SHARON — The Titusville Rockets had wrestlers in only 10 of 14 weight classes competing at the Class 2A Section 2 Tournament that concluded at Sharon High School on Saturday. Seven of them, including one champion and one runner-up, will return to the venue for the District 10 Tournament this coming weekend.
Led by top finisher Seth Donovan (126) and runner-up Jarrod Rodgers (152), the Rockets boasted five others who place in the top seven, as all extended their seasons at least one more week. Despite the small lineup, THS ended sixth in the team race and could have finished even higher had a couple of things broke its way.
Although a large number will return to compete another week, two others on the team were just a win away from extending their seasons. Another was forced to end his due to injury, In all, though, Titusville coach Joel Stearns thought his team did what he thought they could considering the circumstances.
“This is kind of what expected, but, of course, I’d like to take them all (to districts),” Stearns said. “Upsets happen here and some didn’t wrestle their best, and that also happens. Overall, I thought we did well.”
Joining Donovan and Rodgers in Sharon later this week are Gage Sutton (3rd, 285), Levi Nosko (5th, 182) and a trio of sixth-place finishers in Devin Patterson (170), Sebastian Titus (195) and Joe Jacobson (220).
In copping a title, Donovan improved upon his runner-up performance a year ago and added another first-place medal to his collection. The senior returned to the top of the podium for the first time since earning top honors at Williamsport’s Top Hat Tournament back in December.
He takes a team-best 33-3 record into districts, and posted a solid win in the finals following a tight match in the semifinals. The Rocket senior benefitted from a penalty point that propelled him to a 2-1 win over Reynolds’ Liam Foore that set up a match with Commodore Perry’s Zane Grinnell for first place.
After giving up an early takedown, Donovan struck for five unanswered points in the third period to win 9-4.
“That Reynolds kid he faces (in the semifinals) … it was tough for Seth to score on him,” Stearns said. “Seth knew he just needed to win and he did, and he was better in the finals. He didn’t panic after getting behind.”
Stearns said the senior’s hard offseason work is starting to pay off.
“He saw action with us in states last year, and he’s working hard to try to get there himself,” said the Rocket coach.
Rodgers nearly repeated his performance from a year ago when surprised the field and took top honors at this weight. Unfortunately for him on Saturday, Sharon’s Sully Allen, the top seed and fourth-ranked wrestler in the state, stymied his chance for a repeat, grabbing the crown with a 7-1 win in the finals.
“(Allen) is committed to Edinboro,” Stearns said. “If we can get (Rodgers) to do more on the bottom, I think he can give him a better match.”
Rodgers was runner-up at 152 at districts last year and totes a 24-8 ledger entering this year’s tournament.
Stearns said the others who placed high enough to advance were close to placing even higher, while noting that most are doing their best wrestling of the year. He felt Sutton’s performance was especially noteworthy.
“He’s getting more confident and trying more things,” Stearns said. “He’s been doing better since he’s done that.”
Sutton’s only loss came in the semifinals to top-seed Rocco John-Daniello, of Reynolds. He responded with two-straight wins in the consolations to earn third. He improved to 19-11, and his coach said he’s shown continued improvement over the course of the season.
Nosko, who finished just short of a D-10 berth a year ago, did just enough to ensure his season didn’t end the same way again. The senior seemed poised for a berth in the consolation finals before he gave up a one-point decision in the third round that forced him to battle for fifth place. There, the senior turned back Sharon’s Aidan Buck, and improved to 22-13 on the year en route to earning his first chance to compete at the district level.
“(Nosko) didn’t dwell on that loss,” Stearns said. “He just made a mistake. That happens sometimes. It’s better that it gets made here rather than down the road when it could keep you from advancing.”
The three others will also make their first rip to a district meet tabbed as the toughest in the state.
For Titus and Jacobson, both won early matches and reached the championship semifinals before being sent to the consolations. That essentially guaranteed them spots at districts, and each got one win in the consolation round to earn the privilege of competing at least one more week.
Patterson, however, had a tougher road to win at least two in the losers’ bracket to keep his season alive. Following a pin in his opener, he earned a 2-0 decision over Mercer’s Mason Hesselgesser to punch his ticket to districts.
It was the sophomore’s second win over the Mustang, as Patterson snagged a close one against him in the D-10 team duals the previous weekend.
“That is one tough weight class, and he’s been competitive with many of the top ones,” Stearns said of his sophomore. “He has the potential to upset some people.”
State team dual champion Reynolds dominated the team race, followed by Greenville and Commodore Perry. Conneaut Area and Mercer rounded out the top five.
Action in Sharon for the District 10 meet is set to begin on Friday.
Team scores and key
1. Reynolds (Rey) 321, 2. Greenville (Gv) 147½, 3. Commodore Perry (CP) 144, 4. Conneaut (Conn) 139, 5. Mercer (M) 119, 6. Titusville (Tv) 106½, 7. Hickory (Hy) 94½, 8. Jamestown (J) 90, 9. Sharon (Sh) 81½, 10. Slippery Rock (SR) 68, 11. Grove City (GC) 59, 12. Franklin (Fr) 53, 13. West Middlesex (WM) 48, 14. Lakeview (Lv) 44, 15. Sharpsville (Sv) 38½.
