Altoona Area High School wrestling standout D.J. Hollingshead has always taken to heart a word or two of wisdom from his father, Jim.
"My dad always told me never to let the match up to the referee,'' D.J. Hollingshead said Friday night after becoming the first junior in Altoona High School history to reach the 100-victory plateau.
D.J. Hollingshead became one of six area semifinalists in the Northwest AAA Regional Tournament held at the Altoona Area High School Fieldhouse.
And, like several of the others, he did so with a masterful first-night performance.
Hollingshead logged his 100th career victory in the 152-pound preliminary-round match, logging a 58-second fall over Erie Cathedral Prep's Connor Wurst. He followed that up with a 16-1, 4:41 technical fall over Jersey Shore's Colton Killion in the quarterfinals.
Hollingshead joins Hollidaysburg senior Damian Huff (113 pounds), and four Philipsburg-Osceola wrestlers - sophomore Bryce Bennett (106), senior Chris Thompson (113), sophomore Dakota Weitosh (132), and senior Bub Lumadue (182) - in today's noon semis, in which the winners not only secure a berth in this evening's regional championship matches, but more importantly, qualify for a trip to next weekend's PIAA Class AAA state tournament in Hershey.
"Of course it feels good being in the semis,'' said Hollingshead, who will meet District 8 champion Cameron Jacobson of Allderdice there. "Hopefully, if I wrestle like I have been, I'll make it to the finals and get my first regional title.''
Hollingshead, who qualified for states last year as a sophomore, has certainly benefited from the tutelage of his father, a former wrestler at Bellwood-Antis High School. Hollingshead's Altoona coach, Joel Gilbert, has also no doubt played a role in his success.
"He looked real tough out there tonight, that's for sure,'' Gilbert said of Hollingshead, who sports a 32-2 record this season. "There's only been five Altoona wrestlers ever to win 100 matches in their careers, and D.J. is the first to do it in his junior year. He's worked real hard to get to where he's at. He's real focused, and he wants that regional title this year.''
So does Hollidaysburg's Huff, who coasted to the semifinals at 113. Huff (20-6) opened Friday's action with a 24-9, 5:25 technical fall over St. Marys freshman Cameron Resch before pinning Titusville senior Kaleb Chase in 34 seconds in the quarters. Huff's semifinal opponent will be Meadville junior Aaron Ehrgott.
"I want to breeze through this bracket,'' Huff said. "It's my senior year, and I want that regional title.''
Huff reached states as a sophomore, but finished one match shy of a berth in Hershey last year as a junior, finishing fourth in this regional. He also suffered the same heartbreak three years ago as a freshman.
So Huff is familiar with both the joys of success and the frustrations that can occur with coming up short in the wrestling postseason.
"It was tough finishing one match away from the state tournament in both my freshman and junior years,'' Huff said. "I'm a senior this year, and this is my time.''
Hollidaysburg coach Mike Moore said that Huff is wrestling like it right now, too.
"He's wrestling great,'' Moore said. "When he goes out there and decides that he's going to win matches, he scores a lot of points. He was a little hesitant in the district finals match [a 6-5 win over P-O's Thompson] last week, but we talked about that, and he's coming in here with an aggressive mindset.''
P-O sophomore Weitosh came up with the biggest area first-round upset, when he knocked off Strong Vincent junior John Ciotti, a District 10 champ, 6-4 in overtime in the quarterfinals. The score was tied, 4-4 before Ciotti was slapped with a penalty point for drawing a third caution for improper starting position.
Weitosh, who pinned Allderdice's William Bechem in the prelims, draws District 9 champ Joel Bowers of Punxsutawney in the semis.
"I just wanted to go out there, do my best, keep a good attitude, and never give up tonight,'' Weitosh, 28-10 this season, said. "It feels pretty good to be in the semis, because I wasn't really picked to be there.''
P-O coach Tim McCamley feels that Weitosh earned his semifinal berth, as did his three P-O teammates, Bennett, Thompson, and Lumadue.
"He's a real good sophomore who is tough to score on,'' McCamley said of Weitosh. "He's good from every position on the mat. All of our guys who are in the semifinals are there because they wrestled well tonight.''
