CURWENSVILLE — Four Curwensville Area High School wrestlers will continue their quest for PIAA medals when they compete in the Northwest Region Class AA Tournament at Sharon High School this weekend.
Each weight class will have three matmen from District 9 and five from District 10, and Curwensville hopefuls representing District 9 will be 189-pound champion Nick Sipes, 103-pound runner-up Derek Brothers, 145-pound runner-up Brett McCracken and 112-pound third place finisher Tyler Peters.
Their first action will be in the quarterfinals that get under way Friday at 6 p.m. Everybody returns Saturday for the championship semifinals and consolation quarterfinals at 9:15 a.m. The consolation semis are set for noon, the consolation finals for 4:15 p.m. and the championships for 6, following a Parade of Champions.
Champs, runners-up and consolation winners will qualify for the PIAA Class AA Championships March 9-10 in the Giant Center at Hershey.
Sipes will be seeking his third trip to Chocolatetown. He lost in the finals in 2005 and placed fourth last year.
Curwensville\’s first four-time District 9 Class AA champion is in a tough bracket, for he and junior Jerico Weitzel of Ridgway have been ranked among Off The Mat Wrestling Weekly\’s top five all season, while D-10 champ Joe Joseph (30-2) of Sharpsville and runner-up Mike Miller (26-14) of Reynolds are 15th and 20th, respectively. Joseph edged Miller 3-1 in the Section 2 finals and 5-3 in the district finals the last two weeks. Both bouts went overtime.
Sipes, a senior with a 25-2 record, gets 10-4 Eisenhower senior Nathan Rohlin (31-9), with the winner to get either Miller, a junior, or 9-3 Kane sophomore Ross Nicholson (20-2).
Sipes avenged a 2-1 dual meet loss to Weitzel by beating the No. 1 seed 3-2 for D-9 title.
Weitzel is paired against 10-3 Harbor Creek junior Tim McAndrew (33-10) and Joseph against 10-5 North East senior Frank Vicary (27-16).
Golden Tide freshman Brothers (27-6) will wrestle 10-3 Commodore Perry sophomore Jordan Powell (35-6), who is ranked No. 24 by Off the Mat. The other bout in their bracket matches 10-1 Fort LeBoeuf junior Kilian Hiner (29-6) and 10-5 Greenville freshman Luke Marshall (9).
On the other side at 103, 10-2 Iroquois freshman Ryan Johnson (31-8) takes on 9-3 Smethport senior Dan Blair (31-3) and 9-1 Ridgway freshman Garet Pisani (38-2) goes against 10-4 North East junior Tony Landgon (29-9).
Hiner, who is ranked No. 12, topped Johnson 6-4 in the D-10 finals after losing to him 7-2 in the Section 1 finals the previous week.
Curwensville sophomore Peters (20-14), who had to win five matches in a row last weekend to advance, draws 10-2 Reynolds sophomore standout Cody Kelly (36-10), the PIAA runner-up at 103 in 2006 after winning the D-10 championship. Greenville sophomore Coty Burnett (41-4) bumped off Kelly 1-0 on an escape with 23 seconds left in the D-10 finals. In the Section 2 title bout, Burnett edged Kelly 3-1.
If Peters gets past Kelly, he\’ll face either 9-1 Ridgway junior Derek Konen (35-7) or 10-4 Hickory senior Niko Boccuzzi (27-12).
The top half of the 112 bracket pits Burnett against 10-5 Fort LeBoeuf sophomore Shane Bambarger (15-12) and 9-2 Rebank Valley senior Levi Bell (13-6) against 10-3 Iroquois sophomore Devin Miller (28-11).
McCracken\’s path to the region finals is even more difficult. The Golden Tide junior (19-10) will have to defeat 10-3 Greenville junior Justin Ferguson (41-11) and probably three-time D-10 champ and two-time state runner-up Aaron Nestor (37-7) of Reynolds. Nestor is ranked No. 1 in the state, while Ferguson is No. 7.
The bottom of the 145 bracket matches 10-2 Grove City junior Craig Johnson (30-6) against 9-3 Brookville senior Shane Ross (31-9) and 9-1 Redbank Valley senior Jimmy McCauley (23-3) against 10-4 Saegertown junior Chad Hunter (23-13).
Nestor downed Johnson 5-2 for the Section 2 crown and 3-2 for the D-10 title.