Luke Werner’s 2017 trip to Hershey for the PIAA wrestling tournament can be simply defined as a fun experience.
It was the greatest run he’s ever had at the Giant Center and it culminated with a silver medal performance, following a 13-3 defeat to Northampton’s Julian Chlebove during Saturday night’s 120-pound 3A championship.
It marked the third time in as many weeks that Werner lost to Chlebove in a finals situation, dropping both the district and regional titles to the Northampton sophomore.
Bethlehem Catholic’s Mikey Labriola and Northampton’s Julian Chlebove both continued their treks to a second straight state championship Thursday night during the opening round of the PIAA 3A wrestling tournament.
Labriola won his opening bout by fall over Britain Shields of Big Spring with a fall in :34 seconds.
Labriola is one of four Hawks heading to Friday’s quarterfinals, as Ryan Anderson (126), Jarred Papcsy (132) and Niko Camacho (HWT) look to move through the bracket.
Ryan Zeiner paced back and forth in the hallways of Memorial Gymnasium Saturday night after winning the 152-pound Northeast Regional title over Scranton’s Jacob Burgette 5-4.
A bystander walked by and offered, “Congrats champ.”
The word champion is something Zeiner always wanted for himself, but one that was never guaranteed. After leaving districts a year ago without placing, Zeiner is now heading to Hershey, as a regional champion.
With one week left in the wrestling season, Freedom senior Evan Callahan isn’t going to let anything stop him from competing in the PIAA championships this week in Hershey.
Callahan also didn’t let a tweaked knee cost him an opportunity at his first Northeast Regional championship, following a 6-3 decision over Parkland’s Nate Feyrer in Saturday’s 220-pound championship.
His title capped off the evening for the Patriots, as they advanced two wrestlers to this week’s state tournament at the Giant Center.
Luke Werner knows he’s had a tough road in the wrestling postseason. Nestled in the 120-pound bracket, Werner has had Northampton’s defending state champion Julian Chlebove in his weight class throughout this postseason.
With a talent like Chlebove in his bracket, the task was always going to be difficult, but Werner has kept battling over the past two weeks despite losing to Chlebove in both the District 11 and Northeast Regional finals.
Mikey Labriola became a four-time District 11 champion Saturday night at Liberty’s Memorial Gymnasium, but it wasn’t the joyous moment you would expect.
When you’ve won a district title in every season you’ve competed, perhaps the feat becomes expected, if not, monotonous.
Labriola is the overwhelming favorite to win the 170-pound 3A state championship this year and on paper, defeated Northampton’s Cade Moisey by a 15-8 decision during Saturday’s finals, but a seven-point victory isn’t what Labriola is all about.
If there ever was a feel good story winner from Saturday’s District 11 3A wrestling tournament, Liberty’s Carlo Perugini would have ran away with it.
Perugini entered the season as much of an unknown, coming out for the team for the first time since his freshman year after dealing with three ACL tears during his high school career.
There was nothing but pure joy exuding from Thomas Bonilla Saturday night at Liberty’s Memorial Gymnasium.
The Freedom senior made a lot of people happy and the ones closest to him proud after winning his first district championship following an 8-1 decision over Bethlehem Catholic’s Ryan Zeiner in the 152-pound title bout.
It was the beginning of a wonderful night for Freedom wrestling, as fellow senior teammate Evan Callahan won his second straight district title at 220, knocking off Parkland’s Nate Feyrer 3-2.
The next phase of the wrestling postseason kicks off this Friday at Liberty’s Memorial Gymnasium, as the District 11 3A tournament begins the road to Hershey for many local athletes.
Liberty head coach Jody Karam is looking for another productive tournament from his team, as Karam hopes the work they’ve put in throughout the dual meet season will pay off.
“I believe advancing six or seven wrestlers isn’t a long shot for us,” said Karam. “I think 195 is the dark horse for advancing. If we could finish in the top five in team score, that would be awesome.”