CLEARFIELD — Once again the Arthur J. Weiss Gymnasium at Clearfield Area Junior/Senior High School will be the site of the combined District 4-9 AAA Wrestling Championships.
DuBois, the pre-tourney favorite after winning the District 4-9 Team Wrestling Championships and garnering seven top seeds, will look to dethrone the defending champion host Bisons. The top four wrestlers from each weight class will advance to the Northwest Regional Tournament at the Altoona Area High School Field House on March 3 and 4.
Clearfield and DuBois will be joined in a 7-team field that includes two others from District 9 – St. Marys and Punxsutawney, and three teams from District 4 – Selinsgrove, Shikellamy, and Williamsport. Bradford and Jersey Shore made it a 9-team field last year, but have since dropped to the AA tourney.
Earning top seeds for the Bison are juniors Hunter Wright (23-11) at 152 and Luke McGonigal (27-1) at 170.
Wright was fourth at 160 in last year’s tourney, and wrestled at 145 the second half of this season.
McGonigal is a two-time district champion, having won at 145 pounds as a freshman and 170 last year as a sophomore. McGonigal is making the drop to 170 for the first time this season.
The lone second seed for the Bison is sophomore heavyweight Trae Kitko (13-3).
Clearfield has a trio of third seeds. Junior Matt Ryan (22-12), the runner-up last year at 106 is at 120, and seniors Thayne Morgan (13-13) will go at 160, and Steven Sawyer (11-12) will go at 182.
A pair of fourth seeds, freshman Peyton Smay (9-14) at 106 and sophomore Caleb Freeland (14-14) at 138, will look to meet their seeds and advance to the regional tourney.
Looking to improve on their seeds and advance to next week will be the two fifth seeds, sophomores Cole Smay (8-14) at 113 and Avry Gisewhite (8-18) at 220, and the three number six seeds, sophomores Jude Pallo (9-15) at 126, Quentin Edwards (3-15) at 138, and Rudy Cordon (1-2) at 145. Pallo was fourth last year at 113 pounds. The Bison will not have a 195 pounder entered in the tournament.
As mentioned mentioned above, DuBois leads the field with top seeds in seven of the 14 weight classes – Trenton Donahue (30-2) at 106, Ed Scott (29-1) at 113, Dalton Woodrow (26-6) at 120, Kolby Ho (30-2) at 132, Brock Adams (27-6) at 145, Carson Hanna (31-2) at 160, and Dave Henninger (28-9) at 195.
Matching Clearfield with two top seeds is Shikellamy with John Supsic (21-8) at 126 and Jordan Hepler (15-5) at 182.
With one top seed each are Punxsutawney, Alexander Neal (17-7) at 285, St. Marys, Christian Stefan (20-3) at 220, and Williamsport, Richard Lowrie (18-7) at 138. Selinsgrove has no top seeds.
Six champs return from last year, but four of them will be competing at two weight classes. St. Marys’ Tyler Dilley, the champ at 106, and Woodrow, the champ at 113 are both at 120 this year. Also from St. Marys, Cameron Resch at 132 and Adams at 138, will be at 145 this year. McGonigial returns to the same weight class, while Steffan is making the jump from 182 to 220.
Action gets under way at 9:30 a.m. Saturday with the quarterfinals and the first round of consolations. Immediately afterwards will be the semifinals and second and third round of wrestlebacks.
The second session will begin at 4:00 p.m. with the District 9 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and the Parade of Champions.
The finals and consolation finals will then take place at the same time on two mats beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Click here for complete brackets, courtesy Bob Imhof and his Ridgway Wrestling website.