SOL MEDAL HOPEFULS OFF TO HERSHEY
2020 PIAA AAA INDIVIDUAL WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
By Glenn Kaiser
Most state qualifiers from the SOL will make the trek to Hershey Wednesday evening to get a workout on the Giant Center floor before wrestling begins Thursday at 4:00pm. For some, it is their first trip to the mecca of high school wrestling in Chocolate Town, USA. For others it is a return trip, and for a handful, it is a mission to be the best of the best. Along with individual medals at stake, the true state team champion will crowned here. And the SOL will have two strong representatives in this category to win a team title. Council Rock South has done it before in 2005. Now it may be Council Rock North’s turn as they send seven wrestlers to Hershey.
Teams will take notice of the Indians, as their seven competing wrestlers span from top to bottom of the line-up. CR North will have plenty of firepower in this tournament with state champ hopefuls Kyle Hauserman (120), Luke Lucerne (126) and Cam Robinson (152), along with highly ranked Dillon Sheehy (160). In addition, add in first timers in little man Anthony Burke (106) and big man Max Harar (285) along with a dangerous Sammy Hayes (145) in the middle, and you have a recipe for success. Robinson was the state runner-up a year ago at 145-pounds. Hauserman was third as a sophomore at 106, and Lucerne fourth at 120 in 2019.
CR South will counter with five state qualifiers. Kyle Waterman (126) is the top gun here for the Golden Hawks. Cavan Kinne (106), Joel Martsinovsky (152), Matt Colajezzi (160), and Giani Gilch 182) will all be in search of hardware. Waterman has earned two straight medals in Hershey and is looking to get high on the podium to cap off his senior campaign. Colajezzi makes his second trip as a sophomore to the promised land and Gilch is hoping his third trip pays dividends.
Other top area hopefuls include Hatboro-Horsham’s A.J. Tamburrino, who garnered bronze last year at 145-pounds for William Tennent. Neshaminy’s Zac Martin is making his third appearance in Hershey after dropping down to 132lbs and is looking for his first piece of hardware at states. T.J. England from Tennent is right behind Martin after moving up to 132 as he makes his second attempt at medaling.
Plymouth-Whitmarsh’s Paolo DiSanto leads a strong group of SOL wrestlers at 220, with H-H’s Logan Flynn, Dan Keller (making his second visit to the Giant Center) and Central Bucks East’s Danny Eckley battling to place at this wide open weight class. The heavy weight division has three SOL grapplers that could rise on the podium come Saturday evening. Mike Miller (P-W), John Klewin (Bensalem) and CRN’s Harar are all there. The upper weight classes in Hershey are ripe for anyone to place, and 195-pounds is no different. Young SOL talents in Quinn Collins (CBE) and Carl DiGiorgio (CBW) and senior Logan Green from Pennridge may find their way on the podium with some luck.
Dark horses to medal include Quakertown’s Dom DeFalco and North Penn’s William Morrow, both at 138-pounds, Bensalem’s Connor Eck (145) and Neshaminy’s Gunnar Spain and NP’s Jarret Niedosik at 170lbs. Shane Kibler is the Abington lone rep at 145-pounds.
Here is a quick preview of the brackets for SOL Wrestlers:
106-pounds-Kinne and Burke will struggle here in a loaded class of talented lightweights.
Top Three Place Winners: Tyler Kasack (Bethlehem Catholic), Mac Church (Waynesburg) & Keanu Manuel (Downingtown East)
113-Top Three Place Winners: Carter Dibert (Franklin Regional), Ben Monn (Cumberland Valley) & Mason Leiphart (Dover)
120-Kyle Hauserman will be in contention for a title, but will be challenged early by Nazareth’s Andrew Smith and must take out either Killian Delaney (WC Henderson), who he lost to at regions, or Manheim Central’s Will Betancourt in semifinal action.