At 106, P-O's Bennett reached the semis with a 4-1 win over Cathedral Prep's Brandon Sauers in the quarters. Bennett opened the tournament with a 2:45 win by fall over Brashear's Cory Bevan. Bennett draws Strong Vincent's Carmine Ciotti in the semis.
"Bryce wrestled a little cautiously tonight, but he also wrestled his heart out,'' McCamley said.
At 113, Thompson got a first-round win by forfeit, then logged a 9-0 major decision over Selinsgrove's Bryce Reichenbach in the quarters. Thompson (26-6) draws District 10 champ Joe Wheeling (32-1) in the semis.
"Chris Thompson dominated his kid in the quarterfinals,'' McCamley said.
At 182, Lumadue did the same to his quarterfinal opponent, pinning Central Mountain's Isaac Porter in 74 seconds. Lumadue (28-7) opened the tournament by hitting a 4-point move in overtime for a 7-3 win over Titusville's Dan Stearns.
"At the beginning of the year, I was all tense, but the last couple of weeks, I've calmed down, went out there, and let stuff fly,'' said Lumadue, who draws Cathedral Prep's Mike Hughes (21-9) in the semis.
That style has worked well for Lumadue, according to McCamley.
"Bub came up with a big move tonight,'' McCamley said of Lumadue's quarterfinal pin. "He's a big-move guy. He's a pinner.''
Several area wrestlers are still alive in the tournament and will start today in the consolation quarterfinals, with the hopes of reaching states via a third-place finish in this regional.
They include Altoona's C.J. Manley (106), Brinton Simington (160) and Nate Buckrop (195), Hollidaysburg's Dalton Long (132) and Noah Worley (170), and Philipsburg-Osceola's Caleb Shively (145), Nick Patrick (160), Nick Gray (220) and Logan Day (285).
McDowell (49 points) leads the team standings, followed by General McLane (37) in second. P-O, Central Mountain and Mifflin County are all tied for third place with 36 points.
NORTHWEST REGIONAL CLASS AAA TOURNAMENT
KEY, TEAM STANDINGS
1. McDowell, MD, 49; 2. General McLane, GM, 37.5; 3. (tie) Central Mountain, CM; Mifflin County, MC; Philipsburg-Osceola, PO, 36; 6. St. Marys, SM, 33.5; 7. State College, SC, 28; 8. Cathedral Prep, CP, 25.5; 9. Jersey Shore, JS, 22; 10. Punxsutawney, PX, 21; 11. (tie) Bald Eagle Area, BEA; Bellefonte, B, 20; 13. DuBois, D, 16.5; 14. (tie) Selinsgrove, S; Shikellamy, SH; Strong Vincent, SV; Warren, W, 15; 18. Hollidaysburg, H, 14.5; 19. Titusville, T, 13; 20. Clearfield, CL, 11; 21. (tie) Meadville, MEAD; Williamsport, WP, 9; 23. Altoona, A, 7.5; 24. Carrick, CA, 7; 25. Oil City, OC, 6; 26. Allderdice, AD, 5; 27. Central Tech, CT, 4; 28. Erie East, EE, 1; 29. (tie) Bradford, BD; Brashear, BR; Obama Academy, OA; Perry, P, 0.
