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Central Mountain’s Simcox ready for super regional wrestling tournament

Prior to the beginning of the season, Luke Simcox’s goal was to place at the state tournament in Hershey. The freshman sits just two wins away from that objective entering today’s Class AAA West Super Regional tournament.

“It is something I’m trying to make come true this season,” Simcox said. “Especially with all the new rules, it’s a good accomplishment that I think I need to make.”

Simcox is the lone Wildcat left in postseason action. The freshman ran through his opponents last weekend at regionals, earning two pins in total. Simcox captured the first-place crown a week ago by defeating State College’s Owen Woolcoot 10-2 in the finals. Woolcoot will be among the six other wrestlers battling alongside Simcox in the 126-bracket for the top four spots.

Simcox said it means something to him that he is the last Central Mountain wrestler in action. He said it is something that has motivated him.

“I think I need to not prove something, but I think it would be cool to represent the team as a 2021 state qualifier or state champ maybe,” Simcox said. “My team keeps me motivated. It’s amazing. I love being around the whole atmosphere here and I think that’s what I like the most about this.”

Simcox said his confidence levels have increased at a steady rate as the season has progressed.

“I don’t know if my confidence increased, but it definitely got a little bit better towards the end of the year after I did well at the regional tournament,” Simcox said. “I performed a lot better and then my confidence started going up, felt more confident before all my matches right now.”

If you spoke with Central Mountain wrestling coach Biff Walizer, he would tell he is not shocked to see Simcox holding the second seed in the 126-pound bracket.

“Luke came in with some pretty high accolades as a junior high wrestler. He was second in junior states last year,” Walizer said. “The guy he lost to in a close match in the junior high state finals is the top ranked junior high wrestler in the country, so he came in pretty highly talented.”

According to Walizer, Simcox’s ability to maintain his composure is the reason he has been able to find success this year and is among the select left in the state. Which goes back to Simcox’s confidence prior to matches.

“He doesn’t lose focus, he’s pretty even-keeled throughout, continuing doing his thing which is big, because sometimes when guys give up after a first takedown, they get flustered and panicked,” Walizer said. “He’s very even keeled and very composed for a freshman.

In preparation for today’s bouts, Simcox has been pushed by his teammates all week. The freshman has been working with Zane Cooper mostly, but it has been a handful of help from guys such as Taylor Weaver, Gino Serafini, Braylen Corter and Griffin Walizer.

Wrestlers who Walizer knows will prep him for today’s challenges.

“They all are able to get their hand on each other, because they’re all within a couple weight classes within each other,” Walizer said. “It’s good and a big benefit to have that many quality workout partners around your own weight.”

In order to move onto the state finals in Hershey next weekend, Simcox will need to win just two matches, nothing unfamiliar for the freshman as he has a registered a total of 21 entering today.

“It could be the first two, It could be win, lose, win. Basically, in order of getting through this weekend, you have to win two matches,” Walizer said. “It’s just finding a way to win two bouts and he’s fully capable of doing that.”

Simcox will be tested in the first round. The freshman is slated to battle with last year’s state champion Ethan Berginc of Hempfield Area.

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