Gators, rest of AML ready to take the mat for D-9 wrestling

After wrapping up the regular-season with a 51-18 takedown of Smethport on the Hubbers’ mat last Wednesday, a pair of 2016 Northwest Regional qualifiers, Jake Kallenborn and Trey Stiles, will lead the Port Allegany wrestling team into this weekend’s District IX Class AA individual championships at Clearfield High School.

Both Gator juniors finished fourth at districts last season to earn their first trip to Sharon, where Kallenborn (25-4, 68-26 career) won a consi match before bowing out and Stiles (11-4, 49-24 career) shocked eventual state medalist Ryan Carlson with a first-period near-fall before the Brockway senior recovered to win by decision.
With Bradford High dropping from Class AAA to AA this season, ten other Allegheny Mountain League grapplers will seek another shot at regionals, with the Owls’ Tyler Thompson and Dillon Keane joining Oswayo Valley’s Dylan Pesock and Grant West, Kane’s Alec English, Johnsonburg’s Devon Norlin, and the quartet of Trevor Olney, Dustin Kudrick, Julian Smith and Gage Arnold from two-time league champion Coudersport.

Defending state champion Brookville seeks its fourth consecutive D-9 title and sixth in the last seven years, while Port (9-11 overall, 6-2 AML) hopes to match its fourth-place finishes from 2015-16. The tournament will get underway with preliminary and quarterfinal rounds at 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 25, followed by first and second-round consolation matches. The Class AAA wrestlers take the mat at 9:30 Saturday morning, while Class AA action will resume at 10:30 a.m. with semifinals and third and fourth-round consis. The Parade of Champions for both classes and District IX Hall of Fame induction is set for 3:30 that afternoon, with medal-round matches beginning at 4 p.m.

Ticket prices will be $6/adults and $3/students for each session, or $18/adults and $9/students for the entire championship.

106: Fourth-seeded Port sophomore Reese Vollmer (26-5) opens against No. 5 Ben Westerburg (Kane, fr., 16-5) in the quarterfinals, with the winner likely facing top seed Anthony Glasl (Brockway, fr., 26-6) in the semis. Vollmer downed Westerburg 6-0 in January.
AML: (2) Dylan Pesock (Oswayo Valley, jr., 19-3) vs. (15) Gary Emerick (Ridgway, fr., 14-11); (9) Chris Davis (Coudersport, fr., 6-22) vs. (8) Parker Fleming (Brookville, fr., 14-15); (16) Bryent Johnson (Smethport, fr., 19-5) vs. Glasl. Vollmer decisioned Johnson twice and decked Davis in 0:14, but lost 9-2 to Pesock, the returning D-9 fourth-place finisher, on Feb. 8.

113: The top two seeds in this eight-man bracket are both returning state qualifiers, with reigning D-9 106-pound champ Keelan Kunselman (Brookville, sr., 24-10) first and Curwensville’s Blake Passarelli (so., 24-3) second. Fifth-seeded Port junior Payton Caden (18-11) could see Kunselman in the semis if he gets past No. 4 Mason Songer (Redbank Valley, so., 17-6) in his first match.
AML: (6) Caden Smead (Sheffield, fr., 16-9) vs. (3) Kyle Bush (Ridgway, jr., 23-2); (7) Donovan Olney (Coudy, so., 16-14) vs. Passarelli. Caden pinned Olney in their only meeting; three of his losses were to Bush, who finished third at 106 last year to move on to regionals, with another to Passarelli in the Fred Bell Tournament.

120: Two-time state qualifier Gavin Park (Brookville, sr., 32-3) tops this bracket, with fifth-seeded Gator freshman Montgomery Tanner (16-10) drawing No. 4 Ridgway sophomore Luke Tomaski (11-11) in the quarters to determine Park’s likely opponent.
AML: (2) Trevor Olney (Coudy, sr., 22-10) vs. (7) Mason Gasper (Curwensville, so., 6-6); (6) Kole Holden (Sheffield, sr., 22-9) vs. (3) Hunter Martz (Redbank Valley, so., 18-11); (16) Patrick Rounsville (OV, so., 3-9) vs. Park. Tanner pinned Holden and Rounsville, lost via pin to Tomaski and was tech-falled by 2016 regional qualifier Olney during their dual-meet matchups.