106 Brock Adams, D, bye; Aaron Witherite, B, pinned Steve Machen, T, 1:09; Geo Barzona, CM, pinned Jaread Prude, AD, 1:47; Charlie Lennox, MD, pinned Braden Bower, W, 1:57; Bryce Bennett, PO, pinned Cory Bevan, BR, 2:45; Brandon Sauers, CP, maj. dec. Ray Dent, SM, 8-0; Carmine Ciotti, SV, tech fall Hunter Zondory, JS, 15-0, 4:48; Cole Manley, A, bye. 113 Logan Gilbert, CL, bye; Aaron Ehrgott, MEAD, dec. Noah Myers, MC, 8-6; Damian Huff, H, tech fall Cameron Resch, SM, 24-9, 5:25; Bryce Reichenbach, S, pinned Dorion Devaughn-Long, AD, 5:10; Chris Thompson, PO, won by forfeit; Luke Leathers, B, pinned Tyler Hepler, SH, 2:40; Joe Wheeling, GM, bye. 120 Brock Port, B, bye; Josh Caban, SV, dec. Josiah McClarren, CL, 9-2; Keegan Fordyce, MD, pinned Quinton Herriott, P, 1:10; Roshaun Cooley, WP, pinned Daniel Sills, SC, 2:46; Hunter Wagner, T, maj. dec. Isaiah Slappy, AD, 10-2; Coby Bainey, BEA, dec. Eli Lambiotte, PX, 4-1; Kody Cox, D, dec. Keenan Bottorf, CM, 10-9; Jake Gromacki, CP, bye. 126 Anthony Myers, SC, bye; Noah Cline, CL, won by forfeit; Hunter Hendricks, GM , dec, Noah Ulmer, JS, 9-6; DJ Fehlman, W, 2:55; Shae Bloom, D, maj. dec. Levi Hughes, PO, 14-1; Kyle Luben, MEAD, dec. Chase Gardner, B, 1-0; Benji Yates, MD, pinned Richard Lowrie, WP, 4:49; DeShon Hill, AD, bye. 132 Joel Bowers, PX, bye; Isaac Underhill, MC, dec. Owen Watkins, GM, 4-0; Dakota Weitoish, PO, pinned William Bechem, AD, 1:49; John Ciotti, SV, pinned Willie McGonnell, SM, 1:38; Trevor Corl, B, maj. dec. Noah Burkhart, MD, 11-2; Dalton Long, H, pinned Austin Gahr, D, 1:25; Nick Cashdollar, SH, dec. Alex Root, CP, 11-5; Cody Kirk, CA, bye. 138 Kaleb Young, PX, bye; Dalton Burns, T, dec. Nate Rosenberger, B, 3-1; Mike Kauffman, SC, maj. dec. Andy Hudzel, CP, 9-0; Tallin Norris, CL, dec. Jordon Oliver, BR, 6-2; Keller Watkins, GM, tech fall Kyle Pecht, SM, 16-0, 4:23; Tristan Paul, SH, dec. Emery Watson, CM, 8-2; Robert Harris, CT, pinned Ryan Campbell, AD, 4:36; Hayden Hidlay, MC. 145 Josh Schuckers, PX, bye; Alex Hargenrader, OC, dec. Tanner Day, B, 5-1; Teagan O'Sullivan, CP, pinned Terrance Mair, CA, 3:57; Demtri Probst, CM, won by forfeit; Jared Brown, SH, pinned Keron Jones, P, 3:47; Hadyn Swortwood, JS, pinned Caleb Shively, PO, 5:18; Derek Horner, SC, pinned Jake Paulson, MD, 2:58; Deane Twitchell, GM, bye.
152 Perry Arrington, PX, bye; Noah Stewart, MC, tech fall Jared Carlson, SV, 15-0, 4:11; William Roeshot, SC, pinned Jared Ramsey, P, 1:36; Ryan Dailey, MD, pinned Anthony Best, SH, 1:02; D.J. Hollingshead, A, pinned Connor Wurst, CP, 0:58; Colton Killion, JS, dec. Dallas Kephart, PO, 7-2; Mike Sutton, GM, pinned Alex Feldbauer, SM, 2:54; Cameron Jacobson, AD, bye. 160 Ehrin Lee, T, bye; Brandon Wilson, MC, pinned Dustin Coles, BD, 3:13; Nick Patrick, PO, won by