By Dan Walk
Meadville’s Tool City Wrestling Tournament has long been a collection of some of northwestern Pennsylvania’s most impressive schools. And this year, the talent pool received an added punch due to the late addition of the 2012 District 10 Class AA champion Fort LeBoeuf Bison.
Fort LeBoeuf was added on Dec. 26 to create a 17-team field. That field includes 10 Class AAA schools who are ready to rock the House of Thrills.
Five champions and eight runner-ups return from last year’s tournament. Boiling Springs’ Korbin Myers (106 pounds), Clearfield’s Christian Stone (126) and Nolan Barger (145), DuBois’ Landon Hanna (195) and Cochranton’s Cam Cyphert (220) each won their respective Tool City weight classes in 2012. The finals counterparts of Myers (General McLane’s Joe Wheeling), Stone (Boiling Springs’ Kyle Shoop) and Barger (DuBois’ Tom Sleigh) are also back.
McDowell easily won last year’s event with 216 1/2 points. Boiling Springs followed with 192 1/2, and DuBois was even farther back with 161 1/2.
The Trojans graduated both of their champions from last year — 138-pounder Steve Spearman, who went on to win the state title, and 182-pounder Khlique Harris, who was a state runner-up. This year’s Trojans are led by Paul Deitz (120) and Charlie Lenox (106), who each placed sixth last week at the always-tough Powerade Christmas Tournament. McDowell also has 132-pounder Nick Gibson, who is ranked in the state but had to drop out of last year’s Tool City due to an injury in the championship semifinals.
Shawn Spearman, Steve’s younger brother, placed second at 132 during last year’s Tool City but will not wrestle this weekend.
General McLane already has victories over both Fort LeBoeuf and McDowell this season. The Lancers had three Tool City finalists last year, though all three lost and only junior Joe Wheeling returns.
McLane head coach Ryan Cook knows how important it is to perform well at Tool City. GM hasn’t had a Tool City champion since 2006 and that’s a spell he wants to break.
“It’s a great showcase for District 10,” Cook said. “It’s hard-pressed to find anywhere that all this talent is going to be in one spot. They (fans) should get out here and support wrestling.”
Meadville brings back a young team that is without last year’s 170-pound Tool City champion Zach Towers, who graduated. The Bulldogs are still fixing the kinks and hope to improve after losing 58-13 to the Lancers on Wednesday.
“We expect to make some headway this weekend as far as our individual accomplishments,” Meadville head coach Barry Anderson said. “It depends on just what they want to do and where their desire is. ... Hopefully they bring it up a level.”
Boiling Springs returns loads of talent, including its “Super Six” sophomore class. Among that class are Myers, Shoop and Grant Bond, who was a runner-up at 120 last year.
Saegertown, which took 10th place last year, is coming off a quality performance at the Powerade Tournament at Canon-McMillan High School. Devin Brown, the Panthers’ 106-pounder, finished second. His performance at Powerade vaulted him to 13th in the nation at 106 pounds, according to Flo Wrestling.
Also, sophomores Dylan Reynolds (182) was seventh and Tyler Vath (113) was eighth at Powerade.
“The kids wrestled above themselves at Powerade,” Saegertown head coach Jim Mulligan said. “It’s a big national tournament. ... I’m hoping we can carry that over to this week.”
Vath, whose only regular season losses last year came at Tool City, will compete in a talented 113-pound weight class this time. Vath, Myers and Cathedral Prep’s Jake Gromacki, all state place-winners last season, are in the same bracket.
Mulligan believes the school with the most depth will earn the overall team championship this weekend.
“I think it’s going to be a highly competitive race,” Mulligan said. “I think it’s going to be won in the wrestlebacks. We want to win it. If we wrestle like we did last weekend, we can be in the hunt.”
A year after finishing in eighth place with just 10 wrestlers, a larger Cochranton team has raised its expectations for this year’s Tool City. The Cardinals are coming off a third-place finish at last weekend’s Redbank Valley Holiday Tournament, where eight grapplers finished in the top five.
“To shoot for the top five (at Tool City),” Cochranton head coach John Svirbly said, “I think that’s a reasonable goal with the talent we have. Top three would be great.”
