As much time and effort as D.J. Hollingshead has expended along the path to achieving a Northwest AAA Regional Wrestling Tournament championship this season, it was probably fitting that Hollingshead's moment of glory Saturday night occured in prototypical workmanlike fashion.
Altoona's junior standout scored takedowns in the first and second periods en route to a 4-2 victory over Mifflin County sophomore Noah Stewart in the 152-pound Northwest AAA Regional title match at the Altoona Area High School Fieldhouse.
Hollingshead became one of five area Class AAA wrestlers to earn berths in next weekend's PIAA state tournament at Hershey's Giant Center, and he was the area's only regional champion.
Photo for the Mirror by Frank?Grande
Altoona’s D.J. Hollingshead enjoys his regional title after defeating Noah?Stewart.
Two other area wrestlers, Hollidaysburg senior Damian Huff (113 pounds) and Philipsburg-Osceola senior Bub Lumadue (152) qualified for a trip to Hershey by finishing second in the regional, while Altoona freshman C.J. Manley (106) and Philipsburg-Osceola senior Chris Thompson (113) made it to states by wrestling back for third place at the regional.
Hollingshead is an athlete who has made a year-round commitment to wrestling, and it showed these past two weekends. After competing in the Freestyle Nationals in Fargo, N.D. last summer and placing fifth there at 145 pounds, Hollingshead sports a 34-2 record this season. He won the District 6-AAA championship last weekend, and captured his 100th career scholastic victory in the first night of regional competition this past Friday.
The regional championship was the latest feather in his cap.
"I felt like I could have opened up a little more [in the championship match], but I'm still happy with my performance,'' said Hollingshead, who made it to the state tournament last season at 132 but did not medal there. "If you do everything right during the season, it will pay off in the postseason.''
Conditioning has been a strong suit for Hollingshead, who posted a 9-3 semifinal win over Cameron Jacobson of Allderdice Saturday afternoon. Hollingshead had beaten Stewart twice leading up to their regional final encounter, including a 7-2 decision in last week's District 6-AAA title match.
"I had beaten him twice earlier, so I knew what I had to do the third time,'' Hollingshead said. "The game plan was to try to tire him out. My conditioning is good, and I wanted to keep pushing.''
Altoona coach Joel Gilbert was pleased with Hollingshead's effort in the championship match.
"He looked good out there,'' Gilbert said. "He got in on some nice shots. He was physical, he exhibited great defense, and he rode out the first period with a [2-0] lead. That is the recipe for winning championships.''
Like Hollingshead, Huff will be making his second appearance at Hershey next week. He qualified for states two years ago as a sophomore, but did not place. Huff is on a mission this time around, even though he suffered a setback in the 113-pound regional championship match with a 5-3 loss to once-beaten General McLane senior Joe Wheeling.
Huff used a tilt to take a 2-0 early second-period lead, but Wheeling responded with an escape and takedown before the end of the period to go ahead, 3-2. Wheeling's single-leg takedown, and his ability to block off Huff's try for a last-second takedown before the end of the match, cemented the outcome.
"I was pretty exhausted in the second and third periods,'' Huff said. "I need to work on my conditioning to prepare for states. This is not the end. It is only the beginning.''
Huff scored an emotional 2-1 victory over Meadville junior Aaron Ehrgott in the semifinals to reach the championship match. Huff trailed, 1-0 in the third period before Ehrgott was penalized for interlocking hands. Huff followed with an escape point to get the win.
Saturday marked Huff's first appearance in the regional championship match - he had been to three regional consolation finals - and Hollidaysburg coach Mike Moore felt that Huff may have been a little tense.
"He works his tail off in the wrestling room, it definitely isn't a conditioning issue,'' Moore said. "This was his first regional championship match, and I'm sure nerves played a little bit of a part for him. We just have to be able to finish off the match.''
P-O senior Lumadue scored a hard-fought 2-1 win over Cathedral Prep freshman Mike Hughes in the semis, but dropped a 3-1 decision to Mifflin County sophomore Trey Hartsock in the 182-pound championship match. A first-period takedown was instrumental for Hartsock, who had defeated Lumadue, 9-2 in last week's district final.
"I'm pretty proud of second place,'' Lumadue said. "I thought I did a lot better against [Hartsock] tonight than I did when I wrestled him last week.''
P-O coach Tim McCamley said that Hartsock did a good job of staying away from Lumadue's throws.
"It's no secret that Bub's a thrower,'' McCamley said. "He's an exciting wrestler who is dangerous and fun to watch. Hartsock wrestled smart and stayed away from the throws.''
