HYDE — The new-look District 4/9 Class AAA Wrestling Championships take place Saturday at Clearfield Area High School with nine teams set to take the mats with the goal of advancing as many wrestlers as possible to the Northwest Regional Tournament in Altoona.
The field expanded by two teams this year as Bradford moved back up to Class AAA after spending a classification cycle in AA and Cranberry bumped up after forging a co-op with Oil City out of District 10.
District 9 now has six teams at the event as the two newcomers join DuBois, Clearfield, St. Marys and Punxsutawney. District 4 still has three teams in Selinsgrove, Shikellamy and Williamsport.
Also new this year is the fact the district now gets a fifth qualifier to regionals based on the number of teams. That qualifier was taken away from District 10, which now has three spots based on its five teams competing.
On the mat, there are just five returning champs from a year ago in what was a senior-laden field in 2017-18. Three of those returning champs — senior Dalton Woodrow, jujnior Ed Scott and sophomore Chandler Ho — wear a DuBois singlet. Woodrow is looking to etch his place in history by joining the elite group of competitors to win four district titles.
The other two returning champs — Coy Bastian and Nate Schon — hail from Selinsgrove.
There also are two other wrestlers who won titles in the past competing this weekend. DuBois junior Trenton Donahue won a title as a freshman in 2017, while St. Marys senior Tyler Dilley landed on top the podium as a freshman in 2016.
DuBois leads the way with four top seeds — all four wrestlers who have won past titles — for this year’s event, while Clearfield and Selinsgrove have three top seeds each.
DuBois and Clearfield look to spearhead District 9’s effort to seek a little revenge after District 4 stole the show at the team tournament when Selinsgrove beat Williamsport in the finals to earn a trip to Hershey.
Action gets underway in the one-day tourney Saturday at 9 a.m. at Clearfield High School. The finals and consolation finals are set to begin at 4:30 p.m.
Here is a closer look at each weight class:
All three local competitors are in the top half of the seven-man draw at 106.
Top-seeded Johnathan Thomas (9-2) of Clearfield has a bye into the semifinals where he faces the winner of a quarterfinal bout between St. Marys’ Lane Dellaquilla (10-8) and DuBois’ Kam Stevenson (11-14).
Dellaquilla pinned Stevenson during the regular season, while neither has faced Thomas.
The bottom half has just one wrestler with a winning record, second-seeded Jacob Umstead (19-60 of Cranberry. Umstead was pinned by Thomas at district duals, but beat Dellaquilla, 9-3, during the season.
The area has just one entrant at 113 in Clearfield freshman Nolan Barr (17-12), the third seed who faces Cranberry’s Michael Stanley (6-13) in the quarterfinals. Barr pinned Stanley in 48 seconds at district duals. The winner of their bout gets second-seeded Aiden Gaugler (23-9) of Selinsgrove.
The top half of the draw looks to be all about top-seeded Braden Bower (29-2) of Williamsport.
DuBois’ Ho (20-9), who won at 106 last year, has moved up to 120 where he is the top seed. The Beaver has a bye into the semifinals where he wrestles either Selinsgrove’s C.J. Boyer (15-14) or Cranberry’s Evan Hepler (8-11).
The area’s other competitor is in the bottom half, where Clearfield freshman Karson Kline (No. 3, 21-13) takes on sixth-seeded Hunter Beaver (8-14) of Shikellamy in the quarters. The winner gets Williamsport freshman Riley Bower (29-8), the second seed, in the semifinals.
Ho beat Boyer, 6-0, at district duals.
Donahue (27-4) headlines the field at 126 and finds himself in the same half of the draw as the other two local entrants. The Beaver has a bye into the semifinals where he wrestles the winner of a bout between Clearfield’s Luke Freeland (18-14) and St. Marys’ Marco Paropacic (10-9). Donahue owns a win (6-0) against Paropacic.
The bottom part of the bracket looks to be a battle between second-seeded Carter Dawson (18-5) of Williamsport and Cranberry’s fourth-seeded Carter Stanley (16-9). Donahue beat Dawson, 8-4, at district duals.
The 132-pound bracket features an eight-man field, half of whom have 19 or more wins.
St. Marys’ Dilley (27-3) is the top local competitor and garnered the No. 2 seed. He wrestles DuBois’ Ryan Gildersleeve (3-3) in the quarterfinals, with the winner likely to face Cranberry’s Mitchell Rossey (19-4) in the semifinals. Dilley tech falled Rossey during the regular season.
In the top half. Shikellamy junior Cade Balestrini (26-2) is the No. 1 seed, while Selinsgrove senior Shawn Matthews (20-7) is seeded second.
