Glendale's Tucker Weakland has been a relative unknown wrestler in his high school career, but the senior certainly made his name known on the first day of the District 6 Class AA Tournament at the Altoona Fieldhouse.
Weakland, the seventh seed at 285, pulled off an upset, knocking off United's second-seeded Ben Mountain, 4-2, in the quarterfinals.
"I feel pretty good. I'm just a little tired," Weakland said. "I just go out and wrestle. I don't care what his weight is or what his record is."
Photo for the Mirror by Tami Ogline Knopsnyder
Glendale’s Tucker Weakland tries to escape from United’s Ben Mountain on Friday.
"Tucker has been just absolutely on fire for about three weeks now," Glendale coach Matt Lobb said. "He's built up momentum, and he's peaking at the right time coming into districts."
What makes the win even more remarkable is Weakland has been mostly blind since he was four months old. He can see shadows, shapes and some colors, but that's it.
He could use the option of his opponents staying in contact with him at all times, but he gave that up early in his freshman year at the junior high level. Now, he's just like any other heavyweight. In the third period, Mountain was going at him hard, but Weakland was athletic enough to not get taken down.
"I'm just used to it," Weakland said, "because we don't do it in practice."
"He could do the touch rule with kids that are blind," Lobb said, "but he doesn't like to do it. He doesn't feel he has to. I wrestle with him in the room, and he's a little bit bigger than me, but I can't take him down anymore. I've been more sore the last couple weeks than I have been for awhile."
Weakland is a win away, either in the semifinals, where he'll face Claysburg-Kimmel's Titus Feathers, or in the consolations, from qualifying for the Southwest Regional.
"I'm just going to fight, and win, lose or draw, I'm going to be happy," Weakland said. "I'm going to try to get to regionals and place at regionals."
"Tough match with Feathers," Lobb said. "When we lost to him earlier in the year, he just kind of bull-rushed us and caught us offguard. Tucker is a different wrestler than he was at the beginning of the year, so we'll see where we go from there."
Weakland wasn't the only area wrestler to knock off a second seed. Portage's 10th-seeded Chase Fox beat West Branch's J.P. Hayles, 5-2, in the 132-pound quarters. Fox will face Southern Huntingdon's third-seeded Brennon Shields in the semifinals.
In all, 29 area wrestlers advanced to the semifinals. Claysburg-Kimmel will have a six-man contingent in the semis consisting of Josh Brown (106), Nathan Sell (113), James Dodson (132), Ty Dively (138), Tyler Ickes (170) and Feathers (285).
"I'm glad for those guys," C-K coach Dave Marko said. "As far as the big scheme of things, I wish we had done better here in the wrestlebacks. We lost a couple matches that, quite frankly, I thought we could or should win. We'll take the guys that made it to tomorrow and we'll try to keep advancing each match."
Cambria Heights has five in the semis in Ryan Dupas (113), Joe Davis (120), Brad Thomas (1260), Ross Inzana (170) and Jake Beach (195). Thomas, a sixth seed, knocked off Southern Huntingdon's third-seeded Dison Myers, 4-2, in the quarters.
The semifinalists helped the Highlanders hold the lead for most of the day, but Mount Union overtook them at the top by 7.5 points, 99.5-92. C-K is third with 92 points.
"Great first day," Heights coach Mike Eckenrode said. "You can't ask for much better than that. I would have liked to get Tyler Crawford through, but besides that, everybody wrestled real well. But, it's like halftime of a football game.
"I expected [Thomas] to wrestle better than his seed. That Myers kid is tough, and I knew it was going to be a good match. He went out there and did it."
Moshannon Valley advanced four in Tyler Martin (160), Dylan Ludwig (182), James Stodart (195) and Jake Ludwig (220), and Tyrone moved three in Dylan Weston (145), D.J. Wunder (152) and Jared Beckwith (182). Huntingdon also advanced three in Matt Wilson (113), Josh Bafia (152) and Nathan Shope (195).
