PA Earns 8 NHSCA National Champions – 49 Medalists

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Athens Area sophomore Brian Courtney was one of eight Pennsylvania National Champions.

Athens Area sophomore Brian Courtney was one of eight Pennsylvania National Champions.

A total of eight Pennsylvania wrestlers came away with NHSCA National Championships after a long three day event in Virginia Beach. In total 49 Keystone State grapplers placed in the top eight.


Freshmen Division Recap

A strong Freshman division featured 19 medalists including four (4) National Champions. At 106 lbs. Central Dauphin’s Christ Wright defeated Jaret Lane (Southern Columbia Area) for seventh place in a battle of two 2015 PIAA State Medalists. At 120 lbs. Wyoming Seminary’s Jack Davis was able to collect four victories in the consolation round to finish in third place. Also at 120 lbs. Pennridge sophomore and PIAA State Qualifier Micah Visuwan finished in seventh place. Another battle of PA wrestlers took place at 126 lbs. with Zach Hartman (Belle Vernon Area) and Gregg Wert (Trinity). Both were PIAA State Medalists in their rookie seasons and met in the fifth place bout as Gregg Wert came out on top (2-1). Top Incoming Freshman Sammy Sasso (Nazareth Area) stormed into the National finals but could not get past Florida’s Grant Aronoff falling (11-6) in a battle of two freshmen State finalists. Belle Vernon Area’s Neiko Kuntz finished in sixth place at 132 lbs.

At 138 lbs. Pennridge PIAA State Qualifier Josh Stillings rallied back from a second round defeat winning eight straight matches in the consolation round finishing in third place. Along the way Stillings avenged his second round defeat to Jonathan Ramos of California by picking up a (3-0) win. At 145 lbs. Waynesburg Central’s Kyle Homet finished in seventh place. Moving up to 152 lbs. PIAA State Finalists Robert Patrick (Ligonier Valley) dominated the field picking up two falls and two tech-falls advancing into the National finals. There Patrick was defeated by Blair Academy’s Ryan Karoly (3-1). Also earning a medal at 152 lbs. was Tyler Delorenzo (East Stroudsburg South) who finished in sixth place. The first National Champion from PA came at 160 lbs. with Susquenita’s rookie Dalton Group. The PIAA State Qualifier held off Georgia’s Knox Allen, a State Runner-up, by a narrow (8-7) score in the finals.

170 lbs. also saw a PA wrestler on top of the podium with Montoursville frosh Gavin Hoffman earning the National Championship over Missouri’s Zach Elam (4-2). Hoffman, a PIAA State Medalist, was the #1 seed at 170 lbs. Another freshman PIAA State Medalist, Anthony Walters (Westmont Hilltop), came back to finish in fourth place at 170 lbs. The third straight National Champion from Pennsylvania came at 182 lbs. with Big Spring’s Black Barrick. The freshman had an outstanding showing as he defeated Delaware State Champion Tony Wuest (4-2) in the finals. The fourth and final National Champion from PA in the Freshmen division was Cumberland Valley’s Francis Duggan. The PIAA State Medalist dominated his opponents picking up three straight falls all in the first period to earn a National Championship. Also earning a medal at 220 lbs. was Delaware Valley’s John McCarthey who finished in fourth. At heavyweight Muncy Area’s Bobby Gregory earned the lone medal for PA finishing in sixth place.


Sophomore Division Recap

Belle Vernon Area sophomore Jacob Dunlop, a 2x South West Regional Qualifier, advanced into the National Finals at 106 lbs. In the finals Dunlop met Jonathan Gomez of New York who is a 2x New York State Finalist and 2015 State Champion. Despite a strong effort Dunlop fell (3-1) to Gomez in the National finals. Former PIAA State Finalist and 2x PIAA State Medalist Dan Moran (Northampton Area) competed at 113 lbs. and came away with a fourth place medal. At 120 lbs. Athens Area sophomore Brian Courtney advanced into his second straight NHSCA National Finals but this time came away with the Championship title. Last season Courtney was the runner-up at 106 lbs. The PIAA State runner-up defeated 2x Maryland State Champion Danny Bertoni (7-2) in the finals. Also at 120 lbs. former PIAA State Champion Jake Riegel (Bethlehem Catholic) had a solid performance finishing in third place.

