Meadville Tribune

Sports

March 7, 2013

PIAA WRESTLING: Saegertown quintet leads locals into state title hunt

MEADVILLE — Last year the Saegertown wrestling team entered the state championship tournament with one wrestler, Tyler Vath.

Still just a sophomore, Vath can now serve as a tour guide for the Panthers as he and four other Saegertown wrestlers make the trip to the PIAA Class AA wrestling championships, which begin today at 9 a.m. at the Giant Center in Hershey.

“We have five kids that can place down there,” Saegertown head coach Jim Mulligan said. “We want to win as a team. When you have four or five other teammates down there it helps tremendously. They want to win.”

Joining Vath will be 106-pound sophomore Devin Brown, 126-pound freshman Nick Monico, 138-pound junior Matt Humes and Dylan Reynolds, a sophomore wrestling at 182 pounds.

Vath (43-4) finished in fifth place last year at 106 pounds and looks to make an even bigger splash this year at 120. Coach Mulligan believes Vath has the talent and the bracket slot to make it to the finals. Yet, Vath won’t be looking any further than his first opponent, South Fayette’s Mike Carr (29-11). Carr is ranked 14th in the state.

Darian Cruz of Bethlehem Catholic, last year’s state champion and the No. 1-ranked kid in the weight class, is on the other side of the bracket, giving Vath a chance to face him if they both make it to the finals.

“Tyler has a great draw,” Mulligan said. “We are going to take one match at a time, but we think he has a chance to make the final. He is wrestling fantastic right now.”

Brown is no stranger to state championship tournaments. A transfer from Ohio’s Steubenville High School, Brown placed third in the 2012 Ohio High School Division II State Wrestling Tournament. This will be his first trip to Pennsylvania’s big show, though.

Brown is ranked 13th in the nation and No. 1 in the state at 106 pounds. He will first face No. 6-ranked Austin McDermitt (35-6) of Burgettstown in the first round. In last year’s tournament, McDermitt lost to Vath in the first round by a 2-0 decision.

“Devin has a tough side of the bracket,” Mulligan said. “He knows his opponents. Every match is going to be tough for him. We expect him to navigate it. He has been around. He has been tested this year. We expect him to do well.”

Reynolds is also a transfer to Saegertown, although he had a much shorter trip,  transferring from Cambridge Springs.

Ranked sixth in the state, Reynolds (42-2) will begin his tournament against No. 14-ranked Gavin Berkley (43-3) of Meyersdale.

“Dylan has a first round matchup we can win,” Mulligan said. “If we make the semis as a sophomore we will be ecstatic.”

Monico (32-12) advanced to states with a third-place finish in the Northwest Regional at 126, earning himself a date with Jefferson-Morgan’s John Demaske (26-4) in the first round

And Humes (34-10), the veteran of the bunch, is ranked 13th in the state. He will have his hands full with the second-ranked wrestler in the state in his weight class, Lion Mountain’s Seth Lansberry (35-4).

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