A Reynolds fan posed an interesting question Saturday at the Section 2-AA Wrestling Tournament at Sharon High School:
“Are we that good or are the rest of the teams down some this year?”
Whatever the answer — which could be definitively determined over the next two weekends — the Raiders certainly dominated the competition at sections and will send all 14 wrestlers to the District 10 AA Championships next weekend at Sharon. The two four finishers in each weight advance.
“Our goal was to get all 14 through and win the team title,” said a happy Reynolds coach Casey Taylor. “We were hoping to get all 14 in the finals, but three came up short. But the guys that lost in the semis were in competitive matches, some of the best of the tournament.
“We’d like to get all 14 through again next week, but we’ll have tougher competition then.”
Nine of the 11 Raiders’ finalists won section crowns, including repeat champions Seth Hogue (113), Levi Stoyer (145) and Mason McCollum (152), and the Blue and Grey ran away with the team title by posting 236.5 points. Lakeview was a distant second with 75. It marked the 44th section title for Reynolds in their illustrious history.
Also winning second straight section crowns were: Luke Walter (132) of Grove City and Sam Breese (285) of Lakeview.
For Reynolds, fresh off a second-place finish at the state duals, other champions were: Gage Bayless (106), Chaise Hauck (120), Michael Bartolo (126), Kegan Miller (160), Austin Moffett (182) and Cole Rickert (220).
Other individual section titlists were: Troy Hejazi (138) of Sharon; Dakota Geer (170) of Franklin; Marquis Spence (195) of Lakeview.
“Nine champions, I’m really happy with that,” said Reynolds Coach Taylor. “I’m not sure about records, but when I look at the nine I see four freshmen and Kegan Miller who never won a varsity match before this season. Then there are the guys like Levi, Mason, Seth, Austin and Michael who have been through this kind of thing the last couple of years. But this is a real tribute to the kids and how hard they’ve worked all year.
“I never come into a season and think that we are going to have a down year. And this team has really come a long way since the season started.”
Following is a look at the finals by weight class:
106 — Freshman Gage Bayless got the Reynolds juggernaut rolling in the finals as he took on fellow 9th-grader Hickory’s Dominic Vadala. Bayless nailed a quick takedown right into a cradle for an early lead 4-0 lead. Bayless (33-4) moved on to an 8-3 win over a battling Vadala (25-9).
113 — It was another Reynolds-Hickory clash here as Raider Seth Hogue tangled with Justin Walter. After no first-period points, Hogue (28-7) rode out the second frame. In the third, the Raider sophomore earned an escape and held on for a 1-0 victory and his second straight section crown. Walter, a junior, fell to 24-5 on the year.
120 — The Reynolds championship string continued as freshman Chaise Hauck (22-11) defeated Ben Shaffer of Mercer, 2-0. Hauck hit a strong double leg takedown in the first period lead and made it hold up the rest of the way against the Mustangs junior (15-11).
126 — It was four in a row for the Raiders as Michael Bartolo topped Sharon’s Austin Alfredo (21-7) in a physical battle. The Raider junior (28-8) was in control from the early going en route to an 8-2 triumph.
132 — Grove City junior Luke Walter recorded his second straight crown with a pin over Slippery Rock senior Matt Andrascik. Walter (31-3) jumped ahead with an early takedown, built a 6-2 lead then decked the Rocket (18-7) in 3:49. “I’m happy where he’s at right now,” said Grove City veteran mentor Marty Ruley. “Looking down the road to districts and regions he’ll have to wrestle well. We’re looking forward to it. He’s working hard in the room.”
138 — Sharon’s Troy Hejazi dominated from the start, built an 11-5 margin then pinned Hunter Cook of Franklin in 3:35. Hejazi scored a key 5-4 semifinal win over Reynolds’ Alex DiGregorio, who defeated the Tiger in an earlier dual.
“He really turned the corner a couple of weeks ago,” said Sharon coach Dave Ciafre of his senior (27-4). “In the room we see it and on the mat we see it.”
145 — Reynolds’ only returning state place-winner Levi Stoyer won his second straight section title in a hardfought, 10-5 win over a determined Derek Steetle of Franklin. Stoyer, a senior, moved to 24-3, while Steetle fell to 22-9.
152 — Reynolds’ Mason McCollum chalked up his second section crown in a row by defeating Grove City’s Chet Simoni, 8-2. McCollum picked up a first period takedown then led 5-2 after two frames. The Raider senior (31-2) pulled away for the win. The Eagles senior dropped to 13-4.
160 — Raider senior Kegan Miller led 5-0 after one period and rolled to a 8-3 victory over Grove City’s Kenny Bable (17-8). Miller (23-11) beat top-seeded Cory Buchanan of Sharon in the semis, 2-0.
170 — It was a tight contest between Reynolds junior Mike Millero and Franklin’s Dakota Geer, the top seed who came in to the match with a sparkling 28-1 record. The regulation bout ended 1-1. And the first 3 OT periods ended 2-2. Geer escaped in the ultimate tie-breaker period for a 3-2 triumph.
182 — Reynolds senior Austin Moffett grabbed the opening takedown from Eric Lucich of West Middlesex, who pinned top-seeded Beau Dignall of Sharon in the semis. Moffett led 7-3 after the first period and 12-4 after two.The Raider (15-5) went on to win 13-5 over the Big Reds junior (18-10).
