JOHNSTOWN - Claysburg-Kimmel teammates James Dodson and Ty Dively have been playfully smacktalking for most of the season about career wins.
They've only been separated by a win or two the whole season, and they both entered the Southwest Regional Class AA Tournament with 138 wins.
They both added to that total, and will continue to do so at the PIAA Championships, which begin Thursday in Hershey, by winning regional titles Saturday night at the Cambria County War Memorial.
Photo for the Mirror by Tami Ogline Knopsnyder
Claysburg’s James Dodson (top) beats Southern Huntingdon’s Brennon Shields at 132.
Dodson - the last area wrestler to hold an undefeated record - breezed to the 132-pound title, beating Southern Huntingdon's Brennon Shields, 9-0, in the finals, and Dively followed with a hard-earned 2-1 victory over Blairsville's Noah Tarr in the rock-solid 138-pound weight class.
"I'm very happy," Dodson said. "I've been putting in a lot of hard work, and I'm just letting it pay off and doing my best every time I step on the mat. I'm trying to get to the podium [at states] this year. I've wanted it for as long as I can remember."
"After finishing fourth [at districts], it feels good to come in here and get first," Dively said. "It gave me something to work with the last two weeks. I was always the guy on top, and I really didn't have anything to motivate me that much. I worked a little bit harder in practice, and I showed that I could actually do it."
For the record, Dively holds the edge over Dodson in career wins, 142-141, by virtue of wrestling one more bout in the tournament, and he broke the school record for wins first with his finals victory, passing Jarrett Musselman (141-9), who set the mark in 2002.
"He had a bye in the first round, and he was picking on me about it," Dodson said, "because he knew he was going to break the school record , and I was only going to tie it if I won and he won. But, I'm just glad where we're at now."
"Those guys are very aware of the historical significance of what they're doing together right now," C-K coach Dave Marko said. "They're very aware of how many matches they're going to get. It's fueled them both to become better."
Teammate Josh Brown wasn't as fortunate in the 103-pound finals, dropping an 8-2 decision to Ligonier Valley's Justin Patrick in a rematch of the District 6 finals.
The trio helped C-K to capture the regional team title by 6.5 points, 77-70.5, over Burrell. It was the Bulldogs' first regional team title since 2000 and third overall. Afterward, the grinning Bulldogs posed for parents and fans with the plaque on the center mat.
"That feels really good," Dively said. "A few of us worked our butts off all year, and I'm glad it showed off at the end. We're glad to take that back home to Claysburg."
"I felt we were peaking as a team coming in." Marko said. "It's a good accomplishment, especially overcoming the fact we only get four qualifiers out of our district. I'm real proud of these guys. I always tell these guys you win as a team and you lose as a team. For these six guys to do this, they couldn't have done it without the other guys on the team too."
The wins by Dodson and Dively were the only area titles won by area wrestlers. In addition to Brown, Bedford's Ryan Easter (113), Bellwood-Antis' Jared Woomer (120) and Central Cambria's Tony Risaliti (160) lost in the finals.
Risaliti dropped a 5-4 decision to Forest Hills' Cody Law in their fourth meeting (Law holds a 3-1 advantage). Easter and Woomer ran into returning state champs. Kittanning's Jason Nolf beat Easter, 8-0, and North Star's two-time state champ Nick Roberts racked up a 15-0 technical fall in 3:25 over Woomer.
Easter was losing 5-0 when he was nearly choked out with what Bedford coach Brian Creps called a snapper. Nolf then used a rare leg cradle to score three nearfall points late in the bout.
"When you get a headlock like that, you eventually lose a little bit of blood to your head," Creps said. "Ryan really wrestled him pretty tough."
"I was sort of seeing stars for a little bit," Easter said. "He was cutting off circulation and his right foot was going into my solar plexus."
Sixteen area wrestlers finished in the top five to qualify for the state tournament. Penn Cambria's Nick Szala, who was beaten by Dively, 4-1, in the semifinals, finished third, as did Moshannon Valley's James Stodart (195) and Northern Bedford's Quinton Hixson (285). Hixson's 12-3 win over Valley's Kyre Strickland avenged his only regional tournament loss and gave him 100 for his career, which NBC fans celebrated with signs.
"They told me about the signs," Hixson said smiling. "They just made them today."
Stodart, who suffered his first loss Friday, roared back through the consolation with four wins, including three on Saturday by major decision, pin and 6-3 decision over Mapletown's Kyle Gray in the third-place finals.