Bellwood-Antis' Jared Woomer (120) and Trevor Helsley (138), Central Cambria's Ben Rager (126) and Tony Risaliti (160) and Penn Cambria's Nick Szala (138) and Seth McLendon (220) also will wrestle in today semis.
Helsley, a fourth-seed in the rugged 138-pound meatgrinder, earned a big 6-1 win over Juniata's returning district runner-up and state qualifier Brandon Rowles. Helsley scored two takedowns and a reversal to get the win.
"It felt awesome," Helsley said. "Competition makes me do better. I mostly tried to stay on top, taken the takedowns when I got them and not let him control anything."
"That's a huge win for him," B-A coach Ron Wilson said. "He's been wrestling really well the last couple weeks. We hope that carries through to the rest of the tournament."
Helsley wrestled at 145 in the Juniata Valley Tournament last week, and, he said, he considered wrestling at 145 this weekend before choosing 138.
"I thought the kids would be too big, too overpowering," he said, "and once I got to regionals, I felt it would be too hard. I felt better at 138, and I felt like I had more competition there."
Today, Helsley will face C-K's top-seeded Dively, who is on a quest to win his first district title after finishing second the three previous years.
"I'm pumped," Helsley said. "I can't wait to wrestle Dively and get my chance to get in the finals. If I lose, I can't wait to wrestle [Blairsville's Noah] Tarr. That will be a good match."
Notes: Richland's John Rizzo earned his school-record 150th career win by pinning Southern Huntingdon's Harry Fortney in 8 seconds in the preliminaries. Richland fans celebrated with signs and a banner recognizing the win by the two-time state champion. ... Northern Cambria's Nolan Paronish outlasted Ligonier Valley's Daniel Croyle, 19-17, in the prelims. ... Wrestling resumes today at 10:30 a.m. with consolation quarterfinals. The semis are at noon.
KEY, TEAM STANDINGS
1. MU-Mount Union 99.5; 2. CH-Cambria Heights 92; 3. CK-Claysburg-Kimmel 83; 4. WB-West Branch 73; 5. B-Blairsville 66.5; 6. H-Huntingdon 65.5; 7. MV-Moshannon Valley 64; 8. R-Richland 59; 9. J-Juniata 57; 10. FH-Forest Hills 56.5; 11. CC-Central Cambria 55; 12. PV-Penns Valley 52; 13. T-Tyrone 51.5; 14. BA-Bellwood-Antis 49; 15. LV-Ligonier Valley 45; 16. U-United 42; 17. G-Glendale 37; 18. PC-Penn Cambria 35; 19. C-Central 31; 20. MC-Marion Center and P-Portage 25; 22. SH-Southern Huntingdon 20; 23. NC-Northern Cambria 19; 24. JV-Juniata Valley 8.
113-Rojas, G, pinned Gates, PC, 2:34; 120-Brown, LV, pinned Willey, C, 4:58; 126-McKool, R, pinned Hypes, 4:59; Albright, C, pinned Co. Confer, PV, :45; McCloskey, T, maj. dec. Ingalls, U, 14-0; Eckenrode, PC, pinned Wagner, JV, 5:06; 132-Gaston, NC, dec. Makin, CC, 4-1; Hommer, G, pinned Niebauer, CH, 2:29; Palmer, B, pinned Singer, JV, 1:08; 138-Zabinski, CH, pinned B. Husar, P, 1:59; Kline, CC, pinned Butterworth, MC, :44; Bopp, FH, pinned Martz, G, 3:20; Bishop, H, pinned Henry, R, 2:31; 145-Li, R, pinned Wyland, PC, 5:05; Nelson, P, won by forfeit over Gates, G; Yahner, CH, pinned DeArment, SH, 1:56; Miller, CK, pinned Karlinsey, CC, 3:28; 152-Hollern, CH, pinned Fletcher, G, 1:16; Stahl, U, pinned Talbot, SH, 2:27; Astore, BA, pinned Bilonick, CC, 3:40; Hershey, J, pinned Krumenacker, NC, 5:22; 170-Knisely, BA, pinned Harkleroad, SH, 1:48; Slebodnick, CC, pinned Fisher, JV, 3:41; Swoope, MV, pinned Wagner, 1:54; Ponder, C, pinned Withrow, LV, 1:53; 195-Pentland, G, pinned Ewing, SH, 3:47.
