JOHNSTOWN — Penns Valley still has five alive in the Southwest Regional Class AA Wrestling Tournament even if at least one is among the walking wounded at Cambria County War Memorial Arena.
Mike Rogers advanced to Saturdays semifinal round with a pair of victories at 182 pounds while Seth Decker (145 pounds), Cole Confer (152), Corey Hazel (160) and Maverick Swartz (195) each lost once be remain in contention for a top-five finish that would qualify them for next weeks PIAA tournament in Hershey.
I cant be happier, really, Penns Valley coach Joel Brinker said. We have five going to the second day. If youd have asked me that this morning, Id have taken it.
Rogers pinned Carlyntons Freddie McKissick in the first round and then beat District 5 runner-up Michael Brett of Bedford 11-6 in the quarterfinal round.
He really did well, Brinker said. He was aggressive in both matches. He seems to have his head on right on this tournament. Im pleased with him.
Rogers faces a tough test when the semifinal round begins at 11 this morning, as he gets Dakota DesLauriers, who is 29-0 on the season.
Its a good spot to gauge where hes at, Brinker said. He knows what hes up against. We know what hes up against. Just go out swinging and see what he can do.
In a way, thats what Swartz has been doing since his 10-5 loss to South Fayettes Zach Walker in the opening round on Friday. Brinker said that Swartz dislocated his kneecap in the match and, while it popped back into place, hes been in a tremendous amount of pain in victories over Southmorelands Dakota Datz and South Alleghenys Seth Hitchens.
Hes sucking it up, Brinker said. He has a high threshold for pain, but hes gutting it out.
Hell face Somersets Jacob Nickelson in the consolation quarterfinals today and needs at least two more wins to qualify for the state tournament.
Decker lost to Mount Pleasants Austin Mears in the first round but rebounded with victories over Keystone Oaks Drew Trybus and Northern Bedfords Drew Gartland.
Confer pinned Mount Pleasants Ethan Charlesworth in the opening round, fell to District 7 champion Boe Bonzo of Freedom in the quarterfinals but stayed alive with a 7-2 victory over North Stars Corey Fritch.
Hazel took a similar path, edging Valleys Marcus Davenport, 7-6, in the first round before losing in overtime to South Fayettes Jared Walker. Hazel beat Huntingdons Matt Norris, 4-3, in the consolations.