SHARON — The Class AA Northwest Regional Wrestling gets underway Friday, and 32 competitors from the Tri-County Area will hit the mats at Sharon High School with hopes of reaching the PIAA Championships in Hershey.
Two of those area wrestlers — Brookville senior Caleb Hetrick and Ridgway senior Kyle Bush — are among the eight returning regional champs in this year’s tournament. Other returning regional champs include Reynolds’ Cole Matthews, Beau Bayless and Hunter Michaels; Cambridge Springs’ Tye Varndell and Clay Verbanac and Saegertown’s Cody Mulligan.
Bayless and Mulligan are both returning state champs, while Matthews is a former state champ who placed second in Hershey a year ago.
As for the local contingent, D-9 team champ Brookville once again leads the way with eight wrestlers in Sharon. Redbank Valley has the second most with six, while Brockway and Ridgway each pushed five through to the regional tournament.
Curwensville and Johnsonburg each have three qualifiers, while Clarion has two.
Action gets underway Friday at Sharon, with the consolation finals and finals slated for 3:30 and 5 p.m., respectively, on Saturday.
Here is a closer look at each weight class for the regional tournament:
The area has two freshmen competitors at 106, with Johnsonburg’s Cole Norlin (20-8) and Redbank Valley’s Trenten Rupp landing on opposite sides of the draw.
Norlin, the D-9 runner, is in the top half and faces Eisenhower’s Logan Jaquay (31-4), and returning regional qualifier, in the quarterfinals. Reynolds’ freshman gary Steen (38-4), the D-10 champ also is in the top half along with returning qualifier Shane Peterson (D-10 5th, 19-9).
Rupp (21-11) will wrestle D-10 runner-up Chase Mclaughlin (23-7) in the quarterfinals in the bottom half, which features just one regional returnee in North east junior Caiden Eastman (D-10 6th, 25-9). District 9 champ Bryent Johnson (20-1), a freshman from Smethport also is in the bottom.
The 113-pound field features seven returning regional qualifiers, including three placewinners.
Curwensville junior Blake Passarelli (26-4), the D-9 champ is one of those placewinners having place fourth a year ago to make states. He is in the top half and will wrestle either Saegertown’s Alex Kightlinger (D-10 4th, 18-10) or Mercer’s Carson Filer (D-10 6th, 27-12) in the quarterfinals.
The winner of that quarterfinal bout will square off against a regional returnee in the semis in either Titusville’s Hunter Thompson (D-10 2nd, 29-5) or Oswayo Valley’s Dylan Pesock ((D-9 3rd, 26-6)
Redbank Valley’s Mason Songer (D-9 4th, 23-11) landed in the bottom of the draw and faces Cambrdige Springs’ Ayden Miller (D-10 5th, 31-11) in the first round. The winner gets defending regional and state champ Beau Bayless (41-4) of Reynolds in the quarterfinals.
The area has four entrants in the 120-pound field, which shapes up to be one of the deeper weights featuring one returning champ (Ridgway’s Bush), two runner-ups (Brockway’s Anthony Glasl and Reynolds’s Andrew Ischo) and a third-placer in Fort LeBoeuf’s Isaac Crowell.
Glasl (31-3), the D-9 champ, finds himself in the bottom half along with Ischo (D-10 2nd, 25-9) and Bush (30-7). ischo and Bush meet in the quarterfinals, with the winner being a potential semifinal opponent for Glasl.
In the top half, Brookville’s Cabe Park (D-9 2nd, 19-11) faces Harbor Creek’s Mike gabler (D-10 3rd, 34-10) in the quarterfinals. Redbank’s Brayden Altobelli (D-9 4th, 25-9) also is in the top and wrestles returnee Aaron Gelvin (D-10 5th, 33-4) of Greenville in the first round, with the winner battling D-10 champ Crowell (31-5) in the quarters.
The area has a trio of wrestlers in the field at 126, led by D-9 champ Kai Sorbin (28-8) of Brookville. He could face returning fourth-place finisher John Wheeler (D-10 4th, 28-7) in the quarterfinals in the top half of the bracket. Retrning regional runner-up Tye Varndell (D-10 2nd, 32-4) also is in the top half of the draw.
