Pennsylvania Earns 21 Medalists and 4 Super 32 Challenge Belts

Greensboro, NC โ€“ Pennsylvania Wrestling may not have had the incredible performance of 2015 but the Keystone State was far ahead of the field in 2016 with 21 Medalists including four Super 32 Challenge Champions. The next closest State was New Jersey who had two Champions and 13 Medalists.

Full brackets can be found on the Flo Arena! Below is a look at each of the weights and which Pennsylvania wrestlers stood out in Greensboro.


106 lbs.

No Pennsylvania Medalists… ๐Ÿ™

Pennsylvania failed to leave Greensboro with a Super 32 Medalist at 106 lbs. but I was still impressed with several Keystone State grapplers. First was Darren Miller of Kiski Area. The sophomore was a solid rookie last season but couldn’t get out of a loaded WPIAL 106 lbs. weight. Miller looked tough in his match against World Team member Mosha Schwartz (Colorado) winning a hard fought (4-3 UTB) match. Miller, who loves to dump, fell in his next match to Vincent Mannella (Georgia) but did earn an impressive (5-0) win over freshman Cole Wilson (Northeastern).

Junior Doug Zapf (Downingtown East) had an unfavorable draw when he face the second seed in his first bout of the Tournament. In that match the 2016 PIAA State Qualifier fell (2-1) to Jeremiah Reno (Missouri). Doug bounced back in a big way on Day 1 winning six straight matches in the consolations including an impressive (2-1) win over fellow Pennsylvanian Drew Munch (Wyoming Seminary). In his eighth bout of the day Zapf fell to Riley Weir (Oklahoma). Overall Doug went (6-2) on the day and proved to me that he will be a top contender in the State this season.


113 lbs.

Fifth Place

Logan Macri (Canon-McMillan)

No question about it Canon-McMillan junior Logan Macri was one of the most impressive wrestlers of the Super 32 all around. The biggest thing for me was seeing how much stronger Logan appeared physically. Macri looked physically imposing and mature for 113 lbs. His day one was filled with upsetting a pair of Nationally ranked grapplers and despite falling in sudden victory to Robert Howard (Bergen Catholic, NJ) in the semifinals Logan’s stock raised big time on the National level. Jaret Lane (Southern Columbia Area) could not find his way onto the podium despite being one of the most decorated grapplers in the bracket. Jaret had a very unfortunate set of circumstances on Day 1 drawing New Jersey stud Antonio Mininno in his second match of the Championship where he dropped a sudden victory match (7-5) SV). In his seventh match of the day Lane fell to yet another stud in Patrick McKee (Minnesota). McKee would go on to finish in third while Mininno was fourth.


120 lbs.

Third Place

Julian Chlebove (Northampton Area)

PA State Champion Julian Chlebove battled hard for two days in a talented 120 lbs. bracket where he ended up in third place. He fell in the quarterfinals to Patrick Glory (Delbarton, NJ) who went on to win the Super 32 Challenge Belt. Despite falling short of his goal Chlebove turned in a solid performance defeating a slew of top wrestlers to finish in third place. Julian downed fellow District 11 wrestler Ryan Anderson (Bethlehem Catholic) in a tight (1-0) match. Overall I was impressed with Chelebove’s ability to grind out tight matches and find a way to win. Freshman sensation Sam Hillegas (North Hills) got a taste of high school competition and faired well. He knocked off a senior PIAA State Medalist in Gavin Park (Brookville Area) and also earned revenge on the opponent who sent him into the consolations when he downed Lucas Revano (New Jersey) turning around a (5-3) defeat into a (3-2) victory. The Bull narrowly missed a spot in the top eight falling to Ryan Anderson (Bethlehem Catholic) in the blood-round (5-3). I was also impressed with Zurich Storm (New Oxford) who knocked off the #4 ranked wrestling in the Nation according to Flo pinning Drew Mattin (Ohio) in the consolations. The senior also defeated Chris Wright (Central Dauphin) in overtime (5-3 SV).