106-Ju. Patrick, LV, pinned Walters, J, 1:02; K. Burket, C, pinned Sacolic, G, 4:58; Sankey, WB, pinned Henry, B, 2:39; Moist, MU, pinned K. Confer, PV, 1:31; Brown, CK, pinned Dubbs, H, :54; George, R, maj. dec. Snyder, T, 12-0; Fink, BA, pinned Bryan, MV, 1:34; T. Law, FH, tech. fall Dautlick, CH, 16-1, 4:23; 113-Jo. Patrick, LV, pinned Rojas, G, :36; Taylor, CC, dec. Pecze, B, 3-0; Sell, CK, pinned Keiper, FH, 5:06; Albright, WB, maj. dec. Rouser, R, 9-0; Harris, J, pinned Clancy, MV, 2:55; Wilson, H, maj. dec. Lutz, P, 12-2; Foor, MU, dec. Stewart, MC, 12-8; Dupas, CH, pinned Tomallo, NC, 2:20; 120-Davis, CH, pinned Brown, LV, :27; Claar, CK, dec. White, J, 7-5; Schopp, T, pinned Whitsel, SH, 3:48; Knable, MU, pinned J. Confer, PV, 3:34; Woomer, BA, pinned Lowther, U, 1:08; Green, H, dec. Hipple, B, 10-9; Bloom, MV, dec. Long, CC, 6-4; Fisch, WB, pinned Rhone-Hatch, PC, :52; 126-Rager, CC, pinned McKool, R, :09; Russell, H, dec. D. Beitz, J, 6-2; Heberling, MC, pinned Cavender, B, 5:11; Bumbarger, WB, dec. Albright, C, 5-3; Myers, SH, maj. dec. McCloskey, T, 11-3; Thomas, CH, tech. fall A. Ohler, MV, 16-1, 4:00; Paronish, NC, dec. Croyle, LV, 19-17; Wilson, MU, tech. fall Eckenrode, PC, 17-1, 5:20.; 132-Dodson, CK, pinned Gaston, NC, :26; Lynn, H, dec. Mock, C, 9-2; Naglic, R, maj. dec. McNitt, PV, 15-1; Corle, FH, pinned Fudalski, MV, 1:52; Shields, SH, pinned Hommer, G, :42; Long, MU, pinned Smith, LV, 2:08; Fox, P, dec. Nanna, J, 4-0; Hayles, WB, pinned Palmer, B, 5:50; 138-Dively, CK, pinned Zabinski, CH, 1:45; Yahner, NC, maj. dec. Mack, U, 16-6; Rowles, J, pinned Quick, 1:40; Helsley, BA, pinned Kline, CC, 1:08; Tarr, B, pinned Bopp, FH, 1:21; Brown, PV, pinned Morgan, SH, 1:48; Aurand, MU, pinned S. Ohler, MV, 5:09; Szala, PC, pinned Bishop, H, 2:22; 145-Brydon, FH, pinned Li, R, 1:25; Croyle, LV, maj. dec. Mowery, B, 10-0; Torsell, BA, dec. B. Burket, C, 7-2; Decker, PV, pinned Gates, G, :57; Weston, T, pinned Yahner, CH, 5:02; O. Peters, H, pinned Sneath, JV, 3:37; Brown, NC, dec. Tress, MU, 11-6; Z. Beitz, J, pinned Miller, CK, 1:49.