forfeit; Bill Gabor, SM, pinned Cameron Demaison, MEAD, 0:21; Chad Reese, CM, maj. dec. Joe Campanella, MD, 8-0; Ethan Laird, GM, dec. Keegan Fischer, PX, 10-7; Seth Young, JS, dec. Brinton Simington, A, 4-1; Mike Johnson, CA, bye. 170 Gavin Caprio, CM, bye; Chris Starocci, SV, tech fall Max Mason, JS, 15-0, 5:40; Coleman Cousins, MD, pinned Markus Kratochvil, CA, 2:50; Nathan Bingaman, S, pinned Noah Worley, H, 0:57; Garrett Smead, W, maj. dec. Deontay Wadley P, 13-5; Mitcherll Taylor, BEA, pinned Josh Cameroni, SM, 2:28; Alexander Stover, SC, pinned Joe Snyder, SH, 5:33; Trent Zdarko, OC, bye. 182 Tyree Spearman, MD, bye; Derek Taylor, SM, pinned Leon Evans, P, 0:57; Cory Dreibelbis, SC, dec. Travis Ogden, CL, 9-7; Trey Hartsock, MC, maj. dec. Cody Gunn, W, 13-1; Isaac Porter, CM, dec. Dominic Loffredo, JS, 7-2; Bub Lumadue, PO, dec. Dan Stearns, T, 7-3 OT; Mike Hughes, CP, maj. dec. Aaron Boob, S, 11-3; Hakeim McKenzie, CA, bye. 195 Tom Sleigh, D, bye; Phil Selker, CP, pinned Nathaniel Buckrop, A, 5:07; Zach Rindfuss, MD, pinned Thaddeus Morris, P, 5:36; Tim Pearce, MC, dec. Daniel Salinas, SM, 5-2; Chris Laird, GM, maj. dec. Nate Lose, JS, 12-4; Loc Long, CM, pinned Austin Lewis, S, 0:27; David Gawryla, BEA, pinned Samson Kafando, CT, 3:49; Cody Wagner, BR, bye. 220 Ian Mallory, GM, bye; Jacob Huling, JS, pinned Nick Brucker, AD, 2:32; Andrew Boob, S, dec. Sheldon Davis, SC, 6-0; Cameron Porter, CM, pinned Alex Streich, W, 1:27; Dwayne Pepper, SH, dec. Nick Gray, PO, 7-4; Kylel Kahley, MC, dec. Luke Carr, MEAD, 6-5; Mike Wolfel, SM, pinned Benji Bish, MD, 0:26; Jesse Reid, CA, bye. 285 Colton Craig, MC, bye; Luke Shiock, PX, pinned Anthony Langford, AD, 2:51; Jacob Lenhart, GM, dec. Bryce Charles, JS, 9-5; Jake Verchick, CL, dec. Jason Oakes, T, 3-2 UTB; Joshua Fye, BEA, dec. Deiontre Plott, EE, 12-6; Bryce Hanley, CM, dec. Jeremy Bacon, SH, 5-2; Mikel Betz, CA, bye.
106 Adams, D, dec. Witherite, B, 9-4 OT; Lennox, MD, pinned Barzona, CM, 3:39; Bennett, PO, dec, Sauers, CP, 4-1; C. Ciotti, SV, dec. Manley, A, 4-0. 113 Ehrgott, MEAD, dec. Gilbert, CL, 4-0; Huff, H, pinned Chase, T, 0:34; Thompson, PO, maj. dec. Reichenbach, S, 9-0; Wheeling, GM, pinned Leathers, B, 3:37. 120 Port, B, dec. Caban, SV, 3-0; Cooley, WP, dec. Fordyce, MD, 6-0; Bainey, BEA, dec. Wagner, T, 11-9; Gromacki, CP, tech fall Cox, D, 17-2; 2:34. 126 Myers, SC, dec. Cline, CL, 7-2; Fehlman, W, maj. dec. Hendricks, GM, 8-0; Bloom, D, dec. Luben, MEAD, 3-1; Yates, MD, pinned Hill, OA, 3:51. 132 Bowers, PX, dec. Underhill, MC, 4-0; Weitoish, PO, dec. J. Ciotti, SV, 6-4 OT; Corl, B, pinned Long, H, 1:39; Kirk, CA, dec. Cashdollar, SH, 7-4. 138 Young, PX, pinned Burns, T, 1:36; Kauffman, SC, pinned Norris, CL, 1:01; Watkins, GM, dec. Paul, SH, 5-3; Hidlay, MC, pinned Harris, CT, 2:13.