126 lbs.


Austin DeSanto (Exeter Township)

Seventh Place:

K.J. Fenstermacher (Northampton Area)

It was deja vu for senior Austin DeSanto (Exeter Township) who advanced into the Super 32 Challenge finals to face Florida stud Joey Silva. A season ago Silva won the Championship Belt at 120 lbs. defeating DeSanto (6-3). Up a weight class in 2017 Silva repeated that feat controlling the match from all positions earning a (7-2) win. Northampton senior KJ Fenstermacher wrestled well throughout in a difficult bracket. I was impressed with Kiski Area senior Matt Siszka who went (4-2) on the Tournament but appeared to be making big strides in his level of competition.


132 lbs.

Third Place:

Brian Courtney (Athens Area)

Sixth Place:

Zack Trampe (Council Rock South)

Arguably the toughest bracket of the Tournament was 132 lbs. and Pennsylvania earned a third place medal here with PIAA State Champion Brian Courtney (Athens Area). In a battle between the #3 and #4 ranked wrestlers in the Nation at 132 lbs. according to Flo Courtney fell to junior Mitch Moore (Ohio). Brian nearly came away with a match winning reversal late in the third but would fall (4-3). The Virginia recruit battled back strong to take third. Former PIAA State Finalist Zack Trampe (Council Rock South) showed signs of brightness including an impressive come-from-behind win in the blood round with a (8-6 SV) victory, However, in his defeats Trampe got frustrated by opponents easily.


138 lbs.


Sam Sasso (Nazareth Area)

Fifth Place:

Ryan Vulakh (North Penn)

Sixth Place:

Colin Cronin (Upper Darby)

Sammy Sasso put his loss to Nick Lee (Indiana) at Flo’s Who’s #1? in the rearview and moved on in a big way. Sasso simply rolled through the competition and was hands down the most dominant wrestler of the Tournament. The 2x PIAA State Medalist won seven matches over two days racking up two tech-falls, two pins, and three major decisions including a (15-1) pounding in the Championship match. It was Sasso’s first Super 32 Championship Belt, as he took third a season ago, and proved why he is considered one of the top wrestlers in the Nation. Also making an impact on the 138 lbs. bracket was sophomore Ryan Vulakh (North Penn) who continues to increase his stock on the National level. After coming off a Journeyman Championship in New York two weeks ago Ryan again turned heads in North Carolina with a fifth place finish. The sophomore and returning PIAA State Medalist fell twice to the same wrestler, Corey Shie (Ohio), but earned quality wins over Josh Humphreys (West Virginia) and in the fifth place bout against fellow District 1 wrestler Colin Cronin (Upper Darby).


145 lbs.


Jarod Verkleeren (Hempfield Area)

Seventh Place:

Joey Blumer (Kiski Area)

Senior Jarod Verkleeren is starting to knock accomplishments of his to-do list. The Cadet World Champion now owns a Super 32 Championship Belt when he captured the 145 lbs. title with a (5-2) win over Josiah Rider (Colorado) in the finals. In all seven of his victories Jarod appeared comfortable and poised. The Iowa State recruit is starting his senior year with a bang after winning at Flo’s Who’s #1? and now the Super 32 Challenge.

I was very impressed with Kiski Area senior Joey Blumer. A 2015 PIAA State Medalist Joey is a funky wrestler who can hang with the best in the Nation. Blumer wrestled six matches on Day 1 grinding out wins along the way. His only defeat was to Brik Filippo (Oklahoma). In the first match of Day 2 Joey was able to out scramble a formidable opponent in 2x PIAA State Finalist John Pipa (Bishop McDevitt) to remain alive for a medal. In the seventh place match Blumer downed the #11 ranked wrestler in the Nation by Flo Peter Pappas (New Jersey) in a narrow (7-6) match. Pipa picked up a (1-0) victory over fellow 2016 PIAA State Runner-up Brock Wilson (Nazareth Area).


