SHARON, Pa. – Six District 9 wrestlers won Regional titles at the Class 2A Northwest Regional Championship at Sharon High School Saturday, including three from Brookville and one each from Brockway, Redbank Valley and Kane.
(Photo of Redbank Valley’s Ethan Wiant, who won at 145 pounds. Photo by Kenn Staub)
Earning titles for Brookville were Cayden Walter at 106 pounds, Nathan Taylor at 220 pounds and Colby Whitehill at 285 pounds. Anthony Glasl won Brockway’s title at 132 points, Ethan Wiant took home Redbank Valley’s championship at 145 pounds and Teddy Race secured Kane’s title at 170 pounds.
Anthony Glasl of Brockway (132 pounds), Redbank Valley’s Ethan Wiant (145 pounds), and Teddy Race of Kane (170 pounds) will also be representing District 9 in Hershey as regional champions.
Four other District 9 wrestlers reached the finals but suffered losses, including Brookville’s Owen Reinsel (113 pounds), Curwensville’s Zach Holland (138 pounds), Johnsonburg’s Aiden Zimmerman (152 pounds) and Cole Casilio (160 pounds), and Kane’s Cameron Whisner of East Forest(182 pounds).
Overall, Brookville had five state qualifiers, Johnsonburg, and Brockway three each Kane, Port Allegany, and Redbank Valley two, and Curwensville and Sheffield one each.
Winning their consolation finals to claim the third step of the podium were freshman Brayden Kunselman of Brookville (120 pounds), Bryent Johnson and Braedon Johnson of Port Allegany – both from Smethport – (113 pounds and 126 pounds, respectively), Ethan Finch of Sheffield (182 pounds), and Eric Johnson of Brockway (195 pounds). This is the second consecutive year Eric Johnson, a three-time District 9 champion, has finished third, while Bryent Johnson, a senior, will be going to states for a second time, having qualified as a sophomore. His younger brother Braedon, a junior, is also making a second consecutive trip to the state event. Juniors Finch and Eric Johnson are both going to states for the second year in a row as well.
Qualifying for the state tournament by virtue of finishing fourth were Johnsonburg’s Dalton Stahli (138 pounds), Brockway’s Noah Bash (160 pounds), and Redbank Valley’s Kobe Bonanno (285 pounds). Stahli, Bash, and Bonanno are all juniors and each will be making his first trip to states.
RECAPS FOR THE REGIONAL CHAMPIONS FROM DISTRICT 9
Walter, the District 9 champion, pinned Kyle Lantz of Conneaut in the first period of the quarterfinals (1:15) and then took a 3-2 semifinal decision over Corry’s Lucas Munsee. In the finals, Walter decisioned District 10 champion Kane Kettering of Reynolds. Walter, a junior, will be making the first trip of his career to Hershey (site of the state championship).
Prior to this season, Taylor, a junior, had no history of postseason accolades. That’s all changed. The District 9 champion started his tournament with a 15-0 technical fall against Titusville’s Joe Jacobson. In the semifinals he took a 13-3 major decision over Cael Black of Eisenhower, following this up with another major decision, a 12-2 victory versus District 10 champion Joey King of Maplewood, to become regional champion. Like Walter, Taylor will be making his state championship debut.
Whitehill, the District 9 champion, will be returning to Hershey to defend his state championship after pinning Girard’s Jordan Schell, who won the District 10 title last week, in the finals (2:53). This is Whitehill’s second consecutive Northwest Region title. The Raiders’ senior, undefeated this season, pinned his way into the finals, sticking, in order, Canyon Sutton of Saegertown (0:22) and Brockway’s Gavin Thompson (0:37). Whitehill is now a three-time state qualifier, having finished on the podium each time (he was eighth as sophomore).
Perhaps nobody had a more dramatic finals’ match than Glasl, who hit a five-point move in sudden victory to defeat District 10 champion Kaeden Berger, 6-1.
To reach the finals he took a 6-0 decision over Saegertown’s Jaden Reagle in the quarterfinals and a 6-2 win against Matt Leehan of General McLane in the semis. Glasl, a four-time District 9 champion, claimed his first regional title after finishing as a runner-up the past three years. A senior, he is a four-time state qualifier, finishing on the podium as a freshman (sixth) and junior (fifth).
Wiant, a senior, continued his undefeated season in Sharon, starting with a 4-2 quarterfinal victory versus Corry’s Nick Lapinski and then eking out a 1-0 win against Alex Chess of Mercer. In the finals, Wiant, a two-time district champion, took out District 10 champion Jackson Spires of General McLane, 10-5. Wiant finished fourth at regionals last year, going to states for the first time in his career.
Race, another District 9 champion, punched his ticket to states with a 3-0 decision against Greenville’s Cole Karpinski. The senior got to the finals as the result of pins, first decking Mason Hesselgresser of Mercer (2:43) and then flattening Franklin’s Holden Cook (5:12). Race will be making his second consecutive trip to the state tournament.
SECOND-PLACE FINISHERS FROM DISTRICT 9
In a finals’ match-up of district champions, Reinsel fell to District 10’s Gary Steen of Reynolds, 5-0. This is the second consecutive year Reinsel, a sophomore and two-time district champion, finished as regional runner-up en route to states.
The 138-pound finals also saw a meeting of district champions. Holland, a two-time district champion, was pinned by District 10’s Kenny Kiser of Saegertown at the close of the second period (3:59). This is the first time Holland, a senior, has qualified for the state championship.
Zimmerman and Casilio, who both came to Sharon as district champions, finished second in back-to-back matches. Zimmerman was pinned by District 10 champion Sully Allen of Sharon in the second period (3:24), while Casilio lost a tight 3-1 decision to Commodore Perry’s Gage Musser, the District 10 titlist. A freshman, Zimmerman is a first-time state qualifier, as is Casilio, a junior.
For the second year in a row Whisner, a senior, qualified for the state tournament. A district champion, Whisner lost 2-0 to his District 10 counterpart, Bryce McCloskey of Reynolds, in the finals.
District 10’s Reynolds (187 points) ran away with the team title, with Brookville taking second (129.5 points). Rounding out the regional top five were, in order, Johnsonburg (84 points), Brockway (71 points), and Kane (61 points).
The 2A PIAA Individual State Wrestling Championships will be held in Hershey’s Giant Center Thursday, March 5, through Saturday, March 8.