HERSHEY — Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi once said that the only good thing that comes for losing is the desire never to lose again.
For Reynolds High 152-pound mat star Austin Matthews today, that desire is twice as strong.
The Raider senior, for a 3rd straight year, will be making an appearance in the finals at the PIAA State Class AA Wrestling Championships at Hershey’s Giant Center. But the last 2 years, his bid for the gold medal fell short.
He hopes to rectify that this afternoon as he leads a Mercer County group of 6 wrestlers into placement matches for medals.
Matthews will be joined in the finals by Lakeview junior Sam Breese (285) who is trying to make some history here of his own. A pair of Sharon seniors are closing out their careers in the consolations. Michael Bonner (138) will battle for 3rd, while Jarray Norris (126) will go for 5th. Matthews’ Raider teammates Levi Stoyer (145) and Jamar Henry (182) are both competing in 7th-place consolation bouts..
“This is his third state finals and he’s determined,” said Reynolds coach Casey Taylor after watching Matthews demolish Milton’s Ryan Preisch in Friday night’s semis, 16-7. Matthews built a 5-0 lead, but Preisch tied it at 5 early in the 2nd. After that, it was all Matthews as he tacked on a reversal and near-fall for a 9-5 lead, then and escape and 3 takedowns in the final frame.
“I give that kid (Preisch) a lot of credit,” said Taylor. “He came to win the match, not just to keep it close like so many kids do. That kid never stops. And that’s good for Austin. I’m pleased that after it was tied, Austin decided it was time to wake up and time to go.”
Matthews (48-1) will see a familiar face in the finals, Kyle Bova (39-1) of Coudersport. The only loss on Bova’s log came in the region finals where Matthews romped 18-6.
“It won’t be easy,” said Taylor. “They’ll change a few things and so will we. But Austin is determined to win that gold medal.”
In the quarterfinals, the 3-time state place-winner notched a pair of 1st-period takedowns and went on to a controlled 6-2 victory over Blairsville’s Andrew Doak.
Breese had a tough battle in the quarterfinals, beating Central Columbia’s Alex Shiber, 2-1. But it wasn’t that way in Friday night’s semifinals where the Sailor star built a 14-3 lead before pinning Bethlehem Catholic’s Andrew Dunn in 4:34.
“The first few matches here were close,” said Lakeview coach Tom Tingley. “But he’s really wrestling well now and starting to peak. He wrestled a smart match tonight. He kept the pace and took it to that kid.”
In the finals today, it will be an all-Northwest Regional meeting of champion Breese (36-4) and 3rd-place finisher Nicholas Budd (36-1) of Port Alleghany.
“They didn’t wrestle at regions,” said Tingley. “But we know (Budd’s) tough. He beat the defending state champ (Nazar Mironenko of Mifflinburg) earlier.”
Breese said the experience of being here last year as a sophomore helped, and he’s ready for the finals. One of the first people to congratulate Breese after the win was Boiling Springs’ coach Rod Wright, a 3-time state champion for Lakeview.
The consolation matches and finals are wrestled simultaneously on 4 mats. Following is a look at the locals who competed Friday and where they will compete in today’s consolation bouts:
Vying for 3rd
138 — Bonner scored an escape and takedown in the waning seconds of his quarterfinal bout to top Juniata’s Sean Heggs, 8-6. In the semifinals. However, the Tigers’ senior couldn’t come up with the same late-match magic and dropped a 3-2 decision to Line Mountain’s Seth Landsbury, the 7th-place finisher at 132 last season. A 3rd-period takedown by Landsbury made the difference. Bonner fell into the consy semis where he tangled with Burrell’s Steve Edwards in a low-scoring affair that ended 1-1 in regulation. In OT, Bonner finished off a leg shot for a 3-1 victory.
“Michael wrestled tough,” said Sharon coach Dave Ciafre. “That kid was a good counter-wrestler. Michael was more aggressive the whole match and finally got that takedown.”
