CM earns spot in top eight at PIAA Duals

HERSHEY — There was hardly a second be­tween the moment the referee slapped the mat and the moment Central Moun­tain’s Colton Weaver rose to his feet and pointed to the throng of Wildcat fans in the Giant Center stands.

Just a few minutes later, Central Mountain teammate Asher Corl followed suit, rising and saluting the fans after picking up a fall.

The two pins were crucial in the Wildcats knocking off Cedar Cliff in the second round of consolations at the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships on Friday. And it seemed whenever Central Mountain needed a big win, it got one.

First it was Weaver and Corl winning the final two bouts in a 33-26 win over Central Dauphin in the morning’s first round of consolations. Then it was Weaver and Corl adding bonus points before Tanner Weaver secured an unlikely victory for the District 6 champs over Cedar Cliff, 34-21.

Central Mountain re­bounded from Thursday’s thrashing at the hands of Class AAA finalist Beth­lehem Catholic to wrestle two of its best matches of the season. The Wildcats wrestle in this morning’s third round of consolations against Erie Cathedral Prep. Win or lose, Central Mountain has already secured a spot in the top 8 in the tournament.

“After the Central Dau­phin win, if we would have been one-and-two, we would have been able to take some positives out of this,” Central Mountain head coach Biff Walizer said. “But into day three, top eight in the state, we’ve surpassed a lot of people’s expectations.”

“This feels great,” Col­ton Weaver said. “Cedar Cliff, we didn’t expect to get that win, but we did and it was a total team effort.”

Weaver picked a great time to have his best day of the season. The senior 145-pounder and returning state qualifier has had more ups and downs this year than a yo-yo. He’s been in and out of the state rankings all season and entered the state tournament with a 14-11 record.

Frustrating doesn’t even begin to describe his year. He’s struggled for consistency in keeping his weight right. But with the individual postseason just two weeks away, he finally feels good about his weight and his training.

Friday it translated into his two most important wins of the season. With Central Mountain leading Central Dauphin by just one point with two bouts to go, Weaver put together six great minutes capped with a third-period takedown to beat state-ranked Joey Stoak, 4-3.

And against Cedar Cliff, with Central Moun­tain trailing 21-15, he tied up the match in a hurry when he locked up a cradle on a takedown and picked up a fall just 25 seconds into the third period. It sent a roar through the Central Mountain faithful which would probably be heard back in Mill Hall, and Weaver egged them on after rising to his feet.

“That was as good a six minutes as I’ve put together in a while,” Weaver said. “This has really been a frustrating year for me, but I finally got my head out of my butt and this here is going to give me some confidence.”

“We know what he’s capable of. The season hasn’t gone as he had planned up until a couple weeks ago when he started to come around,” Walizer said. “I think he’s finally starting to pick up where he left off last season. He had some big wins for us. It’s good to see because he’s put in a lot of time and he deserves it.”

While the Weavers and Corl closed out the win for the Wildcats, it was unexpected wins from Johnny Shreffler at 106 pounds and Cody Coleman at 120 pounds which made the victory even possible for Central Mountain.

Shreffler stopped a run of three consecutive Cedar Cliff victories with a 6-4 win at 106 pounds in which he scored five points over the final two periods. The win for Shreffler came after 8-5 loss against Bethlehem Catholic on Thursday night and a 3-2 loss to Central Dauphin. In both losses the the sophomore first-year starter wrestled well, but couldn’t quite get over the hump.

“He was losing close there a few times in a row and that can wear on you psyche, so it was big to get one,” Walizer said. “John­ny Shreffler was a big win at 106. Cody Coleman was absolutely huge at 120. I think those were both matches (Cedar Cliff) was banking on going their way. But every match it seems like someone is stepping up, and that’s why this team is so much fun to coach.”

Central Mountain 33, Central Dauphin 26

160: Skitch Light, CD, tech. fall Brandon Miller, 16-1, 3:17. 170: Tanner Weaver, CM, dec. Cian Blythe, 5-2. 182: Austin Confer, CM, pinned Kritjan Urich, 2:29 195: Caleb Turner, CM, dec. Mitchell Talbott, 3-2. 220: Mahlik Houtz, CM, pinned Carter Urich, 2:21. 285: Evan Childs, CD, dec. Richie Thompson, 7-3. 106: Tye Weathersby, CD, dec. Johnny Shreffler, 3-2. 113: Dalton Bechdel, CM, dec. Paul Daube, 4-0. 120: Chris Wright, CD, dec. Geo Barzona, 6-0. 126: Jake Cherry, CD, pinned Cody Coleman, 1:33. 132: Andrew Wert, CD, pinned Seth Andrus, :50. 138: Logan Long, CM, pinned Cameron Sellen, 2:22. 145: Colton Weaver, CM, dec. Joey Stoak, 4-3. 152: Asher Corl, CM, dec. Cody Sellen, 4-2.

Takedowns: Central Dauphin 12, Central Mountain 7.

Central Mountain 34, Cedar Cliff 21

182: Caleb Turner, CM, dec. Bobby Whalen, 6-0. 195: Donovan Ball, CC, maj. dec. Tanner Riggle, 12-3. 220: Emerson Wentz, CC, maj. dec. Mahlik Houtz, 11-3. 285: Francis Duggan, CC, pinned Richie Thompson, 1:47. 106: Johnny Shreffler, CM, dec. Cole Baer, 6-4. 113: Geo Barzona, CM, dec. JJ Wilson, 3-2. 120: Cody Coleman, CM, dec. Aubrey Dawson, 5-4. 126: Seth Andrus, CM, dec. Michael Cassidy, 7-1. 132: Luis Tirado, CC, maj. dec. Seth Reese, 15-5. 138: Josh McLaughlin, CC, dec. Logan Long, 8-2. 145: Colton Weaver, CM, pinned Daniel Sigue, 1:25. 152: Asher Corl, CM, pinned Christian Prestil, 2:28. 160: Tanner Weaver, CM, dec. Jared Meise, 5-1. 170: Brandon Miller, CM, maj. dec. Hunter Nelson, 12-4.

Takedowns: Cedar Cliff 25, Central Mountain 16.