Brookville wrestlers ready for D9 TourneyBy Rich Rhoades
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
For the Brookville Raiders wrestling team, two weeks ago probably seems like an eternity.
That's when the Raiders were wrestling their collective butts off to place fourth at the PIAA Class AA Team Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey.
This Saturday, their focus switches to Clarion University's Waldo S. Tippin Gymnasium as the individual postseason begins.
"I know they're ready. I'm ready," said Raiders head coach Dave Klepfer of his team that will also try to defend last year's tournament team title at Clarion. "I didn't like being off this long with the way we've been wrestling. I'm hoping to take the whole team to regionals. That's a tough task, but there's an outside chance of it."
Action gets under way at Tippin on Friday with preliminary round bouts at 3 p.m. with quarterfinal and two rounds of consolation bouts following.
Saturday, the semifinals begin at 10:30 a.m. with consolation rounds following. The consolation finals are set for 5:30 p.m. with the finals scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. alongside the Class AAA Tournament.
Last year, the Raiders had all 14 of their wrestlers seeded in the top eight and 10 among the top four positions. They fulfilled their seeding by going on to win their first team title since 2004, going 6-for-6 in the finals, qualifying nine wrestlers for regionals and breezing to championship with 197.5 points, 52.5 ahead of runner-up Ridgway.
This year, the seeds could indicate even more success as the Raiders claimed a tournament-high four top seeds and all 14 of their wrestlers in the top six, including 10 among the top four positions.
Of those six champions, four return to try to win a second title. Two of them are seeded No. 1 as seniors Tyler Dombrowski and Logan Stout got the top nods at 182 and 195 pounds respectively. Last year, they won titles in the old weight-class system at 171 and 215 respectively.
Senior Trey Constable and sophomore Zach Vroman won titles last year at 112 and 140 pounds. This year, they're each seeded second at 113 and 152.
The other two top seeds for the Raiders are freshman Dalton Zimmerman at 120 and sophomore Brock Zacherl at 138.
"We have some guys who have strong, tough goals they've set and I know a good bit are working hard to achieve them," Klepfer said. "There's a lot of motivation for the team and individual part of it. It's our most fun weekend of year. We love the atmosphere at Clarion and it's a tough tournament."
Four Raiders are seeded third - sophomore Brodie Zacherl at 145, junior Taylor Cudworth at 170 and senior Jake Cieleski at 220. Senior Brett Smith, now the Raiders' second all-time winningest wrestler with 120 career wins going into the weekend, will try to win his second title and first since his freshman year as a fourth seed at 160.
At fifth seed are freshman Devin Joiner at 106, freshman Cole Clever at 126 and sophomore Nate Nosker at heavyweight. Freshman Jimmy Miller is sixth at 132.
Dombrowski (25-13) opens with unseeded Tyler Miketish (24-8) of Smethport in the 182 preliminaries. He's on the same side of the bracket as fourth-seeded Jake Wichert of Oswayo Valley and fifth-seeded Chad Desmett of Curwensville, whom he beat 5-4 in their dual meeting. Second-seeded Aaron Hook of Redbank Valley is on the other side of the bracket. Dombrowski beat Hook, 3-2, during the regular season.
Stout, who enters the individual postseason with 95 career wins, is 32-4 with 17 pins. He'll face either eighth-seeded Trent Neal of Port Allegany or unseeded Jake Kavelak of Curwensville in the quarterfinals. He's faced Kavelak, Redbank Valley's fourth-seeded Mark Strothers and Brockway's unseeded Hunter Richardson twice with pins in all four bouts. Cameron County's unbeaten Aaron Burnside (22-0) is seeded second, but hasn't met Stout this year.
With the top seed at 120, Zimmerman (29-9) has had an impressive rookie season with no losses to a District 9 Class AA wrestler this year. The only freshman in the bracket opens with unseeded junior Seth Harry (23-12) of Cranberry in the preliminaries. His 2-1 win over second-seeded Nate Schwab of Smethport got him the top seed.
Brock Zacherl (19-1) is the top seed in a 16-man bracket at 138. He'll open with unseeded D.J. Forrest of Brockway in the preliminaries. Zacherl beat second-seeded Ty Haines of Redbank Valley, 15-5, during the regular season.
Constable (14-6) will try to repeat as a champion as the second seed at 113. He'll likely need to beat top-seeded Willie Gruver (24-3) of Redbank Valley to do that. Gruver edged Constable, 4-3, in their dual meet matchup. Constable will face either seventh-seeded sophomore Ryan Nielson of Smethport or unseeded sophomore Austin Woolcock of Kane in the quarterfinals.