Bonner (36-4) will have a Northwest Region finals rematch with Brookville’s Brock Zacherl (35-5) won won a controversial overtime match against Bonner .
Vying for 5th
126 — Norris lost his quarterfinal match, 7-4, to Beth-Catholic’s Zeke Moisey, runner-up at 120 last year. Norris fell behind, 6-1, after the 1st period, giving up 2 takedowns and a near-fall. The Tiger senior controlled the rest of the match, but couldn’t catch up. In the 2nd-round conys Norris bounced back with an 8-4 victory over Valley’s Patrick DeWitt to move into the medal rounds. In the consy quarters, Norris faced Saegertown’s Nick Monico, who Norris defeated 5-1 in the region semis. This time it wasn’t as close as Norris jumped out to a 4-0 lead and rolled to a 9-4 victory. In the consy semis, Norris met Jefferson-Morgan’s John Demaske. Norris gave up a 1st-period takedown and never was able to catch up, losing a tough 5-2 decision.
“Jarray didn’t wrestle his match,” said Ciafre. “But he’s in for a medal. Hopefully, he’ll get excited and go get a fifth.”
In the consys today for fifth, Norris (38-4) will take on Southern Columbia’s Kent Lane (39-2).
Vying for 7th
145 — Stoyer, a junior, fell into the consolations after losing a 5-1 decision to Williamson’s Billy Barnes in Friday morning’s quarterfinals. A pair of takedowns on leg shots was the difference in the match. In the 2nd-round consys, Stoyer took on a familiar foe – Cochranton’s Robert Boozer. Stoyer beat the Redbird junior in the district and region finals by scores of 3-1 and 3-2. This time, it was another close win for Stoyer, 5-4. With the bout tied at 3 in the final frame, Stoyer nailed a spin-behind takedown for the deciding points.
In the consy quarterfinals, Stoyer took on Brookville’s Zach Vroman, who led 5-0 in the 2nd period after an escape, takedown and backpoints. Stoyer battled back, but lost 5-3. For 7th place today, Stoyer (41-8) will meet Briton Shelton (43-9).
182 — Henry, a senior, moved into the medal rounds with a 10-1 victory over Benton’s Logan Womelsdorf in the 2nd-round consys. Henry grabbed 4 takedowns in the win. The Raider then bowed to Lancaster Catholic’s Stephen Loiseau, 3-1 in a hardfought battle. Today, Henry (37-12) will face Canton’s Garrett Wesneski (34-4).
“I’m proud of Levi and Jamar,” said Taylor. “Even though they lost those last consolation matches, they wrestled hard. They set goals of getting a medal here and they’ve accomplished that. And Levi will be back next year for another shot.”
106 — Hogue, freshman, bowed out of the tourney with a 14-8 loss to Bishop McDevitt’s Tyshawn White in the 2nd-round consys. White dominated the match on his feet. Hogue was a Section 2 champ this season and posted a 31-15 record.
Notes: The only 0ther District 10 wrestler going for a championship today is Saegertown’s Devin Brown (106). Several others will be competing for places. ... Defending heavyweight champ Mironenko of Mifflinburg was eliminated from the tourney Friday. He lost to Port Allegany’s Nicholas Budd in the quarterfinals, then was disqualified for allegedly punching at Biglersville’s Trevor Stover when he was losing.
PIAA CLASS AA CHAMPIONSHIPS
106—Devin Brown, Saegertown dec. Jacob Wasser, Palisades, 5-0; Luke Karam, Bethlehem Catholic major dec. Collin Glorioso, Huntingdon, 11-0.
113—Seth Carr, South Fayette dec. Josh Brown, Claysburg-Kimmel, 10-8 OT; George Phillippi, Derry Area dec. Korbin Myers, Boiling Springs, 2-1 TB.
