HERSHEY — The PIAA released the brackets on Sunday for the 2015 PIAA State Wrestling Championships, which will take place at the Giant Center in Hershey from Thursday March 5 through Saturday March 7.
Clearfield’s lone entrant will be freshman standout Luke McGonigal (26-11) at 145 pounds. McGonigal, the Northwest Region third place finisher, will make his state tournament debut against Belle Vernon sophomore Jarod Verkleeren (42-5), the Southwest Region runner-up. While Verkleeren is one of three sophomores in the expanded for the first time to a 20-man bracket, McGonigal is the only freshman in the weight class.
Six returning state champions from 2014 will look to ad another state title to their resume, only one of which will be at the same weight as last year. Of the six, three ended up not even winning their regional tournament this year.
Franklin Regional, the defending team champions, boast two returning champs – Devin Brown (40-2) up to 113 from 106 and Spencer Lee (44-0) up to 120 from 113. Other returning champs are Greater Latrobe’s Luke Pletcher (36-1) up to 132 from 120, Penn Trafford’s Cameron Coy (31-5) up to 138 from 132, Pittsburgh Central Catholic’s Vincenzo Joseph (27-1) up to 152 from 138, and returning to defend his title at 195 is Governor Mifflin’s Jan Johnson (45-1) at 195. Still only Brown and Johnson are seniors amongst the group.
Pletcher and Johnson were dealt their first losses of the year at their respective regional tournaments, while Coy was defeated for the fifth time this year.
AAA wrestling gets underway at 4:00 pm Thursday with the preliminary and first rounds of action. That will be followed at 7:30 by the first round of consolations. It all culminates with the Parade of Champions at 6:45 on Saturday night followed by all of the medal matches at 7:00.
A complete set of brackets can be found here, courtesy PA-Wrestling.com.