Altoona’s Sarbo earns third crown

Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski Altoona’s Matt Sarbo works toward a pin of Johnstown’s Zack Moore in the semis.

Matt Sarbo wasn’t gambling, but he hit the jackpot nonetheless Saturday night.

Altoona Area High School’s junior wrestling standout pulled off an impressive trifecta in the District 6 Class 3A tournament at the Altoona Area High School Fieldhouse, capturing his third consecutive district championship, collecting his 100th career victory in the process, and afterward, also deservedly claiming the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler Award.

Sarbo (32-2) won the 132-pound title with a 21-6 technical fall in 5:52 over State College junior Owen Woolcott in the championship match.

All of Saturday’s accomplishments were a fitting reward for Sarbo, a very talented athlete who wrestles year-round and competes against the finest competition that the United States has to offer.

“It feels good,” Sarbo said of his third district championship. “But it’s something that I expected of myself. I work hard.”

Along with excelling during Pennsylvania’s rigorous scholastic season, Sarbo wrestles in some of the country’s most challenging and demanding offseason tournaments, like the Super 32 blockbuster in North Carolina.

“He really looked good out there tonight, didn’t he?” Altoona coach Joel Gilbert said of Sarbo, who now boasts a career record of 100-14. “He does all the offseason work, he travels around the country, he just goes and tries to find the best competition that he can. He just goes from one move to another on the mat. He’s well-deserving of all three accolades that he earned tonight.”

Sarbo beat Woolcott for the second straight season in the district championship match. The two had met in the 126-pound district final last year, and Sarbo also won the 106-pound title against another opponent as a freshman.

Sarbo controlled Saturday’s title bout on his feet, scoring nine takedowns against Woolcott. Getting his 100th career victory while doing so added to the sense of achievement.

“It’s a good milestone for wrestlers,” Sarbo said about reaching the century mark. “He (Woolcott) is a good opponent.”

Despite all of Saturday’s laurels, Sarbo, a two-time Northwest AAA Regional champion and two-time PIAA Class 3A state qualifier who earned a seventh-place state medal as a freshman, has bigger goals in mind.

When this year’s state tournament unfolds at Hershey in two weeks, Sarbo will be shooting to become Altoona’s first PIAA wrestling champion since Steve Maurey captured the gold medal in 1974.

“This is step one,” Sarbo said. “You always take it match by match, but I’m very confident right now.”

Sarbo was the only individual champion from the Mirror coverage area in the District 6 Class 3A tournament, and will be one of 10 area wrestlers who have qualified for next weekend’s Northwest AAA Regional Tournament at the Fieldhouse by finishing fourth or better at their weight classes in the district tournament.

Three wrestlers — Hollidaysburg sophomore Aaron Sleeth (152 pounds) and junior Campbell Walls (160), along with Altoona junior Colin Allmond (182) — were district runners-up. Hollidaysburg freshman Nick Burkey (third place at 145) and senior Colin Smilnak (fourth at 113), along with Altoona juniors Trevor Manley (third at 285), and Adam Zerbee (152), Ray Boose (182) and Damion Finnegan (126) — all fourth-place finishers — will also be moving on to the regional.

The third-seeded Allmond (17-10) ran into a buzzsaw in the 182-pound championship match, losing by 19-4, 5:28 technical fall to Bellefonte junior Ethan Rossman, but Allmond punched his ticket to the regional with an inspirational 10-2 major decision over second-seeded Mifflin County sophomore Brycen Hassinger in the semifinal round.

Hassinger had beaten Allmond earlier in the season, but Allmond vindicated himself impressively in the semifinal.

“One of my main goals here was to beat that kid,” Allmond said of Hasssinger. “Earlier in the year, he beat me, but I pushed harder in the weight room and in practice. I trained and worked hard with my coaches all week.”

Gilbert noticed the improvement.

“That major decision put him in a good place,” Gilbert said.

Hollidaysburg’s second-seeded Sleeth (20-10) notched a fall in the semifinals, but dropped a 5-0 decision to Mifflin County sophomore Anson Wagner in the 152-pound title match, where Wagner didn’t allow Sleeth to generate anything offensively.

“I wasn’t too happy with my performance during the championship match,” Sleeth said. “I’ve just got to continue working, and try to go out and do my best.”

Walls (21-7), a third seed at 160, pinned his first two opponents — including a semifinal victory over second-seeded Mifflin County sophomore Trey Shoemaker — but suffered a 16-1 loss by technical fall in 4:50 to Bellefonte junior Ethan Richner (29-2), a returning state medalist, in the championship match.

“I came out strong, and got it done in the first two matches,” Walls said. “I thought I did very well up until the finals. My goal this year is to make it to states, and I want to win some matches there.”

Hollidaysburg coach Christian Harr was pleased with the performances of all four of his regional qualifiers.

