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Sectional predictions sure to go wrong

February 14, 2014 - Mitch Rupert
NOTE: South and Central predictions will be added throughout the night


Top 4 advance to District 4 tournament

North Section

106: 1, Brian Courtney, Athens; 2, Josh Haley, Wyalusing; 3, Demmos Route, Canton; 4, Hunter Cohick, Troy.

Key to the weight: How ready is Courtney to wrestle after missing the last month because of an appendectomy? Courtney may be the most talented freshman in the district, but he'll get a push from Haley.

113: 1, Ethan Calkins, Troy; 2, Brock Horton, Athens; 3, Ethan Landis, Canton; 4, Jared Lines, Towanda.

Key to the weight: Calkins is the hunted this year after a great run to the state tournament last year. He's easily the best wrestler in this bracket.

120: 1, Tyrus Hamblin, Williamson; 2, Nick Secules, Towanda; 3, Gage Cannavino, Athens; 4, Colin Binford, Troy.

Key to the weight: Hamblin was a state qualifier in 2012 but missed the postseason last year when he got sick prior to sectionals. He'll likely have to beat Cannavino, who pinned Hamblin earlier this year, in the semis to reach the finals.

126: 1, Shawn Nitcznski, Sullivan County; 2, Herman Briggs, Williamson; 3, Damon Whipple, Sayre; 4, Charles Stretch, Wyalusing.

Key to the weight: Nitcznski was a win from placing at states as a freshman four years ago. He hasn't been back thanks to a broken ankle and a tough sectional bracket a year ago. Guessing he's a man on a mission this year.

132: 1, Collin Edsell, Wyalusing; 2, Terrick Vargason, Towanda; 3, Carl Gorg, Williamson; 4, Gavin McCutcheon, Sayre.

Key to the weight: Vargason was eased back into the lineup last week at state duals when he weighed in for the first time since early January. Depending on where he's at physically could shake up the top three.

138: 1, Trevor McWhorter, Williamson; 2, Justin Haley, Wyalusing; 3, Charlie Andrews, North Penn; 4, Steven Yates, Towanda.

Key to the weight: Has there been a quieter undefeated run through the regular season than McWhorter's 31-0 mark? This may be the deepest of the weights in the north. The top four, regardless of who it is, should all make noise next week.

145: 1, Billy Barnes, Williamson; 2, Tristan Decker, Towanda; 3, Brandon Owlett, Wellsboro; 4, Devin Remley, North Penn.

Key to the weight: You can make the argument that Barnes is the best pound-for-pound wrestler in the district and he at least has to be in the discussion. Tristan Decker might be comeback wrestler of the year after missing last year with an injury.

152: 1, Justin Sheets, Towanda; 2, Austin Saxer, Northeast Bradford; 3, Kirah Thompson, Williamson; 4, Brad Pequignot, North Penn.

Key to the weight: Pequignot has had an up and down sophomore season after a stellar freshman campaign last year. If he puts it all together, he could be a name to watch Saturday.

160: 1, Nick Stephani, Troy; 2, Dayton Wickwire, Towanda; 3, Dylan Ammerman, Sullivan County; 5, C.J. Sargent, North Penn.

Key to the weight: Count me among those surprised Stephani decided to go 160 for the postseason. The bull of a junior is more than strong enough to handle the competition at 160 and he's as quick as anyone on his feet.

170: 1, Justin Griffith, Wyalusing; 2, Harvey Wood, North Penn; 3, Matt Dailey, Sullivan County; 4, John Bowman, Canton.

Key to the weight: Bowman is the wild card here. Worlds of wrestling talent, but after taking a year off, he didn't come back to the team until around Christmas. Wood is a sleeping giant who you can't take lightly.

182: 1, Tyler Cole, Canton; 2, Briar Jenkins, Troy; 3, Mike Presto, Williamson; 4, Dalton Claupein, Towanda.

Key to the weight: A knee injury has kept Cole out for the better part of a month. Conditioning may be more of a problem at this point than his wrestling skill and he's not going to have an easy road to the district tournament.

