King of the Mountain loaded with strong individuals

Even with some of the top talent from the Keystone State traveling west to the Walsh Ironman this weekend, the King of the Mountain tournament is loaded with very strong individuals. Each weight class contains multiple returning state placers and/or qualifiers, and the field has five wrestlers that won Super 32 Challenge titles this past October and eleven wrestlers that are nationally ranked.

Luke Pletcher
From a team standpoint, defending champions Bethlehem Catholic, Pa., are ranked No. 30 nationally and enter the event as the favorites to repeat. Two other nationally ranked teams are present in the field: No. 36 Greater Latrobe, Pa., and No. 43 Parkland, Pa. An additional notable team is Cumberland Valley, Pa., which was top ten last year in the Class AAA state tournament.

The tournament will take place at Central Mountain High School in Lock Haven, Pa. Wrestling will start on Friday morning at 11 a.m. ET and set up the quarterfinals, which will take place on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. Matches for the top eight placers will take place at 4:45 p.m. on Saturday.

The most anticipated potential match in this tournament could be the final at 120 pounds between state champions Ethan Lizak (Parkland) and Luke Pletcher (Greater Latrobe), the No. 2 and No. 3 ranked wrestlers in the country. When Pletcher was up at 113 pounds early last year, the two wrestlers did meet in the semifinals at this tournament with Lizak coming out on top. Other notable wrestlers projected to be in this weight class include returning state placer Willis Gruver (Redbank Valley, Pa.), state qualifiers Lee Todora (Bethlehem Catholic, Pa.) and Hunter Hendricks (General McLane, Pa.), along with Zach Trampe (Council Rock South, Pa.) and Ricky Cavallo (Hempfield Area, Pa.)

Two other weight classes in this tournament are likely to feature a pair of nationally ranked wrestlers, 138 and 160 pounds. Leading the way at 138 is the nation's top ranked wrestler Jason Nolf (Kittaning, Pa.), a two-time state champion who won the Super 32 Challenge this fall. Also in this weight class is No. 9 Patrick Duggan (Cumberland Valley, Pa.), a two-time state placer who finished third at the Super 32 Challenge this fall. Other wrestlers to watch in this weight class include returning state placer Kyle Shoop (Boiling Springs, Pa.) and state qualifier J.R. Andrejcik (Burrell, Pa.)

The pair of nationally ranked wrestlers at 160 pounds is No. 4 T.C. Warner (Cumberland Valley, Pa.), a two-time state runner-up; and No. 12 Dom Scalise (Greater Latrobe, Pa.), who placed third last year at the National Prep Championships. Other notables in this weight class include a trio of returning state qualifiers; Chad Reese (Central Mountain, Pa.), Mike Sutton (General McLane, Pa.), and Jeffrey Reimel (North Penn, Pa.)

Additional Super 32 Challenge champions in this field to join Pletcher and Nolf are Sam Krivus (Hempfield Area, Pa.), Zack Zavatsky (Greater Latrobe, Pa.), and Jordan Wood (Boyertown, Pa.). Krivus, ranked No. 2 at 132 pounds, is likely to be tested by three very solid challengers: two-time state champion William Koll (Lansing, N.Y.), Cadet National double runner-up Hayden Hidlay (Mifflin County, Pa.), and freshman sensation Cameron Coy (Penn Trafford, Pa.) who was one match away from placing at the Super 32 Challenge. Another pair of wrestlers is returning state qualifiers: Eddie Kriczky (Boyertown, Pa.) and Grant Bond (Boiling Springs, Pa.)

Zavatsky, ranked No. 8 at 182 pounds, is a two-time state placer (3rd and 8th) and placed third at the FloNationals. Joining Zavatsky in this weight class is Tom Sleigh (Dubois, Pa.), third at the state last year and also a place-winner at the Super 32 Challenge and FloNationals, though Zavatsky out-placed him in both events. Another pair of wrestlers is returning state qualifiers: Logan Womelsdorf (Benton, Pa.) and Nick Cortopassi (Bethlehem Catholic, Pa.)

Wood, ranked No. 8 at 220 pounds, finished as state runner-up last year in his freshman campaign and was also runner-up at the FloNationals last spring. Another pair of wrestlers meriting note in this weight class are state placer Andrew Dunn (Bethlehem Catholic, Pa.), who placed fourth at 285 pounds in the Super 32 Challenge, and returning state qualifier Omar Haddad (Parkland, Pa.)

The two additional nationally ranked wrestlers in this tournament are from Bethlehem Catholic, Pa.: Luke Karam, No. 6 at 106 pounds, and Moisey, No. 5 at 126 pounds. Karam was a state runner-up last year and was third in Junior freestyle this past summer. Other notables in this weight class include past Cadet National All-Americans in Jon Gabriel (Bedford, Pa.), Jakob Campbell (Boyertown, Pa.), and Will Kaldes (Cumberland Valley, Pa.)

Moisey is a three-time state placer, finishing runner-up at state the last two years, and has placed three times at the Super 32 Challenge. A pair of two-time state placers will be seeking to upend Moisey this weekend: Ryan Easter (Bedford, Pa.) and Korbin Myers (Boiling Springs, Pa.). Four other wrestlers in this weight class were state qualifiers last year: Shae Bloom (Dubois, Pa.), Trevor Corl (Bellefonte, Pa.), Zack Clingan (Spring Grove, Pa.), and Josh Giorgio (Schuylkill Valley, Pa.)

The following is a list of wrestlers to watch in the remaining weight classes:

113: National Prep runner-up Ethan McCoy (Greater Latrobe, Pa.); state placer Carson Newman (Line Mountain, Pa.); 2012 state placer Danny Martoccio (Council Rock South, Pa.); along with state qualifiers Joe Wheeling (General McLane, Pa.), Jacob Lizak (Parkland, Pa.), and Charlie Lenox (Erie McDowell, Pa.)

145: State placer Josh Ortman (Parkland, Pa.) along with state qualifiers Jasper Hankey (Biglerville, Pa.), Shawn Spearman (Erie McDowell, Pa.), and Jake Shaffer (Greater Latrobe, Pa.)

152: Two-time state placer Cole Walter (Mifflinburg, Pa.) and Jeric Kasunic (Benton, Pa.), along with state placers Steve Edwards (Burrell, Pa.) and Mason Bentzel (Spring Grove, Pa.)

170: State qualifiers Corey Hazel (Penns Valley, Pa.) and Tyree Spearman (Erie McDowell, Pa.)

195: Two-time state qualifiers Jose Ortiz (Bethlehem Catholic, Pa.) and Nezar Haddad (Parkland, Pa.), along with returning state qualifiers Kyle Taylor (Boiling Springs, Pa.), Chris Laird (General McLane, Pa.), and Alex Price (North Penn, Pa.)

285: 2012 state champion Nazar Mironeko (Mifflinburg, Pa.), along with state qualifiers Kyle Kahley (Mifflin County, Pa.) and Allan Beattie (Burrell, Pa.)


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