120—Darian Cruz, Bethlehem Catholic dec. Joshua Patrick, Ligonier Valley, 10-5; Ryan Easter, Bedford dec. Nate Reckner, South Side Beaver, 9-2.
126—Ryan Diehl, Trinity (Dist. 3) dec. John Demaske, Jefferson-Morgan, 9-3; Zeke Moisey, Bethlehem Catholic pinned Kyle Shoop, Boiling Springs, 1:43.
132—Nick Zanetta, Keystone Oaks dec. Ian Brown, Hanover, 5-1 TB; Jason Nolf, Kittanning pinned Michael Comunale, Pius X, 3:08.
138—Seth Lansberry, Line Mountain dec. Michael Bonner, Sharon, 3-2; Zain Retherford, Benton dec. Brock Zacherl, Brookville, 5-0.
145—Michael Racciato, Pen Argyl by injury default Billy Barnes, Williamson, 1:07; Colt Cotten, Benton dec. Blake Bowman, Tri-Valley, 3-1
152—Kyle Bova, Coudersport dec. Ty Herzog, Northern Lehigh, 7-2; Austin Matthews, Reynolds major dec. Ryan Preisch, Milton, 16-7.
160—Cody Law, Forest Hills dec. Ty Walter, Mifflinburg, 5-1; Evan Delong, Kane dec. Ty Schoffstall, Tri-Valley, 7-6.
170—Pete Renda, Brandywine Heights major dec. Tim Vargo, Union City, 10-0; Tristan Sponseller, Bermudian Springs dec. Alexander Gular, Port Allegany, 6-1.
182—Troy Hembury, Muncy dec. Adam Mackie, Brandywine Heights, 2-1; Dakota DesLauriers, Burrell major dec. Dylan Reynolds, Saegertown, 9-1.
195—Ryan Solomon, Milton pinned Zac Croyle, Kittanning, 1:15; Garrett Vulcano, Chartiers-Houston dec. Adam Geiger, Trinity (Dist. 3), 5-2.
220—Ray O’Donnell, Saucon Valley pinned Cam Cyphert, Cochranton, 0:25; Brandon Smith, Lewisburg dec. Jake Temple, Avella, 2-1 TB.
285—Nicholas Budd, Port Alleghany dec. Austin Buttry, Chestnut Ridge, 4-3; Sam Breese, Lakeview pinned Andrew Dunn, Bethlehem Catholic, 4:34.
3rd Round Consolations
106—Triston Law, Forest Hills dec. Cameron Newman, Line Mountain, 5-0; Austin Griffiths, Southmoreland dec. Tyshawn White, Bishop McDevitt, 5-2.
113—Justin Patrick, Ligonier Valley pinned Willis Gruver, Redbank Valley, 0:33; Caleb Bordner, Tri-Valley dec. Jake Rothka, Bentworth, 5-0.
120—Matt Welliver, Benton major dec. Tyler Vath, Saegertown, 13-3; Matt Williams, Pen Argyl dec. Bryan Israel, Saucon Valley, 4-3 TB.
126—Jarray Norris, Sharon dec. Nick Monico, Saegertown, 9-4; Kent Lane, Southern Columbia dec. Andrew Schutz, Wyoming Area, 3-1.
132—Dalton Zimmerman, Brookville dec. Jake Wentzel, South Park, 6-2; Austin Harry, Lake Lehman dec. Cole Walter, Mifflinburg, 4-2.
138—Steve Edwards, Burrell dec. Ryan Todora, Bethlehem Catholic, 4-3; Nick Gavazzi, Charleroi dec. Hunter Harner, Tri-Valley, 4-0.
145—Phil Marra, Burrell dec. Briton Shelton, Bermudian Springs, 3-0; Zach Vroman, Brookville dec. Levi Stoyer, Reynolds, 5-3.
152—Kyle Barnes, Hughesville dec. Andrew Doak, Blairsville, 3-2 UTB; Boe Bonzo, Freedom dec. Blake Marks, Southern Columbia, 6-1.
