District 9 Wrestling Championships

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
February 26, 2009

When the season began, Port Allegany wrestling coach Sean Lathrop wasn’t sure exactly what he had in his young team, but their performance at the District IX Class AA Championships last weekend in Clarion gave him a better idea. And with 13 of 14 wrestlers winning at least one match, five top-four finishers, three regional qualifiers, and a fourth-place team finish, he liked most of what he saw.

“Every one of the kids wrestled hard,” Lathrop said. “We were in most of the matches; that was the most important thing. It was a good way to end the year. Too bad we don’t have more people going to regionals, but we had three last year and three this year.”

Heading that list is senior Dylan Major, who repeated as a District IX champion and will try to add another Northwest Region title next weekend in Sharon. Major (35-3), who won his district and regional titles in the 215-pound weight class last season, is wrestling at 189 this year. He dominated the lighter weight in Clarion, pinning his first two opponents in under a minute each, then handing Coudersport’s Rich Keagle a 5-1 loss before duplicating that score against the No. 2 seed, Jacob Shields (Brookville), in the finals.

“That was probably the best I’ve seen him wrestle all year, as far as controlling matches,” Lathrop said.

A loss to eventual second-place finisher Kyle Jones of Keystone dropped fellow senior Zigmund Reichenbach into the wrestlebacks in the 171-pound class, where he faced a familiar foe, Smethport’s Kyle Nobles, in the consolation finals. The two wrestlers split a pair of close matches at the beginning of the month, with Nobles winning 3-1 in overtime at the District 9 team semifinals before Reichenbach (26-13) returned the favor with a 5-4 victory in Smethport five days later. This time, the Gator senior left no doubt about the outcome, earning a 7-2 decision, a third-place plaque, and a trip to regionals.

“It’s always tough to wrestle the same kid over and over again in a short period of time, so that was a big win for Zig,” Lathrop said.

Sophomore Chet Tanner (31-3), the third regional qualifier, defeated Zach Baughman (Keystone) 7-1 in the consolation finals to earn his way to Sharon.

Two other Gator wrestlers, junior Adam Greenman (29-9) and sophomore Brad Goodreau (8-5), just barely missed making the top three. Greenman’s loss was a “heartbreaker,” according to Lathrop – the 160-pounder seemed to be in control of his third-place match against Cameron County’s Mike Baker, a returning regional qualifier, until a last-second reversal gave the Red Raider senior a 5-3 win. After an early loss to Preston Mahoney (Johnsonburg), Goodreau battled through the wrestlebacks at 140, only to face the Rams junior again in the deciding match.

Three other Allegheny Mountain League wrestlers successfully defended their district titles. The 2008 PIAA Class AA state champion at 152 pounds, Coudersport junior Dirk Cowburn, earned the Outstanding Wrestler award for his dominating performance, and Smethport Hubber stars Tim Hubbard (125) and Jon Marc Burdick (140) also returned to the top spot on the podium.

The top three finishers in each weight class move on to the PIAA Northwest Regional championships and will be in action again this Friday and Saturday at the Sharon High School gym in Sharon, Pa., with the top three finishers there advancing to the PIAA state championships in Hershey on Mar. 5-7.

District IX Class AA Championship Finals:
103 Bauer (Cl) dec Constable (Bkv) 7-2 OT
112 Smith (Bkv) dec Caggiano (Rdg) 4-2 OT
119 Brothers (Cur) dec McCauley (RV) 3-0
125 Hubbard (Sm) dec McCauley (RV) 6-3
130 Pisani (Rdg) dec Zimmerman (Bkv) 7-0
135 McCauley (RV) dec Dombrowski (Bkv) 3-1 OT
140 Burdick (Sm) dec Licatovich (Bkw) 6-2
145 Thomas (Cur) dec Hartless (Bkw) 6-1
152 Cowburn (Coud) dec Woodford (J) 9-4
160 Zelcs (Rdg) dec Switzer (Key) 1-0
171 Shirey (RV) md Jones (Key) 18-8
189 Major (PA) dec Shields (Bkv) 5-1
215 Nicholson (K) dec Yahner (Bkw) 5-2
285 Chittester (Rdg) dec Bowser (RV) 3-0

AA Consolation Finals:
103 Bush (Rdg) fall Koptchak (Cur) 3:41
112 Wolfe (J) dec Keller (Cur) 3-1
119 Grecco (Bkw) dec O’Rourke (J) 2-1
125 Slattery (Rdg) dec Zimmerman (J) 3-1 OT
130 Tanner (PA) dec Baughman (Key) 7-1
135 Hannold (Key) dec Bauer (Cl) 4-3
140 Mahoney (J) md Goodreau (PA) 17-5
145 Haines (RV) dec Dornish (Rdg) 7-0
152 Skraba (Rdg) dec Ferringer (Cran) 6-3
160 Baker (CC) dec Greenman (PA) 5-3
171 Reichenbach (PA) dec Nobles (Sm) 7-2
189 Kreitzer (Sm) dec Puhala (Bkw) 3-1 OT
215 Hahn (Shef) fall Thompson (Rdg) 4:00
285 Divins (Cl) dec Russell (Cur) 3-2 SV Rideout

AA Team Scoring: Ridgway 170, Redbank Valley 137, Brookville 124, Port Allegany 107, Curwensville 106, Smethport 93, Brockway 90, Keystone 83, Johnsonburg 80, Clarion 72, Coudersport 52, Cranberry 36, Cameron County 29, Kane 29, Sheffield 24, Oswayo Valley 8

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