HERSHEY, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Whether it’s a bout in December or one under the bright lights in the Giant Center in March, to Brookville 189-pound wrestler Jackson Zimmerman, there is no difference.
The senior has to think that way.
“I wrestle every match the same way,” Zimmerman said. “Make a game plan and stick to it.”
(Pictured above, Jackson Zimmerman battles with Josh Ryan of Mount Union/photo by Molly Zimmerman)
Zimmerman did just that on Friday at the PIAA Class 2A Wrestling Championships, getting a second-period pin over Josh Ryan of Mount Union in the morning session in the quarterfinals before returning in the evening to win a 4-1 decision in the semifinals against Jakob Gilfoil of Bishop McDevitt to advance to the finals on Saturday.
Zimmerman nearly had a second-period pin again, scoring three points on a nearfall against Gilfoil.
Now he will take on Rune Lawrence of Frazier for the state title.
It won’t be an easy task to get gold.
Lawrence (44-3) reached the finals thanks to a pair of quick pins and a narrow 1-0 decision in the quarterfinals. He has yet to be scored upon in the tournament.
Lawrence won the last two state titles in Class 2A at 172 pounds before moving up to 189 this season.
Zimmerman (38-4) has also been exceptional in Hershey. He’s given up just one point — a third-period escape to Gilfoil.
“It means a ton to me (to wrestler for a state title),” Zimmerman said. “It’s what I have been working for for the past 10 years.”
Zimmerman is the only District 9 wrestler with a chance at a state championship.
Port Allegany heavyweight Carson Neely lost in the semifinals by pin to Riley Robell of Bishop McDevitt. That was Neely’s first loss of the season.
In the quarterfinals, he earned a 7-1 decision over Daniel Williams of Glendale.
Neely will wrestle Mifflinburg’s Emmanuel Ulrich, who was also undefeated until a semifinal loss to Aiden Compton of Notre Dame, for third place.
Brockway 114-pounder Weston Pisarchick and Clearfield 139-pounder Brady Collins each also advanced to the semifinals, losing their matches there.
Pisarchick won a 4-3 decision over Nico Fanella of Indiana with a late third-period escape to advance to semifinals, where he lost to Cole Hubert of Saucon Valley by an 8-0 major decision.
Collins won a 2-0 decision over Bryson Vaughn of Notre Dame to reach the semifinals, where he fell to 2-1 to Mason Barvitskie of Southern Columbia.
St. Marys’ Waylon Wehler (172) will also wrestle for third on Saturday.
Cranberry 107-pounder Dalton Wenner fell 7-0 in the quarterfinals, but knocked out Northwestern’s Sierra Chiesa in the third-round consolations, 11-5. Wenner then fell to Kole Davidheiser, 7-0. He will still medal, placing either seventh or eighth.
His teammate, 121-pounder Elijah Brosius, will also place either seventh or eighth.
Cranberry’s Brayden McFetridge (215) and Brockway’s Gavin Thompson (heavyweight) will also earn a state medal.