The bottom half features three regional returnees, including a pair of third-palce finishers in Saegertown’s Kenny Kiser (D-10 1st, 30-4) and Harbor Creek’s Nick Oosterkamp (D-10 5th, 30-11). Oosterkamp opens against Johnsonburg freshman Dalton Stahli (D-9 4th, 20-10), with the winner getting Kiser in the quaters.
The third returnee in the bottom is Redbank’s Hunter Martz (D-9 2nd, 25-15), who wrestles Reynolds freshman Kaeden Berger (D-10 3rd, 15-8).
Two area wrestlers find themselves in the field at 132, with Ridgway senior Bryce Barclay (29-4), the D-9 champ, being one of two returning placewinners at the weight. The other is Bradford’s Tyler Thompson (28-6), who Barclay beat in last week’s district finals.
Barclay is in the bottom of the draw and could face regional returnee Garrett Kopp (D-10 4th, 30-7) in the quarterfinals. Reynolds junior Rocco Bartolo (D-10 2nd, 30-7) also is in the bottom along with Kane’s Noah Blankenship 9D-9 3rd, 17-6).
Thompson is in the top along with District 10 champ Sam Sallot (40-2) of Harbor Creek. Sallot, another returning qualifier, awaits the winner of a first-round bout pitting Curwensville’s Zach Holland (D-9 4th, 19-5) against Commodore Perry’s Zachary Helstern (D-10 5th, 28-10).
The 138-pound bracket features three retuning placewinners, including Ridgway’s Lukas McClain (D-9 1st, 30-4) and Brookville’s Dontae Constable 9D-9 2nd, 27-6).
McClain is in the top half, with his main competition appearing to be either D-10 runner-up Brock Salvatore (26-7) of Sharpsville or Coudersport’s David Kundrick 9D-9 3rd, 30-5). Those two will meet in the quarters, with McClain being a possible semifinal opponent.
Constable is in the bottom and faces Corry’s Joe Perry (D-10 3rd, 20-6), a returning qualifier, in the quarters. Returning regional champ and state runner-up Cole Matthews (D-10 1st, 40-2) of Reynolds also in the bottom of the draw.
Matthews awaits the winner of a first-round bout between Brockway’s Tino Inzana (D-9 4th, 21-14) and Conneaut Area’s Brendan Laird (D-10 5th, 19-10).
One weight always is considered the toughest at every tournament, and 145 appears to be that bracket this year at regionals. There are two returning regionals champs, a runner-up and a third-place finisher all in the field.
The two returning champs — Brookville’s Caleb Hetrick (29-5) and Reynolds’ Hunter Michaels (33-6), wjo are their district’s respective champs — are on opposite sides of the bracket.
Hetrick landed in the stronger half in the bottom with the other two placewinners. That duo, Ridgway’s Logen McClain (D-9 3rd, 30-7) and Slippery Rock’s Michael Doerflinger (D-10 2nd, 26-5), will square off in the quarterfinals in matchup of wrestlers ranked Top 10 in the state. The winner will likely face Hetrick in the semis.
Michaels in the top part of the bracket and will face a regional returnee in Bradford’s Dillon Keane (D-9 2nd, 30-2) or Greenville’s Mason Karpinski 9D-10 3rd, 34-6) in the semifinals.
The area has two competitors at 152 in Clarion’s Ryley McMaster (D-9 3rd, 16-6) and Johnsonburg’s Jake Zimmerman (D-9 4th, 26-8).
McMaster opens against D-10 runner-up Luciano Derose (32-6) of Titusville in the quarterfinals. The top also features D-9 champ Alec English (32-2) of Kane and returning regional runner-up Cameron Prebble (D-10 4th, 27-9) of Sharpsville
In the bottom, Zimmerman faces Fort LeBoeuf’s Trenton Pace (D-10 5th, 26-11) in the first round, with the winner getting D-10 champ Peyton Hearn (33-3) of Conneaut Area in the quarters.
Brookville’s Cole LaBenne (D-9 4th, 5-13) is the only area wrestler at 160 and battles Reynolds’ Hunter Thompson (D-10 5th, 26-13) in the first round. The winner gets D-10 champ Joe Galvin (29-1) of Iroquois in the quarterfinals.
