Residents face minefield in Hershey | News, Sports, Jobs
By Todd Irwin
Five of the eight qualifiers from the Mirror coverage area at the PIAA Championships have wrestled in both this post-season’s District 6 tournament and regional finals.
These five will have to battle it out in extremely deep weight classes starting today at Hershey’s Giant Center in America’s toughest high school state tournament to match what they’ve done so far. now in the playoffs.
Northwest Altoona Class 3A Regional Champion Luke Sipes (152) and runner-up Luke Hileman (106) wrestle in stacked weight classes.
Penn Cambria Southwest Regional Class 2A champion Trent Hoover (126) and Glendale regional silver medalists Zeke Dubler (160) and Suds Dubler (172) also attempt to climb Mount Everest wrestling to the final .
Tyrone’s Korry Walls (3rd SW, 106), Ashton Sipes (5th, 132) and Braden Ewing (4th, 285), Central Cambria’s Ethan Kubat (5th, 189) and Glendale’s Britton Spangle (6th, 215) will attempt also to climb the mountain in their first appearances in state tournaments.
“We can’t wait to go to the state tournament,” Tyrone coach Quentin Wright said. “I know these guys are excited. We’re going to have to pay close attention to our warm-ups, what we eat, when we eat to manage energy and use all the benefits we can find.
Central Cambria coach Matt Niebauer confirmed Wednesday morning that Kubat will wrestle in Hershey. Kubat was criticized during his fight for fifth place at regionals and taken by ambulance to Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital on Saturday night.
The PIAA Class 2A Championships begin at 9 a.m. today with a short preliminary round, followed by a first round. A first-round win means the wrestlers are done through Friday. A loss means they will have to struggle in the consolations at 1:15.
Class 3A action begins at 4 p.m. today with a short preliminary round, followed by the first round. The first-round winners are out until Friday. If they lose, the first round of consolations will follow at 8:15 a.m.
Friday’s fight begins with Class 2A quarter-finals and second-round consolations at 9 a.m. Class 3A wrestling begins at 2:15 a.m. The Class 2A semi-finals are at 7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, the Class 3A semi-finals are at 9 a.m. The Class 2A medal round is at 2 p.m. The Class 3A medal round is set for 7 p.m.
Freshman Sipes (33-1) enters his first state tournament with the most wins of the three wrestlers beaten once at 152. He will face preliminary winner Alexander Gamble-Williams of Sun Valley (29 -9) and Daniel Boone’s news. Hogan (30-2).
“I think Luke will be ready to go” Altoona coach Joel Gilbert said. “I understand this is his first state tournament, but he’s been at the highest level before. He wrestled at Super 32 and Fargo. It’s just another tournament. We expect him to come out, be loose and ready to fight.
Hileman (32-4), a senior, won’t have a smooth opener for his first appearance at Hershey. He’s battling Indiana rookie Nico Fanella (31-1), who suffered his first loss in the Southwest Regional Finals.
“I think he’s looking to come out of there with a medal this year,” said Gilbert. “I think he’s very excited to get out there and have the opportunity to compete. They don’t know what’s wrong there. He is a dangerous fighter. We hope he can put some guys in danger there.
Sophomore Hoover (32-6) will wrestle in his first state tournament. He will face preliminary round winner Chase Weimer of Port Allegany (28-12) and Cameron Mingee of Littlestown (32-9).
“It’s a tough weight class,” Penn Cambria coach Todd Niebauer said. “The Northeast region brings in the top three kids in the state. It will be an eye-opening experience. He’s been on those big stages all the way up to junior levels, but it’s different when you first get there. I hope he gets there and feels comfortable.
Zeke Dubler (35-3), struggling in his second state tournament, looks to have a very winnable opener against Reynolds’ Vito Gentile (29-15). Dubler, a junior, lost a 1-0 decision to Laurel State champion Grant MacKay in the Southwest Finals. MacKay is in the other bracket.
Suds Dubler (36-3) will be looking for his first medal in his third tournament appearance. The senior also opens with Reynolds wrestler Jalen Wagner (30-9). Dubler lost 2-1 in the regional final to Frazier State champion Rune Lawrence, who is in the top bracket.
“I’m excited,” said Glendale coach Brian Storm. “I think the Dublers have a chance to do well. I think they have a legitimate chance to beat anyone. I think they both fought well (in the regional finals). They’ve closed the gap a bit since the last time they faced these guys.