SHARON — With a trip to states on the line, every wrestler at the Sharon High School gymnasium was on mission. As far Titusville’s Seth Donovan and Maplewood’s Joey King, the local duo went undefeated on the first day of action at the PIAA AA Northwest Regional Tournament and will begin today’s action in the semifinals of their respective brackets.
Donovan found early success against Corry’s Derek Hurd in his opening bout at 126. The Rocket senior pinned Hurd in the second period, at 3:22, for the second victory against the Beaver in a week’s span. Donovan beat Hurd by an 8-4 decision in the District 10 quarterfinals a week ago in the same gymnasium. Titusville’s grappler scored the first point of the bout with a takedown in the opening period and added a reversal in the second before landing the pin.
In the quarterfinals, Donovan face a somewhat familiar opponent in Redbank Valley’s Trenten Rupp. Donovan pinned Rupp at last year’s regionals and repeated the feat at the 5:03 mark on Friday. After a scoreless first period, Donovan had choice following the coin flip. Although Titusville coach Joel Stearns advised his senior to differ, Donovan wanted to start from the bottom and made that decision – a decision that paid off immediately.
“I just wanted to score points; that’s what it’s about,” Donovan said. “Coach told me to wrestle without nerves. That’s why I’ve lost a couple of matches this year; wrestling nervous.”
Donovan got the quick escape to get on the board and followed it up with eight more points on a takedown on a pair of near-falls to take a 9-0 lead into the final period. There, Rupp selected neutral, but Donovan got him on his back to earn a spot in the semifinals against Harbor Creek’s Connor Pierce. Donovan lost the last three bouts by decision, but is determined to make that long forgotten history today.
“It feels good (to be in the semifinals), but I still have matches to win,” Donovan said. “Nothing is guaranteed.”
King was the only local to receive a bye through the first round of action after winning the 220 District 10 title a week ago. Though the regional began play at 5:30 p.m., King waited about three hours for his chance on the mat.
His quarterfinal bout came against Lakeview’s Isaac Devault, who King blanked in a 9-0 major decision at districts last week. Even though the Maplewood junior was familiar with his opponent, he’s approach was consistent with his previous matches.
“I try to go every match with that attitude that I never wrestled my opponent before,” King said. “It’s always 0-0 and I do my best to win.”
Both wrestlers had a hard time finding an edge through the first two periods of action, as the score was deadlocked at 0-0 entering the third period. Though King had a long wait before his first and only match of the day, he put that time to good use by studying his opponents, which paid off right off the bat in the third.
“I saw (DeVault) use an optional start and jump on top all day,” King said. “He set up to do the same thing and I knew what was coming.”
King, who started the third period on bottom, was able to use his opponent’s move against him for a quick reversal after the bell to go up 2-0. Then, the Tiger finished off his man with a pin 38 seconds into the final canto.
In today’s semifinals, King will face Reynolds’ Evan Miller, who upset the District 9 runner-up, Justin Young, of Port Allegany, in a 3-0 decision in that quarterfinal bout. Though King is close to advancing to states for the second straight year, he’s keeping it all in perspective.
“I’m remembering to take one match at a time,” King said. “I know I want to keep moving on. I have goals, right now, it’s making it to states.”
Maplewood’s Steven Heme (285), along with Titusville’s Joe Jacobson (220) and Gage Sutton (285) won their first round matches before being sent to the consolations with losses in the quarterfinals.
Heme landed a quick 39-second pin on Ridgway’s Jacob Kunselman, despite giving up around 20 pounds in size. The Maplewood senior wanted to be aggressive in the match and not spend any time under the control of his opponent.
“I didn’t want to get stuck underneath him,” Heme said. “I was a little hesitant, but I figured that I was going to make him do something. He tried but he just fell backwards and I stuck him.”
Jacobson won a 3-1 decision in his 220 first round match in dramatic fashion. Up against Wilson Spires, of General McLane, Jacobson saw himself behind of Spires when the Lancer notched an escape with less than 10 seconds in the second period. Down by one, Jacobson started the third period by choosing bottom, and made that choice pay off with a score-tying escape halfway through the frame. With the two struggling for control in neutral, Jacobson scored the bout-winning takedown with just seven seconds before the final horn. It was a dramatic win for Jacobson, not only for the timing, but the fact that Spires pinned him last week at districts.
Sutton made quick work in his first regional bout with a pin at the 1:00 mark against Youngsville’s Jake DeSimone.
Jarrod Rodgers (152) and Levi Nosko (182) had tough draws the start the day, and suffered defeats in their opening bouts. The Rocket duo is still alive in the consolations.
Rodgers was unable to turn the tables on Girard’s Mitchell Marfinetz in his first bout at 152. Marfinetz, who defeated Rodgers in their last three contest including a pin at districts, claimed a 7-0 decision in the first round on Friday. Marfinetz landed a takedown in each canto before adding an escape in the third.
