HERSHEY — Penns Valley wrestlers will have to wait until next season to make a splash at the PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships.
Sophomores Corey Hazel and Mike Rogers were bounced from their respective brackets after each went 0-2 on Day 1 inside the Giant Center.
Hazel lost his opening bout to Benton junior Jeric Kasunic 8-5 and dropped into a consolation match against North Schuylkills Auston Hummel at 160 pounds. After a scoreless first period, Hummel escaped to start the second and worked for a takedown before the period ended. Hazel didnt get his offense going until late. He escaped from the bottom with 51 seconds left, but gave up another takedown. A late escape wasnt enough and Hazel lost 5-2.
Rogers lost a back-and-forth bout to Adam Mackie of Brandywine Heights 14-9 in the opening round at 182 pounds. In the consolation round that followed, Rogers had the upper hand on Reynolds Jamar Henry before Henry sealed Rogers tournament exit with a double-leg with less than 20 seconds remaining for a 6-4 win.
I dont think you need to lose to improve, but down here your weaknesses are magnified at this level, Penns Valley coach Joel Brinker said. These guys, they know what they need to work on to get to the next level.
Although they were eliminated on the first day, Brinker said he believes his young wrestlers got key experience and a new starting point to begin a new improvement cycle.
Corey, both of his matches he just took too long to get into the match. Both matches, he didnt really start wrestling with intensity until the third period, Brinker said. I thought Mike went out with intensity (during his consolation) match but he needs leg attacks. He needs to be able to shoot and get his offense going better.
Hazel finished his sophomore campaign 36-5 overall while Rogers ended with a 35-6 record.