HERSHEY, Pa.: Forest Hills is building something special in its wrestling room. Especially in the lower weight classes.
That was evident during this year’s PIAA Championships at Hershey’s Giant Center. And the leader of the Rangers pack was Jackson Arrington.
The Rangers freshman avenged an early-season loss to Southern Columbia freshman Kole Biscoe thanks to a dominating 10-3 decision to claim the 113-pound state championship Saturday afternoon.
“It’s awesome,” Arrington said of the Rangers wrestling room and his teammates. “Iron sharpens iron.
“I see great things with all the young kids coming up from Ranger Pride and Young Guns, and if champions keep practicing together, that’s how you get good. I see a lot more state champions [in the future]”
The score looks like it was an easy six minutes on the mat for Arrington, but that wasn’t the case. He had to overcome some early adversity.
Biscoe, who beat Arrington on a late five-point move in their last meeting, scored on a takedown 20 seconds into the match to take a 2-0 lead.
You never know how a freshman is going to respond to falling behind on Pennsylvania’s biggest wrestling stage. Especially against a competitor who put them on their back earlier in the season.
Arrington, the No. 3-ranked wrestler in the state, never wilted. He responded with a quick escape and a dump that put Biscoe on his back for a four-point move and 5-2 lead after one period.
“I went for a dump, and he bowled me over,” Arrington said of Biscoe’s takedown. “But, I knew if I stayed calm and stayed focused and kept attacking, I would keep scoring and break him in the match.
“I knew I could get [the dump] if I kept on him, snapping him, and moving my feet. I just had to keep worrying about scoring.”
Biscoe never recovered.
The Tigers ace escaped in the second period, but Arrington was better in neutral and added another takedown to make it 7-3 heading to the final two minutes.
In the third, Arrington reversed off bottom. From there, he just needed to avoid the big move at the end, which he did to preserve the victory.
“I had to keep scoring, staying in good position, and attacking and attacking,” Arrington said. “I had to circle more and stay on my attacks.
“I was aware of [the big move], but I wasn’t afraid of it. So, I had to stay in position and keep attacking … it feels great, it’s hard for me to describe it, right now.”