Central Cambria's Ben Rager (126) earned his 100th career win by beating Bentworth's Vince Vahaly, 3-0, in the consolation semis, but he finished fourth. Tyrone has a couple qualifiers in fourth-placers Dylan Weston (145) and Jared Beckwith (182). Bedford's Jacob Krupa (220) and Chestnut Ridge's Tyler Dibert (170) also finished fourth.
Mo Valley's Dylan Ludwig (182) placed fifth, as did Ridge's Shane Pfaunmiller (126), whose pin of Vahaly with 13 seconds left in a bout he was losing until late in the bout sent the Lion fans into a frenzied celebration.
Northern Bedford's Damian Corle (132), B-A's Trevor Helsley (138), Ridge's Bradie Bollman (160), Cambria Heights' Ross Inzana (170), Huntingdon's Nathan Shope (195) and Mo Valley's Jake Ludwig (220) placed sixth - a place short of qualifying for states.
Dodson (37-0), a regional finalist last year, reached the finals with a 10-3 win over Corle before taking on Shields in a rematch of the district finals.
Shields knocked off two district champs to get to the finals, including a pin Charleroi's Josh Kwasny in the semis, but Dodson was too much for him in the finals, building on a 2-0 lead in the second period with a reversal and three nearfall points for a 7-0 lead. Dodson added a takedown in the third and his customary tough riding for a major decision.
"I don't care what the score said. That was a pretty tough match physically," Dodson said. "He's a tough kid. [In the second], he stood up, and I still had the cross-face, and I was very happy about that. I went into a standing tilt, and turned the whole way around for me, and I ended up sticking him on his back. That was pretty exciting."
"James looked terribly dominant," Marko said. "He's wrestled that kid three times this year, and he's beaten him worse and worse each time."
Dively countered a Tarr shot in the first period with a cutback for a takedown. That was huge because Dively was called for stalling for the second with 17 second left in the second to make it 2-1. Dively rode Tarr the entire third and avoided anymore stalling calls to win. There were hugs and smiles afterward.
"Ty, for everything he went through a couple weeks ago, he worked hard, got motivated, worked on some things he needed to work on and he wrestled a great match," Marko said. "I have no idea how he got called for stalling in the two situations that he did, but he was able to overcome the two cautions and still won the match."
Southwest AA Regional
Team Key: Avella (A), Avonworth (AVON), Beaver Area (BEA), Bedford (BED), Bellwood-Antis (BA), Bentworth (BENT), Berlin-Brothersvalley (BB), Beth-Center (BC), Blackhawk (BLACK), Blairsville (B), Burgettstown (BURG), Burrell (BURR), Cambria Heights (CH), Carlynton (CAR), Central Cambria (CC), Central Valley (CV), Charleroi (CHAR), Chartiers-Houston (CHART), Chestnut Ridge (CR), Claysburg-Kimmel (CK), Conemaugh Township (CT), Derry (D), Elderton (EL), Everett (E), Forest Hills (FH), Fort Cherry (FC), Freedom (F), Glendale (G), Highlands (HIGH), Huntingdon (H), Hyndman (HY), Jeannette (JE), Jefferson Morgan (JM), Juniata (J), Keystone Oaks (KO), Kittanning (K), Laurel (L), Ligonier Valley (LV), Mapletown (MAP), Marion Center (MC), Meyersdale (MEY), Moshannon Valley (MV), Mount Pleasant (MP), Mount Union (MU), Northern Bedford (NB), North Star (NS), Penn Cambria (PC), Penns Valley (PV), Portage (P), Richland (R), Shade (SHA), Shady Side Academy (SSA), Somerset (S), South Alleghney (SA), South Fayette (SF), Southern Huntingdon (SH), Southmoreland (SOUTH), South Park (SP), South Side Beaver (SSB), Steel Valley (SV), Summit Academy (SAC), Tyrone (T), United (U), Valley (V), Washington (W), West Greene (WG), Yough (Y).
Team Results: 1. Claysburg-Kimmel 77; 2. Burrell 70.5; 3. Jefferson-Morgan 62; 4. Chartiers-Houston 61; 5. Blairsville 54; 6. Bedford and Forest Hills 52; 8. Chestnut Ridge 46; 9. South Fayette 45; 10. Fort Cherry and Ligonier Valley 41; 12. Northern Bedford 40.5; 13. Charleroi and Valley 40; 15. Moshannon Valley and Southmoreland 39; 17. Juniata 38; 18. Central Cambria 36; 19. Conemaugh Township 34; 20. Bellwood-Antis 31; 41. Penns Valley and Carlynton 15.
