Central Mountain ahead of the pack after day one, Jersey Shore 13th in Top Hat Tournament
WILLIAMSPORT — Wrestling isn’t Austyn Carson’s main sport. He loves to play baseball for Central Mountain, and on the football team, he was the Wildcats’ leading passer, rusher, kicker and punter.
Wrestling is something the senior has always done, but he’s never been the starter for the team the way he’s been in baseball and football. Friday night at the annual Tom Best Memorial Top Hat Tournament at Williamsport High School, Carson got his opportunity in the lineup, and he didn’t disappoint.
Carson won all three of his bouts, upsetting the No. 1 seed at 152 pounds and earning a spot in this morning’s semifinals. He’s one of 23 local semifinalists, and one of nine from Central Mountain. The Wildcats lead the team race following the first day of the tournament with 105.5 points. Line Mountain is second with 77.5, and Muncy is third with 75.
Wrestling begins this morning at 10 a.m. with the semifinals scheduled for 10:30. The parade of champions will begin at 4 p.m.
“I like baseball and football, but when you go in the room, this sport teaches you about more than just what you’re doing on the mat,” Carson said. “I’ve had good drill partners coming up since my freshman year, and I finally got to put it all together on the mat.”
Before wrestling Friday night, Carson had just two varsity matches to his name. One came during the District 6 Duals final last year when he won a 5-3 bout against Bellefonte. The other was a loss by fall as a sophomore in a dual against Phillipsburg-Osceola. He more than doubled his number of career matches Friday night with his 3-0 performance.
And it wasn’t just that Carson won three matches. But he did it in such dominating fashion. He was in one of six pigtail matches in the entire tournament and opened with a fall in 3:24 against Hughesville’s Caleb Dixon. He followed that up with a dominant 8-2 win against returning regional sixth-place finisher Coleman Good of Muncy, who was the top seed at 152 after finishing second in the tournament last year.
But just for good measure, he dominated on his feet and added a set of back points in an 8-0 win over Montoursville’s Charles Steinbacher in the quarterfinals. All of a sudden, Carson is into the semifinals where he’ll face Fort LeBoeuf’s Trenton Pace this morning. Pace was a 23-match winner for the Bison a year ago.
“My coaches had me prepared for the match (against Good),” Carson said. “So I had no worries about conditioning or anything. I knew I had to take advantage of his mistakes and also take advantage of what I can do. You have to have a winner’s mindset that you’re going to win no matter who you’re facing.”
Carson has been stuck behind some pretty solid wrestlers during his career. His workout partners like Seth Andrus, Asher Corl and Colton Weaver have all either been state or regional qualifiers and were integral to Central Mountain winning a pair of matches the PIAA Team Wrestling Championships last year and finishing in the Top 8 in Class AAA.
And then there was the matter of a pesky knee injury which cost him most of his junior season last year. On the first day of practice, just 15 minutes into the workout, Carson took a shot and tore his meniscus. He got back in time to win that 5-3 bout in the district duals final, but it was his only appearance on the mat.
With Weaver’s graduation and Corl’s ascent to 160 pounds to start this season, it opened a door for Carson, who kicked it wide open last night, announcing his presence with all the subtlety of a bucking bronco in an antiques store.
“It’s absolutely been tough. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time and it feels good to finally go out there and actually wrestle,” Carson said. “Now I get to show everyone what I can do. It was good to watch those guys wrestle, but I knew what I could do and when I got the chance to get out here, I just wanted to prove what I can do.”
When asked if he thought he could win the tournament with the confidence he built with his Day 1 performance, Carson just laughed. It’s not his concern at the moment. He really can’t afford to look even those two matches ahead.
Pace won more than 20 matches for one of the most storied Class AA wrestling programs in the state a year ago. On the other side of the bracket, Mechanicsburg’s Brady Serina knocked off state qualifier Jack Bennett of Tri-Valley in the quarterfinals and returning regional qualifier Devyn Gurreri of Red Lion defeated fellow regional qualifier Hunter Wright of Clearfield with a technical fall in the quarterfinals.
So Carson can’t afford to look ahead. Instead, he’s focused on using the confidence he’s gained to help execute the gameplan he and his coaches built. He’s been a terror on his feet moving with more pace and quickness than the Tasmanian Devil. He was a bull on top. And his gas tank didn’t appear to lose a drop throughout his six-minute runs.
“I have a lot more confidence going into (Saturday). But the top priority is to get the team tournament win. Team first, me next,” Carson said. “But this was amazing. I’ve been in JV tournaments the past couple years where there’s only a few people in the crowd. You get in this big atmosphere and I want to put on a show.”