152-Doak, B, tech. fall Hollern, CH, 16-0, 2:38; Devan, R, pinned P. Husar, P, 2:49; Crook, MC, dec. Co. Confer, PV, 8-5; L. Slippey, WB, dec. Stahl, U, 9-4; Wunder, T, pinned Astore, BA, 2:35; Smith, MU, dec. Dipko, MV, 8-1; Stoy, PC, dec. Weyant, CK, 6-2; Bafia, H, pinned Hershey, J, 3:14; 160-C. Law, FH, pinned Treaster, J, :20; Romano, H, pinned Watters, P, 3:37; Knisely, C, pinned Waksmunski, CH, 1:59; Martin, MV, pinned Denny, BA, 1:37; Kylor, MU, pinned Holley, MC, 1:17; Kristofits, WB, pinned Getz, T, 4:41; Pecora, R, pinned Waite, SH, 5:25; Risaliti, CC, pinned Silks, PV, :31; 170-Inzana, CH, pinned Knisely, BA, :17; Miles, WB, dec. Sutton, G, 16-11; Pinkas, FH, pinned Rhodes, MU, 3:12; Ickes, CK, pinned Slebodnick, CC, 1:10; Mat. Swartz, PV, pinned Swoope, MV, 1:43; B. Thompson, B, pinned Rupert, H, :15; Merriman, R, pinned Wisen, P, 3:46; Blankenship, U, pinned Ponder, C, :47; 182-Hropovich, U, pinned Lauer, H, 2:31; Crawford, CH, pinned Jenkins, BA, :45; Kyle, MU, pinned Frontino, NC, 1:58; D. Ludwig, MV, pinned Pearce, WB, 1:14; Rogers, PV, dec. Oswald, SH, 4-2 OT; Schlosser, PC, dec. Knisely, CK, 5-0; Beckwith, T, pinned Michuk, FH, 1:10; 195-Stodart, MV, pinned Pentland, G, :23; Oliver, U, pinned Stapleton, MU, 5:15; Tripodis, B, pinned Peters, LV, 4:24; English, WB, pinned Musselman, CK, :13; Shope, H, tech. fall Wilkinson, PC, 17-2, 4:00; Mav. Swartz, PV, pinned Snopko, R, 2:20; Shawley, BA, pinned Rudd, MC, 1:34; Beach, CH, dec. Snyder, CC, 7-2; 220-Rizzo, R, pinned Fortney, SH, :08; Strong, P, dec. Layden, LV, 6-4; House, MU, pinned Wholaver, H, 1:09; Maines, WB, pinned Burkett, CK, :44; McLendon, PC, dec. Carlheim, G, 9-2; Fitzgerald, J, pinned Zearing, CC, :58; Gill, CH, pinned White, B, 2:55; J. Ludwig, MV, maj. dec. Mundt, PV, 13-3; 285-Powell, J, pinned Herrington, SH, :59; Maskrey, B, pinned Kocik, H, 2:34; Selepack, WB, pinned Moose, R, 2:44; Smith, MU, pinned Novella, CH, 2:55; Feathers, CK, pinned Marra, FH, 2:21; Sokira, CC, pinned Culp, JV, 1:02; Weakland, G, pinned Reader, T, 3:44; Mountain, U, pinned Engle, PV, :58.
