York-Adams Wrestle Weekly: Previewing the PIAA Tournament
It's hard to believe that high school wrestling has just three days remaining in its 2015 season. Can the YAIAA follow-up last year's incredible postseason that was capped with three PIAA Champions? It will be a tall order. But are there threats for a PIAA champ or two? Absolutely.
Let's take a look at each YAIAA competitor's preliminary or first-round matchup with a predicted finish for each, beginning with Class AAA.
106 - Spring Grove freshman Dalton Rohrbaugh (31-4): The most successful freshman in Rockets history will open against Southeast No. 2 seed, Aiden Burke of Council Rock South (31-8), in the first round. Based on bracket draw, Rohrbaugh has a very good shot at meeting Altoona's Cole Manley in a semifinal. Predicted finish: Fifth.
113 - New Oxford sophomore Zurich Storm (33-4): Storm will open against a Council Rock South wrestler as well - freshman Ben Radner (27-9) - in a preliminary round match. The winner gets Liberty's KJ Fenstermacher (35-4). Storm should win his opening bout and could give Fenstermacher a run for his money. Predicted finish: Off the medal stand.
120 - South Western's Derek Wilson (32-11): After a slow start, thanks in large part to the Mustangs wrestling in high profile tournaments, Wilson has been wrestling as good as anyone in District 3 and should make it through his preliminary bout against Laurel Highlands' Zeke Beatty (21-9). He'd likely then run into Central Mountain's Keanan Bottorf (31-7). That's a match that's very winnable for Wilson. Predicted finish: Seventh.
126 - South Western's Owen Wherley (37-5): Wherley's got a tough first-round matchup against Council Rock South's Zack Trampe (42-4). If he takes that matchup he could possibly face the WPIAL Champ, Greater Latrobe's Ethan McCoy (23-4). Tough draw for the junior, who notched his 100th-career victory last week. Predicted finish: Just off the medal stand.
132 - Spring Grove's Levi Witmer (32-7): The Rockets senior made an impressive run in the District 3 tournament, and for that run he gets WPIAL runner-up and already two-time PIAA Champion, Greater Latrobe's Luke Pletcher (36-1). Witmer really couldn't have gotten a worse draw. Predicted finish: Off the medal stand.
138 - Central York's Dylan Chatterton (32-1): The Panther will open the tournament against Mifflin County freshman Trent Hidlay (33-8). It'll be a tough matchup, but I expect Chatterton to advance and face a former PIAA champ in Hempfield Area's (WPIAL) Sam Krivus (39-0). Predicted finish: Seventh.
145 - Dallastown's Nicholas Shields (34-1). Shields will participate in arguably the best first-round matchup, as he'll face Mifflin County's Hayden Hidlay (38-1). The winner of that match will get unbeaten Franklin Regional wrestler, Michael Kemerer (37-0). Yikes. Predicted finish: Off the medal stand.
152 - West York's Garrett Stauffer (31-5): Stauffer opens against Greater Latrobe's Ethan Smith (38-7) with the winner getting Council Rock South's Dylan Schwartz (41-5). Stauffer could lose and be done or he could win two matches. Tough to predict here. Predicted finish: Off the medal stand.
160 - Spring Grove's Marcus Kehr (34-6): The Rocket will face Upper Moreland's Dominic DeLaurentis (35-6) in a preliminary contest, with the winner getting Franklin Regional's Josh Shields (37-0). Predicted finish: Off the medal stand.
220 - South Western's Seth Janney (38-2): Janney will meet either Pennridge' Ezra Outlaw (41-9) or Hopewell's Stephon Peake (35-4) in the first round. With a win, Janney could face Selinsgrove's Andrew Boob (33-2). I expect Janney to reach the semifinals against Kiski's Tyler Worthing (17-0) or even the Championship against Boyertown's Jordan Wood (16-0). Wood is the favorite to win this weight class after falling just short the last two years. Predicted finish: Top four.
With the AAA portion previewed, we'll now move onto Class AA.
120 - Bermudian Springs' Austin Clabaugh (40-7): Clabaugh will meet Lake-Lehman's RJ Driscoll (23-16) in the preliminary round, with the winner meeting Brookville's Taylor Ortiz (37-2). I see Clabaugh taking the first bout before falling to Ortiz. Predicted finish: Off medal stand.