195 — The final non-Reynolds finale of the night paired Sharpsville’s Chris Mueller against top-seed Marquis Spence of Lakeview. Spence jumped out with a first-period takedown and Mueller never caught up as the Sailor junior (23-5) posted a 9-3 win over the Blue Devils sophomore (26-7)
220 — Reynolds freshman Cole Rickert and Lakeview junior Andrew Clayton took the mat here. Rickert jumped on top 2-1 after the opening frame, and led 6-3 after two. The young, but talented Raider (23-6) came away with a 9-4 triumph over the Sailor (25-8).
285 — Defending state champion Sam Breese picked up another section crown here. The senior and only undefeated wrestler in the entire tournament handled Reynolds sophomore Gene Ringer for a fall in 1:26. Breese moved to 26-0 on the season, while Ringer went to 29-10.
“He’s wrestling with a lot of confidence,” said Lakeview coach Tom Tingley of his big man. “He’s wrestling well and only one match all year went the distance. I’m looking forward to his doing big things the next few weeks.”
106 - Gage Bayless (R) dec. Dominic Vadala (H), 8-3; 113 - Seth Hogue (R) dec. Justin Walter (H), 1-0; 120 - Chaise Hauck (R) dec. Ben Shaffer (M), 2-0; 126 - Michael Bartolo (R) dec. Austin Alfreno (Sn), 8-2; 132 - Luke Walter (GC) pinned Matt Andrascik (SR), 3:49; 138 - Troy Hejazi (Sn) pinned Hunter Cook (F), 3:35; 145 - Levi Stoyer (R) dec. Derek Steetle (F), 10-5; 152 - Mason McCollum (R) dec. Chet Simoni (GC), 8-2; 160 - Kegan Miller (R) dec. Kenny Bable (GC), 8-3; 170 - Dakota Geer (F) dec. Mike Millero (R), 3-2 UTB; 182 - Austin Moffett (R) maj. dec. Eric Lucich (WM), 13-5; 195 - Marquis Spence (L) dec. Chris Mueller (Sv), 9-3; 220 - Cole Rickert (R) dec. Andrew Clayton (L), 9-4; 285 - Sam Breese (L) pinned Gene Ringer (R), 1:26.
106 - Jules Hicklin (Sn) dec. Derick Uber (L), 6-4; 113 - Preston Hoover (M) maj. dec. Owen Clayton (L), 10-0; 120 - Jake Heim (L) pinned Nick Enos (Sv), 1:49; 126 - Stanford Dessaw (H) dec. Dreux Harper (F), 12-8; 132 - Joel Leise (R) pinned Jordan Templeton (Sn), 5-3; 138 - Alex DiGregorio (R) pinned Dalton Meals (GC), 7-3; 145 - Gavin Kroesen (WM) dec. Jared Sample (GC), 5-3; 152 - Noah Bianco (H) dec. Tyler Carey (F), 4-2; 160 - Cory Buchanan (Sn) dec. John Sims (H), 6-3; 170 - Troy Sagulla (M) dec. Giovanni Volpe (Sn), 3-1 SV; 182 - P.J. Campoli (Sv) dec. Beau Dignall (Sn), 4-1; 195 - Denton Zeronas (R) dec. Zane Wolf (SR), 3-2; 220 - Colton Smith (Sv) pinned Brad Garman (H), :13; 285 - Brian Phillips (M) pinned Mike McCool (SR), 4:30.
106 - Uber bye; Hicklin dec. Cory Bable (GC), 4-2; 113 - Hoover pinned Bryce Martin (GC), :50; Clayton pinned Markus Coxson (Sn), 2:48; 120 - Enos pinned Dan Templeton (Sn), 6:16 2OT; Heim dec. Mitchell Murray (WM), 3-1; 126 - Dessaw dec. Chris Micsky (M), 7-4; Harper dec. Dylan McConnell (L), 6-1; 132 - Leise maj. dec. Trevor Fowler (M), 11-2; Templeton dec. Austen Szuge (Sv), 5-3; 138 - DiGregorio pinned Brandon Dick (WM), 1:48; Meals dec. Kyle Boyd (H), 7-3; 145 - Kroesen pinned Jason Clark, 2:20; Sample maj. dec. Sam Garner (M), 13-3; 152 - Carey dec. Nick McClimans (Sn), 4-2 OT; Bianco pinned Eli Rutter (M), 4:25; 160 - Sims inj. Default over Dalton Hilliard (SR), 4:15; Buchanan pinned Hunter Exley (F), 1:57; 170 - Volpe pinned Robbie Thomas (H), 1:25; Sagulla dec. Solomon Daugherty (L), 4-2; 182 - Campoli pinned Nate Miller (F), 1:52; Dignall pinned Shane Slater (SR), 2:33; 195 - Zeronas pinned Bryce Laughlin (Sn), :47; Wolf bye; 220 - Garmen pinned Jake Llewellyn (Sv), 4:19; Smith dec. Jared Reppart (GC), 3-2; 285 - Phillips dec. Jeffery Spencer (WM), 7-5; McCool pinned Jared Miley (H), 4:21.
A Reynolds fan posed an interesting question Saturday at the Section 2-AA Wrestling Tournament at Sharon High School:
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