The YAIAA took 93 wrestlers (45 in AA and 48 in AAA) up to historic Hersheypark Arena for Friday's and Saturday's District 3 tournament. When the dust settled, 30 advanced in the postseason (20 in AA and 10 in AAA).
In AAA, South Western's Seth Janney was the lone YAIAA Champion, winning the 220-pound title with four pins. Janney spent just over seven minutes on the mat. Incredible performance by the Mustang, who will head into March's PIAA Championships as a contender.
Janney will be joined by teammates Owen Wherley (second at 126) and Derek Wilson (third at 120). Also moving on is the Spring Grove trio of Dalton Rohrabugh, Levi Witmer and Marcus Kehr. New Oxford's Zurich Storm will also make a state tournament appearance, as will Central York's Dylan Chatterton.
The final YAIAA Class AAA qualifiers for the PIAA tournament were Dallastown's Nick Shields and West York's Garrett Stauffer.
Here is a quick rundown of those AA grapplers moving on to this weekend's Southeast Regional tournament, held Friday and Saturday at Wilson.
First: Nate Newberry (Biglerville, 145), Briton Shelton (Bermudian Springs, 170), Colton Dull (Bermudian Springs, 182), Lucas Barshinger (Eastern York, 195), Sam McCollum (Bermudian Springs, 220), Brady Linebaugh (Bermudian Springs, 285).
Second: Scott Cooper (Biglerville, 138)
Third: Caleb Garland (Hanover, 120), Brady Mentzer (Biglerville, 132), Brian Shermeyer (Delone Catholic, 145), Dakota Mackley (Eastern York, 152), Matt Guilday (Littlestown, 195)
Fourth: Antonio Ugarte (Delone Catholic, 126)
Fifth: Austin Clabaugh (Bermudian Springs, 120), Cory Becker (Littlestown, 126), Jarod Miller (Bermudian Springs, 132), Noah Fleshman (Bermudian Springs, 160), Jordan Matthews (Littlestown, 152), Nate Mentzer (Biglerville, 220), Zach MacLeod (Littlestown, 285).
It was also a week for milestones at Hersheypark Arena, as Biglerville’s Nate Newberry, South Western’s Owen Wherley and West York’s Garrett Stauffer all hit 100 career victories. Newberry hit 100 in his championship victory, while Wherley captured the feat on Friday with a first-round win. Stauffer hit 100 in a consolation-semifinal victory, which clinched his spot at states.
Class AAA - Where I Was right: I correctly predicted eight champions and had six of those finals matchups correct. There were three championship matches where I correctly predicted the matchup but was wrong on the outcome. Nine of 14 championship-match predictions correct? I'll take it. In all I predicted correctly 23 of 28 finalists and 38 of 56 advancing wrestlers. Not too bad.
Class AAA - Where I was wrong: 106 pounds. I had Hempfield's Brandon Loperfido winning over Cumberland Valley's Kaldes, with Central Dauphin's Chris Wright over Spring Grove's Dalton Rohrbaugh in the consolation final. I got the Wright-Rohrbaugh contest correct, but it was actually for the championship. 106 was the lone weight class where I didn't have either finalist correct. Heavyweight as well, outside of the Champion, Bo Spiller, I did not correctly predict any other advancing wrestlers.
Class AA - Where I Was Right: I predicted 24 of 28 finalists correct in AA as well as correctly predicted 12 of 14 winners - the two wrong winners were on the losing end in the finals. I also correctly predicted the entire 220-pound bracket, from preliminary matchups to the top-six medalists. I also finished by correctly predicting 83% (58 of 70) of the Southeast Regional qualifiers.
Class AA - Where I was wrong: I missed on Trinity's freshman Andrew Wert taking out Bishop McDevitt's John Pipa. Impressive victory for Wert. I also did not see Wyomissing's Caleb Naylor not making it out of 145 pounds. Although, 145 was the toughest weight class there, with plenty of talent in the field.
Five things I learned:1. Bermudian Springs' run of wrestlers from 170 through heavyweight is as good a set of wrestlers as you will see in the district.
2. South Western's Seth Janney is as good as they come. Call me crazy, but I think the sophomore has a shot at the AAA-220 PIAA final.
3. Even the best can be beaten. Big Springs' Tommy Rayhart sent shockwaves through the arena Friday night when be beat returning PIAA Champ Jan Johnson in a quarterfinal. The two went through a battle last year in the same round, a 2-1 Johnson victory.
4. Boiling Springs has one of the more complete lineups you will find. The Bubblers moved 11 wrestlers onto the Southeast regional. Very impressive.
5. The AAA consolation semifinals are now the most exciting matches to watch. PIAA berths to the winners, a 5th or 6th place medal and the end of their season for the loser. It's a recipe for some great action.
I'll leave you with a handful of video's to quench your thirst for the mats. Be sure to stay tuned for my PIAA Southeast regional preview later this week and follow me on twitter @ameaseYDR for all the latest.