Trojans advance 5 to D6 title meet
HUNTINGDON — In the middle of a COVID-19 season nothing is normal, but the Mount Union wrestling team found itself in an unusual position on Wednesday night.
With the addition of the District 6 Class 2A Sectional Tournaments this season, the Trojans put seven different wrestlers in the Section I final, but wrestling for true second produced some casualties as Mount Union advanced five wrestlers to the District 6 Class 2A Tournament on Saturday at the Altoona Field House.
Bryce Beatty (113) coasted on his way to the Section I title, downing Landon Dunsmore of Huntingdon, 15-9 to pick up the title after a first-round bye.
“He’s been working hard,” Mount Union coach Corey Wertz said. “Ever since last season ended, he’s set some goals for himself and he’s been achieving those. It’s good to see all that extra work that he’s been putting in pay off. One of his goals was to win the sectional and to see that pay off was nice to see.”
Mason Beatty (106), AJ Chilcote (120), Trevor Skopic (138) and Deegan Rittenhouse (152) all advanced along with Bryce Beatty to the District 6 Class 2A championship meet.
“We had seven in the finals and only one ended up winning,” Wertz said. “We had four matches for true second and we went 2-2 there. I think that we did OK. We could have done a little bit better, but we also could’ve done worse. We have five guys moving on to Saturday.”
At 106, Mason Beatty picked up a 7-2 decision over Huntingdon’s Ryan Yocum. Beatty overcame a first-period takedown with a reversal and added to it with a takedown and an escape in the second. He added a takedown in the third to salt away the victory.
Tyrone’s Korry Walls upended Beatty in the final, sticking Beatty in 3:24. Since there were only three wrestlers at 106, Beatty’s victory over Yocum allowed him to advance.
AJ Chilcote impressed at 120, advancing into the championship match after sticking Huntingdon’s Alex Gladfelter in 3:34. Tyrone’s talented Hunter Walk won by fall over Chilcote. Alex Gladfelter defeated Southern Huntingdon’s Caden Scott in the third-place match to allow Chilcote to advance.
Trevor Skopic had a solid day at 138 pounds, using a pair of falls to get into the championship match against Tyrone’s Andrew Weaver. Weaver scored a 9-1 major decision to send Skopic into the consolations, but Skopic outlasted a charging Morgan McDivitt to advance.
Skopic countered a first period takedown by McDivitt with a reversal to knot things at 2-2 through one period. After a scoreless second, Skopic took bottom and scored a quick escape at the 1:44 mark before scoring a takedown with 1:14 left to lead 5-2. A reversal with four seconds left cut the lead to 5-4 but Skopic held on for the victory.
Along with Skopic, Rittenhouse’s ability to come up big in a second-place match allowed him to advance in the 152-pound bracket. Rittenhouse put together a first-period takedown and added two back points in the first to lead, 4-0. In the second, Rittenhouse scored a reversal and pinned Tyrone’s Jermaine Myers to advance.
“They came up short in their final matches and were a little bit disappointed in themselves,” Wertz said of Skopic and Rittenhouse. “They bounced back, stayed focused and came up with clutch wins to move themselves on to Saturday.”
On the other side of things, Mount Union’s Clayton Arnold (189), Jayce Reck (160), Caden Chilcote, Vance Hower (126) Jace Ripple (145), Xavier Peck (215) and Haiden Inch (285) all saw their seasons come to an end on Wednesday night.
Arnold, Reck, Chilcote and Hower each finished third in their respective weight classes, while Ripple finished fourth.
With just six matches to get ready and multiple weeks without a match entering the postseason, the Trojans found themselves in a difficult situation entering the Section I tournament, that also included Tyrone, Huntingdon, Bellwood-Antis, Juniata Valley and Southern Huntingdon.
“Obviously this season has had several challenges,” Wertz said. “It’s just another obstacle we had to get past. We were as prepared as we could be. The season was crazy, we didn’t get the matches in that we wanted to. We played the cards we were dealt and have tried to make the most of it.”
Mount Union finished third in the points race with 128 points, trailing Tyrone and Huntingdon. Tyrone finished first with a narrow 171-170 advantage over Huntingdon. Bellwood-Antis finished fourth, while Southern Huntingdon and Juniata Valley finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
The Trojans that are still alive will continue the postseason on Saturday at the Altoona Field House in the District 6 Class 2A tournament at 10 a.m.