“Four going to the regional — that’s a pretty good feeling to get those guys through,” Harr said. “I’m super proud of the way all of our guys competed this week. This will give Aaron, Campbell, Nick, and Colin something to build on.”

Gilbert was also happy with sending six to the regional, including four through the wrestlebacks.

“All of those guys wrestled well,” Gilbert said of Manley, Zerbee, Boose and Finnegan. “We’ve got six going to the regional, and a lot of our guys exceeded their seeds here. That’s good.”

Meet notes: Mifflin County won the team title with 214 points and crowned six individual champions — Nic Allison (106 pounds), Kyler Everly (138), Ethan Kauffman (145), Wagner (152), Trey Kibe (170), and Blaine Davis (285). Mifflin County coach Kirby Martin was named the District 6 Class 3A Coach of the Year … Other individual champions included Central Mountain’s Derek Keen (113 pounds) and Gage Sutliff (220), Bellefonte’s Lane Aikey (120), and State College’s Tyler Price (195) … Altoona’s Graham Black (145) and Josh Keirn (195) won their fifth-place matches … Lock Haven’s Tom Elling, who has made myriad contributions to wrestling as an athlete, coach, tournament director, writer and editor, was named the District 6 Man of the Year.


1, MC–Mifflin County 214; 2, CM–Central Mountain 182; 3, B–Bellefonte 176.5; 4, SC–State College 154.5; 5, A–Altoona 108; 6, H–Hollidaysburg 75.5; 7, J–Juniata 53.5; 8, GJ–Greater Johnstown 23.


106–Casey Smith, J, F Mykal Jobes, GJ, 0:27. Gino Serafini, CM, F Eli Wisor, A, 0:40. Hayden Cunningham, SC, F Garrett Choates, B, 0:56. 113–Hunter Johnson, MC, F Bailey Weaverling, SC, 0:55. Colin Smilnak, H, MD Taylor Smith, J, 10-1. Aidan O’shea, B, F Jordan Carlucci, A, 2:24. 120–Cameron Sweigart, J, MD Braylen Corter, CM, 9-1. Derek Burk, MC, F Caleb Fasick, A, 4:15. Eric Weaver, SC, F Brian Praul, H, 1:36. 126–Jude Swisher, B, F Dan Turiano, H, 1:02. Carter Weaverling, SC, TF Lucas Sheetz, MC, 16-0 6:00. Damion Finnegan, A, F Daniel Painter, J, 3:37. Taylor Weaver, CM, F Jorge Morales, GJ, 0:29. 132–Matt Sarbo, A, F Marshall Maidens, MC, 0:19. Zack Moore, GJ, DEC Garidan Bridenbaugh, H, 3-2. Alex Coppolo, B, F Tye Jabs, J, 3:09. Owen Woolcott, SC, TF Tristan Probst, CM, 15-0 4:55. 138–Clayton Leidy, SC, F Weston Barnes, H, 3:47. Kasir Malcolm, GJ, DEC Brady Martin, B, 11-5. Zach Miller, CM, MD Tyson Aurand, J, 14-4. Kyler Everly, MC, F George Boutiller, A, 2:29. 145–Ethan Kauffman, MC, F Lazaire Hinton, GJ, 3:54. Kyle Martin, SC, MD Alec Bossert, B, 9-1. Nicholas Burkey, H, TF Josh Bomberger, J, 16-0 3:43. Lane Porter, CM, F Graham Black, A, 0:13

152–Damien Galentine, CM, DEC Jason Dry, SC, 8-2. Adam Zerbee, A, DEC Andrew Mcchesney, B, 6-4. 160–Kaden Falls, CM, DEC Harrison Hoopes, SC, 3-1. Campbell Walls, H, F Aaron Carothers, A, 1:33. 170–Stephen Ivicic, B, F Chase Willis, J, 2:14. Caleb Porter, CM, F Anthony Weyant, H, 3:33. 182–Paul Risley, CM, F Phaustyn Houtz, J, 2:43. Colin Allmond, A, F Devon Datres, H, 0:10. Brycen Hassinger, MC, F Braden Newby, SC, 3:43. 195–Tyler Benner, B, DEC Josh Keirn, A, 7-0. Jacob Krepps, MC, F Jesse Weir, H, 2:56. 220–Ray Boose, A, F Dominic Rowles, J, 1:14. Gage Sutliff, CM, F Nick Beebe, SC, 2:23. 285–Trevor Manley, A, F Hunter Lucas, J, 1:10. Harrison Schoen, SC, TF Tyler Putnam, B, 15-0 4:11. Cyrus Mccarl, CM, F Tristan Winegardner, H, 2:46


