McGill, Thomas go hand in hand

By Todd Irwin

BEDFORD – Chestnut Ridge’s Jared McGill has his goals set for PIAA gold in March, but another title at the Thomas Chevrolet Tournament will do for now.

McGill blitzed his way through the 27-team tournament with three pins and a 13-2 major decision over Athens’ second-seeded David Galasso in the 170-pound finals on Saturday night at Bedford.

It was McGill’s third Thomas title.

“It feels good to come out in front of the crowd and compete well,” the three-time state placewinner said. “This isn’t the postseason, so I just have to keep getting better. I’ve got nothing to lose.”

McGill’s teammate, Kai Burkett, captured his second Thomas title with a 7-2 decision over Mount Pleasant’s Luke Geibig.

Ridge’s Nathan Holderbaum finished second at 113.

The Lions had 12 placewinners and captured their fifth straight Thomas title by 17.5 points over Burrell, 237-220.5.

“It feels good,” Ridge coach Greg Lazor said. “We had a lot of young guys coming in, and they really stepped up and won a lot of matches for us. Yesterday, they had an unbelievable day. They had a couple slip-ups today, but overall they did well.”

Bedford’s Kaden Cassidy avenged his Panther Holiday Classic loss to Everett’s Garret Cornell, 2-1, in the highly anticipated 132-pound finals.

The bout, though, might be remembered for Cassidy’s reaction afterward. More on that later.

Tussey Mountain’s Brady Villa (126), Claysburg-Kimmel’s Kobe Harr (160) and Penn Cambria’s Derek Brown (182) finished second.

McGill shot out to a 6-0 lead in the first period, tilting Galasso twice for four nearfall points. McGill added an escape and takedown in the second for a 9-0 lead. In the third, he released Galasso and notched two more takedowns in the major decision.

“Coach (Josh) Deputy has been working with me a lot on top with some breakdowns getting to some wrists,” McGill said. “Yeah, my tilts have been working well.”

Cassidy, who lost to Cornell, 4-2, at the Panther Classic, came out of a flurry in the first period for the deciding takedown of Cornell and rode tough the rest of the period.

Cornell rode the entire second, but he was unable to turn Cassidy. Cassidy rode for almost the entire third before Cornell escaped with 15 seconds remaining. Cornell missed a takedown at the edge of the mat with 9.8 seconds left.

“I felt I could have wrestled the match a little bit better,” Cassidy said. “I thought it was a pretty controlling match, but I felt I could have made it a five-point decision or even more. I don’t think he was close to getting a cradle. He’s good on bottom, and I don’t think he was close to getting any Peterson (rolls) on me.”

“It was one big move,” Everett coach Rob Ripple said. “Last time, we had the big move. The takedown was key. Kaden is a great wrestler just like Garret.”

While Cassidy was still on the mat, he did the “feed me” motion that football players do, drawing boos from the overflow crowd in the Bedford gymnasium.

“I can’t really say what the truth is, but I really shouldn’t have done that,” Cassidy said. “My emotions got ahead of me.”

When he came down off of the medals stand, Cassidy apologized to the Everett coaching staff.

“It’s just something between me and the wrestler. Nothing else,” Cassidy said.

Expect more battles between these two.

“You figure we’re going to have to wrestle him two more times,” Bedford coach Joel Easter said. “That battle is not over with those two.”

“I felt I wrestled pretty well overall,” Cornell said. “I just needed to work a few things, and it just shows where I need to improve before states.”

Burkett earned his decision over Geibig in intervals. Geibig took three blood timeouts and had his very bloody nose taped twice.

“The blood time gave him a rest,” Burkett said. “I like to keep the match going. That way you can break him.”

Burkett tilted Geibig twice in the first period before Geibig took his second blood timeout. Geibig notched a takedown in the second, but Burkett rode the entire third period for his second title.

“I feel pretty good on top,” Burkett said. “I feel I can turn most kids on top.”