The Cards are led by seniors Cyphert (220 pounds) and Austin Andrews (170). Both won their weight classes at Redbank Valley.
“My seniors are all good enough to be in the finals,” Svirbly said.
Cyphert is expected to meet Fort LeBoeuf senior Evan Daley in a highly-anticipated 220-pound final. Cyphert beat Daley for the District 10 Class AA title last year, but Daley was a winner over Cyphert at regionals and states. Both will wrestle at Clarion University next season.
Action begins today at 4 p.m. Consolation rounds resume on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and the championship semifinals are slated to take place around 12:30 p.m. The parade of champions is set for 5:15, followed by the finals at 5:30.
Anderson hopes for a large crowd during the two-day tournament, which includes some of the best wrestling talents the area can offer — all under one roof.
“It should be a good weekend for wrestling here,” Anderson said. “I ask the fans to come out. Let’s get this place rocking.”
YOU CAN GO
The 34th annual Tool City Wrestling Tournament runs today and Saturday at Meadville Area Senior High School’s House of Thrills. The tournament begins today at 4 p.m. and continues on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. Also Saturday, the consolation championships are scheduled to start at 3, and the parade of champions takes place at 5:15. The championships are expected to begin at 5:30. A two-day pass to the tournament is $15 for adults and $11 for students and seniors. For today only, it’s $6 for adults and $4 for students and seniors. For Saturday only, it’s $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors.
34th Tool City Tournament
at Meadville Area Senior High School
Today and Saturday
First round matches begin at 4 p.m. today
Team key: Boiling Springs (BS), Cathedral Prep (CP), Clearfield (Cl), Cochranton (Co), Conneaut (Ct), DuBois (D), Fort LeBoeuf (FL), General McLane (GM), Greenville (Gr), Howland (H), McDowell (Mc) Meadville (Me), Saegertown (Sa), Seneca Valley (SV), Thomas Jefferson (TJ), Titusville (Ti), Warren (W).
106: Raven Magrino (Ct) vs. Dom Divine (TJ).
120: Chase Ackerman (Ti) vs. Nick Zoria (SV).
126: Brock Ridgeway (Me) vs. Zain Skalas (SV).
132: Seth Schiever (SV) vs. Dylan Zimmerman (D).
138: Noah Burkhart (Mc) vs. Shane Newell (FL).
145: Robert Schwartz (TJ) vs. Cameron Daugherty (Ti).
152: Cameron DeMaison (Me) vs. Mike Beck (Cl).
160: Andrew Boylan (Sa) vs. Cody Gunn (W).
182: Aaron Mowrey (Ti) vs. Shane Keller (Co).
195: Mike Irwin (Co) vs. Alex Ho (Gr); Nate Gouhin (BS) vs. Ryan Muma (SV); Dominic Kramer (CP) vs. Dan Henry (W); Garrette Reinwald (FL) vs. Brad Hann (Ti).
220: Curt Mignot (Cl) vs. Calvin Barrick (BS); Luke Carr (Me) vs. Jack Finch (H); Will Stoffel (TJ) vs. Jake Baker (GM); Alex Streich (W) vs. Riley Dunbar (Mc); Ty Lohr (Ti) vs. Nick Davido (D); James Wilkerson (Gr) vs. Tyler Miller (SV); John Macken (Sa) vs. Cam Cyphert (Co).
285: Caleb Prater (Me) vs. Jason Oakes (Ti); Mike Bell (H) vs. Evan Miller (Co); Robert Zilhaver (D) vs. Noah Davis (BS); Thor Henz (TJ) vs. Ian Mallory (GM); Nate Carlin (CP) vs. Brian Lipps (Ct); Nate Conti (FL) vs. Shane Billings (Cl); Brady Moore (SV) vs. Braden Gladysz (Gr).
106: Devin Brown (Sa) vs. Magrino-Divine winner; Steve Machen (Ti) vs. Alex Lynch (SV); Jase Paxson (Gr) vs. Cole Adams (Co); Jonathan Day (BS) vs. Shae Bloom (D); Charlie Lenox (Mc) vs. Isaac Bengal (FL); Glyn Mahood (W) vs. Aaron Ehrgott (Me); TaNauz Gregory (CP) vs. Logan Gilbert (Cl); Danny Martineau (H) vs. Joe Wheeling (GM).