145 Schuckers, PX, dec. Hargenrader, OC, 3-2; Probst, CM, dec. O'Sullivan, CP, 6-0; Swortwood, JS, pinned Brown, SH, 2:38; Twitchell, GM, maj. dec. Horner, SC, 15-2. 152 Stewart, MC, tech fall Arrington, PX, 16-0; 5:53; Dailey, MD, dec. Roeshot, SC, 9-7; Hollingshead, A, tech fall Killion, JS, 16-1, 4:41; Jacobson, AD, pinned Sutton, GM, 1:09. 160 Lee, T, dec. Wilson, MC, 8-1; Gabor, SM, dec. Patrick, PO, 3-1; Reese, CM, dec. E. Laird, GM, 9-2; Young, JS, dec. Johnson, CA, 13-6. 170 Caprio, CM, maj. dec. Starocci, SV, 13-2; Cousins, MD, dec. Bingaman, S, 4-2 TB; Smead, W, pinned Taylor, BEA, 0:56; Zdarko, OC, dec. Stover, SC, 6-0. 182 Spearman, MD, maj. dec. Taylor, SM, 13-3; Hartsock, MC, maj. dec. Dreibelbis, SC, 11-3; Lumadue, PO, pinned I. Porter, CM, 1:14; Hughes, CP, dec. McKenzie, CP, 5-2. 195 Sleigh, D, tech fall Selker, CP, 15-0, 4:15; Pearce, MC, maj. dec. Rindfuss, MD, 12-2; C. Laird, GM, dec. Long, CM, BR, 4-0 Gawryla, BEA, pinned Wagner, BR, 2:15. 220 Mallory, GM, pinned Huling, JS, 5:49; An. Boob, S, dec. C. Porter, CM, 8-5; Pepper, SH, dec. Kahley, MC, 3-2; Wolfel, SM, tech fall Reid, CA, 17-2, 5:57. 285 Craig, MC, dec. Shiock, PX, 4-2; Augustine, MD, pinned Lenhart, GM, 0:32; Fye, BEA, dec. Verchick, CL, 6-4; Hanley, CM, pinned Betz, CA, 4:52.
106 Mochen, T, bye; Bower, WP, pinned Prude, AD, 4:39; Dents, SM, pinned Bevan, BR, 3:58; Zondory, JS, bye. 113 Myers, MC, bye; Resch, SM, pinned Mikel, P, 2:06; Devaughn-Long, AD, won by forfeit; Hepler, SH, bye. 120 McClarren, CL, bye; Sills, SC, pinned Herriott, P, 2:06; Lambiotte, PX, pinned Slappy, AD, 4:27; Bottorf, CM, bye. 126 Zinkovsky, AD, bye; Ulmer, JS, pinned Kociola, H, 2:15: Gardner, B, dec. Hughes, PO, 4-0; Lowrie, WP, bye. 132 O. Watkins, GM, bye; McGonnell, SM, pinned Bechem, AD, 4:57; Burkhart, MD, dec. Gahr, D, 6-2; Root, CP, bye. 138 Rosenberger, B, bye; Hudzel, CP, pinned Oliver, BR, 2:53; Pecht, SM, dec. Watson, CM, 5-3; Campbell, AD, bye.
145 Day, B, bye; Nair, CA, won by forfeit; Shively, PO, pinned Jones, P, 3:52; Paulson, MD, bye. 152 Carlson, SV, bye; Best, SH, pinned Ramsey, P, 2:40; Wurst, CP, dec. Kephart, PO, 5-2; Feldbauer, SM, bye. 160 Coles, B, bye; Demaison, MEAD, won by forfeit; Campanella, MD, dec. Fischer, PX, 5-3 OT; Simington, A, bye. 170 Mason, JS, bye; Worley, H, pinned Kratochvil, CA, 3:43; Cameroni, SM, pinned Wadley, P, 4:32; Snyder, SH, bye. 182 Evans, P, bye; Ogden, CL, pinned Gunn, W, 4:16; Loffredo, JS, dec. Stearns, T, 5-4; Aa. Boob, S, bye. 195 Buckrup, A, bye; Salinas, SM, pinned Morris, P, 3:33; Lewis, S, won by forfeit over Lose, JS; Kafando, CT, bye. 220 Brucker, AD, bye; Streich, W, dec. Davis, SC, 4-0; Gray, PO, dec. Carr, MEAD, 2-0; Bish, MD, bye. 285 Langford, AD, bye; Day, PO, won by forfeit over Charles, JS; Plott, EE, dec. Oakes, T, 4-3; Bacon, SH, bye.