Top Three Place Winners: Kyle Hauserman (CRN), Dylan Chappell (Seneca Valley) & Will Betancourt
126-If Waterman can get on track early, he and Lucerne could meet for a third time in the finals. He’ll have a tall task in the quarters versus Kurtis Phipps (Norwin). Lucerne is in good position as the #2 seed here. Top Three Place Winners: Phipps (Norwin), Lucerne (CRN) & Waterman (CRS)
132: Martin is on a mission. England will be tested out of the gate against Becahi’s Kenny Hermann - if he wins that he’ll have momentum. Top Three Place Winners: Alejandro Herrara-Rondon (Seneca Vlly), Gabe Willochell (Greater Latrobe) & Patrick Noonan (Stroudsburg)
138-Not much room here for DeFalco or Morrow on the podium.
Top Three Place Winners: Sam Hillegas (North Hills), Wyatt Henson (Waynesburg) & DeShawn Farber (Nazareth)
145-Eck, Hayes and Abington’s Shane Kibler are here. This is a loaded weight class as usual at the state level, and all will have to bring their ‘A’ games if they are to medal.
Top Three Place Winners: Cole Handlovic (Beth Cath), Jagger Condomitti (Northampton) & Paniro Johnson (Eerie Cathedral Prep)
152-Cam Robinson is on a mission to win the title here after an appearance in the finals last season. He is away from 36-0 top seed Ed Scott (DuBois) and 38-0 Cole Spencer (Pine Richland) and positioned to return to the title match. A.J. Tamburrino will have to go thru a gauntlet to reach the finals, as he’ll be pitted against BECCA’s Matt Lackman (NE Champ) in first round action, and then have to deal with Spencer in a loaded top half of the bracket that includes Scott. Tamburrino will need to execute better than he did last weekend after losing to Spring-
Ford’s Jack McGill in the semis. Joe Martsnovsky in the lower half of the bracket can win some matches. Top Three Place Winners: Robinson (CRN), Scott (DuBois) & Spencer (Pine Rich)
160-There are no easy outs here. Sheehy and Colajezzi could meet in a quarterfinal but will need to pull some upsets to do it. Placement at regionals was the difference here. Colajezzi needs to get into the first round with a prelim win and will be up against Connor Herceg (Nazereth) if he does. Sheehy has a tall task in his first round tussle with Luke Nichter (Chambersburg). Top Three Place Winners: Clayton Ulrey (Lower Dauphin), Nichter (Chambersburg) & Jake Blumer (Kiski Area)
170-Spain has had a great season and looks to land on the stand to end it. Niedosik has rebounded from a poor D1 East performance. With a ton of talent here, it will be a grinder to the podium. Top Three Place Winners: Lenny Pinto (Stroudsburg), Trey Kibe (Mifflin Cty) & Angel Garcia (Mariana Bracetti)
182-Giani Gilch will place with his best effort. Top Three Place Winners: Gerrit Nijenhuis (Cannon Mac), Max Hale (DTW) & Joey Milano (Spring-Ford)
195-There’s an outside chance one of three SOL guys get thru to the medal rounds. Green has some experience and has the best shot. DiGiorgio is dangerous and Collins as well, both are only sophomores and an appearance early in their careers will only strengthen their quest for hardware down the road. Top Three Place Winners: Luke Stout (Mt. Lebanon), Jake Lucas (Cumberland Vlly) & Luke Montgomery (Bethel Park)
220-Returning state champ Nate Schon (Selinsgrove) is in the bottom half of the bracket, which seems to be his. Up top three of the four SOL grapplers lurk. Dorian Crosby (Cath Prep) is up top as the #1 seed. Eckley and DiSanto have to go thru him. Flynn will run into Stephen Schott ( Nazareth) in first round action. Thus, most likely a medal or two will have to come from the consolation bracket for Keller and the others. Top Three Place Winners: Schon (Selinsgrove), Crosby (Cath Prep) & Chase Mielnik (DTW)
285-This is Hunter Catka’s (Sun Valley) weight class, period. He is a former state champ and third place finisher in 2019. Miller, Klewin and Harar can grab hardware down below, as they are all in the bottom half of the bracket. Klewin is back on track, and Miller only has one loss to Catka. Harar will see Meadville’s 34-0 Thomas Pollard in first round action. Klewin needs to be on his game to get by Hempfield’s Isaiah Vance (38-1). Harar and Klewin need to win prelim bouts to see these matchups. Top Three Place Winners: Catka (Sun Vlly), Vance (Hempfield) & Robert Unruh (Exeter).