Huff should be part of history again

Hollidaysburg made history in last year’s District 6 Class AAA Tournament when Damian Huff and Matt Barton captured titles, becoming the first Golden Tigers tandem to do since 2005.

Now, as the tournament begins at 9 this morning, Huff could be making a little more history.

Hollidaysburg hasn’t had a wrestler win multiple titles since Brian Shaw won his third in 2006, but Huff appears to have a very good shot at winning his second.

It won’t be easy for the Tiger 113-pounder because he’ll probably get Mifflin County’s talented freshman Noah Myers (21-9) in the semifinals and either Philipsburg-Osceola’s third-seeded Chris Thompson (23-5) or Bellefonte’s second-seeded Luke Leathers (22-8) in the finals.

Thompson and Leathers haven’t wrestled this season, so it’s hard to pick one over the other, but I’m giving the edge to the second-seeded Leathers to make the finals. Thompson didn’t wrestle in the tournament last year because of a knee injury, and he’s certainly motivated to make the finals.

The semifinal should be pretty good, and whoever wrestles Huff in the finals should give him a good bout. Huff beat Leathers, 9-6, this season, but he hasn’t wrestled Thompson.

Altoona should have a couple champs in Cole Manley at 106 and D.J. Hollingshead at 152. Manley will find a familar foe in P-O’s Bryce Bennett, who has won 18 in a row, but one of his four losses was to Manley, 4-0, in the season-opening Mountaineer Tournament. Give the edge to Manley.

Hollingshead has wrestled in two district tournament finals, breezing to the 132-pound title last year for his first title. His opponent in the finals, Mifflin County’s Noah Stewart, won the 126-pound title last year, so this year should be a little bit more tougher for Hollingshead, but he should win.

P-O hasn’t had a district champ since Bo Reifer and and Dimitri Sidorick won in 2008, but it says here that will change. In fact, the Mounties have a good shot at having two champs in Bub Lumadue (182) and Nick Gray (220), and both of them will likely be wrestling the Porters from Central Mountain.

Lumadue can be very entertaining to watch, and he can be a pinner, and the pick here is he’ll beat Isaac Porter for the title. Lumadue has beaten him a couple times, 4-2 and 2-1, this season, and he’ll find a way to do it again.

Gray had never beaten Cameron Porter in a number of meetings between the two, but he did the last time they wrestled, 5-1, in the District 6 Duals. Gray has been a dangerous wrestler with an ability to pin this year, but he has won some close ones, and this one will be close.

There are other area guys who have shots at making the finals, which I mention in my Class AAA predictions. The Class AA tournament picks last week were tough to make, and it showed when I only got half of them right, but the postseason is all about improving and advancing.

I’m giving the slight edge to Central Mountain over Mifflin County in the team race, but it will be close. MC’s Hayden Hidlay is the pick here to be named the Outstanding Wrestler.

106 POUNDS: Finalists: Cole Manley, Altoona vs. Bryce Bennett, Philipsburg-Osceola. Champion: Manley. Comment: Very tough weight class. Bennett has split two bouts with Bellefonte’s second-seeded Witherite.

113 POUNDS: Finalists: Damian Huff, Hollidaysburg vs. Luke Leathers, Bellefonte. Champion: Huff. Comment: P-O’s Chris Thompson will give Leathers a big test in semifinals.

120 POUNDS: Finalists: Brock Port, Bellefonte vs. Keenan Bottorf, Central Mountain. Champion: Port. Comment: Port has burst upon the scene in a big way in his freshman season. Bottorf only lost to him 4-0 this season.

126 POUNDS: Finalists: Anthony Myers, State College vs. Chase Gardner, Bellefonte. Champion: Myers. Comment: P-O’s Levi Hughes will test Gardner right off the bat.

132 POUNDS: Finalists: Trevor Corl, Bellefonte vs. Isaac Underhill, Mifflin County. Champion: Corl. Comment: P-O’s Dakota Weitoish and Underhill will battle in the semifinals.

138 POUNDS: Finalists: Hayden Hidlay, Mifflin County vs. Mike Kauffman, State College. Champion: Hidlay. Comment: It was at this point last year when I made the mistake of not picking Hidlay, and I was reminded of it a few times. Lesson learned.

145 POUNDS: Finalists: Demetri Probst, Central Mountain vs. Derek Horner, State College. Champion: Probst. Comment: P-O’s Caleb Shively will provide returning runner-up Horner a big challenge in semifinals.

152 POUNDS: Finalists: D.J. Hollingshead, Altoona vs. Noah Stewart, Mifflin County. Champion: Hollingshead. Comment: This one won’t be easy for Hollingshead, who had two pins and a technical fall in last year’s tournament.

160 POUNDS: Finalists: Chad Reese, Central Mountain vs. Brandon Wilson, Mifflin County. Champion: Reese. Comment: District champ Wilson was out of the lineup with an injury until the District 6 Duals, where he lost to Reese.

170 POUNDS: Finalists: Gavin Caprio, Central Mountain vs. Alexander Stover, State College. Champion: Caprio. Comment: Hollidaysburg’s Noah Worley will test Stover in the semifinals.

182 POUNDS: Finalists: Bub Lumadue, Philipsburg-Osceola vs. Isaac Porter, Central Mountain. Champion: Lumadue. Comment: Mifflin County’s Hartsock and Porter appear to be a tossup semifinal.

195 POUNDS: Finalists: Tim Pearce, Mifflin County vs. David Gawryla, Bald Eagle Area. Champion: Pearce. Comment: Gawryla’s record is deceiving.

220 POUNDS: Finalists: Cameron Porter, Central Mountain vs. Nick Gray, Philipsburg-Osceola. Champion: Gray. Comment: Gray finally beat Porter the last time they wrestled in the District 6 Duals.

285 POUNDS: Finalists: Bryce Hanley, Central Mountain vs. Josh Fye, Bald Eagle Area. Champion: Hanley. Comment: Hollidaysburg’s Hunter Gill is a possible opponent in the semifinals for Hanley.

OUTSTANDING WRESTLER: Hayden Hidlay, Mifflin County.

TEAM CHAMPION: Central Mountain. Comment: The team race between Central Mountain and Mifflin County will be tight throughout the tournament.

LAST WEEK’S DISTRICT 6 CLASS AA RECORD: 15 out of 30 correct situations

Todd Irwin can be reached at 946-7464 or at He can be followed on Twitter at ToddIrwin1.