Two other area wrestlers, Altoona's Manley (106) and P-O's Thompson (113), wrestled back for third places at the regional to earn trips to the state tournament.
Manley, a talented freshman who has won 30 matches this season, won four straight Saturday, including a 1-0 verdict over Central Mountain freshman Geo Barzona in the all-important consolation finals bout that guaranteed a trip to Hershey.
"It feels really good,'' Manley said after winning the bout on a third-period escape. "I was really nervous out there, but I just wanted to wrestle hard and wrestle my style. I won four matches today after losing in the quarterfinals [Friday night]. It was a grind.''
But Manley would certainly acknowledge that making states was worth all the trouble. So would P-O's Thompson, who hammered out an 11-4 decision over Ehrgott in the third-place bout.
"I always have to go mean, nasty and tough,'' Thompson said of his battle plan in the wrestlebacks. "I know I just have to keep on going out there. I can't stop.''
Two other area wrestlers, P-O senior Nick Gray (220) and Hollidaysburg freshman Dalton Long (132), suffered the heartache of losing in the consolation finals and coming up one victory short of a trip to states.
Long shut out three different opponents in Saturday's wrestlebacks before being pinned by District 10 champion John Ciotti of Strong Vincent in the consy final. Gray gave up a late takedown that cost him a 3-1 loss to Selingsgrove junior Andrew Boob.
"It's really tough when you finish fourth here,'' McCamley said.
Meet notes: General McLane won the team championship with 133 points, while Central Mountain was second with 91 ... Along with Hollingshead and Hartsock, other regional champions from District 6 included Bellefonte's Trevor Corl (132), and Mifflin County's Hayden Hidlay (138) ... Area wrestlers eliminated in Saturday afternoon's wrestlebacks were Altoona's Brinton Simington (160) and Nate Buckrop (195), Hollidaysburg's Noah Worley (170), and Philipsburg-Osceola's Bryce Bennett (106), Dakota Weitoish (132), Caleb Shively (145), Nick Patrick (160), and Logan Day (285).
KEY, TEAM SCORING: 1, GM-General McLane, 133; 2, MCD-McDowell, 110; 3, CM-Central Mountain, 91; 4, MC-Mifflin County, 90; 5, PO-Philipsburg-Osceola, 68; 6, PUNX-Punxsutawney, 60; 7, BEL-Bellefonte, 55; 8, DUB-DuBois, 53; 9, SM-St. Marys, 52; 10, CP-Cathedral Prep, 50; 11, SV-Strong Vincent, 48; 12, CLF-Clearfield, 46; 13, tie, SHIK-Shikellamy and SC-State College, 44; 15, JS-Jersey Shore, 40; 16, SEL-Selinsgrove, 38; 17, ALT-Altoona, 37; 18, TITUS-Titusville, 36; 19, HOL-Hollidaysburg, 33; 20, BEA-Bald Eagle Area, 33; 21, WAR-Warren, 31; 22, OC-Oil City, 24; 23, MEAD-Meadville, 23; 24, WIL-Williamsport, 21; 25, tie, ALL-Allderdice and CAR-Carrick, 13; 27, EE-Erie East, 7; 28, tie, BRAD-Bradford and CT-Central Tech, 4; 30, OBA-Obama Academy, 2; 31, tie, BRASH-Brashear and Perry, 0.
106-Manley, ALT, pinned Machen, TITUS, 1:31; Sauers, CP, pinned Bower, WPT, 2:05; Barzona, CM maj. dec. Dent, SM, 14-1; Zondory, JS, dec. Witherite, BEL, 8-2. 113-Leathers, BEL, pinned Myers, MC, 2:38; Resch, SM, dec. Reichenbach, SEL, 7-0; Chase, TITUS, won by forfeit over Long, ALD; Hepler, SHIK, dec. Gilbert, CLF, 6-1. 120-McClarren, CLF, pinned Cox, DUB, 2:03; Sills, SC, pinned Wagner, TITUS, 4:56; Lambiotte, PUNX, pinned Fordyce, MCD, 2:01; Bottorf, CM, dec. Caban, SV, 5-0. 126-Hill, OBA, won by forfeit over Zinkovsky, ALD; Luben, MEAD, dec. Ulmer, JS, 8-4; Hendricks, GM, pinned Gardner, BEL, 4:48; Cline, CLF, maj. dec. Lowrie, WPT, 13-5. 132-Watkins, GM, pinned Kirk, CAR, 2:15; Long, HOL, dec. McGonnell, SM, 7-0; J. Ciotti, SV, dec. Burkhart, MCD, 4-2; Underhill, MC, dec. Root, CP, 3-1. 138 -Rosenberger, BEL, maj. dec. Harris, CT, 11-2; Paul, SHIK, dec. Hudzel, CP, 3-0; Pecht, SM, pinned Norris CLF, :51; Burns, TITUS, pinned Campbell, ALD, 1:38. 145-Horner, SC, pinned Day, BEL, 4:27; Brown, SHIK, pinned Mair, CAR, 4:02; Shively, PO, dec. O'Sullivan, CP, 4-2 OT; Paulson, MCD, dec. Hargengrader, OC, 6-4.
