HERSHEY — Brockway enjoyed a strong opening day Thursday at the PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships, as the Rovers had two wrestlers reach the quarterfinals and all four of its senior state qualifiers make it through to Day 2 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Returning medalists Ryan Carlson and Mason Lindenmuth each scored first-round wins to advance to this morning’s quarterfinals, while the duo of Mitchell Overbeck and Dustin Jamison both won pigtail matches on their way to 1-1 days.
Overbeck (29-8) was the first of the group to hit the mat in his 113-pound pigtail match against Bentworth sophomore Manny Dovshek (27-14), and it was Dovshek who jumped out to a 4-1 first-period lead on the strength of two takedowns.
The Rover senior countered with a reversal and was putting Dovshek on his back when he called for injury time for the second time in the period. Dovshek, who appeared to tweak his knee earlier in the period, was unable to continue as Overbeck got the win by injury default in 1:44.
The win gave Overbeck a first-round matchup with Benton senior Alan Diltz (33-2), who placed third last year at 106. Diltz proved to be too much for the Rover to handle as Diltz built a 16-2 lead in the second quarter before recording a fall in 3:27.
The loss dropped Overbeck into the consolation bracket, where he faces Penns Valley junior Darren Yearick (35-5).
Jamison (33-13) also had a pigtail bout at 138 and made his states debut in a match he’ll never forget. The Rover trailed Bishop McDevitt’s Jayden Johnson, 2-0, going into the second period, and Johnson chose bottom.
However, the McDevitt junior never got out as Jamison slapped on a cradle and pinned Johnson 39 seconds into the period.
The win earned the Rover a matchup with two-time and defending state champ George Phillippi (40-2) of Derry Area. Phillippi proved to be too much for Jamison to handle, as the Rover was tech falled, 20-4 in 4:16.
Jamison will resume his late-season push for a state medal today against Annville-Cleona senior Joshua Renninger (40-6), a returning state qualifier.
“We wrestled pretty well today,” said Rovers coach Eric Grecco. “Mitchell and Dustin were able to get the ball rolling in the preliminaries, and each were able to pick up a win in their first state appearance.
“They each had tough second matches but will come back ready to battle through the consolations (today).”
As for Carlson and Lindenmuth, they hit the mat just once each Thursday.
Carlson (34-2) jumped out to a 2-1 first-period lead on Northern Bedford’s Zach Clark (28-6) on the strength of a takedown in that opening two minutes. Clark then rode Carlson the entire second period, with the Black Panther choosing bottom in the third.
The decision proved to be fatal for Clark, as Carlson turned him for two backpoints to go up 4-1. Clark earned a late escape, but Carlson fought off the Panther on his feet for the 4-2 victory.
Carlson battles Muncy senior Angelo Barberio (37-5) in today’s quarterfinals in a matchup of state returnees. Barberio, the Northeast fourth-place finisher, knocked off Southeast champ Jack Hill (31-2) of Saucon Valley in the first round. Hill placed fifth at 113 a year ago.
As for Lindenmuth, he dominated his way to a 9-0 major decision over Line Mountain junior Brian Earlston (34-10) in their 126-pound first-round match.
Lindenmuth took down Earlston in the first period, then put him on his back for a 5-0 lead after one period. The senior chose bottom in the second and reversed Earlston before riding him out the remainder of the period.
Earlston went neutral to start the third, and Lindenmuth put the match away with a takedown.
Lindenmuth now faces Saucon Valley senior Jonah Zych (39-8), the Southeast champ, in the quarterfinals.
“Ryan and Mason each wrestled well and got wins in the first round,” said Grecco. “We are going to regroup as a team and get ready to roll (today). When you’re down here in Hershey, you have to take it one match at a time.
“I just keep telling the kids focus on the next opponent. I know that Ryan and Mason are each itching to get this next win and put themselves into the semifinals.”