Meadville Tribune

Sports

March 1, 2013

H.S. WRESTLING: Class AAA loaded with obstacles for locals

March 1, 2013 7:00 a.m. MEADVILLE — The crowd at Altoona High School for the District 10 Class AAA Northwest Regional tournament will feature more Meadville Bulldog fans than years past. Last year, the Bulldogs advanced two wrestlers to the regional. This year, Meadville qualified six grapplers for the regional beginning today.

Although the fourth-place team finish and no individual champions at the District 10 tournament two weeks ago put the Bulldogs in a tough draw, head coach Barry Anderson believes his team can make some magic in the opening round.

“We have some tough matchups coming up but if there will be any kind of upset than it will be the first night,” Anderson said. “It is going to be tough with four district champions wrestling in each weight class.”

The regional will consist of District 4, 6, 8, 9 and 10 with only the top three in each weight class advancing for the right at a state title in Hershey next week.

The Bulldogs will have a mixture of two freshmen, two sophomores, a junior and a senior competing.

After a two week layoff from their last competition, coach Anderson believes his team is right where they need to be when it comes down to competing.

“We had to step up a level of competition since we had a two week break,” Anderson said. “We brushed up our technique. We had a healthy room so we weren’t too concerned about that. We are right where we need to be and wrestling the way we need to be right now.”

The lone senior for the Bulldogs, Zach Luben will be making his second trip to the regional after finishing in second place at 138 pounds in the District 10 championship.

“Zach has the biggest advantage knowing what to expect,” Anderson said. “He will be ready for it.”

Luben will begin his tournament in the preliminary round with a matchup against Alex Coudriet of St. Marys.

Zach’s freshman brother, Kyle Luben, will be making is regional debut at 120 pounds against Trevor Carl of Bellefonte. Fellow freshman Ben Bish had a late switch in opponents. Before Bish was scheduled to face Blaze Buckwalter of Central Mountain. After a late dropout by one of the competitors, Bish will now face Brashear’s Stephen Granzeier.

Sophomore’s Aaron Ehrgott and Luke Carr will also be making their first trip to the regional. Ehrgott’s first bout will be against Luke Leathers of Bellefonte at 106 pounds. At 220, Carr will face Central Mountain’s Cameron Porter.

The last Bulldog to qualify for the regional was Louis Crawford. Crawford finished fourth at districts, putting him up against Bellefonte’s Nicholas Shawley.

One advantage coach Anderson sees in the first round matchups is that all of his wrestlers opponents have not gotten a chance to study them.

“It is nice that the competition hasn’t seen us yet,” Anderson said. “There is no advanced scouting. They haven’t gotten a chance to see us yet.” Some of these teams are coming for the first time so they haven’t got a chance to see what we do.”

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