In the last week of competition before the holiday break, the Port Allegany wrestling team continued to stake its claim as one of the top Class AA contenders in District 9, cruising past Triple-A schools St. Marys and Bradford before handing defending Allegheny Mountain League champion Kane its first league loss in two years.
According to head coach B.J. Greenman, it’s the first time the Gators (4-0, 2-0 AML) have entered January with an unblemished record since 2012-13. He sees some similarities between that squad, which finished third at districts and sent both Nick Budd and Alex Gular to the medal platform at states, and the current one.
“This reminds me a lot of that team; we’re just younger, which is better for us. That means we’ve got this year and the next couple of years to keep building,” he said following the Kane match. “This is a great team to be around. These kids are so much fun to be around; they’re having a blast with each other, they’re buying into the idea that we are going to be a good team, and they’re having fun with it. We can’t ask for anything more from the kids right now.”
Chase Weimer (6-1), Bryent (8-3) and Braedon (10-1) Johnson, Reese Vollmer (10-1), Eli Petruzzi (11-3) and Justin Young (12-2) were all unbeaten for the week, with Issac Smoker (11-2) recording tech-falls against St. Marys and Bradford before bumping up a weight class and dropping a tough 10-2 major decision to 2017 state qualifier Aiden Hulings in the match against Kane.
“We were really looking forward to this match coming in, and I know the Kane coaches were too. We had it kind of circled as it’s going to be a battle,” Greenman said. “Overall, I think our kids wrestled well. Their kids that they had are their studs, and our kids did the job that they needed to do by not giving up bonus points, fighting off their back, and just wrestling good hard matches. That’s what we need to do when it comes to district duals, and that’s what we’ll continue to do.”
Speaking of the Wolves, he added, “If they get healthy, they’re going to be a team to reckon with. It’s definitely a team that’s in the running for districts along with Redbank, Brockway and Brookville. I look forward to seeing how those other teams shake out this year. We won’t see any of them until team districts, but I think we have a really good team right now. The way our kids are wrestling right now, if we can keep building on it, we’re going to be a really tough team to beat.”
The Gators are back on the mat on Jan. 3, when they travel to Ridgway to take on the Elkers in a non-league contest, then head east to the Towanda Duals on Jan. 5.
At St. Marys, Dec. 17:
Port Allegany 44, St. Marys 22
132: Braedon Johnson (PA) 7-4 Tylor Herzing; 138: Tyler Dilley (SM) 10-3 Montgomery Tanner; 145: Issac Smoker (PA) TF 18-3 6:00 Gregory Tettis; 152: Nick Crisp (SM) 5:39 Alex Sanderson; 160: Johnny Wittman (SM) 14-3 Isaak Baumgarner; 170: Derek Kallenborn (PA) 3:19 Raivis Bobby; 182: Jeremy Garthwaite (SM) 4-0 Dalton Distrola; 195: Justin Young (PA) forfeit; 220: Brandon Tinder (PA) forfeit; 285: Colton Swanson (SM) forfeit; 106: Chase Weimer (PA) 10-3 Lane Dellaquilla; 113: Bryent Johnson (PA) forfeit; 120: Ian Dynda (PA) forfeit; 126: Reese Vollmer (PA) 7-2 Marco Paropacic.
At Port Allegany, Dec. 19:
Port Allegany 59, Bradford 23
170: Derek Sunafrank (B) 1:28 River Specht; 182: Dillon Keane (B) TF 16-1 (2:20) Kallenborn; 195: Distrola (PA) 1:51 Kholten Fuller; 220: Young (PA) 3:36 Austin McCracken; 285: Dylan Mazzone (B) 5:56 Tinder; 106: Weimer (PA) forfeit; 113: Bry. Johnson (PA) forfeit; 120: Vollmer (PA) forfeit; 126: Bra. Johnson (PA) forfeit; 132: Eli Petruzzi (PA) forfeit; 138: Tanner (PA) 0:32 Michael Gow; 145: Smoker (PA) TF 18-2 (5:15) Drake Hayden; 152: Sanderson (PA) 0:29 Alexander Wyant; 160: Colby Keane (B) 3:45 Baumgarner.
At Port Allegany, Dec. 21:
Port Allegany 40, Kane 27