152-Sutton, GM, maj. dec. Carlson, SV, 12-3; Killion, JS, dec. Best, SHIK, 5-3 OT; Wurst, CP, dec. Roeshot, SC, 8-3; Arrington, PUNX, dec. Feldbauer, SM, 9-8. 160-Coles, BRAD, pinned Johnson, CAR, 1:59; Laird, GM, pinned Demaison, MEAD, 3:27; Campanella, MCD, dec. Patrick, PO, 5-2; Wilson, MC, dec. Simington, A, 6-3. 170-Stover, SC, dec. Mason, JS, 3-0; Taylor, BEA, dec. Worley, HOL, 5-0; Bingaman, SEL, dec. Cameroni, SM, 6-2; Starocci, SV, dec. Snyder, SHIK, 9-2. 182-McKenzie, CAR, pinned Evans, PER, 6:55 OT; Ogden, CLF, dec. Porter, CM, 8-3; Loffredo, JS, dec. Dreibelbis, SC, 7-0; Taylor, SM, pinned Boob, SEL, 1:25. 195-Buckrop, A, dec. Wagner, BRASH, 4-1; Long, CM, dec. Salinas, SM, 1-0; Lewis, SEL, pinned Rindfuss, MCD, 3:35; Selker, CP, pinned Kafando, CT, 3:14. 220-Reid, CAR, maj. dec. Bruckner, ALD, 13-1; Streich, WAR, dec. Kahley, MC, 1-0; Gray, PO, dec. Porter, CM, 3-1; Huling, JS, dec. Bish, MCD, 8-1. 285-Betz, CAR, dec. Langford, ALD, 3-2; Verchick, CLF, dec. Day, PO, 3-2 OT; Plott, EE, pinned Lenhardt, GM, 4:39; Shiock, PUNX, pinned Bacon, SHIK, 1:47.
106-Lennox, MCD, pinned Adams, DUB, 2:47; C. Ciotti, SV, maj. dec. Bennett, PO, 9-0. 113-Huff, HOL, dec. Ehrgott, MEAD, 2-1; Wheeling, GM, pinned Thompson, PO, 3:56. 120-Cooley, WPT, dec. Port, BEL, 3-2; Gromacki, CP, tech. fall Bainey, BEA, 21-3, 4:57. 126-Fehlman, WAR, dec. Myers, SC, 4-2; Bloom, DUB, pinned Yates, MCD, 5:01. 132-Bowers, PUNX, dec. Weitoish, PO, 1-0; Corl, BEL, tech. fall Kirk, CAR, 16-0, 4:18. 138-Young, PUNX, dec. Kauffman, SC, 7-0; Hidlay, MC, dec. Watkins, GM, 9-3. 145-Probst, CM, dec. Schuckers, PUNX, 3-1; Twitchell, GM, dec. Swortwood, JS, 3-1.
152-Stewart, MC, dec. Dailey, MCD, 3-1; Hollingshead, ALT, dec. Jacobson, ALD, 9-3 . 160-Lee, TITUS, tech. fall Gabor, SM, 17-1, 4:52; Reese, CM, dec. Young, JS, 6-0. 170-Cousins, MCD, dec. Caprio, CM, 6-3; Zdarko, OC, pinned Smead, 3:34. 182-Hartsock, MC, dec. Spearman, MCD, 4-3; Lumadue, PO, dec. Hughes, ECP, 2-1. 195-Sleigh, DUB, tech. fall Pearce, MC, 16-0, 4:12; Laird, GM, dec. Gawryla, BEA, 5-1. 220-Mallory, GM, dec. Boob, SEL, 3-1 OT; Pepper, SHIK, pinned Wolfel, SM, 3:34. 285-Augustine, MCD, dec. Craig, MC, 3-2; Fye, BEA, dec. Hanley, CM, 5-4 OT.
