No Centre County team had the firepower to challenge for the District 6 Class AAA Wrestling Championship on Saturday at the Altoona Field House.
That didn’t mean, however, that the county didn’t make some noise.
Centre County will send 29 wrestlers to the PIAA Northwest Class AAA Regional on Friday and Saturday at the Altoona Field House. Philipsburg-Osceola qualified 10, State College eight, Bellefonte seven and Bald Eagle Area four.
Mifflin County repeated as team champion. The Huskies crowned four champions and amassed 216 points. Central Mountain was second, also with four champions, and 202 points. Bellefonte was third with 155.5, State College fourth with 154 and Philipsburg-Osceola fifth with 144.5.
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Philipsburg-Osceola is sending Bub Lumadue (second at 182), Chris Thompson (second at 113), Levi Hughes (third at 126), Dakota Weitosh (third at 132), Caleb Shively (third at 145), Nick Patrick (third at 160), Nick Gray (third at 220), Bryce Bennett (fourth at 106), Dallas Kephart (fourth at 152) and Logan Day (fourth at 285).
“(We were) 0-for-2 (in the finals). I don’t like that. We didn’t have enough finalists. That’s my big gripe today. We should have had some more guys in the finals and we didn’t. And we didn’t win in the finals. You have to win the big ones and we’re not doing that right now,” Philipsburg-Osceola coach Tim McCamley said.
State College’s crew contains Anthony Myers (champion at 126), Mike Kauffman (runner-up at 138), Derek Horner (runner-up at 145), Alex Stover (runner-up at 170), Will Roeshot (third at 152), Dan Sills (fourth at 120), Cory Dreibelbis (fourth at 182) and Sheldon Davis (fourth at 220).
“We’re pretty proud of the guys. They wrestled hard and definitely earned it. We had four in the finals and four wrestled back for it so that was really nice,” State College coach Ryan Cummins said. “I told the other coaches that I thought between six and eight guys. I thought eight would be a little much. But they did it. It worked out perfectly. I was very happy that eight guys stepped up and fought their way in.”
Bellefonte’s contingent will include: Trevor Corl (champion at 132), Brock Port (champion at 120), Aaron Witherite (runner-up at 106), Chase Gardner (runner-up at 126), Luke Leathers (third at 113), Nate Rosenberger (third at 138) and Tanner Day (fourth at 145).
“According to the seeds, we could have had eight or nine. There were certainly some guys who fell a little short. We lost some tough ones,” Bellefonte coach Mike Maney said.
Bald Eagle Area is sending David Gawryla (runner-up at 195), Cobey Bainey (third at 120), Mitchell Taylor (third at 170) and Josh Fye (fourth at 285).
“We certainly didn’t surprise anybody this weekend. We were hoping to get a few upsets and get some more kids through. It just didn’t go our way,” Bald Eagle Area coach Steve Millward said.
Corl won his third district title in three tries, using two takedowns and an escape for a 5-2 win over Mifflin County’s Isaac Underhill.
“This is now his third championship. To do it three times is certainly a big accomplishment. He controlled the pace of the match and stayed solid and did some good fundamental things. He got his takedowns going,” Maney said.
Port, just a freshman, was in total control of Central Mountain’s Keanan Bottorf, blanking him 8-0.
“Port being a freshman, to get to the top of the podium at districts is a big accomplishment. He just controlled the pace and had a really solid tournament,” Maney said.
Myers gave State College its only champion, out of four finalists, with a dominating 11-4 win over Red Raider freshman Gardner. Gardner tried a desperation throw at the end and Myers caught him for a five-point move.
“He did a great job. He’s just tough. He’s persistent. He gets in on a shot and he keeps it until he finishes it. You don’t see him stopping. When he gets a takedown he doesn’t rest. He’s just always going,” Cummins said.
Bellefonte’s other finalist, Witherite, dropped an 8-2 decision to Altoona freshman Cole Manley.
State College’s other three finalists — Kauffman, Horner and Stover — ran into buzzsaws. Kauffman was majored 22-9 by Outstanding Wrestler Hayden Hidlay of Mifflin Couty. Horner was pinned in 2:54 by Central Mountain’s Demetri Probst. And Stover dropped a 10-3 decision to Central Mountain’s Gavin Caprio.
“It was a tough night for them. We’re going to learn a couple things from it and hopefully we’ll come back tougher next weekend,” Cummins said.
The Mounties’ streak without a district champion continued. It’s been since 2008 that a P-O wrestler has won a title. Thompson and Lumadue both stumbled in the finals.
Thompson was edged, 6-5, by Hollidaysburg’s Damian Huff.
“At least we’re getting out of the districts with Chris. He’s been a hard-luck wrestler for two years now. He broke a bursa sac in his knee tonight. He’s been limping around here. We’re keeping a close eye on that, but he’ll be out there no matter what,” McCamley said.
Lumadue, the top seed at 170, lost a 9-2 decision to Trey Hartsock of Mifflin County.
“Bub’s bub. He’s going to live and die with his stuff,” McCamley said. “He gave up three takedowns on the exact same thing looking for the exact same move when he very easily could have fought those off conventional style and made it 3-1 going into the last period instead of 6-1.”
BEA’s only finalist, Gawryla, took an off-balance shot in overtime and Mifflin County’s Tim Pearce made him pay. Pearce won, 3-1.
“David had a nice tournament. He really didn’t open much in the finals,” Millward said.
“That wasn’t his best wrestling. I’m proud of all that he does. It didn’t work out for him. He was confident going out there in the finals but he just didn’t score enough points.”