The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


February 16, 2014

Greenville captures 22nd section title

- — GREENVILLE — The annual Section 3-AA wrestling tournament took place this weekend at Greenville High, but drawing an analogy, the outcome was more basketball’s equivalent of the slam-dunk.

Entering Saturday’s championship finals the Trojans tallied 213 points, already guaranteeing the program’s 22nd Sectional team title. By evening’s end they had amassed 230 tallies to take their 4th consecutive crown.

“The kids wrestled awesome. To come in and get all fourteen kids through (to the District 10 Championships) is an exceptional effort, and I don’t know when the last time that happened,” related Trojans’ taskmaster John Reynolds. “We’re very proud of them, and we saw some tremendous efforts in the finals with the kids who were champions ...”

Michael Lineman (106), Jase Paxton (113), Joey Safner (120), Blake Reynolds (132), Gavin Wilkerson (138), Derek Watt (145), Gage Gladysz (160), Zach Miller (170), and Justin Reynolds (182) advanced to the finals. Lineman, Wilkerson, Gladysz, Miller and Justin Reynolds reaped Trojans’ titles.

Gladysz and Reynolds defended their championships, as did Cochranton’s Robert Boozer (145), Conneaut Area’s Kyle Lukowich, and Northwestern’s Matt Wheeler (120). Lukowich bumped up from 126 to 132, but needed a 3-overtime ride-out to edge Blake Reynolds.

“ ... I have to give my son (Blake) a little kudos,” John Reynolds related. “He wrestled a returning state qualifier and lost a tough match. But, overall, just an outstanding effort.”

Jamestown’s Faris Messai edged defending 106-pound champion Paxton in the 113-pound finale. His sibling, Mohamed, was blanked by Justin Reynolds. Another defending champion, Cambridge Springs’ Zach Stafford (195), was decisioned by Maplewood’s Isaiah Stearns.

Gladysz garnered a win via forfeit, as his potential finals opponent, Jamestown’s Garrett Morgan, was disqualified from the tournament and, consequently, for the remainder of the postseason.

Morgan, after recording a 3-1 semifinals win over Cambridge Springs’ 2nd-seeded Colton Noble, received 2 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. As per PIAA regulations, the 1st cost the Muskies a team point; the 2nd essentially evicted Morgan from Greenville High’s gymnasium for the remainder of the weekend, and his runner-up berth was vacated, tournament director Robin Fisher explained.

Unfortunately, Morgan is a senior.

Commodore Perry’s John Mott (126) pinned Cochranton’s Nate Kline, the defending 113-pound titlist. Other winners were Conneaut Area’s Taylor Ellis (145), Jamestown’s Jason Shappee (220), and Cochranton heavyweight Evan Miller. Overman (24-7) was top-seeded.

It’s been a successful season thus far for Greenville, which fashioned a 21-5 dual-match mark, won the Region 2 title, placed in a trio of tournaments (winning Southmoreland’s holiday event), and qualifying for the state dual championships. All of which those accomplishments elevate John Reynolds to the top of the career coaching wins leader (185) in Greenville’s great mat annals, surpassing legendary Dave Clelland (171).

Regarding Greenville going forward, Reynolds related,

“I feel good about it. I think our team’s a little more battle-tested, making it to the state duals; our freshmen are comin’ in and they’re dangerous freshmen, and some of our returning kids are experienced, so I’m excited about it.

“Not to be corny, but (the postseason) is a marathon, not a sprint, and the whole key is to advance,” Reynolds reasoned. “We’ve had section runners-up make it to states. ... Jase Paxton, I think, was fifth at districts last year and ended up a match away from goin’ to state; Justin Ferguson, I think, was fourth at districts and was a regional finalist.

“ ... So it’s just about advancing. ... just get through every week.”

Notes: Legendary Bob Parker, who coached Commodore Perry for 24 seasons and a composite 239-126-8 won-lost dual-match mark, was recognized for his induction into the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Assn. Hall of Fame, scheduled for May 11 in State College. Parker presented awards to medalists during Saturday?s finale. ... John Reynolds was chosen Section 3-AA coach of the year.

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