HERSHEY — Brookville didn’t bring one of its larger contingents to the PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships this year, but the Raiders did what they are accustomed to doing on the Giant Center floor Thursday — win.
The Raider duo of junior Colby Whitehill (285 pounds) and freshman Owen Reinsel (106) book-ended the first round with first-period falls to punch their tickets to this morning’s quarterfinals.
Whitehill (36-0), an eighth-place finisher a year ago, opened his stay in Hershey in dominant fashion against Burgettstown junior Riley Kemper (36-9). Whitehill scored a takedown 22 seconds into their bout to seize control. He eventually worked Kemper on to his back late in the period, securing the fall in 1:46.
Whitehill and Kemper entered states ranked second and fifth, respectively, according to papowerwrestling.com.
Next up for the Raider is third-ranked Jalen Stephens (37-4), a sophomore from Meyersdale who is the third-place finisher from the Southwest Region. Stephens bested Church Farm School junior Emmanuel Lawal (30-4), 4-2, in his first-round bout Thursday.
Reinsel (33-4), making his states debut, spent even less time on the mat in his opener against Littlestown sophomore Connor Brown (31-6).
The Raider freshman took down Brown at the 1:18 mark of the first period, then needed just 14 more seconds to flatten the Thunderbolt in 1:32.
Brown entered states ranked sixth at 106, while Reinsel was No. 12.
Reinsel squares off against Southwest champ Joey Fischer (36-0), a sophomore from South Park, in the quarterfinals. Fischer, a returning qualifier, is ranked fourth in the state.
Action resumes today at 9 a.m. with the quarterfinals and second round of consolations at the Giant Center.