160—Jeric Kasunic, Benton dec. Jared Walker, South Fayette, 5-2; Taylor Fox, Fort LeBoeuf pinned Cole Shirey, Redbank Valley, 2:11.
170—Dustin Conti, Jefferson-Morgan dec. Josh Asper, Biglerville, 4-1; Mike Fetchet, South Fayette dec. Tyler Dibert, Chestnut Ridge, 3-2 TB.
182—Stephen Loiseau, Lancaster Catholic dec. Jamar Henry, Reynolds, 3-1; Terrell Fields, Valley dec. Garrett Wesneski, Canton, 3-1.
195—James Stodart, Moshannon Valley dec. Skylar Ebner, Muncy, 5-4; Josh Alpha, Bethlehem Catholic dec. Jacob Nickelson, Somerset, 3-1.
220—Evan Daley, Fort LeBoeuf dec. Jacob Ludwig, Moshannon Valley, 5-2; Cody Jacobs, West Greene dec. Dennis Atiyeh, Notre Dame Green Pond, 7-5 TB.
285—Brent Sterner, Susquenita pinned Morgan Selepack, West Branch, 4:00; Trevor Stover, Biglerville dec. Michael Hall, Tussey Mountain, 6-2.
HERSHEY — Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi once said that the only good thing that comes for losing is the desire never to lose again.
Hickory falls to Lions in PIAA Class AA western region final
SLIPPERY ROCK — Brett Brumbaugh brought Bill Brest back to reality.
Brest seemed, Saturday afternoon, momentarily lost in thought when a post-game question was posed. Perhaps it was because it had been 3 months since he had experienced the disappointment of defeat.
Brumbaugh-led South Fayette’s football team short-circuited a splendid season a step shy of the statewide stage for Brest and Hickory High with a 23-20 win over the Hornets in the PIAA Class AA western regional championship game.
SPORTVIEW: Browns, Steelers will both lose
THE CLEVELAND Browns quarterback position has been a revolving door this season, but at least one of the more successful signal-callers is back. Jason Campbell is recovered from a concussion and will start.
Does it really matter?
Roundup: Opening-weekend tipoff tourneys conclude
Kittanning Tipoff Championship
ä Hickory 60, Kittanning 32 — Coach Jeannette Whitehead’s Lady Hornets had an impressive weekend in winning the opening tourney of the season.
“It’s nice to get out of the game with a win,” said Whitehead. “The kids were anxious to get going.”
2013-14 hoops season begins with tipoff tourneys
Farrell Julius McCoy Tipoff Tourney
ä Kennedy Catholic 48, Imani Christian Academy 40 — The Golden Eagles set up an all local rematch with host Farrell by pulling away in the fourth quarter in a tight battle.
For KC, Gerald Zachar and Sam Crow each scored 13 points to pace the victory, Brown had 14 and Southerner 12 for Imani.
Brookfield boys win season-opener against Py Valley
It was a typical season-opener: Too many turnovers, some questionable shot selection, and careless personal fouls. But for Brookfield High boys’ bench boss Bill Kovach, “ ... always happy with a win.”
The Warriors were 7-for-10 from the free-throw line during the 4th frame, and held off Pymatuning Valley, 59-48, Tuesday night.
Hornets advance to semis with win over Central
DuBOIS, PA. — Some people could say the “third time is a charm.” For the Hickory High Hornets it was much more than that. In fact, it was glorious.
After losing in the first round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs the last two years, the Hornets finally nailed down a victory with a 37-27 triumph over the Central Dragons from Martinsburg.
Lakeview falls to Clarion Area in PIAA quarterfinals
SLIPPERY ROCK — In the scholastic athletic arena, “mercy rule” — while not politically correct in hyper-sensitive 2013 society — is a relatively accepted term.