106-Ju. Patrick, LV, dec. Griffiths, SOUTH, 4-3; Brown, CK, dec. McDermitt, BURG, 8-6; 113-Nolf, K, pinned Carr, SF, 3:08; Easter, BED, dec. Jo. Patrick, LV, 2-0; 120-Roberts, NS, pinned Beltz, KO, :40; Woomer, BA, dec. Reckner, SSB, 6-4; 126--Gulibon, DA, tech. fall Pfaunmiller, CR, 16-1, 5:39; Zanetta, KO, dec. Rager, CC, 7-2; 132-Dodson, CK, dec. Corle, NB, 10-3; Shields, SH, pinned Kwasny, CHAR, 3:17; 138-Dively, CK, dec. Szala, PC, 4-1; Tarr, B, dec. Gavazzi, CHAR, 10-3; 145-Beitz, J, maj. dec. Bonzo, F, 13-4; Brydon, FH, dec. Sutton, CHART, 2-0 OT.
152-Berchick, CT, dec. Otten, SHA, 9-4; Doak, B, dec. Walker, SF, 10-4; 160-C. Law, FH, dec. Mizia, BENT, 4-2; Risaliti, CC, pinned Sutton, S, 2:42; 170-Conti, JM, maj. dec. Inzana, CH, 16-6; Blankenship, U, dec. Dibert, CR, 5-3; 182-DesLauriers, BURR, pinned D. Ludwig, MV, 5:19; Fields, V, dec. Stroupe, F, 4-1; 195-Kitta, SOUTH, dec. Cratsenberg, HIGH, 8-6; Temple, A, dec. Gray, MAP, 3-1 OT; 220-Rizzo, R, pinned Krupa, BED, 1:22; Craig, BB, pinned Kumer, FC, 3:17; 285-Garry, FC, dec. McCloud, SAC, 1-0; Grendelis, CHART, dec. Strickland, V, 5-1.
106-McGinnis, CHART, dec. Dewitt, V, 7-5 OT; Howard, JM, dec. Guyer, NB, 5-3; 113-Swarrow, BC, dec. Replogle, NB, 8-4; Demaske, JM, pinned Harris, J, 4:02; 120-Day, MEY, pinned Knable, MU, 2:24; Miller, JM, dec. Davis, CH, 6-1; 126-Toth, CHAR, maj. dec. T. Brett, BED, 13-0; Vahaly, BENT, dec. Wilson, MU, 1-0; 132-Edwards, BURR, maj. dec. Hayles, WB, 12-3; Gentry, SSB, pinned Zalar, JM, 4:12; 138-Helsley, BA, dec. Gartland, NB, 8-3; Marra, BURR, pinned Deist, MEY, 4:25; 145-Weston, T, dec. Cahill, CT, 4-3 OT TB2; G. Fetchet, SF, dec. Wentzel, SP, 7-4.
152-Best, BURR, dec. Darr, S, 7-1; Crook, MC, dec. Bafia, H, 4-2; 160-M. Fetchet, SF, dec. Martin, MV, 5-2; Bollman, CR, maj. dec. Abbott, BURG, 10-0; 170-Vulcano, CHART, dec. Ickes, CK, 3-1; Swartz, PV, pinned Dunbar, MEY, 2:55; 182-Thompson, B, dec. Phillips, JM, 6-2; Beckwith, T, dec. M. Brett, BED, 11-4; 195-Stodart, MV, maj. dec. Albright, CR, 12-2; Shope, H, dec. Drenner, CT, 3-2; 220-J. Ludwig, MV, dec. Givens, SAC, 5-3; Jacobs, WG, dec. Bennett, HY, 3-2; 285-Hixson, NB, dec. Powell, J, 5-1; Sappie, CAR, dec. Buttry, CR, 3-2.
106-Griffiths, SOUTH, dec. McGinnis, CHART, 5-0; McDermitt, BURG, dec. Howard, JM, 7-1; 113-Swarrow, BC, dec. Carr, SF, 4-3; Jo. Patrick, LV, maj. dec. Demaske, JM, 9-1; 120-Day, MEY, dec. Beltz, KO, 6-1; Reckner, SSB, dec. Miller, JM, 4-2; 126-Toth, CHAR, dec. Pfaunmiller, CR, 3-0; Rager, CC, dec. Vahaly, BENT, 3-0; 132-Edwards, BURR, dec. Corle, NB, 6-3; Kwasny, CHAR, dec. Gentry, SSB, 7-5 OT; 138-Szala, PC, pinned Helsley, BA, 4:49; Marra, BURR, dec. Gavazzi, CHAR, 2-0; 145-Weston, T, dec. Bonzo, F, 5-1; Sutton, CHART, won by injury default over G. Fetchet, SF, second period.
