Lutz, Gorg change weights, have success

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Hughesville’s Luke Gorg works Central Columbia’s Isaac Kester in their 120-pound bout on Saturday at Hughesville during the District 4 Central Sectional Tournament.

HUGHESVILLE –Montoursville’s Wyatt Lutz and Hughesville’s Luke Gorg both came to a season-altering realization earlier this season.

It was the realization that neither one was going to be as successful as they wanted to be at the weights they had been competing at. For Lutz, a returning state bronze medalist, after going 1-2 at the Powerade Tournament in late December, he knew he just wasn’t big enough to compete at 120 pounds, and he decided to start his descent to 113.

For Gorg, a returning state qualifier, he just didn’t have the energy to maintain the effort he wanted to wrestling at 113 pounds. He knew to get back to Hershey he was going to have to wrestle up a weight class at 120.

The decisions proved fruitful Saturday at the District 4 Central Sectional tournament where each one won the championship at their new weight class. For Gorg, it was his first sectional title. Lutz’s was his second.

“I wasn’t happy at all with what happened at Powerade. I think that was the turning point for me,” Lutz said. “I knew I was weak at that weight and I knew I was going to need to start practicing harder in the room. So I really picked up the pace after the Powerade because I didn’t like the result.”

“I spent a long time at 13 and I wasn’t feeling really well,” Gorg said. “I think I was just cutting too much weight. I was always tired and couldn’t really go that long.”

Lutz’s season was supposed to be about proving how last year’s run to a third-place finish at the state tournament was no fluke. Part of that process was going to be a strong showing at the Powerade, one of the toughest high school tournaments in the country.

But he went just 1-2 in the tournament, starting with a one-point win over stellar Derry Area freshman Tyler Cymmerman, but finishing with back-to-back losses to Cedar Cliff state qualifier J.J. Wilson and New Jersey state qualifier Cody Walsh.

That was the moment Lutz knew something had to change if he wanted to challenge for an even better finish at this season’s PIAA tournament. His weight management plan didn’t allow him to reach the 113-pound weight class until the week of the District 4 Duals tournament, and Lutz has been meticulous with his diet to make sure he stays strong and full of energy.

The West Virginia recruit never got out of the second period Saturday to test his stamina over a tough six minutes. Instead, he scored a second-period fall in the semifinals over eventual fourth-place finisher Ben Heinrich of Hughesville, and followed with a second-period fall against returning state qualifier Noah Hunt of Warrior Run in the 113-pound final.

“The cut really hasn’t been that tough,” Lutz said. “The hardest cut of the year was that first one for the Top Hat. But I’ve been strict on my diet for a month now. I feel good at the weight. I feel like I’m strong. I like where I’m sitting.”

Where Lutz is sitting is at second in the state rankings at 113 pounds behind only Reynolds returning state champion Beau Bayless. Of Lutz’s seven bouts so far at 113 pounds, six have been falls in either the first or second period, and one has been a second-period technical fall.

His win in the final last night was the 145th of his career, which is the fifth-most in school history

“I knew (after Powerade) I needed to screw my head on better,” Lutz said. “I’m planning on just keeping this rolling throughout districts, regionals and states now.”

On the surface, Gorg’s drop to 113 pounds in early January appeared to be quite successful. He was 8-2 in his 10 bouts at that weight. But a closer examination shows five of those eight wins were forfeits, and the two losses he had were the final two bouts he had at 113.

Those two losses were by a combined 16 points to Southern Columbia’s Patrick Edmondson, who won the South Section title at 113 yesterday, and to Muncy’s Mario Barberio, who was third at 113 in the Central Section. But not only did he lose by a combined 16 points, he didn’t record a single offensive point in either of the two bouts. Three of his final four bouts of the regular season were up at 126 pounds.

Saturday he set the pace for each of his three matches. And when he fell behind Central Columbia freshman Isaac Kester in the second period of his 120-pound final, 7-6, he had plenty of gas left in the tank to not only get a third-period takedown, but ride out Kester for an 8-7 win.

It was the kind of performance he knows now he wouldn’t have been able to have cutting the weight to get to 113. But it was the kind of performance he thinks he can consistently provide while up at 120.

“I felt a lot better today. I felt great,” the sophomore said. “This is a great start. This gives me a lot of energy and some momentum going into next week.”