195: 1, Garrett Wesneski, Canton; 2, Tanner McCarty, Sullivan County; 3, Dakotah Manning, Towanda; 4, Warner Mendoza, Wyalusing.

Key to the weight: The Mendoza/Manning first-round match might be as good as any first-round match in the district. Those two put on a great show in the dual meet to decide the league champion. No reason the winner couldn't find themselves in the final.

220: 1, Dylan Otis, Wyalusing; 2, Connor Route, Canton; 3, Jeremy Sheets, Towanda; 4, Roger Horton, Athens.

Key to the weight: Connor Route has been weighing in at 195 all year, but it strong enough to handle the jump to 220 as he showed last year when he was a regional qualifier. Dylan Otis might just be on a different level than everybody else, though.

285: 1, Dalton Chilson, Wyalusing; 2, Brady Bryington, Canton; 3, Garrett Pratt, Towanda; 4, Dylan Brennan, Troy.

Key to the weight: When Nazar Mironenko went down for the season with a shoulder injury, Chilson took the role of top heavyweight in the district. Here's the first step to proving it. Don't sleep on Garrett Pratt from Towanda.


106: 1, Brian Friery, Lewisburg; 2, Collin Klinger, Line Mountain; 3, Shane Casey, Southern Columbia; 4, D'Varon Feliciano, Mifflinburg.

Key to the weight: Are you worried about the perceived lack of competition for Brian Friery this year? Don't be. The kid's a stud. He should cruise through this bracket.

113: 1, Cameron Newman, Line Mountain; 2, Jordan Gessner, Lewisburg; 4, Corey Stauffer, Midd-West; 4, Noah Carl, Southern Columbia.

Key to the weight: If Jordan Gessner wins, I won't be surprised. If Cameron Newman wins, I won't be surprised. If Corey Stauffer wins, I won't be surprised. That'll make for a fun weight class.

120: 1, Todd Lane, Southern Columbia; 2, Brian Earlston, Line Mountain; 3, Logan Bennett, Milton; 4, Dalton Klingler, Midd-West.

Key to the weight: Throw Todd Lane into the discussion for most impressive freshmen in the district this year. Earlston is mega fun to watch.

126: 1, Dante Taylor, Lewisburg; 2, Brett Shepard, Southern Columbia; 3, Noah Kuba, Mifflinburg; 4, Blake Carl, Line Mountain.

Key to the weight: Went on a little bit of a limb here. Love the quickness and explosiveness Taylor has on his feet. Shepard has been solid in the Southern lineup for years, it's his time to have a breakthrough tournament.

132: 1, Tanner Ebright, Midd-West; 2, Cooper Wagner, Mifflinburg; 3, Brett Long, Shamokin; 4, Ryan Messa, Danville.

Key to the weight: Wagner's list of opponents reads like a who's who list of District 4, which is why he's the top seed with a 14-11 record. He and Tanner Ebright should put on a good show in the finals.

138: 1, Kent Lane, Southern Columbia; 2, Logan Stenger, Mifflinburg; 3, Trey Delbaught, Lewisburg; 4, Paul Bellino, Danville.

Key to the weight: Lane was weighing in at just over 134 pounds prior to his injury, so his move to 138 comes as a surprise. He'd win either bracket, though.

145: 1, Zack Bennett, Milton; 2, Blake Panko, Mount Carmel; 3, Kenny Boyer, Line Mountain; 4, Brendan Hicks, Mifflinburg.

Key to the weight: Four of Zack Bennett's six losses came in either the season-opening Cumberland Valley tournament or the Beast of the East, and he lost just once in the month of January. He's too good to call him a sleeper in the district.

152: 1, Cole Walter, Mifflinburg; 2, Blake Marks, Southern Columbia; 3, Jay Brennan, Danville; 4, Alex Tittle, Midd-West.

Key to the weight: More important than who wins, is this the first of four straight weeks with this finals matchup? I sure hope so. I'm giving Walter the edge on experience. Please, somebody get video of this and put it on YouTube.