152-Otten, SHA, pinned Best, BURR, 3:22; Walker, SF, won by injury default over Crook, MC, 4:31; 160-Mizia, BENT, dec. M. Fetchet, SF, 4-3; Sutton, S, dec. Bollman, CR, 6-4; 170-Vulcano, CHART, pinned Inzana, CH, 4:40; Dibert, CR, dec. Swartz, PV, 8-4; 182-Thompson, B, dec. D. Ludwig, MV, 3-0; Beckwith, T, dec. Stroupe, F, 4-2; 195-Stodart, MV, pinned Cratsenberg, HIGH, 2:11; Gray, MAP, dec. Shope, H, 5-1; 220-Krupa, BED, dec. J. Ludwig, MV, 5-2; Kumer, FC, dec. Jacobs, WG, 9-3; 285-Hixson, NB, dec. McCloud, SAC, 7-5; Strickland, V, dec. Sappie, CAR, 3-2 OT TB3.
106-McGinnis, CHART, dec. Howard, JM, 4-2; 113-Carr, SF, dec. Demaske, JM, 5-2; 120-Miller, JM, dec. Beltz, KO, 7-0; 126-Pfaunmiller, CR, pinned Vahaly, BENT, 4:47; 132-Gentry, SSB, tech. fall Corle, NB, 18-0, 3:26; 138-Gavazzi, CHAR, dec. Helsley, BA, 2-0; 145-Bonzo, F, won by injury default over G. Fetchet, SF.
152-Best, BURR, won by injury default over Crook, MC; 160-M. Fetchet, SF, dec. Bollman, CR, 6-4; 170-Swartz, PV, dec. Inzana, CH, 7-1; 182-D. Ludwig, MV, dec. Stroupe, F, 5-2; 195-Cratsenberg, HIGH, dec. Shope, H, 7-1; 220-Jacobs, WG, dec. J. Ludwig, MV, 8-6; 285-Sappie, CAR, dec. McCloud, SAC, 3-2 OT TB3.
106-Griffiths, SOUTH, dec. McDermitt, BURG, 4-2; 113-Jo. Patrick, LV, pinned Swarrow, BC, 2:59; 120-Reckner, SSB, dec. Day, MEY, 8-2; 126-Toth, CHAR, dec. Rager, CC, 2-0; 132-Kwasny, CHAR, dec. Edwards, BURR, 5-1; 138-Szala, PC, dec. Marra, BURR, 3-1; 145-Sutton, CHART, dec. Weston, T, 3-1 OT.
152-Otten, SHA, pinned Walker, SF, 2:28; 160-Mizia, BENT, maj. dec. Sutton, S, 15-6; 170-Vulcano, CHART, dec. Dibert, CR, 3-2; 182-Thompson, B, dec. Beckwith, T, 7-1; 195-Stodart, MV, dec. Gray, MAP, 6-3; 220-Kumer, FC, dec. Krupa, BED, 3-2; 285-Hixson, NB, maj. dec. Strickland, V, 12-3.
106-Ju. Patrick, LV, dec. Brown, CK, 8-2; 113-Nolf, K, maj. dec. Easter, BED, 8-0; 120-Roberts, NS, tech. fall Woomer, BA, 15-0, 3:25; 126-Gulibon, DA, maj. dec. Zanetta, KO, 11-3; 132-Dodson, CK, maj. dec. Shields, SH, 9-0; 138-Dively, CK, dec. Tarr, B, 2-1; 145-Beitz, J, maj. dec. Brydon, FH, 14-6.
152-Berchick, CT, dec. Doak, B, 3-1; 160-C. Law, FH, dec. Risaliti, CC, 5-4; 170-Conti, JM, dec. Blankenship, U, 2-1 OT TB2; 182-DesLauriers, BURR, pinned Fields, V, 3:35; 195-Kitta, SOUTH, dec. Temple, A, 2-1; 220-Rizzo, R, maj. dec. Craig, BB, 16-6; 285-Garry, FC, dec. Grendelis, CHART, 1-0.