Fans to get AA treat at 119, 145
The view from here
As the second stop on the tournament trail to Hershey, this weekend's district tournament at Williamsport should provide the best wrestling short of states for District 4 Class AA fans. As in the past, the five wrestlers that advance from this weekend's action will have a better than 50 percent chance of moving to next weekend's Northeastern Regional, also at Williamsport. The action starts at 5 p.m. Friday. The semis are at noon Saturday with the consolation finals at 6 p.m. and the finals at 7:30.
Here's our selections for the district. We'll pick only the top three.
103 - Defending district champion and state placewinner Chris Fleeger of Loyalsock is back sporting a 23-0 mark.
He should win again with Mark Piermattei of Line Mountain second and Jeremy Hess of West Snyder third.
112 - Nick Rockwell of Canton (25-1) should give the West Central section a second straight title. Second to John
Hohmann of Central Columbia and third to Nick Leshock of Southern Columbia. Rockwell won at this weight last
119 - All eyes will be on this weight. After all, how many districts have the state runner-up from a year ago and
the fifth and sixth place finishers in states? B.J. Wise of Benton was second last year and is 27-0. He's an exciting
wrestler who takes chances and sometimes gets in trouble. Southern's P.J. Sargent was fifth last year and he has
lost just once &emdash; to Justin Zechman of West Snyder at 125. Milton's Mike Snyder, sixth last year, rounds out the
field. We like Wise, Sargent and Snyder in that order. But one should not count out Wyalusing's Mike Wulff, a
23-3 frosh who will likely meet Snyder in the quarters.
125 - Another good weight and this one has Tom Waldron of Loyalsock, who won states a year ago at 119. He's
been romping all year but could have some problems here. Mifflinburg's Dustin Manotti, a frosh, won the Southern
Section and is a fighter. West Snyder's Justin Zechman has lost but twice and has pinned Manotti and lost in
overtime to him. Waldron gets the nod over Manotti with Zechman third. Once again, don't count out Wyalusing's
David Patrick who has lost but once. He and Manotti are likely semifinal foes.
130 - A fairly wide open weight. West Snyder's pinning guy, Bradley Keister, brings a 26-0 mark. He was
pressed by Troy Sauer of Middleburg last week, but Sauer will face top-seeded Brian Roberts of Canton in the
quarters. We think Sauer will make the finals but lose again to Keister. Third to Gabe Nickeson of Wyalusing, the
No. 3 seed at 20-0.
135 - Wyalusing's Tom Wulff, second last year at 130, is top-seeded and should win. Second to Emil Hohmann
of Central Columbia and third to Robert Petty of Middleburg.
140 - There could be a Jeremy Betz (Warrior Run) and Corey Aucker (Middleburg) rematch from the dual in the
final. Betz is seeded one, Aucker two. In the dual, Betz won 1-0, the difference being a tough ride in the second
period. Betz is in the easier bracket and should make the finals. Aucker needs to get by Justin Johnson of
Wyalusing. We think it will be Betz over Johnson, third to Aucker.
145 - The two top seeds in this weight appear to be much the best in this weight. After all they are defending state
champion (at 135) Gabe Webster (26-0) of Sayre, ranked No. 1 by Keystone Wrestling Rankings, and Max
Shingara (29-1) of Line Mountain, ranked No. 2 by KWR. Shingara won't be intimidated by Webster. It's not in
his makeup. But Shingara might not be able to handle the Northern Tier guy. Shingara and Mount Carmel's Dave
Evans fought some wild battles last year and Webster-Shingara should be another honey. It's go with the champion
until beaten. Second to Shingara, third to Craig Pequignot of Liberty.
152 - There probably were some big smiles in this weight when both Webster and Shingara went to 145. Brad
Peters of Montoursville has a world of talent but hasn't put it together. We'll take a flyer on him to win, second to
Brian Knorr of Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech and third to top-seeded Jarod Alexander of Sayre.
160 - Mike Greenberg of Canton is seeded on top but he won't have any easy time getting the gold. Greg Knouse
of Middleburg didn't wrestle well in last weekend's loss to Eric Steffen of Southern Columbia. He will get
Greenberg in the semis. Jason Franklin of Wyalusing will probably come from the lower bracket. Greenberg to
win, Franklin second, Knouse third.
171 - Mount Carmel's Steve Sinkovich was state runner-up at this weight a year ago and looked sharp in the
Southern Section. He's the pick with Ryan Wetzel of Lewisburg second. Third to Anthony Pagano of Loyalsock.
189 - Another good weight with newly ranked Danny Knouse of Middleburg leading the way. Also ranked is
Williamson's Nick McDivitt who is 19-1. We'll take Knouse over Wyalusing's John Henry in the final. Third to
Mike Sinkovich of Mount Carmel.
275 - Benton's unbeaten Jeremy Young leads the way at 27-0, but this is a good field. Lurking in the No. 2 spot
is Mifflinburg's Kyle Whittaker, 29-2, with good mobility. We'll pick Whittaker in an upset, second to Young,
third to Tyler Woolever of Loyalsock.
John Huckaby is sports editor of The Daily Item.