HERSHEY — Brockway matched DuBois for the most state qualifiers by a Tri-County Area school this year and will have four wrestlers hit the mats Thursday in Hershey with hopes of bringing home a medal at the Class AA Championships.
Two of those Rovers — senior Garrett McClintick and junior Anthony Glasl — have been to states in the past, with Glasl capturing some state hardware as a freshman with a sixth-place finish.
The duo will be joined in Hershey this year by state newcomers Eric Johnson (junior) and Mark Palmer (freshman).
McClintick (33-2) entered last weekend ranked third in the state at 182 but suffered a 5-2 setback to third-ranked Gavin Henry (38-3) of Union City in the Northwest Regional finals.
That loss actually put the Rover on the opposite side of the bracket from Henry and the top-ranked wrestler in the state in Mount Pleasant freshman Dayton Pitzer (39-1, Southwest-1st).
However, McClintick does have a returning state qualifier right out of the chute though, as he battles Freedom Area senior Bryson Miller (27-9, Southwest-3rd) in the first round in the top half of the draw.
Southeast champ Nick James (24-7) of hamburg and two-time state medalist Derek Yingling (32-3) of West Branch are both in McClintick’s quarter of the bracket. Yingling, who has placed sixth and eighth in Hershey, was ranked second in the state entering regionals but placed fifth at the Southwest Regional after dealing with an illness.
Jersey Shore senior Hunter O’Connor (32-4, Northeast-1st), who placed eight last year, also is in the top half with McClintick. O’Connor eliminated the Rover from states a year ago.
Pitzer and Henry appear to be the cream of the crop in the bottom half of the draw and find themselves on a collision course to meet in the semifinals.
Glasl (33-2), the Northwest runner-up, is making his third trip in as many years to Hershey. This time around, he finds himself in a strong 126-pound weight class that features 13 past state qualifiers — including a pair of returning state runner-ups in Glendale sophomore Brock McMillen (39-1, Southwest-1st) and Bishop McDevitt senior Chase Shields (26-3, Southeast-1st).
Glasl is in the top half of bracket with McMillen and faces a tough opponent in Notre Dame-Green Pond freshman Brandan Chletsos (40-10, Southeast-3rd) in the first round. Chletsos entered last weekend ranked third in the state, while Glasl was ranked sixth.
The winner most likely battles top-ranked McMillen in the quarterfinals.
Three-time state medalist Bronson Garber (38-4, Southeast-2nd), a senior from of Upper Dauphin, also is in the top half of the bracket. Garber has placed fourth, fifth and sixth during his career.
Shields headlines the bottom half of the bracket, where he could face another local competitor — Curwensville senior Blake Passarelli (27-8, Northwest-4th) in the first round. Passarelli is a four-time qualifier who placed eighth last year.
Johnson (32-7, Northwest-3rd) landed in the bottom half of the 195-pound bracket and wrestles Montoursville senior Gable Crebs (31-6, Northeast-2nd) in the first round. Up next for the winner most likely will be St. Joseph Academy freshman Kolby Franklin (41-5), the Southwest champ. Franklin, a DuBois native, was ranked second in the state entering last weekend.
The third-ranked wrestler, Mahoney senior Colin Fegley (38-1, Southeast-1st), also is in the bottom half.
Headlining the top half at 195 is Southern Columbia junior Gaige Garcia (43-0, Northeast-1st), who is ranked first in the state. Garcia placed third last year in Hershey and fifth as a freshman.
Bentworth senior Johnathan Vargo (26-6, Southwest-5th), who placed fifth last year, also is on Garcia’s side along with North Star’s Hunter Tremain (38-4, Southwest-3rd) and Saucon Valley’s Dane Csencsits (36-8, Southeast-2nd). Tremain and Csencsits, ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, meet in the first round.
Palmer (32-10, Northwest-4th) is one of 11 freshmen in the 106-pound field.
The Rover landed in a pigtail contest where he faces Mount Pleasant freshman Luke Geibig (32-12, Southwest-5th), with the winner getting Southeast champ Levi Haines (37-0), a freshman from Biglerville.
Two of the top four ranked wrestlers are also in the top half with Palmer, with defending state champ Gary Steen (35-1, Northwest-1st) of Reynolds and Pope John Paul II’s Matt Vulakh (24-9, Southeast-4th) possibly meeting in the first round. Vulakh placed eighth last year.
The bottom of the draw features regional champs Sheldon Seymour (32-0, Northeast) of Troy and South Park’s Joey Fischer (35-0, Southwest) along with Brookville’s Owen Reinsel (32-4), the Northwest runner-up.
The PIAA Class AA Championships get underway Thursday at 9 a.m.