120 - Hanover's Caleb Garland (37-6): Garland enters as a bit of a darkhorse, wrestling District 3 and the Southeast Regional's best to tight matches. He'll get Derry Area's Cole Wano (32-13) in the preliminary before possibly facing Huntingdon's Collin Glorioso (39-2). Getting Glorioso in a first-round matchup is not ideal. Predicted finish: eighth.
145 - Biglerville's Nate Newberry (35-2): Not many are wrestling as well as Newberry right now. The Canner junior will face either Bloomsburg's Cody Klinger (25-9) or Mount Pleasant's Austin Mears (38-10) in the first round. It's reasonable to expect the Canner to reach the semifinals, where he'd face a stiff test in Southern Columbia's Kent Lane (40-1). Predicted finish: Third.
152 - Littlestown's Jordan Matthews (28-13): Matthews has snuck through the District 3 tournament before doing the same in the regional tournament. Impressive season for the Thunderbolt senior. He will face Mount Pleasant senior Ethan Charlesworth (39-9) in the preliminaries. Winner gets Pius X unbeaten Michael Comunale (31-0). Predicted finish: Off the medal stand.
152 - Eastern York's Dakota Mackley (33-9): Mackley's had an impressive postseason run and will face South Allegheny's Cody Jenkins (37-9) in the first round. Winner will get South Park's Jake Wentzel (36-1). Predicted finish: Off the medal stand.
160 - Bermudian Springs' Noah Fleshman (28-11): The Eagle sophomore will face Greenville's Colton Shilling (12-6) in the preliminary round with the winner facing Mifflinburg's Cole Walter (37-1). Predicted finish: Off the medal stand.
170 - Bermudian Springs' Briton Shelton (37-3): Shelton had a great run in the PIAA tournament last year, reaching the semifinal and eventually finishing in fourth. Shelton will face either Milton's Brandon Stokes (32-11) or West Branch's Luke Slippey (37-6) in the first round this year. Shelton should advance to the semifinals again where he'll face Troy's Nick Stephani (37-0). Predicted finish: Third.
182 - Bermudian Springs' Colton Dull (35-1): The Eagle senior finally overcame Lehighton's Connor Frey last week and will enter as a favorite for the 182-pound title. He'll face either Beth-Center's Nico Brown (35-10) or Palmerton's Jarred Mooney (28-13) in the first round. A potential semifinal showdown looms with Dull or Penns Valley's Corey Hazel (35-1). Predicted finish: 182-pound Champion.
195 - Eastern York's Lucas Barshinger (30-1): Barshinger recorded his first loss last week in the southeast regional final, as he was pinned by North Schuylkill's Alek Hummel late in the match despite a tie score. Barshinger will face Clarion's Zach Sintobin (29-7) in the first round and with a win will likely face Blairsville's Scott Thompson (37-0). Tough draw. Predicted finish: Fifth.
220 - Bermudian Springs' Sam McCollum (39-0): McCollum won his 100th career match last week and will enter as the favorite to get out of the top-half of the bracket. He'll face either Redbank Valley's Cal Haines (28-11) or Yough's Tom Sever (30-7) in the first round. A potential semifinal against Scranton Prep's Thor Balavage (39-2) awaits. Predicted finish: Runner-up.
220 - Biglerville's Nate Mentzer (31-11): A locked-hands call in the fifth-place match in the District 3 tournament is all that separated Mentzer from a career-ending defeat and now a PIAA berth. He'll meet South Allegheny's Seth Hitchens (37-4) in the preliminaries. Winner gets West Branch's Reynold Maines (38-0).
285 - Littlestown's Zach MacLeod (29-13): MacLeod will face Bloomsburg's Jordan Troup (34-5) in a preliminary bout with the winner getting 285-pound favorite Al Beattie (44-1) of Burrell. Predicted finish: Off the medal stand.
285- Bermudian Springs' Brady Linebaugh (36-2): Linebaugh will meet Reynolds' Gene Ringer (38-8) in the first round and is my pick to win that bout. He'll then likely meet Beattie in the quarterfinals. Very, very tough draw. Predicted finish: Sixth.
Stay tuned to GameTimePA.com and follow me on twitter @ameaseYDR for updates from the Giant Center all weekend. Wrestling begins Thursday.