TV’s Scheib and Hepler, UDA’s Garber and LM’s Kieffer win district titles
BETHLEHEM – Nine area wrestlers from District XI earned the right to continue on their quest for a PIAA state wrestling championship, heading into this weekend’s Southeastern Regional tournament at Wilson High School, West Lawn.
Tri-Valley was the most successful out of the area teams, crowning two District XI champions in Sammy Hepler at 138 pounds and Dan Scheib at 285 pounds. Scheib was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler as the Bulldogs finished third in the team standings, behind champion Saucon Valley and Wilson.
The Bulldogs will send five to the regional tournament. In addition to Scheib and Hepler, Bulldog wrestlers Cal Schoffstall (113), Dawson Schwalm (170) and Kolt Schaeffer (183) finished second in the tournament.
Tri-Valley was the only team to send wrestlers to the championship finals as the rest of the qualifiers made their way through the consolation brackets. Earning third place finishes in the District XI tournament were Dillon Kintzel and Carson Rittenbaugh of Pine Grove. Joining them is fellow Cardinal Zach Leffler, who finished fourth.
Also qualifying for regionals are Williams Valley’s Mikey Myers at 106 pounds and Ian Minnich at 285.
Eight area wrestlers earned their spots in the PIAA Class AA Southeast Regional this weekend, joining the District XI qualifiers at Wilson High School, West Lawn.
Seven of those wrestlers will be representing Upper Dauphin, led by the school’s lone district champion, Bronson Garber, beating his opponent 5-0 in the 120-pound finals.
With the top seven earning their place in the regional tournament, Garber is joined by third-place finishers Jackson Kennerly and Donny Gelnett, fourth-place winners Ethan Paul and Zach Rupp, fifth place finisher Mason Wiest, and seventh-place finisher Evan Hoffman and Hayden McAllister.
Jakob Paul is Halifax’s lone representative at the regional tournament. Paul earned a second-place finish, losing in the finals to Bishop McDevitt’s Cole Nye by a 13-3 major decision.
Line Mountain finished in third place in the team standings at last weekend’s District IV Class AA wrestling Championship, held at Williamsport High School.
Wrestlers advancing for Line Mountain include two-time champion Garrett Kieffer (285), runnerups Matt Coller (106), and Caleb Shaffer (138); third-place finishers Cole Hauck (120), and Collin Klinger (132) and fifth-place finishers Brian Earlston (126) and Kenny Boyer (145).
Kieffer will be the only top-seeded wrestler for Line Mountain heading into the fast approaching PIAA Northeast Regional Class AA Tournament scheduled for Friday and Saturday back at Williamsport.
Three District Two wrestlers will join five wrestlers from District Four to form eight-man brackets in each of the 14 weight classes, ranging from 106 pounds to 285.
The top four wrestlers in each bracket will earn a trip to Hershey for state competition set for Thursday, March 9 through Saturday, March 11.
At 106 pounds, Coller (35-9) enters competition as a three-seed and will face Lackawanna Trail’s Cullen Ratchford (27-10), a six seed, in the quarterfinals.
Sixth-seeded Hauck, of Line Mountain, is set to meet No. 3 wrestler Fred Lewis (28-5), of Blue Ridge, in the opening round of 120-pound competition.
Earlston (28-7) will face top-seeded Brandon Judge (30-2), of Valley View.
Klinger (38-11) enters the 132-pound bracket in the fifth position and is scheduled to wrestle R.J. Driscoll (25-12) of Lake-Lehman in the quarterfinals.
Shaffer (29-17), Line Mountain’s 138-pounder, will face No. 5 Alec Talanca (16-6), of Berwick in his opening round.
An all-District IV quarterfinal matchup at 145 pounds will consist of top-seeded Southern Columbia wrestler Todd Lane (39-4) taking on No. 8 Kenny Boyer (27-12), of Line Mountain.
Line Mountain heavyweight Garrett Kieffer (34-5) will face No. 8 Sam Rishel (32-7), of Mifflinburg.