Penns Valley wrestlers Corey Hazel and Mike Rogers each have a love for wrestling, a burning desire to succeed and a belief that he will.
Now, they each have a spot in Hershey as well.
Hazel placed third at 160 pounds and Rogers was fourth at 182 in the Southwest Regional Class AA Wrestling Tournament in Johnstown on Saturday.
“I’m really happy and excited for them,” Penns Valley coach Joel Brinker said after Hazel and Rogers qualified for this week’s PIAA tournament in Hershey. “These two put a lot of time in in the offseason, wrestle all summer and stuff.”
Rogers dropped his first match on Saturday, 11-4 to eventual champion Dakota DesLauriers of Burrell, but rebounded with an 8-3 victory over Meyersdale’s Gavin Berkley before falling 6-4 to Valley’s Terrell Fields in the consolation final.
Hazel won three straight on Saturday, beating Beth-Center’s Nico Brown (1-0), Somerset’s Landon Lohr (6-4) and Berlin Brothersvalley’s Bryce Fochtman (7-5 in overtime).
Hazel went 5-1 in the tournament while Rogers won three and lost two. Both are sophomores.
“What they both have, that a lot of other kids don’t have, is a belief in themselves,” Brinker said. “When they think they can beat anybody, that’s a really dangerous thing. I’m excited to see what they can do down there.”
Junior Seth Decker lost 4-0 to Matt Johnston of West Greene and was eliminated from the 145-pound bracket in the consolation quarterfinals.
Cambria Heights’ Levi Niebauer beat senior Cole Confer 4-2 in the same round at 152 pounds, while senior Maverick Swartz, who had been wrestling with a knee injury, was pinned by Somerset’s Jacob Nickelson at 195.