The District 6 Class 2A guys had their postseason begin a week ago. Now, it’s Bellefonte’s and State College’s turn to get to work.
The Red Raiders and Little Lions learned their seeds Tuesday night for Saturday’s District 6 Class 3A Championships. The two programs combined to collect half of the district’s top seeds.
Bellefonte has four top seeds in Ryan Smith (132 pounds), Cole Stewart (138), Ethan Richner (152) and Kyle Myers (170). State College had Jude Swisher (113), Owen Woolcott (126) and Cole Urbas (195) earn No. 1 beside their names.
The Red Raiders and Little Lions wrestlers will look to finish in the top-four of their weight class to reach next weekend’s Northwest Regional Championships in Altoona.
Here’s a look at each teams’ seeds and outlook:
Seeds: Aidan O’Shea (No. 4, 106 pounds), Aaron Little (No. 3, 113), Lane Aikey (No. 2, 120), Alex Coppolo (No. 5, 126), Ryan Smith (No. 1, 132), Cole Stewart (No. 1, 138), Brady Martin (No. 4, 145), Ethan Richner (No. 1, 152), Logan Simpson (No. 3, 160), Kyle Myers (No. 1, 170), Ethan Rossman (No. 2, 182), Andrew Howe (No. 4, 195), Max Barrier (No. 2, 220) and Dan Orndorf (No. 4, 285)
Outlook: It is amazing how much the Tyrone High-Middle School — where Tuesday’s seedings were announced — has played a factor in the Red Raiders’ season.
Even coach Mike Maney didn’t try to downplay it.
“On the drive down here, I was reflecting a little bit,” he said. “Our first dual meet, by pure coincidence, was here. It certainly wasn’t our best performance as guys were starting to figure things out, and a lot of guys were getting their first taste of varsity of wrestling. I’m proud of our guys for the growth that they made.”
That growth started out early on in the year by squeaking past the the Golden Eagles thanks to some forfeits. It continued when Bellefonte finished the year with a third-place finish at the prestigious Virginia Duals, competed for the District 6 Class 3A dual team title, had just four losses all season and learned their impressive district seedings.
As it is for any team, the best finish would be to advance every entered wrestler into the regional tournament. For Bellefonte, that means trying to get all 14 of its wrestlers through.
“We set the goals high,” Maney said. “If we get 14 guys onto regionals, that should put us in the team race as well.”
The Red Raiders should have a good shot at pulling that off too. All but one of their wrestlers is seeded in the top-four of their weight. Now, anything can happen, but should everyone wrestle to his seed and No. 5-seed Coppolo, who is very capable of wrestling above his seed, get some upsets, it puts Bellefonte in good shape.
When the seeding meeting began, Orndorf was listed as the No. 6 seed in his weight class. However, since he beat Hollidaysburg’s Sam Haines and State College’s Harrison Schoen during the year, he jumped up two seeds. Maney knows seeds aren’t everything.
“Since our last dual meet, we’ve been stressing, records don’t mean anything and previous results don’t mean anything,” he said. “You just got to show up and compete. Anyone is capable to be beat, any given day. You don’t need to beat them 15 times; you only need to beat them once.”
Seeds: Bailey Weaverling (No. 5, 106), Jude Swisher (No. 1, 113), Clayton Leidy (No. 4, 120), Owen Woolcott (No. 1, 126), Kyle Martin (No. 8, 132), Evan Courts (No. 2, 138), Michael McShea (No. 8, 145), Julian Simmons (No. 5, 152), Ty Price (No. 4, 160), Josiah Lose (No. 6, 170), Tate McLaughlin (No. 3, 182), Cole Urbas (No. 1, 195) and Harrison Schoen (No. 6, 285)
Outlook: For whatever reason, the Little Lions’ lineup appears to be built more for a tournament than a dual meet.
They finished with a 5-10 dual mark and lost eight straight duals to end the season. Coach Ryan Cummins joked that he was just glad the dual season was over. But tournaments were another story this season.
State College competed in three tournaments. It finished second in the Jarvis Memorial Tournament at the beginning of the season and the Governor Mifflin Holiday Tournament at the end of 2018. The Little Lions also finished 12th in the prestigious King of the Mountain Tournament out of 32 teams.
“Somehow, I’m not really sure how it works,” Cummins said with a laugh, when asked if his team was better suited for tournaments over duals. “We score a lot of points in the wrestlebacks and that’s just kind of how we’ve been the last few years. I’m looking forward to the tournaments here and seeing where we ship up compared to the dual meet season.”
It was no surprise to see Swisher, Woolcott and Urbas garner State College’s top seeds. The trio have been leading the team all season long.
It is well known just how good Urbas is. He is 28-0 with all but one of those wins coming with bonus points. Cummins has had four years with Urbas and knows Urbas has come a long way from the ninth-grader he was.
“I’m real excited. We’ve had a lot of years together here,” Cummins said. “I’m definitely proud of him. He was always tough, but now he is on another level. It’s exciting to get in the room and wrestle with him.”
Swisher will be another one that Cummins will have “a lot of years together” with. The freshman has had such an impact that when Cummins was questioned about Swisher, a giant grin crept across his face.
“He wrestles very maturely for a ninth-grader,” Cummins said. “He’s tough and doesn’t give an inch. He is in the guy’s face the whole time. He is constantly looking to score points, which is exactly what you want to see. We are excited to have him for the next couple of years. It’s going to be really fun.”