160: 1, Ryan Preisch, Milton; 2, Max Reed, Lewisburg; 3, Conner Houseknecht, Southern Columbia; 4, Darian Trego, Mifflinburg.

Key to the weight: Preisch doesn't get enough credit for as great as he has been the last two years. He's wrestled against some of the best the United States has to offer this year, and that number '2' in the loss column probably isn't changing any time soon.

170: 1, Alex Lieberman, Midd-West; 2, David Burke, Danville; 3, Logan Aikey, Lewisburg; 4, Gabe Bogutskie, Mount Carmel.

Key to the weight: David Burke is the best wrestler you're not paying attention to. His first month of the season is arguably one of the best performances from any District 4 wrestler, and he already owns a win over Aikey. Don't be surprised if he wins this bracket.

182: 1, Gage Heller, Milton; 2, Sam Crone, Danville; 3, Nick Bernstein, Lewisburg; 4, Brendan Renn, Line Mountain.

Key to the weight: Sam Crone has made a great comeback from a back injury which cost him his freshman year and nearly ended his athletic career. He's strong as an ox to boot.

195: 1, Brandon Stokes, Milton; 2, Gunnar Feldmann, Danville; 3, Wesley Shurock, Mount Carmel; 4, Robert Delbo, Southern Columbia.

Key to the weight: Brandon Stokes returned from a broken collarbone and took second at the Salisbury Falcon Invitational, not bad for a sophomore who missed more than a month. He was having a great year prior to the injury, a win here would only add to it.

220: 1, Zach Longacre, Midd-West; 2, Jon Ward, Lewisburg; 3, Rayce Boyer, Line Mountain; 4, Zach Campbell, Danville.

Key to the weight: I think the champion will come from a semifinal between Longacre and Boyer, but Campbell has had the benefit of some great workout partners, so definitely don't count him out.

285: 1, Adam Feudale, Southern Columbia; 2, Adam Zerby, Midd-West; 3, Chandler Collins, Sugar Valley; 4, Nevin Aeppli, Milton.

Key to the weight: It lost a little bit of its star power without Nazar Mironenko, but it turns into a wide-open weight class. I like Feudale's strength and athleticism here. Collins, as a freshman, is the wild card. Every one of Collins' wins have either been by forfeit or first-period pin.


106: 1, Alan Diltz, Benton; 2, Angelo Barberio, Muncy; 3, Morgan Comini, Montoursville; 4, Braden Stahlnecker, Hughesville.

Key to the weight: Stahlnecker gets a rematch with Warrior Run's Jared Miller in the first round. Miller pinned Stahlnecker when Stahlnecker was up 11-0 in their dual meet.

113: 1, Eric Hunt, Warrior Run; 2, Kyle Drick, Montgomery; 3, Adam Malek, Loyalsock; 4, Zach Beamer, Hughesville.

Key to the weight: An interesting finals matchup after Drick beat returning state qualifier, Hunt, 1-0, last weekend. It probably won't be the last time these two cross each other's path.

120: 1, Zack LeBarron, Warrior Run; 2, Mike Stuart, Benton; 3, Trevor Sones, Hughesville; 4, Jacob Dgien, Muncy.

Key to the weight: LeBarron, finally down to his natural weight after wrestling up most of the season, needed overtime to beat Sones in the dual meet. Sones might be the most dangerous 12-loss wrestler in the entire district.

126: 1, Lewis Williams, Central Columbia; 2, Devin Stahlnecker, Hughesville; 3, Anthony Vitale, Benton; 4, Brian LeBarron, Warrior Run.

Key to the weight: Is there another weight in the district where the fifth or sixth seed has as good a shot as the top seed to win the tournament? Four state-ranked wrestlers in the bracket. Every first-round match could be a barn-burner. Wrestlers who don't deserve to be going home yet are going to be headed home.

132: 1, Zach Fry, Hughesville; 2, Keith Batkowski, Montoursville; 3, Steve Shannon, Central Columbia; 4, Bradly Styer, Warrior Run.

