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March 8, 2013

PIAA WRESTLING: Locals off to fast start at Class AA tournament

March 8, 2013 7:00 a.m. HERSHEY — All in all it was a very productive Day 1 for Crawford County at the Class AA PIAA wrestling championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. Out of the 11 local participants entering the field, six of them won their preliminary round bouts to qualify for the quarterfinals. Leading the way was Saegertown with three wrestlers in the quarters.

Advancing for the Panthers was the sophomore trio of Devin Brown, Tyler Vath and Dylan Reynolds.

“It was a great round,” Saegertown head coach Jim Mulligan said. “It’s great and they all have winnable matches in the next round.”

Brown began his state tournament with a 10-1 statement major decision over Austin McDermitt of Burgettstown at 106 pounds. Brown started strong, recording two takedowns in the first period. Brown rode McDermitt for the entire two minutes in the second before outscoring his opponent 6-0 in the third.

“I just don’t like losing,” Brown said. “I hate it. That’s my motivation. The guy on the other side of the mat wants to kick my butt and I can’t let that happen.”

Brown will take on Tyshawn White of Bishop McDevitt in the quarterfinals, which start today at 9 a.m. White is ranked No. 14 in the state according to Off the Mat.

Vath — in his second stint at the state championships — also won by bonus points by pinning his opponent. At 120, Vath led 2-1 entering the second period when he gained position on top of South Fayette’s Mike Carr for the fall at 3:35.

“Tyler wrestled great today,” Mulligan said. “Now he has to focus on the next match. He has a big one with Easter coming up.”

Vath, ranked No. 2, will be in a battle of top-five wrestlers in the quarters when he squares off with Ryan Easter of Bedford, who is ranked No. 5 in the state.

Reynolds followed his classmates with an impressive 9-3 victory over Meyersdale’s Gavin Berkley at 182 pounds. Reynolds got out to a quick 5-0 lead after the first two periods and played it safe to secure the victory.

“My strategy was to just score and push the pace the whole match,” Reynolds said. “This win was very important because you never know what can happen if you lose that first one. You might get caught in the second and then all of a sudden you are done.”

Reynolds will face Logan Womelsdorf of Benton, who won by forfeit after No. 9 ranked Jose Ortiz of Bethlehem Catholic failed to meet weight.

Saegertown finished in third place after Day 1 with 10 team points. Bethlehem Catholic is in the lead with 20.5.

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