JOHNSTOWN — DuBois had seven wrestlers compete at the Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling Junior High State Championships over the weekend at the Cambria County War Memorial, with Ed Scott capturing a gold medal at 107 pounds to headline DuBois’ stay in Johnstown.
Scott was not only DuBois’ lone medalist at the event but also lone the area wrestler to land on the podium.
DuBois did have six other wrestlers — Trenton Donahue (92 pounds), Gauge Gulvas (97), Lance Henninger (157), Kolby Franklin (167), Eric Schneider (167) and John Pendleton (212) — compete at the junior high state tournament.
Scott opened the weekend with a 6-1 win over Nazareth’s Drew Clearie, then pinned Area IV champ Isaiah Towler of Aliquippa in 2:36 in the second round. Scott then had to overcome some adversity in a physical quarterfinal round match against Dayton Delviscio of Rose Tree Media.
Delviscio was penalized twice for unsportsmanlike conduct — once for a forearm to the head and a second time for a head-butt to the face — while a scoring change also occurred at the scorer’s table that went against Scott. However, the young Dubois wrestler kept his emotions in check and dug deep to beat Delviscio, 11-8.
Scott quickly put the match behind him and pinned Neshaminy’s Sam Hayes in 2:30 in the semifinals to set up a showdown in the finals against returning state champion Zack Witmer of Bellefonte. Hayes went to place third on the weekend.
In the finals, Scott picked up the match’s first takedown against Witmer and wrestled smart from there on his way to a 3-2 victory and the 107-pound state title. Scott was fourth last year at 97 pounds, while Witmer’s state crown came at 90 pounds in the PJW Youth championships.
“Scott’s ability to ride Witmer led to him nearly completely controlling his finals match,” said DuBois coach Beau Bash. “We’re just unbelievably proud of Ed. He’s a great kid, and he has put a ton of work into the sport. You love to see great things happen to a kid like that.”
Donahue went 2-2 at 92 pounds and fell one win shy of winning a state medal of his own.
He started the tournament off in impressive fashion with a 6-0 win over Muncy’s Bryce Vollman and a 9-0 major decision of Canon-McMillan’s Jacob Gardner, the Area IV champ. However, after not allowing a point Saturday, Donahue struggled to find points himself Sunday against two tough wrestlers.
Donahue suffered his first loss, a 3-0 decision, to returning state champion Nathan Lackman of Wilson. He then fell 2-0 to Matthew Lackman, also of Wilson. Nathan Lackman went to place fourth, while Matthew Lackman was seventh.
“Trenton wrestled really well. I wasn’t at all disappointed in him or his performance,” said Bash. “It was disappointing to not see him place in the Top 8. He has beaten kids that placed on Sunday, and I think he was definitely one of the best 8 kids at 92 pounds in the state of Pennsylvania.
“It just didn’t go his way on Sunday.”
Gulvas went 1-2 at 97 pounds, scoring a dominant 11-0 major decision over Sharpsville’s William Divens before falling to Union City’s Jacob Brumett, 11-1 and Garnet Valley’s Griffin Hollingsworth, 7-3. Brumett finished eighth on the weekend.
As for Henninger, he went 3-2 on the weekend at 157.
He opened up his tournament by pinning Berlin’s Jason Villegas in 1:00 before being pinned in 47 seconds by Penn-Trafford’s John Bacher, the Area III champ. Henninger responded with back-to-back wins in the consolation bracket. He pinned Hamburg’s Seth Miller in 2:01, then decked Union City’s Ryan Newton in 49 seconds for his third fall of the tournament.
However, Henninger’s run came to an end with a 7-1 loss to Area VII Champion Justin Hart of Hampton.
Both Franklin and Schneider made states ay 167.
Franklin went 0-2 on the weekend, falling 8-0 to Hempfield’s Dillon Ferretti and 5-3 toOwen J. Roberts’ Tommy Dempsey.
Schneider fared a little better, going 1-2. He lost his opening bout 4-0 to Parkland’s David Polanki but bounced back with a 4-2 win over Area IV champ Chet Locy of Trinity. Schneider was then eliminated in a hard-fought 2-0 setback to Fort LeBoeuf’s Jacob Lloyd, who went to place third.
DuBois’ final state competitor was Pendleton, who went 1-2 at 212.
Pendleton suffered a 3-1 setback to Botertown’s Jacob Sondor in his opening match but bounced back to pin Lampeter-Strassburg’s Tyler Phenegar in 47 seconds in the consolation bracket. But, his run ended there as Greenville’s Justin Harbaugh, the Area VI champ, pinned Pendleton in 1:47.
”The state tournament was a good culmination of the work our team did this season,” said Bash. “I think we had some guys who made the trip thinking that just making it was the big accomplishment. Then, they got to compete and beat some quality wrestlers, and in some cases came up just short against state medalists.
“After that, I think we left with a lot of guys realizing they belonged at that tournament and that they can actually compete with almost anyone in the state. That’s huge for our program moving forward — to have seven guys who can compete and believe they can get the job done against anyone.
“They have a bright future as a group moving forward.”