The bottom is highlighted by Port Allegany’s Jacob Kallenborn (33-1), the D-9 champ who was a regional runner-up last year.
On paper, 170 looks to be an open weight with just four returning qualifiers in the field — and all of them are in the bottom half. Brookville’s Braden MacBeth (D-9 4th, 24-13) is one of those four. He wrestles Reynolds’ Bryce McCloskey 9D-10 5th, 7-5) in the first round, with the winner taking on returnee Gavin Henry (D-10 1st, 33-3) of Union City.
Brockway’s Eric Johnson (27-10), the D-9 champ, is in the top half wrestles either Mercer’s Will Chess 9D-10 4th, 35-6) or Slippery Rock’s Vito Pilosi (29-6) in the quarterfinals. The other semi in the top features Ridgway’s Damon Kelley (D-9 3rd, 18-12) against Corry’s Tyler Burlew (D-10 2nd, 30-7).
Two local wrestlers –Brockway’s Garrett McClintick and Brookville’s Elliot Park — find themselves in the 182-pound field along with returning regional and state champ Cody Mulligan (33-3) of Saegertown.
Luckily for the local duo, both are in the bottom hald away from the Panther. McClintick (30-5), the D-9 champ, wrestles either Maplewood’s JD McFadden (D-10 4th, 28-8) or Seneca’s Mike mcCurdy (D-10 6th, 16-9) on the quarters. The other quarterfinal in the bottom has Park (D-9 3rd, 13-10) squaring off against returning regional runner-up Julian Goring (D-10 2nd, 25-4)
Brookville’s Xavier Molnar (D-9 1st, 30-7), who placed third a year ago, landed in the top half at 195 along with returning regional champ Clay Verbanac (D-10 2nd, 31-5).
The duo could face off in the semifinals, with another trip to states on the line for both. For that to happen, Molnar will likely have to beat Reynolds’ Jarod Miller (D-10 4th, 31-11) in the quarters.
Redbank’s Logan Minich (D-9 2nd, 20-7) is in the bottom half of the draw and hits the mat against Harbor Creek’s Lucas Folmer (D-10 3rd, 41-2) in the quarters. Greenville’s Brendan Calvin (35-2), the D-10 champ, also is in the bottom.
The field at 220 features a pair of returning regional runner-ups, as well as a third-place finisher. The two runner-ups — Brookville’s Tyler Cook (32-5) and Greenville’s Jacob McMaster (35-0) — fell in opposite sides of the bracket being district champs.
Cook’s biggest competition in the bottom appears to be D-10 runner-up Khalil Messai (25-3) of Jamestown.
McMaster is in the top half along with a pair of area wrestlers. He awaits the winner of a first-round bout between Redbank’s Aiden Gardner ((D-9 4, 24-11) and Cochranton’s Dalton Boozer (D-10 5th, 20-9). The other quarterfinal pits Clarion’s Tom Wurster (D-9 2nd, 26-5) against Lakeview’s Tyler Zebrovious (D-10 3rd, 31-5), who placed third a year ago.
The heavyweight bracket is another that looks to be wide open with just a handful of returnees and a pair of placewinners who finished low in the D-10 tourney.
Brookville’s Colby Whitehill (35-3), the D-9 champ, finds himself in the upper part of the draw, where he wrestles either Youngsville’s Mason Benjamin (D-10 4th, 25-12) or Reynolds’ Derek Skeehan (D-10 6th, 12-10), who was fourth a year ago.
Brockway’s Hunter Thompson (D-9 3rd, 21-11) also is in the top and faces Harbor Creek’s Collin Askins (D-10 2nd, 37-9) in the quarters.
The area’s third competitor at the weight, Curwensville’s Steve McClure (D-9 2nd, 28-3), is in the bottom half and wrestles Union City’s Matt Long (D-10 3rd, 31-3) in the quarters.
The winner will likely face either D-10 champ Max Wills (29-5) of Lakeview or Mercer’s Bobby Gregory (D-10 5th, 29-7), who was a regional runner-up last year, in the semifinals.