“Burkett wrestled really well and controlled his match,” Lazor said. “I thought he looked real good on top.”

Holderbaum scored the first takedown on Burrell’s Nicholas Salerno, but Salerno reversed, escaped and took the Lion down in the second and rode the entire third for a 5-2 win.

“He had a great shot and went right to a finish,” Lazor said. “He was looking really good, and then he was stopping on his shots and not finishing. You do that to Burrell kids and get underneath them, they’re going to make you pay.”

The third-seeded Villa dropped a 3-0 decision to Greenville’s top-seeded Bryce Knauf. Knauf scored a first-period takedown, escaped in the second and rode the entire third.

Harr and Burrell’s Austin Mele were tied, 1-1, late in the bout when Mele took Harr down with 17 seconds left to win, 3-1. Harr, who beat Cambria Heights’ Seth Link, 4-3, in the semifinals, was unbeaten going into the bout.

Brown, who moved up to 182 for the tournament, was tied, 2-2, with Mount Pleasant’s Dayton Pitzer when the Panther appeared to re-aggravate a knee injury sustained in football season. Pitzer controlled him from the top from there and won, 11-2.

Taking third were Ridge’s Trevor Weyandt (132), Austin Crouse (182) and Duane Knisely (220), Central Cambria’s Austin Washic (138), Cambria Heights’ Tyler Kirkpatrick (145), Seth Link (160), Penn Cambria’s J.C. Smychynsky (170), Tussey Mountain’s Damon Lemin (195)

Placing fourth were Everett’s Evan Brennan (126), Macen Akers (152), Penn Cambria’s Chase Proudfit (132), Northern Bedford’s Alex Fouse (182) and Ridge’s Dalton Seace (285).

Taking fifth were Bedford’s Matt Emerick (120), Nathan Gabriel (145), Claysburg-Kimmel’s Cade Keithley (138), Central’s Logan Marko (152), Ridge’s Seth Holderbaum (160), Brodie Harbaugh (195) and Everett’s Shane Clark (220)

Finishing sixth were Ridge’s Ross Dull (120), Ridge’s Gryphon Callihan (126), Central’s Brandon Holsinger (132), Cambria Heights’ Ian Eckenrode (170), Everett’s Logan Propst (195) and Central Cambria’s John Croft (220)

Placing seventh were Northern’s Austin Mowry (170) and Kyle Guyer (220), Central Cambria’s Zach Brandis (106), Ridge’s Daniel Moore (152) and Penn Cambria’s Marcus Wirfel (195)

Finishing eighth were Tussey Mountain’s Hunter Horton (120), Nick Brumbaugh (132) and Colton Riley (138), Bedford’s Camden Koontz (113) and Brayden Koontz (152) and Everett’s Lane Younker (145).


1. CR–Chestnut Ridge 237; 2. BURR–Burrell 220.5; 3. G–Greenville 187.5; 4. N–Newport 134.5; 5. MP–Mount Pleasant 119; 6. BB–Berlin Brothersvalley 111.5; 7. E–Everett 110; 8. FA–Freedom Area 104.5; 9. A–Athens 96.5; 10. B–Bedford 96; 11. PC–Penn Cambria 91.5; 12. BC–Beth-Center 90; 13. SH–Southern Huntingdon 84; 14. M–Meyersdale 80; 15. NOS–North Schuylkill 77.5; 16. CK–Claysburg-Kimmel 77; 17. NB–Northern Bedford 68; 18. CH–Cambria Heights and TM–Tussey Mountain 64; 20. CC–Central Cambria 59; 21. S–Somerset 56; 22. TV–Tri Valley 51; 23. C–Central 38; 24. NG–Northern Garrett 36; 25. HFH–Hope For Hyndman 11; 26. JM–Jefferson-Morgan 9; 27. CT–Conemaugh Township 7.