Nosko scored the first two points of his first round match against Brookville’s Elliot Park on a takedown in the beginning of the match, but Park rallied back for an escape and takedown to take a 3-2 lead into the second frame. Nosko differed choice, and Park selected bottom, where the Raider used a reversal to set up a pin at the 2:19 mark.
Today’s action begins at 9:15 a.m. with the first round consolations.
106 — Jake Carfley (Cur) dec. Nevada Koehler (Gr), 7-0; Mitchell Headley (Ja) pinned Gabe Messmer (Gir), 1:04; Alex Bechakas (K) dec. Hunter Geibel (CP), 6-4; Kyle Lantz (Con) dec. Owen Hershalman (Sae), 9-4.
113 — Gunnar Gage (GM) pinned Alex Cottrell (N), 3:24; Ridge Cook (RV) pinned Kayden Reyda (Cor), 3:24; Joey Gabler (HC) pinned Lance Cardman (Gir), 1:30; Blayke Knauf (Gr) dec. Isaak Johnson (K), 5-3.
120 — Jack Martinec (Coc) dec. Zack Keihl (Cla), 8-2; Chase McLaughlin (Ja) pinned Cody Miller (Hi), 1:06; Damion Kinney (Cor) dec. Dillon Illerbrun (K), 4-0; Justin O’Neil (WM) dec. Riley Kneeland (Gr), 8-2.
126 — Carson Filer (Me) dec. Liam Foore (Rey), 3-2; Josh Popson (Bv) pinned Ashton Roaeder (Spv), 3:26; Seth Donovan (T) pinned Derek Hurd (Cor), 3:22; Harley Morris (K) pinned Zane Grinnell (CP), 3:08.
132 — Eli Buck (Shr) dec. Dalton Bish (RV), 11-8; Carter Gill (Hi) pinned James Leyda (UC), 5:26; Willis Morrell (Coc) dec. Isaiah Caden (PA), 1-0; Jaden Reagle (Sae) major dec. Malik Carney (Fr), 10-2.
138 — Justin Boozer (Coc) pinned Collin Clough (Y), 3:26; Eli Petruzzi (PA) tech. fall Michael Berger (Me), 5:30; Ayden Miller (CS) pinned Mason Borland (SR), 3:51; Luke Ely (K) dec. Gannon Jaquay (E), 4-1.
145 — Jonny O’Neil (Coc) dec. Montgomery Tanner (PA), 7-3; Joel Huck (FLB) pinned Nick Dignall (Shr), 3:57; Tanner Morelli (Bw) dec. Camren Klenke (Rey), 6-4; Nick Lapinski (Cor) dec. Clayton Smith (CP), 1-0.
152 — Mitchell Marfinetz (Gi) dec. Jarrod Rodgers (T), 7-0; Wyatt Kulik (Bv) dec. Jalen Wagner (Rey), 13-6; Andrew Bungar (Hi) dec. Jack Rimpa (FLB), 4-3; Stetson Boozer (Coc) pinned Colton Gietler (OV), 2:43.
160 — Lance Caldwell (Sae) dec. Cutter Boggess (Cla), 9-3; Dylan Gourley (Cor) pinned Abraham Keep (Gi), 5:15; Wyatt Griffin (Bv) pinned Josh Anderson (Con), 3:41; Colton Smith (CS) dec. Aiden Bright (Me), 11-4.
170 — Mason Hesselgesser (Me) dec. Jed Goodlin (Ja), 3-1; Eli Mosconi (CS) pinned Isaac Zimmerman (Jo), 3:49; Cole Karpinski (Gr) major dec. Danny Church (FLB), 9-0; James Laird (GM) major dec. Donovan Edmonds (Cla), 11-2.
182 — Tyler Watts (Jo) pinned Jackson Carico (CS), 1:43; Hunter Cowher (Ja) dec. Domanic Leonard (CP), 4-1; Elliot Park (Bv) pinned Levi Nosko (T), 2:12; Matt Petrilla (Cor) dec. Tim Church (FLB), 3-1.
195 — Marshall Vantassel (UC) dec. Logan Conner (Me), 7-4; Cole LaBenne (Bv) dec. Anthony Gioan (WM), 4-1; Hayden Linkerhof (Cor) pinned Josh Perrine (Sae), 1:30; Seth Yarger (GM) dec. Derek Kallenborn (PA), 8-2.
220 — Isaac DeVault (L) pinned Ray Shreckengost (RV), 4:25; Evan Miller (Rey) pinned Shawn Proctor (Cor), 1:37; Anthony Gentile (Gr) pinned Cale Ayers (Cou), 1:13; Joe Jacobson (T) dec. Wilson Spires (GM), 3-1.
