PIAA Wrestling Pairings Set: How do YAIAA wrestlers stack up?
It's the most wonderful week of the year for wrestling fans in the state of Pennsylvania. Starting Thursday morning with Class AA, wrestlers and fans alike will be descending on Hershey's Giant Center for the 100th installment of the PIAA Championships. Brackets can be seen here.
The York Adams League will be well represented in both the AA and AAA portions of the bracket, including many favorites. One of those favorites is Kennard-Dale 170-pounder Chance Marsteller, who is looking to do what no wrestler in PIAA history has done, and that is win over 150 matches and four PIAA Championships without a loss. The last wrestler to run through the PIAA undefeated over a four year career was Cary Kolat (137-0) for Jefferson-Morgan from 1989-1992.
Also among the favorites are a pair of AA wrestlers in Hanover's Ian Brown (132) and Bermudian Springs Tristan Sponseller (195). Both enter the tournament with unbeaten records of 35-0 and 39-0 respectively.
Here's a breakdown of all the YAIAA competitors, favorites in those weight classes and projected outcome:
120 pounds: Hanover's Caleb Garland (sophomore, 33-8) enters this extremely deep weight class featuring Derry Area's George Phillippi and Boiling Springs' Korbin Myers. Both are favored to reach the finals. Garland's opening round matchup is with the number one seed out of the Northwest regional in Fort LeBoeuf sophomore Jarrette Carter. Carter enters with a 30-8 record. Garland could potentially make a run in a weak quarter of the bracket and if he does, it's likely Boiling Springs Korbin Myers will await in the semifinal. Projected outcome: Top 8 medalist
132 pounds: Hanover's Ian Brown (Senior, 35-0) and Biglerville's Scott Cooper (sophomore, 37-9) both enter the field. Brown is the overall top seed and likely favorite to win the title. He has a tough task ahead of him in the top half of the bracket. He has a potential quarterfinal matchup with Bedford's Ryan Easter and a potential semifinal matchup with Lake-Lehman's Austin Harry. Both have won medals here before. If he gets by the two of them he could face 40-0 Mike Carr from South Fayette. Brown opens with Huntingdon's Devon Green (34-9).
Speaking of Harry, he will be Cooper's first round opponent and enters at 37-1. A daunting task for Cooper, that's for sure.
Projected outcome: Brown, 132-pound Champion. Cooper, no medal, but second day competitor.
145 pounds: Hanover's Tyler Shafer (senior, 34-2) will enter the field that has two undefeated wrestlers including a two-time PIAA champion in Kittaning's Jason Nolf (40-0). The other undefeated wrestler is Williamson's Billy Barnes (39-0). Shafer matches up with Beth-Center's Tony Welsh (36-6) in the first round. Shafer, in a competitive quarter of the bracket could ultimately end up in the semifinals opposite Nolf. Consider it a shock if anyone other than Nolf wins it.
Projected outcome: Fourth place.
160 pounds: Bermudian Springs' Briton Shelton (junior, 38-2) is the only YAIAA competitor to enter the field. Coudersport's Kyle Bova enters this weight class as the favorite, and if Shelton makes it that far would be his semifinal opponent. The other side of the bracket features South Fayette's Jared Walker (40-1) and Milton's Ryan Preisch (37-2). Shelton opens with Berlin-Brothers Valley's Bryce Fochtman (35-6).
Projected outcome: Fourth place.
170 pounds: Fairfield's Nick Mort (Senior, 36-3) will enter the field coming off a pair of losses in last week's Southeast regional. Mort has the unfortunate draw of matching up with one of the favorite's, Penns Valley junior Corey Hazel (34-3) in the first round. Also on his side of the bracket is Kane's Evan Delong (32-0) another favorite to win the tournament. Montoursville's Garrett Hoffman (42-2) and Bethlehem Catholic's Nick Cortopassi (33-5) highlight the other side of the bracket.
Projected outcome: Top 6 medalist
182 pounds: Bermudian Springs' Colton Dull (junior, 35-5) is the lone YAIAA entry in the field. After a tough outing at last weekend's Southeast regional, Dull will get matched up with the Southwest regional's top seed, Valley's Terrell Fields (33-1). Fields is one of the favorites to exit his side of the bracket along with Dull and Cranberry's Zachery Bruce (33-1). Lancaster Catholic's Stephen Loiseau is the favorite to take the title (42-0).
Projected outcome: Top 6 medalist
195 pounds: Bermudian Springs' Tristan Sponseller (senior, 39-0) is the favorite to take the 195 pound crown. Not without some competition. On his side of the bracket is Canton's Garrett Wesneski (38-1). If he makes it to the Championship he could run into Hyndman senior James Bennett (35-1). Sponseller will open with Ellwood City's Brad Grinnen (33-5) ranked 9th in the state at 195 via off the mat.
Projected outcome: 195-pound Champion.
220 pounds: Bermudian Springs' Sam McCollum (junior, 34-6) will have the daunting task of facing West Branch junior Reynold Maines (35-1) in the first round. Maines is coming off his first loss of the season to Avella's unbeaten Jake Temple (39-0) in the Southwest regional final. Expect a rematch between the two on the grandest stage of them all.