Two PA wrestlers earned medals at 126 lbs. with Sammy Hepler (Tri-Valley) placing fifth and Hazleton Area’s Jimmy Hoffman placing seventh. The second Sophomore National Champion came at 132 lbs. with North Allegheny stud Jake Hinkson. The PIAA State Medalist kept his momentum rolling from the post-season by winning a National Championship picking up a (4-3) win in the finals over Kansas State Champion Mason Wallace. At 138 lbs. Nazareth Area sophomore Brock Wilson earned six straight wins in the consolation round to finish in third place. Wilson was a NHSCA National runner-up last season as a freshman. The third NHSCA Sophomore National Champion from PA was Belle Vernon Area’s Jarod Verkleeren at 145 lbs. The PIAA State Medalist needed ultimate tiebreaker to get past New Jersey State Runner-up Stephan Glasgow (4-3 UTB). The second Nazareth Area sophomore to finish third was Travis Stefanik at 145 lbs. who lost in the second round to Stephan Glasgow but eight wins later he earned a third place finish. It was Stefanik’s second straight NHSCA National Medal finishing fifth last year as a freshman.

At 152 lbs. Bethlehem Catholic’s 2x PIAA State Medalist Mike Labriola improved on his third place finish as a freshman last season. Labriola advanced into the National Finals but was pinned in (5:00) by 2x Oregon State Champion Layne Van Anrooy. A pair of PA sophomores finished third in their respective weights with Drew Peck (Chambersburg Area) and Jake Woodley (North Allegheny). Peck, who was a NHSCA Freshman runner-up last season, placed third at 170 lbs. while Woodley placed third at 160 lbs. Also earning a spot on the podium at 170 lbs. was Parkland’s Frank Guida who finished in eighth place.

At 182 lbs. PIAA State Medalist Eli Grape (Upper Saint Clair) finished in sixth place. Sophomore and 2015 PIAA State Finalist Seth Janney (South Western) improved on his NHSCA Freshmen Nationals third place at 220 lbs. to claim the Championship as a sophomore. Janney had no issues picking up four first period falls and a (7-0) decision in the finals. Wyoming Seminary sophomore and former Bishop McDevitt wrestler Zane Black finished in third place at 220 lbs. The 2015 National Prep Finalist won the NHSCA Freshman Nationals a year ago at 195 lbs.


Junior Division Recap

Despite not earning any NHSCA National Champions in the Junior division PA did come away with 11 hard fought medals. 2015 PIAA State Finalist Aaron Burkett (Chestnut Ridge) rebounded from a defeat to the eventual Champion to finish in third place. At 132 lbs. a pair of PIAA State Medalists ended on the podium with Lucas Shaf (Emmaus) finishing in sixth place while Charlie Johnson (Wyoming Area) placed eighth. At 138 lbs. Easton Area junior Evan Fidelbus earned his second straight NHSCA National medal by placing sixth a season after finishing seventh at the Sophomore Nationals. Fidelbus’ teammate and PIAA State Medalist Jimmy Saylor (Easton Area) advanced into the NHSCA National Finals at 145 lbs. but could not outlast former New York State Champion Chris Mauriello falling (3-2) in the finals.

At 152 lbs. Towanda’s Dayton Wickwire, a 2015 PIAA State Qualifier, finished in eighth place. At 170 lbs. PIAA State Third Place Medalist Austin Bell (Belle Vernon Area) was unable to improve on his runner-up finish at the Sophomore Nationals a season ago. After falling in the semifinals Bell was forced to injury default twice and ended up finishing in sixth place. At 182 lbs. PIAA State Medalist Connor Frey (Lehighton) was able to earn a fifth place finish. At 195 lbs. 2x PIAA State Medalist Drew Phipps (Norwin) took away a fourth place medal but also a little payback. Last season at the NHSCA Sophomore Nationals Phipps advanced into the Finals at 195 lbs. where he fell to New Jersey’s Matthew Correnti (4-2). This season the two faced off not in the Championship Finals but the consolation semifinals. There Phipps avenged the defeat winning (9-7). At 220 lbs. 2015 PIAA State Finalist Jacob Robb (Kittanning) placed fourth. At 285 lbs. 2015 PIAA State Finalist Jacob Beistel (Southmoreland) avenged a quarterfinal defeat to finish in third place. It was Beistel’s second straight NHSCA National medal as he placed second last season in the Sophomore Nationals at heavyweight.


Senior/Middle School Division Recap

Two Pennsylvania seniors earned NHSCA National medals with 2015 PIAA State Runner-up Cody Cordes (Wyoming Valley West) finishing in fourth place and 2x PIAA State Medalist Casey Glunt (James Buchanan) finishing in fifth place.

The Middle School Division also featured many rising stars in Pennsylvania and a total of 16 wrestlers came away with National Medals. Leading the way was PJW State Champion Drew Munch (East Stroudsburg) who claimed the 75 lbs. National Championship in a weight that saw four Keystone State wrestlers earn hardware.


Click here for full results and updated brackets!