285 — Gage Sutton (T) pinned Jake DeSimone (Y), 1:00; Gavin Thompson (Bw) pinned Jesse Gourley (E), 5:38; Rocco John-Daniello (Rey) pinned Isaiah Gilcrest (Con), 1:30; Steven Heme (Ma) pinned Jacob Kunselman (Rid), 0:39.
106 — Kane Kettering (Rey) pinned Carfley, 0:20; Headley dec. Wyatt Shaffer (Jo), 9-2; Lucas Munsee (Cor) pinned Bechakas, 3:07; Cayden Walter (Bv) pinned Lantz, 1:15.
113 — Owen Reinsel (Bv) pinned Gage, 2:14; Connor Saylor (Hi) dec. Cook, 9-4; Bryent Johnson (PA) major dec. Gabler, 14-0; Gary Steen (Rey) pinned Knauf, 5:10.
120 — Cole Bayless (Rey) dec. Martinec, 4-2; McLaughlin pinned Mark Palmer (Bw), 0:27; Logan Jaquay (E) pinned Kinney, 1:50; Brayden Kunselman (Bv) major dec. O’Neil, 11-0.
126 — Braedon Johnson (PA) tech. fall Filer, 17-2; Alex Kightlinger (Sae) pinned Popson, 1:31; Donovan pinned Trenten Rupp (RV), 5:03; Connor Pierce (HC) tech. fall Morris, 16-0.
132 — Kaeden Berger (Rey) pinned Buck, 2:36; Gill dec. Nolan Shaffer (Jo), 7-0; Matt Leehan (GM) pinned Morrell, 1:39; Anthony Glasl (Bw) dec. Reagle, 6-0. 138 — Zach Holland (Cur) dec. Boozer, 7-2; Alex Ischo (Rey) major dec. Petruzzi, 15-5; Dalton Stahl (Jo) dec. Miller, 4-2; Kenny Kiser (Sae) tech fall Ely, 15-0.
145 — Jackson Spires (GM) pinned O’Neil, 2:58; Huck dec. Kaden Dennis (Jo), 6-5; Alex Chess (Me) pinned Morelli, 1:07; Ethan Wiant (RV) dec. Lapinski, 6-2.
152 — Aiden Zimmerman (Jo) dec. Marfinetz, 6-2; Owen Jefferson (Sen) dec. Kulik 12-5; Jacob Wickett (Rid) dec. Bungar, 9-5; Sully Allen (Shr) pinned Boozer, 2:25.
160 — Gage Musser (CP) dec. Caldwell, 5-2; Noah Bash (Bw) pinned Gourley, 5:09; Daiveon Say (GC) major dec. Griffin, 14-1; Cole Casilio (Jo) dec. Smith, 7-3.
170 — Teddy Race (K) pinned Hesselgesser, 2:43; Holden Cook (Fr) dec. Mosconi, 9-2; Karpinski dec. Jake McCracken (Cur), 2-0; Cole Toy (Rey) pinned Laird, 4:44.
182 — Bryce McCloskey (Rey) pinned Watts, 1:32; Ethan Finch (She) pinned Cowher, 3:09; Vito Pilosi (SR) dec. Park, 4-2; Cameron Whisner (K) major dec. Petrilla, 15-1.
195 — Vantassel dec. Eric Johnson (Bw), 3-2; Trevor Tursky (Con) pinned LaBenne, 1:14; Linkerhof major dec. Aiden Gardner (RV), 14-4; Braydon Herbster (Rey) pinned Yarger, 1:16.
220 — Joey King (Ma) pinned DeVault, 4:38; Miller dec. Justin Young (PA), 3-0; Cael Black (E) dec. Gentile, 8-5; Nathan Taylor (Bv) tech fall Jacobson, 15-0.
285 — Colby Whitehill (Bv) pinned Sutton, 0:22; Thompson pinned Xavier Reyda (Cor), 2:42; John-Daniello dec. Kobe Bonnano (RV), 2-1; Jordan Schell (Gi) pinned Heme, 1:06.
Brockway (Bw); Brookville (Bv); Cambridge Springs (CS); Clarion (Cla); Cochranton (Coc); Commodore Perry (CP); Conneaut (Con); Corry (Cor); Coudersport (Cou); Curwensville (Cur); Eisenhower (E); Fort LeBoeuf (FLB); Franklin (Fr); Girard (Gir); General McLane (GM); Greenville (Gr); Grove City (GC); Harbor Creek (HC); Hickory (Hi); Jamestown (Ja); Johnsonburg (Jo); Kane (K); Lakeview (L); Maplewood (Ma); Mercer (Me); Northwestern (N); Oswayo Valley (OV); Port Allegany (PA); Redbank Valley (RV); Reynolds (Rey); Ridgway (Rid); Saegertown (Sae); Seneca (Sen); Sharon (Shr); Sharpsville (Spv); Sheffield (She); Slippery Rock (SR); Titusville (T); Union City (UC); West Middlesex (WM); Youngsville (Y)