126: The top seed is Brookville junior Kai Sorbin (23-10), who edged Stiles in last year’s 120-pound third-place match. Stiles, seeded third, will open his tournament against No. 14 Travis Crate (Cranberry, jr., 9-18).
AML: (4) Noah Blankenship (Kane, so., 17-5) vs. (13) Colton Gietler (OV, fr., 9-10), with the winner to face (5) Colby Keane (Bradford, fr., 20-5); (6) Aristotle Smith (Coudy, fr., 10-12) vs. (11) Jacob Disshon (Sheffield, fr., 9-16). Blankenship and Stiles split their two matches this season.

132: Bradford junior Tyler Thompson (26-3), the Class AAA runner-up at 126 last season, is the top seed. Port sophomore Issac Smoker (11-11) is sixth, and will open against third-seeded Dontae Constable (Brookville, jr., 19-12) in the quarters.
AML: (4) Devon Norlin (Johnsonburg, jr., 20-8) vs. either (5) Dawson Wilson (RV, sr., 15-12) or (12) Ethan Collins (Curwensville, sr., 3-8); (7) Nate Asp (Kane, fr., 12-10) vs. (10) Thomas Wilson (Coudy, fr., 7-17); (9) David Duell (OV, so., 5-9) vs. (8) Frank Weber (Clarion, jr., 18-10); (16) Ethan Fields (Cameron Co., so., 6-11) vs. Thompson. Smoker split two matches against Asp, and lost via decision to Thompson and Wilson.

138: Last year’s 132-pound silver medalist, Logen McClain (Ridgway, jr., 26-3), is the top seed. Port freshman Josh Rees (9-17), seeded 15th, will face No. 2 David Kudrick (Coudy, jr., 27-6) in the first round.
AML: (3) Isaiah Barney (OV, so., 21-5) vs. (14) Bryce Grecco (Brockway, so., 3-10); (7) Kyle Hartman (Bradford, so., 9-9) vs. (10) Jacob Cable (Brookville, so., 5-20); (8) Alex Sanderson (Smethport, jr., 11-9) vs. (9) Cole Bressler (Curwensville, so., 10-14); (11) Albert Haynes (CC, fr., 2-14) vs. (6) Colton Mohney (RV, sr., 15-8); (12) Cameron Whisner (Kane, fr., 5-10) vs. (5) Ryley McMaster (Clarion, jr., 17-12); (13) Tyler Dembinski (Sheffield, sr., 4-8) vs. (4) C.J. Shreffler (Cranberry, so., 18-10); (16) Josh Calla (Johnsonburg, so., 6-18) vs. McClain. Rees, who bumped up to 145 pounds for most of the season, majored Whisner while losing via pin to McClain and Kudrick.

145: Once-beaten Bradford sophomore Dillon Keane takes over as the top seed in this bracket, which was most recently ruled by Smethport two-time regional champ and PIAA medalist Jimmy Duffy. Keane will face Port freshman Devon Smoker (10-14) in the first round.
AML: (3) Alec English (Kane, so., 14-4) vs. (14) Bryce Walter (Brookville, so., 7-5); (4) Tyler Watts (Johnsonburg, fr., 17-10) vs. (13) Kevin Marfink (Sheffield, fr., 8-18); (5) Dustin Kudrick (Coudy, jr., 26-8) vs. (12) Billy Urmann (Ridgway, jr., 1-12); (11) William Russell (OV, jr., 11-8) vs. (6) Travis Crawford (RV, so., 17-15). Smoker lost via fall to Crawford at the Fred Bell Tournament.

152: Last year’s runner-up, Brookville junior Caleb Hetrick (33-3), is the top seed.
AML: (2) Aiden Hulings (Kane, so., 20-3) vs. (7) Jonathan Francis (Ridgway, sr., 15-12) or (10) Angelo Inzana (Brockway, jr., 9-8); (4) Julian Smith (Coudy, jr., 6-3) vs. (5) Jake Zimmerman (Johnsonburg, jr., 16-8) or (12) Simon Peter Couls (OV, jr., 4-16); (6) Jaron Ambrose (Bradford, so., 19-7) vs. (11) Cody Marfink (Sheffield, sr., 6-15).