NHSCA Freshman Nationals Medalists (19)

106 lbs.: Chris Wright (Central Dauphin) 7th Place

106 lbs.: Jaret Lane (Southern Columbia Area) 8th Place

120 lbs.: Jack Davis (Wyoming Seminary) 3rd Place

120 lbs.: Micah Visuwan (Pennridge) 7th Place

126 lbs.: Gregg Wert (Trinity) 5th Place

126 lbs.: Zach Hartman (Belle Vernon Area) 6th Place

132 lbs.: Sammy Sasso (Nazareth Area) Second Place

132 lbs.: Neiko Kuntz (Belle Vernon Area) 6th Place

138 lbs.: Josh Stillings (Pennridge) 3rd Place

145 lbs.: Kyle Homet (Waynesburg Central) 7th Place

152 lbs.: Robert Patrick (Ligonier Valley) Second Place

152 lbs.: Tyler Delorenzo (East Stroudsburg Area South) 6th Place

160 lbs.: Dalton Group (Susquenitta) Champion

170 lbs.: Gavin Hoffman (Montoursville Area) Champion

170 lbs.: Anthony Walters (Westmont Hilltop) 4th Place

182 lbs.: Blake Barrick (Big Spring) Champion

220 lbs.: Francis Duggan (Cumberland Valley) Champion

220 lbs.: John McCarthey (Delaware Valley) 4th Place

285 lbs.: Bobby Gregory (Mercer Area) 6th Place


NHSCA Sophomore Nationals Medalists (17)

106 lbs.: Jacob Dunlop (Belle Vernon Area) Second Place

113 lbs.: Dan Moran (Northampton Area) 4th Place

120 lbs.: Brian Courtney (Athens Area) Champion

120 lbs.: Jake Riegel (Bethlehem Catholic) 3rd Place

126 lbs.: Sammy Hepler (Tri-Valley) 5th Place

126 lbs.: James Hoffman (Hazleton Area) 7th Place

132 lbs.: Jake Hinkson (North Allegheny) Champion

138 lbs.: Brock Wilson (Nazareth Area) 3rd Place

145 lbs.: Jarod Verkleeren (Belle Vernon Area) Champion

145 lbs.: Travis Stefanik (Nazareth Area) 3rd Place

152 lbs.: Mikey Labriola (Bethlehem Catholic) Second Place

160 lbs.: Jake Woodley (North Allegheny) 3rd Place

170 lbs.: Drew Peck (Chambersburg Area) 3rd Place

170 lbs.:: Frank Guida (Parkland) 8th Place

182 lbs.: Eli Grape (Upper Saint Clair) 6th Place

220 lbs.: Seth Janney (South Western) Champion

220 lbs.: Zane Black (Wyoming Seminary) 3rd Place


NHSCA Junior Nationals Medalists (11)

106 lbs.: Aaron Burkett (Chestnut Ridge) 3rd Place

132 lbs.: Lucas Schaf (Emmaus) 6th Place

132 lbs.: Charlie Johnson (Wyoming Area) 8th Place

138 lbs.: Evan Fidelbus (Easton Area) 6th Place

145 lbs.: James Saylor (Easton Area) Second Place

152 lbs.: Dayton Wickwire (Towanda) 8th Place

170 lbs.: Austin Bell (Belle Vernon Area) 6th Place

182 lbs.: Connor Frey (Lehighton) 5th Place

195 lbs.: Drew Phipps (Norwin) 4th Place

220 lbs.: Jacob Robb (Kittanning) 4th Place

285 lbs.: Jacob Beistel (Southmoreland) 3rd Place


NHSCA Senior Nationals Medalists (2)

170 lbs.: Cody Cordes (Wyoming Valley West) 4th Place

182 lbs.: Casey Glunt (James Buchanan) 5th Place


NHSCA Middle School Nationals Medalists (16)

75 lbs.: Drew Munch (East Stroudsburg) Champion

75 lbs.: Kurtis Phipps (Norwin) 3rd Place

75 lbs.: Jake Jones (Saucon Valley) 6th Place

75 lbs.: Gable Strickland (Muncy) 8th Place

90 lbs.; Nick Rosengrant (Saucon Valley) 8th Place

100 lbs.: Cameron Enriquez (Stroudsburg) 3rd Place

105 lbs.: Steven Storm (Stroudsburg) 6th Place

105 lbs.: Bronson Garber (Upper Dauphin) 7th Place

112 lbs.: Beau Bartlett (Wyoming Seminary)

112 lbs.: Josh Jones (Saucon Valley) 5th Place

119 lbs.: Ethan Kelly (Johnstown) Second Place

127 lbs.: Gabe Miller (Pequea Valley) 3rd Place

135 lbs.: James Lynch (East Stroudsburg) 8th Place

142 lbs.: Joseph Guida (Parkland) 4th Place

165 lb.: Donny Gelnett (Upper Dauphin) Second Place

180 lbs.: Andrew Balukas (Easton) 5th Place



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