Projected outcome: Day two qualifier.
285 pounds: Fairfield's Brett Harris (senior, 33-7) will face Wyalusing sophomore Dalton Chilson (42-4) in the opening round in what should be a good contest. The winner's reward? Burrell's Allan Beattie (40-5) one of the favorites to win the title. Other favorites include Pen Argyl's Brady Mutton (36-1) who beat Harris in the Southeast regional final, 2-1 and Lakeview's Sam Breese (32-0).
Projected outcome: Day two qualifier, possible sleeper to medal.
Onto class AAA.
106 pounds: New Oxford's Zurich Storm (freshman 30-5) will have his hands full in the first round as he takes on Franklin Regional's Devin Brown (33-0). Brown is a returning state champion, having won the 106 pound title in the AA bracket last year with Saegertown. Brown is once again, the favorite to win the title this year. He's not without competition as North Hill's sophomore Gage Curry (35-1), Exeter's Brett Kulp (43-2) and a finalist last year in Solanco's Connor Sheehan (36-7) also highlight the field.
Projected finish: Just off the medal stand.
113 pounds: Central York's Dylan Chatterton (freshman, 29-3), South Western's Derek Wilson (sophomore, 23-5) and Kennard-Dale's Mike Bracey (sophomore, 29-7) all make the trip to the Giant Center. Chatterton will have a tough task in the first round as he face's Parkland's Jacob Lizak (40-10). Wilson gets General McLane's Joe Wheeling (34-1) while Bracey get's Phillipsburg-Osceola's Chris Thompson (29-7).
The favorite in the bracket, without much debate, is Franklin Regional's Spencer "The Kid" Lee. The freshman is unbeaten at 45-0 and largely uncontested this year as well.
Projected outcome: Chatterton, medalist. Wilson, day two. Bracey, potential top 8.
120 pounds: Spring Grove's Zack Clingan (senior, 38-3) and South Western's Owen Wherley (sophomore, 35-5) enter the field. Clingan will open with Bellefonte freshman Brock Port (32-4) while Wherley get's Cathedral Prep's Jake Gromacki (28-2). The favorite to win the weight class is Greater Latrobe's Luke Pletcher (39-0). Should Clingan win his opening match he would likely face Pletcher in the quarterfinals of the loaded weight class that features eight wrestlers with three or fewer losses.
Projected outcome: Clingan and Wherely are sleepers to medal, but could ultimately JUST miss out due to the bracket draw.
126 pounds: Dallastown's Rodney Sunday (senior, 32-3) enters a pretty deep weight class and is in the same quarter of the bracket as one of the favorites in District 7 Hempfield's Sam Krivus (38-3). Sunday will need to beat Clearfield's Noah Cline first to gain the matchup with Krivus. On the other side of the bracket, Canon-McMillan's Dalton Macri (36-2) could await Krivus in a rematch of the Southwest regional final, won by Macri.
Projected finish: Top 8 medalist
138 pounds: Dallastown's Wesley Hoover (senior, 29-7) will face Mifflin County's Hayden Hidlay (35-2). The favorites in the bracket all reside from either the Southwest or Southcentral region. Cumberland Valley's Patrick Duggan, Franklin Regional's Michael Kemerer, Manheim Township's Cortlandt Schuyler and Pittsburgh Central Catholic's Vincenzo Joseph are likely the four best wrestlers in the weight class. Punxsutawney's Kaleb Young (29-1) and Hidlay could have something to say about that.
Projected finish: possible day 2 qualifier.
145 pounds: Spring Grove's Michael Hartman (senior, 32-9) will look to continue last weeks impressive run against General McLane's Deane Twitchell (32-8). Father Judge senior Joe Galasso (23-) and Canon McMillan's Solomon Chishko (23-3) are amongst the favorites.
Projected finish: just outside the top 8.
152 pounds: Spring Grove's Mason Bentzel (senior, 37-3) will look to rebound from his tech fall loss to Cumberland Valley's TC Warner. Warner is the hands down favorite to win it. Could Bentzel face him again in the championship of a wide-open bottom half of the bracket? Very realistic possibility here for the Rocket senior. Bentzel will face Mifflin County's Noah Stewart (33-8) in the first round.
Projected finish: Top 6 medalist.
170 pounds: Kennard-Dale's Chance Marsteller (senior, 37-0, 162-0 on career) will look for his fourth PIAA Championship as he opens against Dallas senior Connor Martinez (36-9). Standing in the way on his side of the bracket could be Ringgold's Devin Fallenstein (30-2) and Chartiers Valley's Noah Wilps (30-2). Potential road blocks on the top half of the bracket include Pittsburgh Central Catholic's Kyle Coniker (27-3) and perhaps his District 3 foe in Big Spring senior Cody Seibert (32-5).
Projected finish: 170-pound Champion.
Action gets underway Thursday morning. Be certain to check GameTimePA.com for all your wrestling needs.
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