The first week of the District 9 dual meet season got underway last week, with all but four teams engaged in head-to-head match-ups.
(Photo of Brookville’s Colby Whitehill, who won his 100th match over the weekend. Photo by Jared Bakaysa of JB Graphics. See more of Bakaysa’s work here)
Though still early, there were two Class 2A duals that could provide a preview of what might be coming in February.
On Wednesday (Dec. 11) Brookville and Johnsonburg had at it with Brockway and Johnsonburg facing off the next night (Thursday, Dec. 12).
Friday (Dec. 13) saw a big Class 3A dual, as DuBois and Clearfield met in their annual “Battle for the Buck.”
Following an active week of duals, many district teams participated in the season’s second round of weekend tournaments. Perhaps the highlight occurred at the King of the Mountain where Brookville’s Colby Whitehill reached the 100-win milestone on his way to claiming the tournament title.
Bald Eagle 39 – Clearfield 30 (Tuesday, Dec. 10)
Clearfield opened the evening with pins by 138-pounder Karson Kline and 145-pounder Justin Hand. Bald Eagle responded in kind, as Gage McClenahan (152) and Drew Koleno (160 pounds) won the next two by pinfall to tie the bout. The Bison surged ahead, winning four of the next five bouts, starting with a pin by Mark McGonigal at 170 pounds. Bald Eagle came back to secure the match when it reeled off wins in the final five contests. Jeffery Piffer (113 pounds) and Cooper Gilham (132 pounds) had pins for Bald Eagle in that span.
Brockway 36 – Ridgway 12 (Tuesday, Dec. 10)
Brockway’s Noah Bash (170 pounds) and Seth Stewart (182 pounds) got pins in the first two bouts of the evening, after which the Rovers took five of the next eight. Anthony Glasl (138 pounds) and Garrett Park (145 pounds) also had pins for the Rovers. Gary Emerick (132 pounds) scored a pin for the Elkers, with their other two victories the result of decisions by 152-pounder Jacob Wickett and 195-pounder Valdemar Kranz.
Johnsonburg 71 – Cameron County 6 (Tuesday, Dec. 10)
This match saw nine forfeits, eight of them going to visiting Johnsonburg. The Rams won all four of the contested bouts, three by pin (Rayce Milliard at 132 pounds, Kaden Dennis at 145 pounds, and Aiden Zimmerman at 152 pounds) and the other courtesy of a technical fall (Cole Casilio at 160 pounds).
Redbank Valley 48 – Warren 33 (Tuesday, Dec. 10)
The referee’s hand might have been sore from slapping the mat after this one, as 11 of the 12 contested bouts ended with somebody’s shoulders stuck to the mat. Redbank Valley, which picked up two forfeits, notched six pins to Warren’s five. Getting pins for the Bulldogs were 106-pounder Cole Bish, 145-pounder Kris Shaffer, 152-pounder Ethan Wiant, 195-pounder Aiden Gardner, 220-pounder Carson Rupp, and 285-pounder Kobe Bonnano. Winning by pinfall for the Dragons were Josh Letko (120 pounds), Ryan Madigan (132 pounds), Joey Arnold (160 pounds), Zack Zinger (170 pounds), and Jameson Douvlos (182 pounds).
Saint Marys 58 – Punxsutawney 16 (Tuesday, Dec. 10)
All nine contested bouts between the Dutchmen and Chucks produced bonus points, with seven of them decided via fall. Saint Marys took six of the nine contests. Gregory Tettis (145 pounds), Raivis Brown (170 pounds), Waylon Wehler (182 pounds), Jeremy Garthwaite (195 pounds), and Colton Swanson (285 pounds) scored pins for the Dutchmen, while Johnny Wittman (160 pounds) won an 11-0 major decision. Brady Smith (138 pounds) and Garrett Eddy (220 pounds) recorded pins for the Chucks, with Ben Skarbek taking a 9-0 major decision.
Brookville 39 – Johnsonburg 31 (Wednesday, Dec. 12)
In a clash between two of the district’s Class AA title contenders, the visiting Raiders did not secure victory until a second period pin by Brayden Kunselman (120 pounds) in the last bout of the evening. Brookville got on the board first, when Owen Reinsel stacked Cole Norlin to give the Raiders a 6-0 lead. The Rams took the next five bouts. Nolan Shaffer started the Johnsonburg run with a decision over Josh Popson at 138 pounds, with the Raider grappler scoring a late escape to avoid getting majored. Johnsonburg’s Dalton Stahli (138 pounds) then decisioned Parker Fleming, Kaden Dennis (145 pounds) pinned Raider Darius Sorbin in the second period, and Rams’ grappler Aiden Zimmerman (152 pounds) majored Wyatt Kulick. Cole Casilio accepted a forfeit at 160 pounds, the last victory in the Rams’ streak, by which point Johnsonburg had jumped to a 22-6 lead. The next bout, at 170 pounds, had the crowd on its feet. Ram’s grappler Isaac Zimmerman was seemingly in control of his bout against Wyatt Griffin, taking a 4-2 lead into the third period. After a Zimmerman escape and Griffin takedown, the score stood at 5-4 in the Rams’ favor. Late in the third, however, Zimmerman got called for stalling twice, the second time giving Griffin a point and sending the bout to overtime. Griffin scored a takedown in the first period of overtime to win the bout, making the match score 22-9. Jackson Zimmerman beat Brookville’s Tyler Watts 9-5, extending Johnsonburg’s lead to 25-9. Brookville’s Elliot Park (195 pounds) responded by pinning Cameron Marciniak in the second period, followed by Johnsonburg forfeits to Nathan Taylor (220 pounds) and Colby Whitehill (285 pounds). With the score now 27-25 in the Raiders’ favor, Brookville forfeited to Isaac Capella at 106 pounds, staking Johnsonburg to a temporary 31-27 lead. The Raiders Cayden Walter pinned Wyatt Shaffer in the first period, making the score 33-31 Brookville and setting up the deciding final bout.