Championship Finals

106–Burkett, CR, dec. Geibig, MP, 7-2; 113–Salerno, BURR, dec. N. Holderbaum, CR, 5-2; 120–Owalt, BURR, pinned Teeters, MP, 5:37; 126–Knauf, G, dec. Villa, TM, 3-0; 132–Cassidy, B, dec. Cornell, E, 2-1; 138–Corrado, BURR, dec. Dushek, FA, 3-1; 145–Pugh, BB, maj. dec. Pail, FA, 12-3

152–Schultheis, FA, dec. Supanick, NS, 4-2; 160–Mele, BURR, dec. Harr, CK, 3-1; 170–McGill, CR, maj. dec. Galasso, A, 13-2; 182–Pitzer, MP, maj. dec. Brown, PC, 11-2; 195–Tremain, NS, pinned Gentile, G, 2:39; 220–McMaster, G, pinned Rode, N, 5:07; 285–Stephens, M, dec. Winfield, SH, 3-1.

Third Place

106–Bradley, A, dec. Smith, N, 4-0; 113–Gribus, MP, dec. Blough, NS, 1-0; 120–Gwyer, BC, dec. Locke, NS, 6-0; 126–Valovchik, BURR, dec. Brennan, E, 10-9; 132–Weyandt, CR, dec. C. Proudfit, PC, 2-0; 138–Washic, CC, dec. Bailey, SH, 1-0; 145–Kirkpatrick, CH, dec. Blose, N, 5-3

152–Karpinski, G, dec. Akers, E, 6-1; 160–Link, CH, won by forfeit over Rios, S; 170–Smychynsky, PC, won by forfeit over Gentile, G; 182–Crouse, CR, dec. Fouse, NB, 5-1; 195–Lemin, TM, dec. Boburchak, BB, 8-4; 220–Knisely, CR, maj. dec. Baker, BC, 10-1; 285–Weitz, NOS, dec. Seace, CR, 4-1.

Fifth Place

106–Latiuch, BB, pinned Edwards, BURR, 4:09; 113–McCollum, BC, dec. Degiglio, N, 10-3; 120–Emerick, B, dec. Dull, CR, 5-4; 126–Callihan, CR, dec. Rude, A, 5-0; 132–Petit, BC, pinned Holsinger, C, 3:57; 138–Keithley, CK, dec. Kauffman, N, 7-5; 145–Gabriel, B, maj. dec. Shawley, CK, 15-6

152–Marko, C, dec. Davis, N, 9-7 OT; 160–S. Holderbaum, CR, won by injury default over Bonadio, BB, 3:00; 170–McCarthey, BURR, dec. Eckenrode, CH, 9-6; 182–Feroce, BURR, dec. Krause, S, 7-1; 195–B. Harbaugh, CR, dec. Propst, E, 3-2 UTB; 220–Clark, E, dec. Croft, CC, 4-0; 285–Braund, A, won by forfeit over Wills, G.

Seventh Place

106–Brandis, CC, dec. Pelesky, NS, 4-1; 113–Kneeland, G, dec. C. Koontz, B, 4-2; 120–Brougher, NS, dec. Horton, TM, 12-5; 126–George, MP, won by forfeit over Kauffman, N; 132–Snoeberger, NS, dec. Brumbaugh, TM, 8-7; 138–Fisher, BC, dec. Riley, TM, 6-4; 145–Linderman, BURR, dec. Younker, E, 5-1

152–Moore, CR, dec. B. Koontz, B, 5-3; 160–Karpinski, G, dec. Heffron, TV, 1-0; 170–Mowry, NB, pinned Huggins, N, 2:11; 182–Leach, N, pinned McClinton, G, 2:23; 195–M. Wirfel, PC, maj. dec. Lingenfelter, CK, 11-1; 220–Guyer, NB, pinned Willis, SH, 4:05; 285–Bell, BURR, maj. dec. Ebersole, NB, 9-0.