The draw at 138 is one of two with a full nine-man field and is headlined by DuBois’ Scott (29-0), who is looking to win his third district title in as many years. The Beaver junior awaits the winner of a pigtail bout between Bradford’s Michael Gow (4-18) and Williamsport’s Tylil James (0-13).
Fourth-seeded Teague Hoover (15-8) of Selinsgrove also is in the top half and faces Punxsy’s Dan Smith (9-17).
The bottom half has a pair of quarterfinal bouts pitting Clearfield’s second-seeded Jude Pallo (18-7) vs. Shik’s Gage Wolfe (3-5) and third-seeded Tylor Herzing (13-6) of St. Marys against Cranberry’s Nick Clark (3-3).
Woodrow seeks his historic fourth title as the top seed at 145 after winning crowns at 113, 120 and 132 the past three years. The Beaver has a bye into the semis where faces either St. Marys’ Nick Crisp (12-6) or Cranberry’s D.J. Clark (13-8).
Woodrow’s biggest competition looks to come in the finals, where he most likely will face either Clearfiel senior Caleb Freeland (23-8) or Shik’s Drew Balestrini (23-6), the second and third seeds, respectively.
The area has three entrants at 152, with Clearfield freshman Mark McGonigal (27-3) the favorite coming in as the top seed. The Bison has a bye into the semifinals where he battles either DuBois’ Gauge Gulvas (11-12) or Williamsport’s Owen Mahon (11-11). Mahon pinned Gulvas at district duals.
St. Marys junior John Wittman (17-8) is the second seed and opens with a quarterfinal bout against Shik’s Baryn Emerich (2-8).
The field at 160 has a pair of 20-win wrestlers in top-seeded Anthony Robinson (29-7) of Williamsport and second-seeded Colby Keane (24-6) of Bradford. Keane opens against Clearfield Cole Smay (9-15) in the quarterfinals.
DuBois sophomore Garrett Starr (19-8) also is in the bottom half with Keane and faces Shik senior Isaiah Betz (9-13) in the quarters to see who gets the winner of the Keane match.
Starr was pinned by Robinson at district duals.
Three local wrestlers are in the field at 170, with Clearfield’s Brett Zattoni (9-19) being the highest-ranked (No. 4). Zattoni squares off against Carnberry’s Jesse York (9-11) to see who will most likely face Selinsgrove’s Bastian (29-5) in the semifinals. Zattoni beat York, 5-2, at district duals.
DuBois’ Jake Krause (3-8) is in the bottom half and wrestles third-seeded Evan Bingaman (24-7) of Shikellamy in the quarterfinals. The winner looks to have a semifinal showdown with undefeated Dillon Keane (29-0), the two seed from Bradford.
The second full bracket comes at 182, which has produced a quarterfinal matchup between area wrestlers in St. Marys Jeremy Garthwaite (No. 4, 14-10) and DuBois’ Eric Schneider (No. 5, 12-12). The winner should face top-seeded Garrett Eddy (22-8) of Punxsutawney in the semifinals.
In the bottom half, Clearfield’s Nick Domico (12-8) takes on Selinsgrove’s third-seeded Ryan Aument (18-14). The victor looks to face second-seeded Derek Sunafrank (24-7) of Bradford in the semis.
Both area competitors at 195 landed in the top half the eight-man bracket.
DuBois’ Ryan White (4-20) drew top-seeded Blaise Zeiders (29-6) of Selinsgrove in the quarterfinals, while Clearfield freshman Oliver Billotte (No. 4, 10-6) battles Bradford’s Kholten Fuller (10-15).
Cranberry freshman Brayden Crocker (23-1) headlines the bottom half of the draw. Crocker’s lone loss came in his first bout of the season, a pin against state qualifier Ogden Atwood of Armstrong.
Selinsgrove’s Schon is the cream of the crop at 220, as the Seal returns to defend his title at the weight as a freshman. However, he has yet to wrestle second-seeded Adam Young (27-3) of Shikellamy this season as the Braves forfeited to Schon in their dual meet.
Young opens against DuBois’ John Pendleton (3-12) in the quarterfinals, with the winner likely to get third-seeded Jacob Schuckers (19-9) of Punxsy in the semifinals.
Just two wrestlers in the eight-man heavyweight bracket has a winning record, but neither garnered the top seed.
That honor went to Clearfield senior Avry Gisewhite (15-15), who split matches against the duo with winning records. He beat DuBois’ Alex O’Harah, 3-2, back in December but was pinned by Cranberry’s Trey Wright in 2:58 at district duals.
O’Harah (22-8) got the No. 2 seed and is in the bottom half of the bracket where he wrestles Selinsgrove’s Aaron Hoke in the quarterfinals. Wright (11-7) is the fourth seed and finds himself in the top half along with Gisewhite, who faces St. Marys’ Colton Swanson (5-11) in the quarterfinals.