MILLCREEK — Meadville sophomore Shelton Mack led the Bulldogs off the mats at McDowell Intermediate High School Saturday with a 103-pound District 10 championship.

In all the ’Dogs advanced six wrestlers to northwest regionals in Altoona next Friday and Saturday. Mack was the lone first-place winner.

“I feel pretty good,” he said. “I’ve been thinking about D-10 for a while. That was my goal, to win it.”

Mack placed second behind eventual PIAA sixth-place winner Keith Scharrer of General McLane last season.

This time Mack picked up a nice 12-3 major decision over Cathedral Prep’s Chris Capotis.

In 2007 Mack was unable to advance to states, but this year things are looking pretty good for the 30-4 sophomore.

“I think I can do pretty good,” he said. “One of my goals early in the year was to get down to 103 and try to make it to Hershey.”

Also advancing for Meadville were second-place winners Kasey Davis (125) and Rusty Woodrow (130), along with third-place finishers Duane Burrows (112), Josh Keach (135) and Mike Flick (189).

In his third year on the mat and first at districts, Flick advanced with a 4-1 tournament record.

After falling in the quarterfinals Flick worked through the consolations and won a 4-3 overtime decision over Joel Kerr of Titusville to advance.

“It didn’t go how I expected,” Flick said of his consolation final match. “It was a little harder.

“I’m stoked. One more week. I’ve only been wrestling for about three years, but this makes me wish I would have started earlier.”

Meadville (112.5) placed fourth in the team race behind Cathedral Prep (184.5), Conneaut Lake (157.0) and Corry (125.0).

Lake advanced a local-high seven wrestlers to regionals.

“We’re pretty happy,” Lake head coach Tom Courtney said. “They had a nice weekend up here. We had a couple others who were close. I think overall our kids wrestled really well.”

Junior Matt Laird (135) became a two-time champion by defeating Nick Endres of Titusville by 4-0 decision in the finals.

The win improved Laird’s record to 32-2.

“It’s a little more exciting now that I’m a two-time champ,” Laird said. “Next year I’ll be going for three.”

Laird had wrestled Endres in the past but never in a varsity match.

“When we were kids we wrestled a lot,” Laird said. “He always killed me and made me look like an idiot. It was nice beating him for once.”

Laird did not advance to Hershey in 2007, but he knows this year could be different.

“I feel a lot more confident than I did last year,” he said. “I knew, as a sophomore, there were a lot of kids in my bracket who were top-notch. This year, moving up in state rankings and regional rankings, making a name for myself, it feels pretty good.”

Joining Laird at the top of the podium was fellow junior Kris Tursky at heavyweight.

Tursky placed fourth last season and has been knocked out of contention by McLane’s Shawn McFadden the past two seasons.

This year he bumped McFadden to the consolation rounds in the semifinals and topped Travis Chappel of Titusville by 1-0 decision for the title.

“It feels great to get my first D-10 title,” Tursky said. “I finally beat McFadden. I always seem to do bad here, but I finally got one. Now I can come back next year and try to get another one.”

Tursky went to states as a junior wrestler, placing 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th.

Also moving on for the Indians were second-place winners Cash Horne (140), Clint Copeland (152) and Matt Morian (160), and Sam Juracko (3rd, 130) and Dennis Diodati (3rd, 171).

Horne and Copeland were each hit with their second losses of the season in the finals.

Jake Kondrlik of Corry topped Horne 10-6. He also beat Horne for his other loss.

Copeland fell to Jordan Easter of Prep in a 4-2 overtime decision.

“We might have had a little letdown in the finals, but the big thing is getting to next week,” Courtney said.

Morian lost a 9-1 major to Nick Milano of Prep.

After losing to Woodrow in the quarterfinals, Lake junior Juracko battled back with two pins in the consy rounds to move on.

He pinned Alex Schreffler of Warren in the consy final with a half nelson.

“I tried my hardest because my coach was sitting there screaming put the half in,” Juracko said. “He told me to go as hard as I can. So I did, and I got him over and I pinned him.”

Diodati won a rematch with GM’s Doug Myers, 6-3.

Friday he won a 4-2 overtime decision over Myers.

“It’s real tough,” Diodati said of wrestling fellow ninth-grader Myers. “Strong kids use a lot of muscle. Other kids use a lot of technique. He had a little bit of both. He gave me real good competition.”

The score was tied at three late in the third after Diodati received his third caution.

But he was able to roll through a cradle attempt and pick up three near-fall to end it in regulation.

“I just had to take a chance with it,” Diodati said. “I usually roll through a lot of cradles, but I got caught last time I tried it. I was more cautious this time. He had enough momentum where I could just roll him over so I went for it.”

Diodati placed fourth in the state last season, but this is his first time moving out of the district at the varsity level.

“It’s a bigger accomplishment now, seeing that I’m only a freshman coming up against seniors,” he said.

McLane advanced two-time champion Cyrus Parlin (119) and third-place winner Tyler Bowers (103).



T.J. Turrisi can be reached at 724-6370, ext. 276 or by e-mail at tjturrisi@meadvilletribune.com.

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