152 lbs.

No Pennsylvania Medalists… ๐Ÿ™

The second weight without a Pennsylvania Medalist came at 152 lbs. Going into the Super 32 I thought it would be tough for PA to come away with a top eight finisher but there were still several bright spots. Two of those were rookies Gerrit Nijenhuis (Canon-McMillan) and Luke Nichter (Chambersburg Area). Both freshmen had (3-2) records against tough competition.


160 lbs.

Third Place:

Trent Hidlay (Mifflin County)

Eighth Place:

Skitch Light (Central Dauphin)

PIAA State Runner-up Trent Hidlay missed a chance to compete for a Super 32 Challenge Belt but bounced back to take third. In the semifinals Hidlay fell to New Jersey’s Kyle Cochran (3-1) who would go on to win the Championship. In the third place bout Hidlay downed Bradley Laughlin (Indiana) for the second time in the Tournament with a (3-1 SV) win. Central Dauphin senior Skitch Light had an impressive performance getting on the podium with a (7-3) Tournament record to finish eighth. Skitch picked up some quality wins in the consolation rounds but dropped his last two bouts to finish in eighth ahead of some studs from Pennsylvania. Two of those wrestlers clashed with juniors Quentin Milliken (Cumberland Valley) and Josh Stillings (Pennridge). Milliken was able to hang on to defeat the PIAA State Medalist (1-0).


170 lbs.

No Pennsylvania Medalists… ๐Ÿ™

There were not many bright spots for Pennsylvania at 170 lbs. but still several wrestlers battled to wins. Ty Bagoly (Exeter Township) went (5-2), Ben Root (Solanco) went (4-2), and Blaze Kansco (Canon-McMillan) went (3-2) earning a win over PIAA State Medalist Kevin Edwards (Conestoga).


182 lbs.


Nino Bonaccorsi (Bethel Park)

Third Place:

Drew Peck (Chambersburg Area)

Two stud seniors performed very well for Pennsylvania at 182 lbs. with Nino Bonaccorsi (Bethel Park) finishing second and Drew Peck (Chambersburg Area) taking third. Bonaccorsi, who took third at the Super 32 Challenge in 2015, advanced into the finals with a (5-3 SV) win over Jelani Embree (Michigan) who was the #2 ranked wrestler in the Nation at 182 lbs. by Flo. Nino entered ranked #3 in the Nation by Flo but in the finals fell to New York’s #4 Louie DePrez. In 2015 Bonaccorsi fell to DePrez in the semifinals (1-0) but this time in the finals more points were scored. Nno was in on nearly several shots early but DePrez countered with a takedown and immediately went to work on top locking up a guillotine and almost ending the match quick with a fall. Bonaccorsi, a Pitt recruit, was able to belly out and only give up three backs but could not get to his offense from neutral falling (6-0). The second Pennsylvania wrestler to finish top eight was Chambersburg Area senior Drew Peck. The Brown recruit had, in my opinion, one of the most impressive performances of the Tournament. In the quarterfinals Peck took out the Nationally #17 by Flo Matt Waddell (Georgia) to advance into the semifinals. In 2015 Peck finished in sixth place at the Super 32 but would greatly improve in 2016. Despite falling in the semifinals to DePrez (3-1) the PIAA State Medalist bounced back to place third with a fall and (2-1) win over #2 Embree.


195 lbs.


Gavin Hoffman (Montoursville Area)

Seventh Place:

Jake Woodley (North Allegheny)

Eighth Place:

Joey Doyle (Council Rock South)

