junior Eli Grape, 6-3, in the first round at 195 pounds. In the wrestle back, Ogden lost 16-4 to Dallastown junior Bryce Shields.
Friday’s schedule includes quarterfinals and second round consolations at 2:15 p.m., followed by third round consolations at 5.