By Scott Shindledecker
HERSHEY, Pa. — It was a very good day for the 22 District 9 wrestlers Thursday at the PIAA Class AA Championships in Hershey with all but two still alive in their quest for a state medal.
Brookville led the District 9 contingent with seven state qualifiers and five of them won their first round matches to reach the quarterfinals. The other two remain alive in the consolations.
The first five Raiders to take the mat Thursday were first-round winners.
At 106 pounds, Raiders junior Keelan Kunselman beat Montoursville’s Wyatt Lutz, 7-2. Kunselman will face Chestnut Ridge senior Aaron Burkett in the quarterfinals after Burkett pinned Byron Daubert in 52 seconds. Burkett was second at 106 in 2015.
At 113, Gavin Park beat Notre Dame Green Pond’s Ritchie Markulics, 5-2. Park gets Boiling Springs freshman Kollin Myers after he scored a pin of Derry’s Shawn Broadway.
For 132-pound senior Tate Ortz, he stayed perfect with a 15-0 technical fall in 2:08 over Northern Lebanon’s Trevor Leonard. Ortiz will put his 41-0 mark on the line against Southern Columbia junior Todd Lane, who needed overtime to score a 3-1 win.
At 138, senior Cole Aaron (35-5) scored an 8-0 major decision over Westmont Hilltop’s Carnell Andrews. Aaron faces unbeaten senior Zachery LeBarron in the quarters. LeBarron (39-0) won his opener by fall.
At 152 pounds, Raiders sophomore Caleb Hetrick edged Delone Catholic junior Brian Shermeyer, 2-1, to set up a quarterfinal matchup with Gio Vonne Sanders of Jeannette. Sanders won a prelim match, then knocked off previously unbeaten Zach Fry (31-1) of Hughesville.
At 182, junior Noah Cieleski dropped an 11-5 decision to Lewisburg’s Andrew Shedleski, but rallied to pin Chartiers-Houston’s Dom Provenzano in 4:29.
220-pounder Tyler Cook lost his opener, 3-2, to Westmont Hilltop’s Josiah Jones. He will wrestle in the second round consolations Friday.
The Brockway Rovers have four at Hershey and two won first-round matches and the other two are still in the wrestlebacks.
Senior Ryan Carlson opened with a 4-2 win over Northern Bedford’s Zach Clark at 120 pounds. Carlson will face Angelo Barberio in the quarters. Barberio opened with a 13-2 win in the preliminary round before beating Saucon Valley’s Jack Hill (31-2), 7-4.
Senior Mason Lindenmuth also won in the first round, major decisioning Line Mountain’s Brian Earlston, 9-0, at 126. Lindenmuth will see Saucon Valley senior Jonah Lynch in the quarters.
The Rovers have two in the second round consolations that begin Friday morning.
Ay 113 pounds, Mitchell Overbeck won by injury default over Bentworth’s Manny Dovshek in the preliminary before getting pinned by Benton senior Alan Diltz in 3:28 in the first round.
Senior 138-pounder Dustin Jamison won his preliminary match, pinning Bishop McDevitt’s Jayden Johnson in 2:39. Jamison then was tech falled by defending 132-pound state champ George Phillippi, 20-4, in 4:16.
Curwensville 152-pounder Shae Bloom won his opener, beating Saucon Valley’s Nathan Harka, 7-0. The senior (33-1) will face Burrell senior Damon Greenwald (40-8) after Greenwald beat Wyalusing’s Denton Porter, 6-0.
For Golden Tide freshman 106-pounder Blake Passarelli, he was tech falled by Benton’s Joe Klock, 17-1, in 5:38 in his opener before pinning Cochranton’s Devan Davis in 2:59 in the first consolation.
Redbank Valley has both of its wrestlers in the quarterfinals.
Senior 285-pounder BryLee Shumaker pinned Keystone Oaks’ Joe Kazalas in 4:34. Shumaker will wrestle Wyomissing senior Robert Dunbar, a 1-0 winner over Hanover’s John Sheridan, in the quarters.
For senior Tanner Altobelli, he decisioned Hughesville senior Trevor Sones, 6-3. Altobelli has a tough assignment in the quarters, facing defending state champ Max Murin. Murin took first at 113 pounds in 2015.
Clarion senior Zach Sintobin improved to 32-3 with a pin of Danville’s Sam Crone in 1:53. Sintobin’s quarterfinal match will be against Jefferson Morgan senior Bill Bowlen. Bowlen pinned Allentown Central Catholic’s Keegan Connelly in 3:08. Bowlen was sixth at 182 a year ago.
Smethport senior James Duffy remained unbeaten after a 9-5 win over Somerset’s Austin Hemminger in the first round. Duffy will wrestle Freedom junior Kody Komara in the quarters after Komara won by tech. fall.
Also enjoying a first-round win was Cranberry senior Paul Zacherl, who beat Saucon Valley senior Dylan Yonney (39-11) by a 3-2 decision. Zacherl improved to 37-1. His quarterfinal foe is Penn Cambria senior Austin Farabaugh, who won a preliminary match over Bishop McDevitt senior Barry Carter, pinning him in 4:58. Farabaugh (33-7) then beat Southern Columbia senior Blake Marks (39-2) by a 9-4 count.
For Port Allegany, its two wrestlers are still alive. 220-pounder Ethan Budd pinned West Branch senior Vincent McDowell (33-5) in 2:30 to reach the quarters. Budd will take on Scranton Prep senior Thor Balavage (35-2). Balavage beat Lehighton Wyatt Clements, 2-1.
Teammate Mac Tanner lost his opener, 5-3, to Northern Lehigh’s Ryan Farber, but bounced back with a 5-4 decision over Northern Lebanon Luis Negrerious.
Coudersport’s Gage Arnold was the only D-9 wrestler to go 0-2 Thursday and be eliminated. Arnold lost 11-3 to Chestnut Ridge’s Morgan Deremer, then lost his first round consolation match to Delone Catholic’s Brian Shermeyer, 3-0.
Arnold finished his junior year at 30-11.
Ridgway junior Colton McClain dropped his first two matches to be eliminated. McClain was pinned in 2:32 by Williams Valley’s Ian Minnich. In the consolation, McClain was pinned by Mount Pleasant’s Josh Lind in 4:52.
The quarterfinals begin at 9 a.m. Friday along with the second round consolations. The third-round consolations begin at 11:45 a.m. The semifinals and fourth-round consolations begin at 7:30 p.m. with the fifth round consolations at 9:30 p.m.