Vroman (23-13), the second seed at 152, did not meet top-seeded Tanner Hannold (29-5) of Keystone this year. He'll wrestle Sheffield freshman Steve Gregerson (7-18) in the preliminary round. His likely semifinal opponent would be third-seeded sophomore Kyle Bova (26-2) of Coudersport.
At 145, Brodie Zacherl (11-5) opens with unseeded Cameron County junior Dom Galuzzi (1-12). He would then wrestle sixth-seeded Joey Beck (12-5) of Clarion in the quarterfinals. Zacherl has not faced second-seeded Slade Horner (25-3) of Ridgway nor top-seeded sophomore Evan Delong (31-1) of Kane.
Third-seeded Cudworth (23-11) has a two-time District 9 champion in his 170-pound bracket with top-seeded Alex Gular of Port Allegany. But Cudworth is on the other side of the bracket and opens with either sixth-seeded Cranberry sophomore Zach Bruce (26-9) or unseeded Sheffield sophomore Anthony Jones (9-11). Cudworth has not met second-seeded Jake Himes (29-3) of Ridgway. They could meet in the semifinals.
At 220, Cieleski (23-9) is seeded third behind two wrestlers he lost to at the Big Dog Invitational in December, top-seeded Brockway senior Zach Brinkley (26-3) and third-seeded Port Allegany junior Nick Budd (25-5). Cieleski opens with sixth-seeded Cal Haines (14-16) of Redbank Valley in the quarterfinals.
Since winning a district title at 112 as a freshman, Smith has moved up to 160 this year where he's seeded fourth in a competitive weight class. Even though he dropped a very tight 6-5 decision to Redbank Valley's top-seeded Cole Shirey (31-2), he's also behind second-seeded Kyle Caggiano of Ridgway and third-seeded Mike Swartwood of Kane. Smith opens with unseeded Sheffield junior Rayshonn Frieler (1-7) before a probable meeting with fifth-seeded freshman Anthony Benson (19-10) of Brockway. Smith dominated Benson with a 17-2 technical fall in January.
The Raiders' trio of fifth seeds will have their work to do to crack a top-four regional qualifying berth. At 106, Joiner (21-14) opens the slim seven-man bracket in the quarterfinals with fourth-seeded Kolbin Altobelli (24-7) of Redbank Valley. Altobelli beat Joiner, 4-3, earlier this month. Smethport's top-seeded Trent Neely (19-6) awaits the winner in the semifinals.
At 126, Clever (17-16) opens with unseeded Cameron County sophomore Zach Cokeley (6-15) in the preliminaries. He would likely meet fourth-seeded Jack Glasl of Brockway in the quarterfinals. Glasl beat Clever, 7-4, at the Big Dog Invitational. Ridgway's top-seeded Corey Bush (28-1), trying to win his third straight district title, awaits one of those two in the semifinals.
Heavyweight Nate Nosker (11-13) will take on the either fourth-seeded senior Chris Woods of Ridgway or unseeded Oswayo Valley freshman Dalton Green in the quarterfinals. Woods pinned Nosker in their only meeting earlier this month. Kane senior Josh Kibbie (29-1) is the top seed.
Sixth-seeded Miller (16-13) finds himself in a tough bracket at 132. He'll meet either third-seeded Alex Zimmerman of Johnsonburg or unseeded freshman Rusty Setzer of Cameron County in the quarterfinals. Curwensville's Jake Keller, defending 130-pound champion, is the top seed. On Miller's side of the bracket is second-seeded Garrett Hildebrand of Redbank Valley. Miller lost to Hildebrand, 8-4, in their regular-season meeting.
NOTES: The Raiders won team titles in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2004 and last year. ... Brookville's four top seeds were the most of any team. Redbank Valley and Kane each had two top seeds while Ridgway, Smethport, Keystone, Curwensville, Brockway and Port Allegany each had one. ... Behind Brookville's 10 top-four seeds were Ridgway, Redbank Valley and Kane with seven apiece. ... Nine returning champs are in action this year: Brookville's Dombrowski, Constable, Vroman and Stout, Smethport's Neely, Ridgway's Bush and Horner, Curwensville's Keller and Port Allegany's Gular. ... Once again, the top four placewinners advance to regionals next week in Sharon.
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