Key to the weight: No wrestler I've seen in the last three weeks has been as aggressive or impressive as Batkowski. He hasn't lost since the second day of the season. Shannon's funk roll is the great equalizer in this tournament. He can penalize you for being too aggressive on your feet.

138: 1, Nathan Jones, South Williamsport; 2, Kobe Galentine, Montgomery; 3, Nolan Ott, Montoursville; Cody Klinger, Bloomsburg.

Key to the weight: If any one of those four were to make it to Hershey, it wouldn't be a surprise. Not bad for a sectional tournament. Jones has met every challenge put in front of him this year, including wins over Batkowski, Klinger and Cam Good. No reason to pick against him now.

145: 1, Dakota Nixon, Muncy; 2, Sam Miller, Bloomsburg; 3, Matt Heinreich, Hughesville; 4, Chris Rich, Central Columbia.

Key to the weight: Nixon was big as a 152-pounder, he's only going to seem bigger now that he's made his drop. Heinreich has had a great run over the last four weeks wrestling up a weight class. Watch out for that outside dump from his feet.

152: 1, Dominic Vitale, Benton; 2, Thomas Goetz, Montgomery; 3, Houston Bryant, Hughesville; 4, Ryan Seagrave, South Williamsport.

Key to the weight: Vitale has lost twice this year two Cole Walter by a combined 5 points. If he's not in the upper echelone with Walter and Marks, he's tucked in just behind the two of them. We'll get a better idea of just where Vitale is next week.

160: 1, Jeric Kasunic, Benton; 2, Elias George, Warrior Run; 3, Austin Miknich, Central Columbia; 4, Triston Choate, Montoursville.

Key to the weight: Did you know that Benton has crowned three 160-pound state champions since 2000 (Mike Robinson, Corey Lear, Eric Hess)? Kasunic is a two-time state placewinner, so don't let his five losses fool you, he's a step ahead of the rest of this field.

170: 1, Garrett Hoffman, Montoursville; 2, Brandon Conrad; 3, Robert White, Hughesville; 4, Jeremy Walsh, Benton.

Key to the weight: Conrad earned the top seed with a loaded schedule this year which included a match with undefeated three-time state champ Chance Marsteller. Hoffman is one of the pound-for-pound best in the district as a sophomore. How White deals with a knee injury in a brutal weight class could help determine the final two qualifying spots.

182: 1, Matt Herr, Hughesville; 2, Lucas Shaheen, Montoursville; 3, Isaiah Bobotas, Montgomery; 4, Brad Miccio, Benton.

Key to the weight: Did you know Herr is undefeated? Did you know he's the third seed? This is his chance to really make a statement and remain undefeated. Don't sleep on Miccio who has put it all together as a senior for Benton, and Bobotas is still a returning state qualifier. No gimmes here.

195: 1, Logan Womelsdorf, Benton; 2, Tyler Betz, Montgomery; 3, J.J. Schriner, Montoursville; 4, Wes Cupp, Warrior Run.

Key to the weight: Betz has been wrestling up a weight all year and two of his losses have come at 220 pounds. He may finally crack the 190-pound mark this weekend. Womelsdorf is a returning state qualifier who has done nothing to prove he's not deserving of the pick to win here.

220: 1, Ethan Barnes, Hughesville; 2, Ben Cerney, Montoursville; 3, Hunter Bohannon, Warrior Run; 4, Brennan Moodie, Loyalsock.

Key to the weight: Bohannon as the No. 7 seed is just unfair. The freshman has dealt with a shoulder injury much of the year and has wrestled just seven times. If he can hold up over three matches, no reason he can't win the tournament.

285: 1, Connor Bassett, Montoursville; 2, Jordan Troup, Bloomsburg; 3, Nick Roberts, Muncy; 4, Jake Klinger, Central Columbia.

Key to the weight: How Bassett wrestled state fifth-place finisher Austin Buttry at state duals convinced me he's capable of beating just about anybody. Even at less than 205 pounds, he understands how to wrestle bigger guys and how to wrestle quicker guys. I think the winner of the Bassett/Roberts semifinal wins the weight class.


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