TOM BEST MEMORIAL TOP
HAT TOURNAMENT (DAY 1)
Team standings: 1, Central Mountain, 105.5; 2, Line Mountain, 77.5; 3, Muncy, 75; 4, Mifflinburg, 62.5; 5, Fort LeBoeuf, 62; 6, Clearfield, 60; 7, Hazleton, 57; 8, Williamsport, 48; 9, Montoursville, 47; 10, Cocalico, 44.5; t-11, Mechanicsburg, 44; t-11, Red Lion, 44; 13, Jersey Shore, 36.5; 14, Titusville, 30; 15, South Western, 28; 16, Tri-Valley, 22; 17, Hughesville, 12.5; 18, Schuylkill Valley, 11.5
Team key: Central Mountain, CM; Clearfield, Cl; Cocalico, Co; Fort LeBoeuf, FLB; Hazleton, Ha; Hughesville, Hu; Jersey Shore, JS; Line Mountain, LM; Mechanicsburg, M; Mifflinburg, Mi; Montoursville, Mo; Muncy, Mu; Red Lion, RL; Schuylkill Valley, SV; South Western, SW; Titusville, T; Tri-Valley, TV; Williamsport, W.
132: Alex Rabette, RL, dec. Colin Gorini, Mo, 11-10; Logan Schwalm, TV, dec. Spencer Thomas, Hu, 6-2.
138: Ryan Bish, T, dec. Justin Whitmoyer, Hu, 4-1; Brock Holloway, RL, pinned Tyler Hiestand, SV, 4:25.
145: Hunter Knorr, TV, dec. Chance Eshelman, SW, 7-2.
152: Austyn Carson, CM, pinned Caleb Dixon, Hu, 3:24.
CHAMPIONSHIP FIRST ROUND
106: Seth Donovan, T, bye; Gabe Gramly, Mi, pinned Matthew Orton, FLB, 1:17; Austin Stugart, W, bye; Blake Wirt, LM, bye; Johnny Cora, Ha, bye; Joshua Martz, SW, bye; Branson Martin, RL, dec. Anson Zimmerman, CM, 7-3; Angelo Maines, Cl, bye.
113: Jacob Blair, Mu, bye; Asa Brunk, M, dec. Martin Bryant, W, 8-1; Cameron Hauck, LM, pinned Caleb Martz, SW, 1:36; Caleb Underhill, Mi, bye; Seth Fritz, Co, bye; Christian Dennison, RL, dec. Broc Lutz, Mo, 9-8; John Thomas, Cl, pinned Matt Maggiaro, SV, 1:23; Johnny Shreffler, CM, bye.
120: Wyatt Lutz, Mo, bye; Ian Coller, LM, pinned Peyton Smay, Cl, 1:49; Luke Gorg, Hu, tech. fall Logan Wolfe, SW, 15-0, 3:53; Hunter Thompson, T, pinned Dylan Linn, Mi, :38; Kayde Althouse, Co, pinned Caleb Strayer, RL, 1:40; Mario Barberio, Mu, pinned Brady Henry, M, 3:41; Dalton Bechdel, CM, maj. dec. Christian Kislan, Ha, 11-0; Isaac Crowell, FLB, pinned Tylil James, W, 1:01.
126: Matt Ryan Cl, bye; Colby Ernst, SV, dec. Kayden Busey, CM, 9-6; Logan Ledebohm, M, pinned Nicholas Ridenour, SW, 1:24; J.T. Ploss, FLB, bye; Ben Heinrich, Hu, bye; Bryce Vollman, Mu, pinned Kyle Daugherty, RL, 3:29; Blake Harner, TV, won by forfeit Joelyn Espinal, Ha; Matty Coller, LM, bye.
132: Seth Andrus, CM, pinned Alex Rebette, RL, :46; Justin Cornelius, FLB, dec. Clayton Reed, Mi, 3-2; Christian Good, Mu, maj. dec. Jude Pallo, Cl, 13-4; Nick Tewell, M, pinned James Titus, T, 1:40; Riley Hilner, W, pinned Keefer Neidig, 2:34; Tyler Willits, JS, maj. dec. Aaron Geisinger, SV, 9-1; Adam Leib, SW, pinned Grant Swann, Co, :40; Charles Everdale, Ha, pinned Logan Schwalm, TV, :22.
138: Joe Klock, Mu, pinned Ryan Bish, T, :37; Joel Huck, FLB, dec. Trevor Hale, Co, 4-0; Cody Coleman, CM, maj. dec. Nate Reed, M, 19-9; Griffin Smeltz, LM, pinned Brian Harris, SW, :37; Cam Dickey, W, pinned Jacob Strohecker, TV, :28; Stephen Martisofski, Ha, dec. Quinten Edwards, 3-2; Gabe Packer, JS, pinned Jake Dinges, Mo, :31; Trevor Bingaman, Mi, pinned Brock Holloway, RL, 2:41.
