Beau knows wrestling. And how to knock off previously undefeated PIAA champions.
Wyoming Seminary freshman Beau Bartlett proved both of those things on Saturday, as he capped an incredible day by beating Jefferson-Morgan’s Gavin Teasdale in the 126-pound finals of the POWERade tournament.
“I knew coming in that we’re both just wrestlers,” Bartlett said. “Eventually, I’ll be the big, bad senior. But this is his senior year, and I’m just getting used to it. I know it’s an even playing field.”
Teasdale, a three-time PIAA champion with a career record of 134-0 entering the finals, was looking to become just the seventh four-time POWERade champion. The others are North Allegheny’s Ty Moore, Central Dauphin’s Marshall Peppelman, Franklin Regional’s Nico Megaludis, Derry’s Jimmy Gulibon, Kennard-Dale’s Chance Marsteller and Greater Latrobe’s Luke Pletcher.
As if the victory over Teasdale wasn’t monumental enough, it was preceded by a semifinal victory over another previously unbeaten PIAA champion. North Hills’ Sam Hillegas had won his first 47 matches, including the AAA state title last year.
Not surprisingly, Bartlett won the Outstanding Wrestler Award for what truly was an outstanding tournament.
Bartlett’s match with Teasdale came a year later than many expected. Bartlett was Pennsylvania’s Top Incoming Freshman last season, and was in the bottom half of Teasdale’s 120-pound bracket. But Canon-McMillan’s Logan Macri – who won the 120-pound crown on Saturday night – knocked off Bartlett in the semifinals. That might have been a good thing, according to Bartlett.
“Looking back on it, I’m kind of glad it didn’t happen last year,” he said. “Little freshman Beau, I feel better now.”
‘I’ve Never Felt Like That’
He certainly looked better on Saturday. In the win over Hillegas, he used constant motion – including a series of Granby rolls – leading up to a second-period reversal that accounted for the only points in his 2-0 victory.
Against Teasdale, Bartlett won the match on his feet. He scored in the opening 30 seconds. Teasdale stopped his first shot, but Bartlett bowled him over with a reshot that stunned the large crowd at Canon-McMillan.
“He was fast,” Bartlett said. “He was really fast. I knew if I was standing still … he was catching me off-balance, so I had to start moving, dancing around with him.”
Teasdale escaped quickly and got in on a shot. Initially, Bartlett looked like he was going to be able to cut the corner and lace an ankle for another takedown, but Teasdale fought through it and had Bartlett’s leg above his head, but the sophomore showed great balance and flexibility to avoid the takedown before the first-period buzzer sounded.
Teasdale scored 10 seconds into the period to tie it, and continued to push the pace. But, just like in his Who’s No. 1 loss to Patrick Glory in November, he couldn’t finish. Bartlett came close to cutting the corner again, and Teasdale took an injury timeout after being bent awkwardly.
“I felt great during the match,” Bartlett said. “I’ve actually never felt like that during a match before. I was hydrated. I had energy. It was just great.”
A Tap For Two
Bartlett took neutral in the third period, but it was Teasdale who pressed the action. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t penetrate Bartlett’s defense. Bartlett took advantage of a Teasdale shot, as he used a knee tap to knock Teasdale to his hip, then spun behind him for the go-ahead takedown with 26 seconds remaining.
Bartlett said it’s something he’s been working on in the practice room.
“I didn’t think it was going to work, but I came through and it worked,” he said.
Teasdale, the champion that he is, wasn’t done yet. He escaped and got in on one last attack. He almost took advantage of it, as he was behind Bartlett, who was on his knees, at the buzzer, but Teasdale wasn’t able to catch the right ankle of Bartlett.
“I had nothing to lose going out there,” Bartlett said of the match. “I just wanted to wrestle like I normally would.”
You can watch the match here, if you have a FloWrestling subscription, or on Pennsylvania Cable Network at 8 p.m. Friday.