WILLIAMSPORT - Hey, it's about time Valley wrestling fans start recognizing this Lieberman fellow from Midd-West.
Alex Lieberman, a junior who missed his first two postseason seasons with injuries, walked off with the District 4 Class AA 170-pound title Saturday night in the crowded Williamsport High gym.
Lieberman, now 31-5, beat top-seeded Ben Minnich of North Penn 5-4.
Lieberman isn't a foreign name to wrestling fans of a certain age. The Lieberman brothers, Mark and Mike, won NCAA titles in the 1970s for Lehigh.
The Mustang is one of four heading to regionals Friday and Saturday at the same location. The top five Saturday advanced to regionals. The top three will move on from regionals to states.
Also heading to regionals from Midd-West are sophomore Corey Stauffer, fifth at 106; sophomore Tanner Ebright, fourth at 126; and senior Zach Heeter, fourth at at 145.
Lieberman, who pinned his way through sectionals, said he was surprised he won: "I didn't think I'd be No. 1."
Lieberman's style can be described as brawling and smart. He can bang with the best and then take advantage of mistakes by his opponent.
Clint Swartz, the Midd-West coach, said, "Everyone thought it was a surprise last week and I guess it's a surprise this week. Alex is wrestling his best. He goes at it and likes to get in some throwing situations but he definitely will capitalize when someone gets when someone gets out of position."
Swartz was happy with his team's effort.
"We had a good weekend. Corey (at 106) wrestled well. He may not be where we want him. Ebright really wrestled well. He's starting to believe in what he can do. Zach Heeter is where we want him right now. "
Stauffer earned his trip to regions with a 5-0 blanking of Montoursville's Jacob Strassner. Stauffer fell earlier in the day 11-9 to Warrior Run freshman Zach LeBarron. The bout was a cradle-fest with each wrestler nearly pinning the other.
In the consolation semis, Stauffer was pinned by state qualifier Cameron Newman of Line Mountain.
Heeter finished fourth after forfeiting in the consolation final to Aaron Johnson at 145. Swartz said Heeter is nursing a sore shoulder and Swartz said there was no reason to wrestle him as he is advancing either way.
Dylan Hain, the 138-pounder for the Mustangs, was eliminated after losing his first consolation match of the day. He lost by fall to Nick Bruce of Troy.
Benton won the team title with 127 points and three champions. Midd-West was 10th with 60 points.