145: Caleb Shaffer, LM, tech. fall Hunter Knorr, TV, 16-0, 3:15; Dylan Bennett, Mo, dec. Ethan Gush, Mu, 4-0; Anthony Robinson, W, pinned Dante Matarella, Ha, :25; Logan Long, CM, pinned Jonah Roth, M, 1:15; Cole Daugherty, RL, pinned Carlens Lapaix, SV, :55; Caleb Freeland, Cl, dec. Josh McCall, FLB, 12-6; Jared Rodgers, T, dec. Seamus Finnegan, Co, 9-5; Eric Gessner, Mi, tech. fall A.J. Feist, JS, 15-0, 3:20.
152: Austyn Carson, CM, dec. Coleman Good, Mu, 8-2; Charles Steinbacher, Mo, dec. Jeremy Aquino, Ha, 11-10; Jacob Feese, LM, pinned Luciano DeRose, T, 4:48; Trenton Pace, FLB, dec. Alec Dickey, W, 4-1; Jack Bennett, SV, tech. fall Alex May, Co, 15-0, 4:20; Brady Serina, M, pinned Braxton Zerbe, TV, :56; Devyn Gurreri, RL, tech. fall Ryan Kershner, JS, 21-4, 5:52; Hunter Wright, Cl, pinned Collin Miller, Mi, :24.
160: Tyler Stoltzfus, Mi, bye; Devin Sensenig, Co, dec. Jacob Lloyd, FLB, 7-6; Ethan Baney, SW, maj. dec. Stanley Dai, RL, 11-1; Asher Corl, CM, tech. fall Chase Middleton, T, 16-0, 4:17; Gable Crebs, Mo, pinned Dylan Bair, M, :54; Torren Potts, W, pinned Gabe Kolasa, SV, :34; Chris Koperna, LM, pinned Jayson Brielmeier, Ha, 4:35; Noah Gush, Mu, pinned Brau Draper, Hu, 1:31.
170: Tanner Weaver, CM, pinned Nick Maris, Hu, 1:28; Jaxon Dalena, Mo, maj. dec. Levi Nosko, T, 11-3; Cavin Sullivan, SW, pinned Owen Zimmerman, Co, 3:29; Jermaine Hull, M, pinned Gavyn Eisenhower, Mu, 5:55; Jake Marnell, Ha, pinned Collyn Flaharty, RL, 4:38; Kyle Tomb, JS, tech, fall Brett Zatoni, Cl, 16-1, 2:49; Tyler Burns, Mi, pinned Wyatt Bingaman, LM, 2:13; Brent Burbules, FLB, maj. dec. Chase Bower, W, 16-5.
182: Luke McGonigal, Cl, bye; Austin Confer, CM, pinned Aiden Webber, SV, 3:11; Parker Harvey, T, dec. Ben Sola, Co, 7-1; Hunter O’Connor, JS, pinned Caleb Schans, Mo, 4:38; Mike Kustanbauter, Mu, dec. Jansen Houdeshell, Mi, 9-6; Cole Stremmel, SW, pinned Seth Hunsinger, Ha, 1:55; Jack Conrad, RL, pinned Evan Stutzman, Hu, 1:14; Julian Gorring, FLB, maj. dec. Nate Powley, W, 12-4.
195: Gavin Hoffman, Mo, bye; David Tomb, JS, pinned Brandon Daub, Cl, 4:25; Gage Sutliff, CM, pinned Blake Wray, Mi, 3:11; Ethan Long, LM, pinned Cole Joines, RL, :19; Shane Noonan, Ha, pinned Jamaire Burget, W, 2:36; Tim Church, FLB, pinned Cael Hembury, Mu, 5:01; Sebastian Titus, T, pinned Logan Chase, SW, :57; Ben Fromm, Co, pinned Aiden Sheely, M, 1:24.
220: Jaron Renn, LM, bye; Spencer Moffett, SW, bye; Joe Jcobson, T, bye; Avry Gisewhite, Cl, bye; Cameron Wood, Mo, bye; Joseph Bearinger, Co, bye; Larry Bilyeu, Mu, bye; Tanner Riggle, CM, bye.
285: Danny Scheib, TV, bye; Dominick Bridi, LM, pinned Kevin Doran, Cl, :59; Kaleb Dunlap, T, pinned Brandon Reichard, RL, 2:16; Jacob Whitaker, Mu, dec. Thomas Morris, SW, 1-0; Dalton Tubbs, Mo, pinned Deven Doane, Mi, 1:42; Jacob Edwards, CM, pinned Michael Fuchick, Ha, 1:59; Ethan Williamson, W, pinned Lance McLaughlin, FLB, 2:50; Austin Shaver, Co, bye.
132: Logan Schwalm, TV, dec. Colin Gorini, Mo, 3-2; Spencer Thomas, Hu, dec. Alex Rebette, RL, 5-3.
138: Brock Holloway, RL, pinned Justin Whitmoyer, Hu, 1:44; Tyler Hiestand, SV, pinned Ryan Bish, T,