First Round Consolations
113-Gates, G, dec. Tomallo, NC, 14-10; 120-Rhone-Hatch, PC, pinned Willey, C, 2:59; 126-Eckenrode, PC, dec. Hypes, CK, 5-0; McCloskey, T, tech. fall K. Confer, PV, 17-0, 2:33; Albright, C, pinned Ingalls, U, 1:24; Wagner, JV, pinned McKool, R, 4:11; 132-Palmer, B, pinned Makin, CC, 1:27; Fudalski, MV, maj. dec. Niebauer, CH, 14-1; Gaston, NC, pinned Singer, JV, 3:24; 138-B. Husar, P, dec. Bishop, H, 14-7; Bopp, FH, pinned Butterworth, MC, :14; Kline, CC, pinned Martz, G, 2:02; Zabinski, CH, maj. dec. Henry, R, 13-0; 152-Hershey, J, pinned Fletcher, G, 4:59; Astore, BA, dec. Talbot, SH, 5-2; Stahl, U, pinned Bilonick, CC, 3:44; Hollern, CH, pinned Krumenacker, NC, 1:41; 170-Ponder, C, pinned Harkleroad, SH, 2:01; Swoope, MV, pinned Fisher, JV, 2:17; Slebodnick, CC, dec. Wagner, T, 9-7; Withrow, LV, maj. dec. Knisely, BA, 14-4; 195-Snyder, CC, pinned Ewing, SH, :39.
106-Ju. Patrick, LV, maj. dec. K. Burket, C, 13-1; Moist, MU, maj. dec. Sankey, WB, 9-1; Brown, CK, maj. dec. George, R, 11-3; T. Law, FH, pinned Fink, BA, 3:38; 113-Jo. Patrick, LV, pinned Taylor, CC, 2:24; Sell, CK, dec. Albright, WB, 6-2; Wilson, H, dec. Harris, J, 5-4; Dupas, CH, pinned Foor, MU, 1:51; 120-Davis, CH, tech. fall Claar, CK, 15-0, 5:49; Knable, MU, dec. Schopp, T, 4-1; Woomer, BA, pinned Green, H, 1:01; Fisch, WB, won by injury default over Bloom, MV, 1:07; 126-Rager, CC, pinned Russell, H, 3:14; Heberling, MC, dec. Bumbarger, WB, 7-3; Thomas, CH, dec. Myers, SH, 4-2; Wilson, MU, maj. dec. Paronish, NC, 13-5; 132-Dodson, CK, pinned Lynn, H, 2:45; Naglic, R, pinned Corle, FH, 6:51 OT; Shields, SH, dec. Long, MU, 3-1; Fox, P, dec. Hayles, WB, 5-2; 138-Dively, CK, pinned Yahner, NC, 1:04; Helsley, BA, dec. Rowles, J, 6-1; Tarr, B, pinned Brown, PV, 4:23; Szala, PC, pinned Aurand, MU, 2:34; 145-Brydon, FH, pinned Croyle, LV, 2:33; Decker, PV, maj. dec. Torsell, BA, 14-3; Weston, T, maj. dec. O. Peters, H, 9-0; Z. Beitz, J, pinned Brown, NC, :13.
152-Doak, B, tech. fall Devan, R, 18-3, 5:05; Crook, MC, dec. L. Slippey, WB, 4-3; Wunder, T, maj. dec. Smith, 10-0; Bafia, H, dec. Stoy, PC, 3-2; 160-C. Law, FH, pinned Romano, H, 2:44; Martin, MV, dec. Knisely, C, 10-5; Kristofits, WB, maj. dec. Kylor, MU, 8-0; Risaliti, CC, pinned Pecora, R, 3:28; 170-Inzana, CH, pinned Miles, WB, 3:40; Ickes, CK, dec. Pinkas, FH, 3-2; Mat. Swartz, PV, pinned B. Thompson, B, 4:39; Blankenship, U, pinned Merriman, R, 2:36; 182-S. Thompson, B, tech. fall Hropovich, U, 19-3, 2:48; Kyle, MU, pinned Crawford, CH, 1:41; D. Ludwig, MV, dec. Rogers, PV, 9-3; Beckwith, T, dec. Schlosser, PC, 4-0; 195-Stodart, MV, pinned Oliver, U, 2:27; English, WB, pinned Tripodis, B, 2:58; Shope, H, pinned Mav. Swartz, PV, 3:53; Beach, CH, pinned Shawley, BA, 2:48; 220-Rizzo, R, pinned Strong, P, :28; House, MU, dec. Maines, WB, 2-1 OT TB2; McLendon, PC, dec. Fitzgerald, J, 3-2 OT TB3; J. Ludwig, MV, pinned Gill, CH, 5:59; 285-Powell, J, pinned Maskrey, B, :40; Smith, MU, pinned Selepack, WB, 2:53; Feathers, CK, pinned Sokira, CC, 1:57; Weakland, G, dec. Mountain, U, 4-2.