113: Korbin Myers (BS) vs. Jarrette Carter (FL); Josiah McClarren (Cl) vs. Ben Lynch (SV); Bryce Swauger (D) vs. Nico Lucarelli (H); Brandon Moss (Ct) vs. Benji Yates (Mc); Jake Gromacki (CP) vs. Kaleb Chase (Ti); Brandon Koehler (GM) vs. Nate Kline (Co); Joey Safner (Gr) vs. Derek Ridgeway (Me); James Barrickman (TJ) vs. Tyler Vath (Sa).
120: Grant Bond (BS) vs. Ackerman-Zoria winner; Shane Reiser (Co) vs. Kody Cox (D); Braden Flinn (TJ) vs. John Ciotti (CP); Bingbong Elizon (Sa) vs. Kyle Luben (Me); Noah Cline (Cl) vs. Hunter Hendricks (GM); Adam Borgia (FL) vs. Nick Moss (Ct); Aaron Jackson (H) vs. Craig Trumbull (Gr); Nate Park (W) vs. Paul Deitz (Mc).
126: DJ Fehlman (W) vs. Ridgeway-Skalas winner; Aaron Arthurholt (Gr) vs. Kyle Lukowich (Ct); Coleman Cousins (Mc) vs. Nick Monico (Sa); Brenden Cusick (TJ) vs. Alex Cornicelli (H); Dylan Graham (Cl) vs. Austin Gahr (D); Tyler Kuzma (FL) vs. Keller Watkins (GM); Jared Morrison (Co) vs. Alex Root (CP); Derrick Bish (Ti) vs. Kyle Shoop (BS).
132: Christian Stone (Cl) vs. Schiever-Zimmerman winner; Jake Yarnell (Co) vs. Deane Twitchell (GM); Jason McKown (TJ) vs. Kris Nottingham (Me); Beau Coletta (CP) vs. Andrew Mellott (BS); George McGuire (FL) vs. Derek Watt (Gr); Josh Dennis (Ct) vs. Jason Peterson (W); Garrett Zuver (Sa) vs. Danoto Natale (H); Dalton Burns (Ti) vs. Nick Gibson (Mc).
138: Garrett Brown (D) vs. Burkhart-Newell winner; Easton Hogue (Ti) vs. Brennan O’Shea (SV); Andy Hutzel (CP) vs. Ken Stoll (GM); Landon Chapman (H) vs. Matt Humes (Sa); Jonah Hordusky (W) vs. Travis Wickard (BS); Jonathan Sponsler (Cl) vs. Jacob Riffe (Gr); Brad Carlini (Co) vs. Colin Stuyvesant (Ct); Marco Marinelli (TJ) vs. Zach Luben (Me).
145: Robert Boozer (Co) vs. Schwartz-Daugherty winner; Jake Smith (H) vs. Teagan O’Sullivan (CP); Tyler Kauffman (BS) vs. Tyriee Kasper (Me); Austin Leon (SV) vs. Taylor Ellis (Ct); Cody Nolan (Mc) vs. DJ Carney (D); Kyle Sult (GM) vs. Jacob Brown (Gr); Brad Malinowski (FL) vs. Aaron Jackson (Sa); Mike Card (W) vs. Nolan Barger (Cl).
152: Gabe Stark (H) vs. DeMaison-Beck winner; Ryan Dailey (Mc) vs. Dan Krysiak (CP); Taylor Harrington (FL) vs. Brad Davison (Ct); Thomas Incardona (TJ) vs. Garrett Smead (W); Blake Horne (Gr) vs. Lance Neuscheler (Sa); Troy Beauchat (Ti) vs. Caleb Peterson (Co); Mike Sutton (GM) vs. Zane Drum (D); Tyler Schillero (SV) vs. John Vaughn (BS).