106 — Kane Kettering (Rey) pinned Mitchell Headley (J), 1:52. 113 — Gary Steen (Rey) dec. Connor Saylor (Hy), 13-6. 120 — Cole Bayless (Rey) major dec. Ashten Armagost (CP), 10-1. 126 — Seth Donovan (Tv) dec. Zane Grinnell (CP), 9-4. 132 — Kaeden Berger (Rey) dec. Carter Gill (Hy), 4-1. 138 — Alex Ischo (Rey) major dec. Brady Gould (Conn), 14-3. 145 — Alex Chess (M) pinned Jonny O’Neil (Conn), 4:15. 152 — Sully Allen (Sh) dec. Jarrod Rodgers (Tv), 7-1. 160 — Gage Musser (CP) dec. Daivon Say (GC), 7-3. 170 — Cole Toy (Rey) pinned Holden Cook (Fr), 1:05. 182 — Bryce McCloskey (Rey) dec. Vito Pilosi (SR), 4-3. 195 — Braydon Herbster (Rey) pinned Trevor Tursky (Conn), 1:50. 220 — Evan Miller (Rey) pinned Anthony Gentile (Gv), 3:44. 285 — Rocco John-Danielle (Rey) pinned Brayden DiFriscia (Gv), 1:15.
106 — Hunter Geibel (CP) dec. Nevada Koehler (Gv) 3-2. 113 — Blayke Knauf (Gv) dec. Trent Roncaglione (Conn) 6-0. 120 — Chase McLaughlin (J) pinned Justin O’Neil (WM) 1:44. 126 — Carson Filer (M) dec. Liam Foore (Rey) 6-2. 132 — Collin Hearn (Conn) dec. Malik Carney (Fr) 13-12. 138 — Logan Breese (GC) dec. Michael Berger (M) 3-1. 145 — Clayton Smith (CP) dec. Camren Klenke (Rey) 6-5. 152 — Andrew Bungar (Hy) major dec. Jesse Davenoport (Conn) 12-2. 160 — Jordan DeCarmen (Rey) dec. Alden Bright (M) 8-2. 170 — Cole Karpinski (Gv) dec. Jed Goodlin (J) 3-1. 182 — Domanic Leonard (CP) dec. Hunter Cowher (J) 3-0. 195 — Logan Conner (M) dec. Anthony Gioan (WM) 5-1. 220 — Isaac DeVault (Lv) pinned Zach Nesevich (J) 4:51. 285 — Gage Sutton (Tv) dec. Isaiah Gilchrest (Conn) 2-1.
106 — Kyle Lantz (Conn) pinned Soor Patel (Hy) 0:27. 113 — Kamren Fry (Sv) pinned Seth Renwick (J) 3:51. 120 — Riley Kneeland (Gv) dec. Nick Ayres (SR) 6-1. 126 — Ashton Roeder (Sv) pinned Zane Lynch (SR) 2:05. 132 — Eli Buck (Sh) pinned Deavon Rainey (Gv) 2:42. 138 — Mason Borland (SR) by forfeit Ryan O’Polka (Lv). 145 — Trevn Schaffer (Lv) dec. Nick Dignall (Sh) 11-6. 152 — Jalen Wagner (Rey) major dec. Glenn Lenhardt (Gv) 9-1. 160 — Josh Anderson (Conn) dec. Braelin Stewart (Hy) 8-6. 170 — Evan Hamilton (CP) dec. Devin Patterson (Tv) 7-3. 182 — Levi Nosko (Tv) dec. Aldan Buck (Sh) 3-1. 195 — Ryder Knierman (CP) dec. Sebastian Titus (Tv) 5-2. 220 — Zeb Rubaker (WM) major dec. Joe Jacobson (Tv) 9-0. 285 — P.J. Boggs (M) major dec. Nicholas Maule (Hy) 11-2.
106 — Thomas Foster (SR) dec. Z Leaf (GC) 7-2. 113 — Trevor Hamilton (Fr) pinned Nate Schupp (M) 2:33. 120 — Cody Miller (Hy) dec. Zac Herrmann (Sv) 5-0. 126 — Mason Battles (Gv) pinned Josiah Henriquez (GC) 1:29. 132 — Wyatt Sternthal (Sv) pinned Brandon Guthrie (Lv) 1:26. 138 — Luke Gentile (Gv) pinned Jayden Rodger (Hy) 4:28. 145 — Ty Holland (Hy) by forfeit James Titus (Tv). 152 — Justin Pearce (SR) pinned Justus Baker (Fr) 1:58. 160 — Seth Evans (Sh) dec. Dylan Wanner (WM) 10-4. 170 — Mason Hesselgesser (M) dec. Michael Knafels (GC) 3-2. 182 — Jake Elbaz (M) pinned Dylan Ahern (GC) 2:29. 195 — Griffen Richardson (Gv) pinned Landen Shaffer (SR) 2:29. 220 — Andrew Price (Sh) pinned Rory McTighe (CP) 0:53. 285 — Sebastian Hensch (Lv) pinned Brenden Gioan (WM) 3:53.