MORRISDALE — The Ultimate Warrior Wrestling Tournament, hosted by West Branch High School, has grown into one of the premier high school tournaments each year in Pennsylvania.
After a one year hiatus due to covid-19, the 2022 edition of the tournament will certainly not disappoint. 35 teams representing seven different districts (3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 11) from all over the state will take to the mat when the tourney gets started at 11:30 am on Friday with the pigtail round. The preliminary and first round of consolations will take place at approximately 12:45, followed by the quarterfinals and second round of consies around 3:30, and with the lone session on Friday ending with the third round of wrestlebacks around 6:00.
Saturday’s action begins at 9:00 am with the fourth round of consolations. The semifinals and consy quarterfinals are set for 11:00 am, with the consy semis to close out the day’s first session around 1:30 pm.
After the break, action will return at 3:30 with the third, fifth and seventh place medal matches. The Parade of Champions should commence around 5:45, followed immediately by the Championship Finals.
The undefeated Clearfield Bison, winners of the inaugural Ultimate Warrior in 2016, will be one of several top squads in the running for the team title. Already winners this year of the Mid-Winter Mayhem Tourney at IUP and their own Bison Dual tourney, the Bison will be in the hunt with District 6 stalwarts Central Mountain, Mifflin County, and Bald Eagle Area. District 4’s AA powerhouse Southern Columbia also figures to be in the mix. Though down a little this year, perennial state power Reynolds will make their first ever Ultimate Warrior appearance.
The Bison will field a full 13 man line-up. If the seeds, which are subject to change depending upon changes at weigh-ins Friday morning, hold up the Bison would bring home eight medalists out of 13 weight classes.
The lone top seed for the Bison is undefeated senior heavyweight Oliver Billotte (17-0). Freshman 126 pounder Brady Collins (20-2) and senior 172 pounder Mark McGonigal (17-5) garnered number two seeds. The lone third seed is senior Hayden Kovalick (20-1) at 215. Junior Evan Davis (15-6) at 113 and sophomore Carter Chamberlain (15-5) are number five seeds. Seniors Karson Kline (11-5) at 152 and Nolan Barr (13-9) at 138 have number six and eight seeds respectively.
Picking up seeds just outside the top-8 were freshman Ty Aveni (6-5) at 132 with a nine seed and senior Luke Freeland (14-7), the 10 seed at 145.
Other Bison participants will be freshman Xavier Lutz (4-6) at 106, sophomore Adam Rougeux (8-9) at 120, and senior Wyatt Reorda (3-4) at 160.
The teams slated to appear: Altoona, Ambridge, Bald Eagle Area, Bellwood-Antis, Bentworth, Bradford, Brockway, Canton, Central Mountain, Central York, Clearfield, Hickory, Hollidaysburg, Johnsonburg, Juniata, Juniata Valley, Lake-Lehman, Marion Center, Midd-West, Mifflin County, Moshannon Valley, Mount Union, Pen Argyl, Philipsburg-Osceola, Port Allegany, Reynolds, Richland, Ridgway, River Valley, Southern Columbia, Towanda, Tyrone, United, West Branch, Wilson.
The FloArena website will carry live results as the tourney progresses. Rofkin will live stream from the quarterfinals through the championship finals.