Breaking Down The Five Best Weights In This Year’s PIAA Championships


Class 3A


120 Pounds

You want star power and depth, this weight has both and might be the best of the tournament. There are seven returning state medalists with a combined record of 241-28 scattered across the 20-man bracket. Check out this first-round match: Northeastern’s Cole Wilson, the No. 6-ranked wrestler in the state, versus Stroudsburg’s Cameron Enriquez, No. 3 in the state, according to PA Power Wrestling. The winner of that match will square off against No. 1-ranked Kurtis Phipps, of Norwin, in the quarterfinals. Phipps was a runner-up a year ago. It isn’t any easier in the bottom half with Mifflin County’s Christian Fisher and Nazareth’s Sean Pierson on a collision course for a huge quarterfinal match. Fisher is a two-time state placer, with Pierson, ranked second in the state, placing third and fourth the last two years. Don’t sleep on Manheim Central’s Will Betancourt, who is ranked fifth in the state and sits in the bottom half of the bracket.


138 Pounds

It isn’t often that a state champion is beat during the regional weekend and doesn’t come into the PIAA Championships as the favorite. McDowell’s Jeffrey Boyd dropped his regional final to Dubois’ Ed Scott, a state qualifier a year ago and third-place finisher in 2017. These two are separated in a 20-man bracket that features four state placers, six more state qualifiers, and two-time Georgia state champion DeShawn Farber. He is stuck in the top half with Souderton’s Tyler Williams, as well as Hempfield Area’s Ty Linsenbigler and Lower Dauphin’s T.T. Elhajj. The bottom half is no cake walk with Northampton’s Devon Britton and Penn Trafford’s Nick Coy — they are ranked sixth and third in the state — on course for a quarterfinal meeting. That is if Coy can get by Spring-Ford state qualifier Jack McGill in the first round.


160 Pounds

It isn’t often that you have a returning state placer positioned in the pig-tail round of the tournament. This year’s 160-pound bracket has three wrestlers who stood on the podium a year ago and will be on the mat early in Class 3A competition. Two of them, North Penn’s Patrick O’Neill, seventh a year ago, will face South Western’s Ethan Baney, who placed eighth a year ago. The winner gets Kiski Area’s Jack Blumer, a returning state qualifier who is ranked No. 3 in the state, in the quarterfinal round. The top half is also loaded with Lower Dauphin’s Clayton Ulrey, the No. 1 wrestler in the state and fifth-place finisher a year ago, on top. He will likely get returning state qualifier Evan Mortimer, of Boyertown, in the first round before a possible quarterfinal against Juniata’s Tyler Wileman, a fourth-place finisher a year ago. Throw in accomplished wrestlers John Crawford, Ty McGeary, Connor Quinn, Dylan Reimert, and Luca Frinzi, and you have a stacked class that is a must-see.


Class 2A


120 Pounds

First and foremost, Notre Dame-Green Pond’s Ryan Crookham is ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 2 in the country as a freshman. He is in the finals favorite in the top half and is expected to hit Reynolds’ Beau Bayless, a former state champion and three-time state placer, in the championship match. But, nothing is guaranteed, especially with Crookham having to get by Burrell’s Ian Oswalt, a third-place finisher a year ago. That is if Oswalt gets by Biglerville’s Blake Showers, who is ranked seventh in the state and placed seventh a year ago. For Bayless to even get a shot at his ultimate goal, he will have to get by Bishop McDevitt’s Nate Smith in the quarters and St. Joseph’s Catholic star Amonn Ohl. Smith is a two-time state placer, with Ohl placing sixth a year ago. Boiling Springs’ Caydin Wickard, a two-time California state qualifier, is also in the bottom half of the bracket and could be a tough out.


145 Pounds

We got a taste of this tough class a week ago in the Southeast-AA Regional last weekend at Wilson High School. Pequea Valley’s Gabe Miller, a two-time state placer downed last year’s 145-pound champion Nathan Haubert, of Palisades. Miller then went on to beat No. 3-ranked Andrew Cerniglia, of Notre Dame-Green Pond, who placed fourth on the podium two years ago. The regional victory put Miller in the bottom half of the bracket and away from a stacked top half that includes Cerniglia, Haubert, and St. Joseph’s Academy standout Caleb Dowling, who is a two-time state placer who finished second at 138 a year ago. Throw in Berlin Brothersvalley’s Tristan Pugh, Burgettstown’s Shane Kemper, and Northwestern’s Caiden Mooney, and you have enough star power and depth to put fans on the edge of their seats.


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