Kane 61 – Coudersport 12 (Wednesday, Dec. 11)
The Wolves turned in a dominating performance, winning nine of 10 contested bouts against Coudersport. Seven of Kane’s wins ended with the referee slapping the mat. Scoring pins for the Wolves were Harley Morris (132 pounds), Ben Westerburg (145 pounds), Luke Ely (152 pounds), Addison Plants (160 pounds), Cameron Whisner (182 pounds), Teddy Race (195 pounds), and Shawn Nystrom 285 pounds). Thomas Wilson’s decision at 170 pounds was the only non-forfeit victory for Coudersport.
Port Allegany 51 – Brockway 26 (Thursday, Dec. 12)
Another early AA showdown took place in Port Allegany where the Gators played host to the Brockway Rovers. The teams split the 10 contested bouts equally, with each claiming bonus points in four of its victories. As such, the difference was the four forfeits the Rover surrendered to the Gators, gifting Port Allegany 24 points. Port Allegheny won five of the opening six bouts, highlighted by pins from Isaish Caden (132 pounds) and Eli Petruzzi (145 pounds). The only blemish in the Gators’ run, which staked them to a 27-3 lead, was a decision by Brockway’s Anthony Glasl at 138 pounds. At 160 pounds Noah Bash recorded a technical fall for the Rovers followed by his teammate, 170-pounder Seth Stewart, scoring a pin. With Port Allegany’s lead cut to 27-14, Brockway surrendered it’s second forfeit of the night and then saw Gator Derek Kallenborn (195 pounds) get a pin. Down 39-14, the Rovers’s Eric Johnson and Gavin Thompson recorded pins at 220 pounds and 285 pounds, respectively, making the match score 39-26. The final score was set when Port Allegany accepted forfeits at 106 pounds and 113 pounds to end the night.
Redbank Valley 59 – Curwensville 12 (Thursday, Dec. 12)
The Golden Tide had victories in the first two bouts, pins by Jake McCracken at 170 pounds and Duane Brady at 182 pounds, to jump out to an early 12-0 lead. After that, it was all Redbank Valley, as the Bulldogs reeled off 11 straight wins to claim their second dual of the week. In that span, they benefitted from pins by Aiden Gardner (195 pounds), Dalton Bish (132 pounds), Kris Shaffer (138 pounds), Ethan Wiant (152 pounds), and Noah Anderson (160 pounds). Brothers Carsen Rupp (220 pounds) and Trenton Rupp (126 pounds) both scored major decisions in Redbank Valley’s streak.
DuBois 42 – Clearfield 30 (Friday, Dec. 13)
Both teams exchanged forfeits in the sixth annual “Battle for the Buck”, but it was DuBois taking eight of the twelve contested bouts to hand Clearfield its second dual meet defeat of the week. Pinners for the Beavers were 132-pounder Trenton Donahue, 152-pounder Ed Scott, 160-pounder Gauge Gulvas, and 285-pounder Alex O’Harah. All the Bison’s wins came via pin, matching the Beavers’ total, with Nolan Barr (126 pounds), Mark McGonigal (170 pounds), Hayden Kavolick (195 pounds), and Oliver Billotte (220 pounds) sticking their opponents. Decisions by Dubois’s Brendan Orr (120 pounds), Chandler Ho (138 pounds), Ryan Gildersleeve (145 pounds), and Garrett Starr (182 pounds), therefore, proved to be the deciding factor in the Beavers’ triumph. The victory allowed Dubois to stake its claim to the Pete Morelli Trophy, named for the late Beaver wrestler and coach, for the fourth straight year.
King of the Mountain (Friday, Dec. 13 and Saturday, Dec 14)
When the season started Brookville’s Colby Whitehill needed eight victories to reach the 100-win milestone. Five of those came in the opening weekend of the season at the Sheetz Kickoff Classic, where the Raider grappler picked up three pins and accepted two forfeits. A forfeit earlier in the week against Johnsonburg saw Whitehill traveling to Central Mountain High School needing just two wins. The first came in the opening round of the tournament, during which Whitehill stuck Canyon Smith of Saegertown as time ran down in the first period. The defending Class AA 285-pound state champion picked up number 100 in his next bout, which ended with a first period pin of Big Springs’s Jeremiah Lecrone. With the milestone behind him, Whitehill decisioned Giomar Ramos of Cannon McMillan, 2-0, in the semis and then pinned Mifflin County’s Blaine Davie in under a minute to take the King of the Mountain 285 pound title. The University of Pittsburgh commit pinned 84% of his opponents last season to claim the 2019 Schalles Pennsylvania Pinner Award. So far this season the undefeated Whitehill has won six of his seven contested bouts via pinfall (86%).