Second Round Consolations
106-Sacolic, G, pinned Walters, J, 2:00; K. Confer, PV, pinned Henry, B, 2:42; Snyder, T, dec. Dubbs, H, 7-4; Bryan, MV, pinned Dautlick, CH, 4:16; 113-Stewart, MC, pinned Gates, PC, :53; Lutz, P, pinned Clancy, MV, 2:11; Rouser, R, dec. Keiper, FH, 6-0; Pecze, B, pinned Rojas, G, 3:28; 120-Long, CC, pinned Rhone-Hatch, PC, :22; Lowther, U, pinned Hipple, B, 4:37; J. Confer, PV, pinned Whitsel, SH, 3:22; White, J, pinned Brown, LV, 1:40; 126-Croyle, LV, pinned Eckenrode, PC, 4:02; McCloskey, T, pinned A. Ohler, MV, 2:45; Albright, C, dec. Cavender, B, 8-3; D. Beitz, J, maj. dec. Wagner, JV, 11-3; 132-Nanna, J, dec. Palmer, B, 8-4; Hommer, G, pinned Smith, LV, 4:39; McNitt, PV, pinned Fudalski, MV, 4:21; Mock, C, pinned Gaston, NC, 1:23; 138-S. Ohler, MV, pinned B. Husar, P, 2:37; Bopp, FH, pinned Morgan, SH, 2:45; Quick, WB, dec. Kline, CC, 13-11; Mack, U, pinned Zabinski, CH, 2:05; 145-Tress, MU, pinned Miller, CK, 2:57; Sneath, JV, dec. Yahner, CH, 5-1; Burket, C, pinned Gates, G, 2:50; Mowery, B, pinned Li, 2:59.
152-Hershey, J, dec. Weyant, CK, 7-4; Astore, BA, maj. dec. Dipko, MV, 11-3; Co. Confer, PV, dec. Stahl, U, 9-8; P. Husar, P, pinned Hollern, CH, :37; 160-Watters, P, pinned Treaster, J, 1:52; Waksmunski, CH, pinned Denny, BA, 4:05; Holley, MC, dec. Getz. T, 3-2 OT; Waite, SH, dec. Silks, PV, 4-3; 170-Wisen, P, dec. Ponder, C, 8-2; Swoope, MV, pinned Rupert, H, 2:43; Rhodes, MU, pinned Slebodnick, CC, 1:44; Sutton, G, pinned Withrow, LV, :35; 182-Frontino, NC, dec. Jenkins, BA, 6-1; Oswald, SH, pinned Pearce, WB, 2:11; Knisely, CK, pinned Michuk, FH, 4:57; 195-Snyder, CC, pinned Rudd, MC, 1:57; Snopko, R, pinned Wilkinson, PC, 3:47; Peters, LV, pinned Musselman, CK, :14; Stapleton, MU, pinned Pentland, G, :45; 220-Laydon, LV, pinned Fortney, SH, 3:57; Wholaver, H, pinned Burkett, CK, 1:34; Zearing, CC, dec. Carlheim, G, 5-1; White, B, maj. dec. Mundt, PV, 12-3; 285-Kocik, H, pinned Herrington, SH, :20; Novella, CH, dec. Moose, R, 3-1; Culp, JV, pinned Marra, FH, 1:38; Reader, T, pinned Engle, PV, 1:23.