The clash of Pennsylvania Titans occurred at 195 lbs. in the quarters with 2016 PIAA State Champions Gavin Hoffman (Montoursville Area) and Jake Woodley (North Allegheny) going head-to-head. Woodley won the 182 lbs. State Championship in 2016 but has put on some weight and moved up to 195 lbs. for his senior season. Hoffman, a junior, was a PIAA State Champion at 195 lbs. his sophomore season and was an eighth place finisher at the Super 32 in 2015. Hoffman was the victor securing a takedown in the first period which would prove to be the decisive factor in a (3-2) bout. Hoffman, ranked #10 in the Nation by Flo, advanced into the semifinals to face Michigan stud Brandon Whitman. With the bout tied at 4 with time running out in the third period Gavin Hoffman earned an escape with :07 seconds remaining to secure a (5-4) win. Taking down #4 Whitman in the semis Hoffman next faced #7 John Borst (Virginia) for the Championship title.In a wild finals Hoffman was unable to mount a comeback after giving up two takedowns and falling (4-3). Jake Woodley learned his is still adjusting to the 195 lbs. weight division and style but was able to finish in seventh place defeating PIAA State Medalist Joe Doyle (Council Rock South) by major decision (11-2).


220 lbs.


Brian Kennerly (Upper Darby)


Cole Nye (Bishop McDevitt)

The biggest surprise of the Tournament goes by the name Brian Kennerly and he is a senior at Upper Darby High School. Brian, who only took up wrestling four years ago, stormed to a Super 32 Challenge Belt at 220 lbs. with a huge win over 2016 PIAA State Champion Cole Nye (Bishop McDevitt). Last season as a junior Kennerly was a PIAA State Qualifier at 195 lbs. where he went (1-2). In 2015 Brian made the trip to North Carolina where he competed in the Super 32 at 195 lbs. and had a Tournament record of (1-2). 2016 would be much different for the raw talent Kennerly. In the quarterfinals Kennerly faced Jeff Allen (Virginia) who was ranked #13 in the Nation by Flo. Kennerly escaped in the third period to tie the match and pushed the pace earning a stall point to go ahead for the victory. In the finals Kennerly faced a daunting task in Cole Nye who recently committed to Michigan State and entered ranked #15 in the Nation by Flo. After a scoreless first period Kennerly choose down and escaped to go up (1-0) but was warned for stalling and with roles reversed in the third Nye earned an escape but was likewise warned for stalling. The first offensive points of the match were scored when Kennerly connected on a takedown near the edge going ahead (3-1) on Nye. Cole responded with an escape to bring it within one point and with ten seconds left in the match it appeared he connected on a match winning takedown grabbing the advantage (4-3). Kennerly narrowly escaped but Nye dropped to an ankle and held on as time ran out but the referee called stalling on Nye thus giving a point to Brian and tying the match at 4 each. No takedowns were garnished in the sudden victory round as both wrestlers breathed heavily. Kennerly was given choice having scored first in the match and after a restart with six seconds left the Upper Darby senior capped a tremendous run to win the Super 32 Challenge Belt.


285 lbs.


Brendan Furmanย (Canon-McMillan)

I won’t say “I told you so” but I told you so. Brandon Furman put Pennsylvania heavyweights on notice in Greensboro, NC with an impressive performance at the Super 32 which saw him come away with the Championship belt. The Canon-McMillan senior and Cornell recruit has yet to qualify for the PIAA State Tournament but will be considered a top contender this season. In fact, the 2015 Super 32 Champion at heavyweight Andrew Gunning (Liberty), went on to win the PIAA State Championship five months later. Only time will tell if Brendan can achieve the same success. At the Super 32 Furman took down some of the Nation’s top wrestlers at heavyweight. In the quarterfinals Brendan defeated Zach Muller (Illinois) who entered ranked #17 in the Nation by Flo. Next up Furman took on Mansur Abdul-Malik (Maryland) in the semifinals who held a #9 ranking in the Nation by Flo. It would be a (10-3) routing for Furman and a chance to compete for a Super 32 Belt. There he met Sammy De Seriere (Colorado) who, like Furman, was unranked in the Nation by Flo. The pair exchanged escapes in the second and third period leaving the match deadlocked late in the third. That is when Furman went on the attack a De Seriere was warned for stalling. Brendan connected on a blast double leg that would seal the deal with 0:14 seconds left winning the bout (3-1).


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