Clarion High’s football had mercy-ruled all 13 prior opponents this season. And the Bobcats seemed bent on continuing their commanding conquests during Saturday’s PIAA Class A quarterfinal-round meeting with Lakeview.
Hickory focused on winning PIAA opener
The calendar reminds us that Thanksgiving arrives a little later than usual this year. But as holiday traditions go, this one has been pretty productive for Hickory High head football coach Bill Brest.
“My wife always has me put up our Christmas tree on the Friday after Thanksgiving ... and the next day, we’ve won. So I’ll be more than happy to help my wife put up the tree this Friday,” Brest related.
During the past 2 years Hickory has won District 10 titles on Thanksgiving weekend. But this year the Hornets harvested their 3rd consecutive crown last week, jettisoning Girard (21-10). Now Hickory (11-1) has a 1 p.m. date in DuBois Saturday against surprising Central-Martinsburg (11-2) in the PIAA Class AA quarterfinals.
Smart move by PIAA to schedule games early this weekend
Congratulations to the PIAA for making a good move that helps teams and fans of high school sports.
Wow, I haven’t been able to say that often enough!
But many of the high school football games this coming weekend will be played in the afternoon which is a real plus for traveling on possibly snow-blown highways at this time of the year.
Hornets 3-peat as D-10 champs with win vs. Girard
EDINBORO — When legendary coach Vince Lombardi said “the only good thing that comes from losing is the desire never to lose again,” he could very well have been referencing the future for Coach Bill Brest and his Hickory Hornets.
Since Hickory lost to Sharon, 14-6, in the 2010 District 10 finals in Brest’s first year at the helm of the team, the D-10 Class AA title game has belonged to Hickory. And Saturday afternoon at Edinboro University’s Sox Harrison Stadium, it was no different as the Hornets topped Girard, 21-10 for a third straight crown.
Sailors beat Devils to capture 1st District 10 title
NEW WILMINGTON — Lakeview may have a long way to go to equal Sharpsville’s success in the sport of football, but the Sailors jump-started the process Friday night.
With Blake Reddick roaring into the record book, the Sailors shut out Sharpsville, 27-0, in the District 10 Class A championship game at Greyhounds Stadium.
Hornets seek 3-peat Saturday vs. Girard
Bill Brest ... buffer?
Hickory High’s head football coach has broad shoulders and that’s necessary, because he’s taking on all distractions as his Hornets prepare for Saturday’s District 10 Class AA championship game.
Hickory (10-1) will attempt to hoist the D-10 trophy for a 3rd consecutive season when the Hornets journey to Girard’s backyard — Edinboro University’s Sox Harrison Stadium — to meet the Yellow Jackets at 1 p.m.
Hickory rolls past Northwestern in D-10 semifinals
SLIPPERY ROCK — They say that “Familiarity breeds contempt.” You can bet the Northwestern Wildcats are feeling a bit of the latter for the Hickory Hornets!
For a third straight season Hickory eliminated the northerners from the District 10 Class AA playoffs, this time by a 52-14 score in the semifinals Saturday night at Slippery Rock University’s Thompson-Mihalik Stadium.
Greenville falls to Girard in D-10 semifinals
ERIE — District 10 was destined for a Class AA championship game between reigning 2-time titlist Hickory and Greenville.
But no one informed the Girard High football team of the plans.
“ … This is pretty cool … I’m pretty fired up about it,” admitted 4th-year Yellow Jackets’ head coach Jim Funk after Girard jolted Greenville, 16-14.
SPORTVIEW: Season fate could be decided today for Browns, Steelers
IT MAKES NO sense to say that one game determines the rest of the season. That’s why I’ll simply say: Today’s one game determines the rest of the season.
Since when did my predictions make sense anyhow?
The Cleveland Browns’ visit to Cincinnati today will go a long way to deciding if the Browns have a shot at making the playoffs — and even winning the AFC North title — or if they should start planning for the NFL draft.
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