High School Sports

County wrestlers nab 7 top seeds for District 6 Class 2A tournament

St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy’s Caleb Dowling is one of six Wolves wrestlers to earn a No. 1 seed for the District 6 Class 2A tournament. Dowling is the reigning 138-pound champion and will aim to add a 145-pound title this weekend.
St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy’s Caleb Dowling is one of six Wolves wrestlers to earn a No. 1 seed for the District 6 Class 2A tournament. Dowling is the reigning 138-pound champion and will aim to add a 145-pound title this weekend. Centre Daily Times, file

Seedings were announced Wednesday evening for the upcoming District 6 Class 2A individual tournament, and four Centre County teams — Bald Eagle Area, Penns Valley, Philipsburg-Osceola and St. Joseph’s — accounted for half of the tourney’s top seeds.

Among the seven wrestlers to earn the No. 1 seeds in their respective weight classes were the Eagles’ Dylan Bisel (182 pounds) and six Wolves in Amonn Ohl (120), Zack Witmer (132), Caleb Dowling (145), Keegan Rothrock (152), Tyler Stoltzfus (160) and Kolby Franklin (195). The district tournament will take place both Friday and Saturday in Altoona, with the final session starting about 6 p.m. Saturday.

Centre County has a total of 12 wrestlers that are either No. 1 or No. 2. At 120-, 132- and 195-pounds, it could be an all-county final.

The 132-pound weight class will be the most interesting as the Rams’ Clayton Royer and the Mounties’ Chase Chapman are No. 2 and No. 3 behind top-seed Witmer.

“(1)32 is brutal. It gets real brutal at regionals,” Penns Valley coach Joel Brinker said. “Everybody knew it. I think as a whole from top to bottom, our district is pretty decent this year. ’32 definitely stands out. There are some hammers there. If you get out of here in ’32, you are doing something. The next week it gets even more difficult.”

Here’s a brief look at how all of Centre County’s Class 2A teams stack up:

Bald Eagle Area

Seeds: Cooper Gilham, No. 2 at 113; Garrett Giedroc, No. 6 at 120; Drake Holderman, No. 11 at 126; Alex Holt, No. 8 at 132; Noah Foltz, No. 11 at 138; Drew Koleno, No. 13 at 145; Richard Taylor, No. 11 at 152; Brady Proctor, No. 11 at 160; Benjamin Yetsko, No. 19 at 170; Dylan Bisel, No. 1 at 182; David Close, No. 2 at 195; Chandler Burns, No. 11 at 220

Outlook: BEA is in its first Class 2A tournament after moving down from Class 3A. However, coach Ron Guenot is treating it just the same as the larger-class tournament, which the Eagles have always competed in.

“Your training stays the same,” Guenot said. “You got to keep the mindset that you want to get through this week and get a step closer to Hershey. You got to want it. This point in the game, it’s the guy that wants to move on is going to move on.”

Just like they have all season, the Eagles will have to go without injured state finalist Gage McClenahan. McClenahan will be there rooting his teammates on, possibly getting a scouting report for next year. One thing for sure, though, Guenot and his squad are looking forward to the opportunity.

“It’s exciting for everybody involved. It’s a new chapter,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot of good wrestling. Looking at the District double-A wrestlers, there is a lot, a lot of tough kids.”

Penns Valley

Seeds: Hadden Yearick, No. 14 at 106 pounds; Justin Darlington, No. 16 at 113; Baylor Shunk, No. 2 at 120; Nate Long, No. 15 at 126; Clayton Royer, No. 2 at 132; Malachi DuVall, No. 4 at 138; Cole Felker, No. 17 at 145; Dristen Wolfe, No. 15 at 152; Abraham Allebach, No. 3 at 160; Zach Royer, No. 10 at 170; Carter Felker, No. 4 at 195; Dillon Covalt, No. 2 at 220

Outlook: The Class 2A tournament is nothing new for the Rams. The biggest difference this year from the past?

Brinker has a group of seniors that he feels can go a long way.

“Right now, I have some seniors that I’d like to see end their careers and get their goals,” he said. “We want to see them achieve those goals.”

Brinker also feels his team could be contending for a team title or in the top three. With so many high seeds, it sets Penns Valley up well for an exciting two days in Altoona.

“If they wrestle like they can, I think we can push quite a few through to regionals,” Brinker said. I think we can be in the top somewhere, making teams work for the title. This is what a lot of these guys train for their whole life. It’s the time to go shine and chase your dreams. It’s what we are excited for.”


Seeds: Nick Bryan, No. 4 at 106 pounds; Nick Coudriet, No. 7 at 113; Austin Foster, No. 11 at 120; Gabe Dunkelberger, No. 8 at 126; Chase Chapman, No. 3 at 132; Alex Dunkelberger, No. 20 at 138; Tristan Beauseigneur, No. 11 at 145; Hunter Weitoish, No. 3 at 152; Matt Shimmel, No. 12 at 160; Cody Beauseigneur, No. 17 at 170; Parker Moore, No. 11 at 182; Dylan Yasto, No. 10 at 195; Tyler Anderson, No. 8 at 220; Jimmy Bryan, No. 10 at 285

Outlook: Pataky kept using the same word to describe his team’s first appearance in the Class 2A tournament — excitement. He feels the opportunity to face off against 20-plus schools, compared to about eight in Class 3A, adds to the experience.

“We are excited to be in this district. We are excited for the opportunity to be in such a large district,” he said. “It’s going to make for a little bit more excitement with more teams.”

The Mounties have competed well as a team in tournaments all season long. Chapman and Weitoish have been the leaders all season long so it was no surprise to see them garner the highest seeds (No. 3) on the team.

They each have a real shot of becoming a District 6 champion. As for the team as a whole, Pataky is just looking for one thing.

“We are looking for the kids to fight and give their best effort every single match,” he said.

St. Joseph’s

Seeds: Amonn Ohl, No. 1 at 120 pounds; Zack Witmer, No. 1 at 132; Mike LaVallee, No. 22 at 138; Caleb Dowling, No. 1 at 145; Keegan Rothrock, No. 1 at 152; Tyler Stoltzfus, No. 1 at 160; Zach Rosenberger, No. 4 at 170; Kolby Franklin, No. 1 at 195

Outlook: The Wolves are the reigning Class 2A individual team champions.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see them repeat that feat with six No. 1 seeds. However, coach Pat Flynn knows it’s a team effort.

“Hopefully, the No. 1 seeds will wrestle to their seed,” he said. “We’ve got a couple guys that aren’t seeded 1, so hopefully they can create upsets. I think we are prepared. I think our season prepares us for these next couple of weeks.”

Another reason why St. Joseph’s will repeat: Flynn said they are a lot healthier than last year at this time. He did mention that one of his wrestlers hit a deer last week, but those distractions aren’t controllable.

“It’s just different challenges and different athletes that we have to prepare for,” Flynn said, comparing years. “There are some tough guys all across our district. It’s just a matter of taking it one match at a time.”

Nate Cobler is a part-time reporter covering all things wrestling, either Penn State or Centre County’s high schools, for the Centre Daily Times. He’ll also cover other sports too. When he isn’t writing about sports, he is helping people become homeowners as a Loan Originator with a local mortgage broker.