106-Manley, ALT, dec. Sauers, CP, 9-2; Barzona, CM, maj. dec. Zondory, JS, 2-1. 113-Leathers, BEL, pinned Resch, SM, :31; Hepler, SHIK, pinned Chase, TITUS, 2:27. 120-McClarren, CLF, pinned Sills, SC, 4:17; Bottorf, CM, dec. Lambiotte, PUNX, 7-5. 126-Luben, MEAD, pinned Hill, OBA, 1:42; Cline, CLF, won by injury default over Hendricks, CM, 4:54. 132-Long, HOL, dec. Watkins, GM, 5-0; J. Ciotti, SV dec. Underhill, MC, 3-2 OT. 138-Paul, SHIK, dec. Rosenberger, BEL, 6-2; Pecht, SM, maj. dec. Burns, TITUS, 10-2. 145-Brown, SHIK, dec. Horner, SC, 6-4; Shively, PO, maj. dec. Paulson, MCD, 12-4.
152-Sutton, GM, pinned Killion, JS, 2:11; Arrington, PUNX, pinned Wurst, CP, 2:50. 160-Laird, GM, pinned Coles, BRAD, 1:36; Campanella, MCD, dec. Wilson, MC, 4-3. 170-Stover, SC, dec. Taylor, BEA, 6-4; Starocci, SV, dec. Bingaman, SEL, 6-4. 182-Ogden, CLF, maj. dec. McKenzie, CAR, 14-2; Taylor, SM, pinned Loffredo, JS, 0:59. 195-Long, CM, dec. Buckrop, A, 1-0; Lewis, SEL, pinned Selker, CP, 4:10. 220-Streich, WAR, pinned Reid, CAR, 3:51; Gray, PO, dec. Huling, JS, 3-1 OT. 285-Verchick, CLF, pinned Betz, CAR, 4:45; Plott, EE, pinned Shiock, PUNX, 4:02.
106-Manley dec. Adams, 7-3; Barzona dec. Bennett, 3-1 OT. 113-Ehrgott dec. Leathers, 8-6 OT; Thompson pinned Hepler, 2:55. 120-Port dec. McClarren, 6-0; Bottorf dec. Bainey, 14-7. 126-Luben dec. Myers, 3-1 OT; Cline dec. Yates, 8-3. 132-Long dec. Weitoish, 1-0; J. Ciotti tech. fall Kirk, 17-0, 5:00. 138-Kauffman dec. Paul, 2-1; Watkins maj. dec. Pecht, 10-2. 145-Schuckers dec. Brown, 3-0; Swortwood dec. Shively, 5-3.
152-Sutton dec. Dailey, 7-2; Jacobson dec. Arrington, 3-1. 160-Laird maj. dec. Gabor, 13-3; Young dec. Campanella, 4-3. 170-Caprio dec. Stover, 7-0; Starocci dec. Smead, 4-2. 182-Spearman pinned Ogden, 1:25; Taylor pinned Hughes, :44. 195-Pearce dec. Long, 3-2 OT; Lewis maj. dec. Gawryla, 10-1. 220-Boob pinned Streich, 4:30; Gray dec. Wolfel, 3-0 . 285-Verchick dec. Craig, 2-1 OT; Hanley dec. Plott, 3-2 OT.
(Winners advance to the state tournament)
106-Manley dec. Barzona, 1-0. 113-Thompson dec. Ehrgott, 11-4. 120-Port maj. dec. Bottorf, 12-4. 126-Cline dec. Luben, 1-0. 132-J. Ciotti pinned Long, 2:41. 138-Kauffman dec. Watkins, 11-6. 145-Swortwood dec. Schukers, 5-3 OT.
152-Jacobson dec. Sutton, 1-0. 160-Laird dec. Young, 10-4. 170-Caprio dec. Starocci, 1-0. 182-Spearman maj. dec. Taylor, 11-3. 195-Pearce dec. Lewis, 10-4. 220-Boob dec. Gray, 3-1. 285-Verchick dec. Hanley, 4-2 OT.
(Winners and losers both advance to the state tournament)
106-Lennox dec. C. Ciotti, 3-0. 113-Wheeling dec. Huff, 5-3. 120-Gromacki dec. Cooley, 7-0. 126-Bloom dec. Fehlman, 7-0. 132-Corl dec. Bowers, 3-1. 138-Hidlay dec. Young, 4-2. 145-Twitchell dec. Probst, 3-1 OT.
152-Hollingshead dec. Stewart, 4-2. 160-Lee dec. Reese, 3-2. 170-Zdarko dec. Cousins, 7-2. 182-Hartsock dec. Lumadue, 3-1. 195-Sleigh tech. fall Laird, 15-0, 3:43. 220-Pepper dec. Mallory, 9-4. 285-Augustine dec. Fye, 3-1.