160: With last year’s top two finishers at this weight, champion Paul Zacherl and Mac Tanner, now teammates at Clarion University, the No. 1 seed is unbeaten Coudy senior Gage Arnold (31-0). The second seed is Kallenborn, whose only two losses in D-9 this season have been via 3-1 and 7-2 decisions to Arnold. The Port junior will face either (7) Eric Johnson (Brockway, fr., 15-12) or (10) Eben Wry (Cranberry, fr., 4-8) in the quarterfinals.
AML: (5) Teddy Race (Kane, fr., 19-7) vs. (4) Clayton Peace (Brookville, sr., 14-9) or (13) Derek Sunafrank (Bradford, fr., 15-11); (6) Joey Elinski (Johnsonburg, jr., 12-5) vs. (11) Josh Summers (CC, so., 4-9); (16) Brent Rodney (Sheffield, fr., 2-3) vs. Arnold. Kallenborn tech-falled Elinski and majored Sunafrank during their AML matches.

170: Garrett McClintick (Brockway, so., 24-6) is the top seed. Port sophomore Wayne Shelley (7-7), seeded ninth, will open against No. 8 Jesse York (Cranberry, so., 18-11).
AML: (2) Akete Kindle (Smethport, sr., 21-4) vs. (15) Matt Berger (Johnsonburg, so., 6-18); (3) Isaac Wright (Coudy, jr., 24-9) vs. (14) Adam Sicher (Kane, so., 2-4); (4) Kevin Evans (Sheffield, jr., 17-11) vs. (13) Caleb Pifer (CC, so., 6-11); (10) Nate Shroyer (OV, sr., 11-6) vs. (7) Braden MacBeth (Brookville, so., 3-8). Shelley decisioned Pifer, and lost to Wright via injury default.

182: Brookville senior Noah Cielski (27-6) is back to defend his title, while the Gators will wait to see if senior Rob Arnett (16-7) can return from injury. If Arnett is ready to go, he’ll face fourth-seeded Redbank Valley junior Logan Minich (18-8) in the first round.
AML: (2) Eli Ayers (Coudy, so., 25-7) vs. (15) Eric Botwright (Brockway, sr., 6-11); (6) Grant West (OV, sr., 18-6) vs. (3) Kaleb Witherite (Curwensville, sr., 21-7); (8) Hunter Gray (Bradford, jr., 3-19) vs. either Cielski or (16) Nolan Nudd (Sheffield, so., 5-3); (10) Shayne Westfall (Smethport, fr., 8-3) vs. (7) Dylan Saltsgiver (Cranberry, so., 13-14). Arnett pinned Gray, and lost via decision to West, last year’s bronze medalist, and Ayers.

195: Brookville junior Xavier Molnar (30-6), last year’s 170-pound champ, is the top seed.
AML: (5) Matt Stratton (Smethport, jr., 16-8) vs. (4) Pierce Yahner (Brockway, jr., 5-12); (6) Ty Stahli (Kane, so., 16-7) vs. (3) Ben Smith (Clarion, fr., 16-8); (10) Troy McKeone (Coudy, sr., 12-13) vs. (7) Gavin Shilling (RV, 2-4).

220: With the Gators’ two-time champion Ethan Budd continuing his career at Gannon University, last year’s runner-up, Brookville junior Tyler Cook (32-4), moves up to the No. 1 line.
AML: (2) Corey Thompson (Coudy, sr., 24-9) vs. (7) Austin McCracken (Bradford, so., 9-12); (11) Michael Vandergrift (OV, so., 8-12) vs. (6) Dasan Manross (Cranberry, so., 7-5); (14) Dakota Menteer (Kane, jr., 3-5) vs. (3) Tom Wurster (Clarion, jr., 19-8).

285: The 2016 bronze medalist, Ridgway senior Colton McClain (23-3), is the top seed. Port junior Brock Veilleux (1-21), seeded 15th, opens against No. 2 Timmy McCauley (Cranberry, jr., 14-5).
AML: (4) Billy Morrison (OV, sr., 14-8) vs. (13) Thomas McGuire (Kane, sr., 7-6), with the winner to face (5) Nick Knowles (Sheffield, so., 20-8); (7) Brendon Dickenson (Smethport, sr., 16-7) vs. (10) Jeff Gunn (Coudy, jr., 11-18); (9) Zach Hodgdon (Johnsonburg, jr., 6-13) vs. (8) Hayden Thompson (Brockway, so., 10-9); (11) Timmy Hasselman (CC, fr., 2-14) vs. (6) Colby Whitehill (Brookville, fr., 8-2). Veilleux lost via decision to Hodgdon and Morrison, and was pinned by McClain, Gunn, and Dickenson in league action.