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March 1, 2014

Saegertown, other locals shine on first day at Class AA regionals

SHARON — For some of the 26 local District 10 wrestlers who took part in Day 1 of the Class AA Northwest Regional tournament, it’s hard not to have one eye on the mat and the other looking a little ahead to Hershey.

With the top three wrestlers in each weight class punching a ticket to states, positioning yourself well heading into today’s second day of the tournament is crucial for every wrestler. A slew of local grapplers did just that Friday at Sharon High School, setting up a tremendous finish to the finale today.

Finding the most success as far as teams are concerned was Reynolds, which holds the top spot after Day 1 with 45 points, followed by Brookville (35 points) and Fort LeBoeuf (30). Greenville sits in fourth place with 23 points, while Redbank Valley rounds out the top five schools with 20 points.

Saegertown had a strong day and totaled 18 points to place sixth, Jamestown sits ninth overall with 11 points, while Conneaut and Jamestown are tied with 10 points and sit at ninth place. Cambridge Springs and Maplewood are tied with six points for 13th.

Eagles soar on Day 1

Conneaut brought four wrestlers to regionals, with seniors Kyle Lukowich and Connor Overman sitting pretty after the first day of competition, both one win away from a trip to states.

Lukowich took on Kane’s Darren Brown in the 132-pound quarterfinals and picked up an 8-4 decision over the senior. Lukowich was in complete control before surrendering three points to make it match.

But as he has done all year long, Lukowich found a way to settle things down and pull out the four-point decision.

Perhaps the bigger story from Conneaut’s day comes at 220 pounds, where Overman avenged not one, not two but three previous losses to Clarion’s Zach Sintobin to earn a 3-1 decision in the quarterfinals.

Overman, a first-year wrestler, continues to impress this season, and his work ethic and drive to succeed isn’t lost on Conneaut head coach Carmen Russo.

“For a first-year wrestler to be one match away from states is fantastic,” Russo said. “He’s learning day by day, and constantly wants to do film sessions. I’m just so proud of him for just making it here. What he’s doing in his first year is tremendous.”

Russo added that Overman’s instant success isn’t something you see every day, in fact, not even every year.

“He’s a rare person,” Russo said of Overman. “A person like that comes around every 20 or 30 years. He’s physically gifted and mentally he’s so smart, and he’s putting it all together. He wants to be the best and doesn’t want to settle for anything less than that. I’m proud of where he his and how far he’s come.”

At 145 pounds, Taylor Ellis was pinned by Redbank Valley’s Mitch Blose in 5:19, while heavyweight Brian Lipps defeated Cochranton’s Evan Miller in the preliminary round before being pinned by Redbank Valley’s Ben Carillo.

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