160: Ehrin Lee (Ti) vs. Boylan-Gunn winner; Patrick Adams (Me) vs. Ossie Bowers (GM); Gage Gladysz (Gr) vs. Kyle Senich (TJ); Connor Wurst (CP) vs. David Brian Whisler (H); Mike Kennelly (D) vs. Stephen Rudolph (SV); Joe Campanella (Mc) vs. Connor Murphy (BS); Taylor Fox (FL) vs. Grant Climie (Cl); Josh Betts (Ct) vs. Ryan Northcott (Co).
170: Tom Sleigh (D) vs. Derek Reagle (W); Jack Middleton (FL) vs. Cody Davis (H); Louis Crawford (Me) vs. Kyle Jones (BS); Jeremy Mitchell (Sa) vs. Tyler Hendricks (GM); Zach Miller (Gr) vs. Byron Minous (TJ); John Wegley (CP) vs. Xavier DeRose (Ti); Kyle Rogers (Mc) vs. Josh Kennedy (Cl); Brad Hensler (SV) vs. Austin Andrews (Co).
182: Justin Reynolds (Gr) vs. Mowrey-Keller winner; Caleb Phelps (Ct) vs. Dylan Reynolds (Sa); Chris Laird (GM) vs. Andrew Bradley (Mc); Phil Selker (CP) vs. Kyle Taylor (BS); Chris McNeal (W) vs. Jake Verchick (Cl); Jackson Bucy (TJ) vs. Josh Grdesky (H); Ben Bish (Me) vs. Jake Eaton (SV); Gage Salusky (FL) vs. Shane Marshall (D).
195: Landon Hanna (D) vs. Irwin-Ho winner; Gouhin-Muma winner vs. Brock Henderson (Sa); Alex Thayer (GM) vs. Kramer-Henry winner; Reinwald-Brad winner vs. Andrew Rolfe (H).
220: Evan Daley (FL) vs. Mignot-Barrick winner; Carr-Finch winner vs. Stoffel-Baker winner; Streich-Dunbar winner vs. Lohr-Davido winner; Wilkerson-Miller winner vs. Macken-Cyphert winner.
285: Scot Augustine (Mc) vs. Prater-Oakes winner; Bell-Miller winner vs. Zilhaver-Davis winner; Henz-Mallory winner vs. Carlin-Lipps winner; Conti-Billings winner vs. Moore-Gladysz winner.
Last year’s team standings
1. McDowell 216.5, 2. Boiling Springs 192.5, 3. DuBois 161.5, 4. Greenville 135.5, 5. General McLane 120.5, 6. Howland (Ohio) 118, 7. St. Ignatius 113.5, 8. Cochranton 101.5, 9. Cathedral Prep 93, 10. Saegertown 91.5, 11. Clearfield 78, 12. Titusville 77, 13. McGuffey 68, 14. Conneaut Lake 62.5, 15. Warren 59, 16. Meadville 55, 17. Thomas Jefferson 40.5.
Last year’s championship finals
106: Korbin Myers (Boiling Springs) dec. Joe Wheeling (Gen. McLane), 9-3
113: Joseph Byers (Boiling Springs) dec. Jake Gromacki (Cath. Prep), 7-2
120: George DiCamillo (St. Ignatius) pinned Grant Bond (Boiling Springs), 4:47
126: Christian Stone (Clearfield) pinned Kyle Shoop (Boiling Springs), 1:37
132: Matt Bryer (Cochranton) inj. default over Shawn Spearman (McDowell)
138: Steve Spearman (McDowell) dec. Tim Wheeling (Gen. McLane), 5-2
145: Nolan Barger (Clearfield) dec. Tom Sleigh (DuBois), 4-1
152: Cody Copeland (Greenville) pinned D.J. Myers (Gen. McLane), 3:18
160: Geno Morelli (DuBois) tech. fall Cody Brunst (Titusville), 22-7 (6:00)
170: Zack Towers (Meadville) tech. fall Austin Andrews (Cochranton), 16-1 (5:11)
182: Khlique Harris (McDowell) dec. Tyler Landfried (Greenville), 5-1
195: Landon Hanna (DuBois) major dec. Logan Murphy (Boiling Springs), 11-1
220: Cam Cyphert (Cochranton) dec. Tyler Gentile (Greenville), 1-0
285: Branden Stafford (Saegertown) pinned Tyler Wentzel (Boiling Springs), 3:41