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Tom Elling’s Wrestling Mat-ters: Districts and Regional wrestling wrap up

By TOM ELLING

For The Express

This is a busy time of the wrestling year. The Districts are over (in some areas so are Regionals), but the many and varied-Resilite tussles will converge in Hershey in two short weeks.

Congratulations to Central Mountain coaches and wrestlers for their second-place finish in a tough Class AAA field (182 points). Coach Walizer was very pleased that every member of the team contributed points in that accomplishment. But it was Gage Sutliff’s fall at 220-pounds that clinched second place as Bellefonte was in position to take over that spot had Gage faltered. Gage didn’t and became the Wildcats’ second District 6 Champion of the night (and the first from Bucktail since Dimitri Probst). Sutliff has been wrestling giving up weight all year long, but that was a big part of what aided him in his three bouts.

The first champ for the ‘Cats came with a dominating performance by 113-pounder Derek Keen. He, too, wrestled up a few times to aid the team. His selflessness paid off as not only is he a District 6 champion, but he has also secured the top seed this weekend in the NW AAA Regional (to be held at the Altoona Field House). CM will be taking twelve to the Regional including District runners-up Taylor Weaver (126, Lane Porter (145), and Nik Miller (195). The three thirds were Gino Serafini (106), Damien Galentine (152), and Caleb Porter(170). The fourth placers: Zach Miller (138), Kaden Falls (160), Paul Risley (182) and Cyrus McCarl (285).

Central Mountain Junior High coach Gavin Caprio was named the District 6 JH Coach of the Year.

Former Lock Haven Bobcats Don Eichenlaub and Skip Bolin, along with former BE-N Panthers Mark Williams and Joel Brinker, were selected to the District Six Coaches’ Hall of Fame. Also in attendance to honor the two former Bobcats were a couple other former teammates Dwight Bolin and Judd Powell. Skip Bolin provided an informative ‘radio’ interview, including his award-winning impression of the late Harris Lipez.

Bellefonte finished a strong third with 176.5 points. They had four champions; one runner-up; two thirds and two fourths. Lane Aikey (120), Jude Swisher (126), Ethan Richner (160), and Ethan Rossman (182) were all impressive in taking their titles. Aiden O’Shea (who elected to move up a weight class for Districts) made it pay off with a second. Alec Coppolo (132) and Max Barrier (220) wrestled back for thirds. Stephen Ivicic (170) and Tyler Benner (195) were fourth. Coppolo earned his 100th career win in the consy semis.

The NW AAA Regionals are at Altoona Field House starting Friday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 p.m. with Round 1 and Quarter-finals. Saturday has scheduled Consy Round 1 at 10 a.m. with Consy Round 2 to follow. At 12:30 the semis and consy quarterfinals are wrestled simultaneously with Consy semis following. The Finals and Consy Finals will be wrestled on two mats after the parade of champions at 6 PM.

Class AA’s BEA held the South West Regional at IUP over the weekend ending up with a 5th place, crowning one champion, a runner-up and two fourths. Gage McClenahan took the 145-pound title with a hard-fought 5-4 decision over Forest Hills’ Erik Gibson. Runner-Up Coen Bainey (106) took second in a 6-4 battle with Chestnut Ridge’s Calan Bollman. Cooper Gilham (120) and David Close (220) earned their trip to Hershey with fourth-place finishes.

Jersey Shore was 15th at Williamsport in the District 4 AA tournament. The Bulldogs had a fourth, fifth and sixth. Gabe Andrus was the fourth at 126-pounds; Hadyn Packer- 5th at 160 and Liam Goodrich -6th at 120.

Corey King went 0-2 at 182 for the Sugar Valley Rural Charter School.

Cade Rogers (son of Mike and Danielle Rogers) took a third in the National Preps Championships held at Lehigh University last weekend. His grandpop is Dan Vilello, a former Bobcat wrestler.

LHU honored their seniors in the last home meet with Cornell(23-13 Cornell). They are DJ Fehlman (133), Kyle Shoop (141), Collin Glorioso (149), Alex Klucker (157), Jared Siegrist (174), Corey Hazel (194), Ray Bernot (184) and Trey Hartsock (Hwt). We wish them all good luck with the remainder of the season and as they move to the next step in their lives. I’m sure they will remember their days at the Haven. with much gratitude. They might also want to consider becoming a PIAA official. While we still have many good ones in our area, we do NOT have many young ones. It is a great way to stay active in the sport and give back. Check out piaa.org for more information.

If I’m an area-coach, I get Kyle Shoop in my room to go over his tilts. He is a beast in the top position.

Wrestling mourns the loss of three men: Charles ‘Biff’ Walizer, Dr. John Raber of Georgia., and Tyler Erdman of Line Mountain. The first two were Lock Haven State grads and were wrestling legends. Raber settled in Georgia and helped develop wrestling in that state. He officiated the NCAA’s and reffed the bout where he called stalling on Kenny Monday against Nate Carr. That sent the bout into overtime and Carr went on to win the title. Erdman was a 2008 PIAA champion at 119. Just this past week, he attended the District 4 Class AA tournament.

In a world of uncertainty, we should remember to choose kindness. Tomorrow is promised to no one.

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