106–Garrett Choates, B, TF Eli Wisor, A, 16-1 4:43. 113–Jordan Carlucci, A, DEC Taylor Smith, J, 2-0. 120–Caleb Fasick, A, TF Brian Praul, H, 18-0 3:14. 126–Lucas Sheetz, MC, F Dan Turiano, H, 2:10. Daniel Painter, J, F Jorge Morales, GJ, 1:53. 132–Garidan Bridenbaugh, H, F Marshall Maidens, MC, 3:29. Tristan Probst, CM, F Tye Jabs, J, 1:00. 138–Brady Martin, B, F Weston Barnes, H, 2:25. Tyson Aurand, J, F George Boutiller, A, 2:11. 145–Alec Bossert, B, DEC Lazaire Hinton, GJ, 2-1. Graham Black, A, DEC Josh Bomberger, J, 9-2. 182–Braden Newby, SC, F Devon Datres, H, 2:14. 285–Tristan Winegardner, H, F Tyler Putnam, B, 3:44


106–Gino Serafini, CM, F Mykal Jobes, GJ, 0:25. Casey Smith, J, MD Garrett Choates, B, 13-4. 113–Colin Smilnak, H, DEC Bailey Weaverling, SC, 7-5 SV. Hunter Johnson, MC, F Jordan Carlucci, A, 1:47. 120–Eric Weaver, SC, DEC Braylen Corter, CM, 7-1. Cameron Sweigart, J, TF Caleb Fasick, A, 15-0 3:12. 126–Damion Finnegan, A, MD Lucas Sheetz, MC, 14-4. Carter Weaverling, SC, F Daniel Painter, J, 0:31. 132–Alex Coppolo, B, F Garidan Bridenbaugh, H, 4:39. Zack Moore, GJ, DEC Tristan Probst, CM, 7-5. 138–Zach Miller, CM, F Brady Martin, B, 2:57. Kasir Malcolm, GJ, TF Tyson Aurand, J, 23-8 4:11. 145–Nicholas Burkey, H, MD Alec Bossert, B, 8-0. Kyle Martin, SC, DEC Graham Black, A, 6-4 SV

152–Adam Zerbee, A, MD Jason Dry, SC, 12-4. Damien Galentine, CM, F Andrew Mcchesney, B, 4:57. 160–Trey Shoemaker, MC, F Harrison Hoopes, SC, 3:55. Kaden Falls, CM, F Aaron Carothers, A, 1:28. 170–Caleb Porter, CM, DEC Chase Willis, J, 5-0. Stephen Ivicic, B, F Anthony Weyant, H, 2:46. 182–Brycen Hassinger, MC, F Phaustyn Houtz, J, 2:58. Paul Risley, CM, DEC Braden Newby, SC, 5-2. 195–Jacob Krepps, MC, DEC Josh Keirn, A, 5-0. Tyler Benner, B, F Jesse Weir, H, 1:52. 220–Max Barrier, B, F Dominic Rowles, J, 0:17. Ray Boose, A, MD Nick Beebe, SC, 11-0. 285–Cyrus Mccarl, CM, F Hunter Lucas, J, 2:48. Trevor Manley, A, F Tristan Winegardner, H, 3:20


106–Nic Allison, MC, MD Casey Smith, J, 12-1. Hayden Cunningham, SC, DEC Gino Serafini, CM, 5-1. 113–Derek Keen, CM, DEC Hunter Johnson, MC, 6-3. Aidan O’shea, B, DEC Colin Smilnak, H, 9-3. 120–Lane Aikey, B, F Cameron Sweigart, J, 1:23. Derek Burk, MC, DEC Eric Weaver, SC, 9-7. 126–Jude Swisher, B, F Carter Weaverling, SC, 1:57. Taylor Weaver, CM, DEC Damion Finnegan, A, 5-4. 132–Matt Sarbo, A, F Zack Moore, GJ, 2:27. Owen Woolcott, SC, DEC Alex Coppolo, B, 4-3 TB2. 138–Clayton Leidy, SC, DEC Kasir Malcolm, GJ, 4-3. Kyler Everly, MC, F Zach Miller, CM, 2:55. 145–Ethan Kauffman, MC, MD Kyle Martin, SC, 12-2. Lane Porter, CM, F Nicholas Burkey, H, 1:45

152–Anson Wagner, MC, MD Damien Galentine, CM, 12-4. Aaron Sleeth, H, F Adam Zerbee, A, 3:23. 160–Ethan Richner, B, F Kaden Falls, CM, 0:53. Campbell Walls, H, F Trey Shoemaker, MC, 0:50. 170–Trey Kibe, MC, F Stephen Ivicic, B, 0:57. Lance Urbas, SC, DEC Caleb Porter, CM, 9-2. 182–Ethan Rossman, B, F Paul Risley, CM, 1:53. Colin Allmond, A, MD Brycen Hassinger, MC, 10-2. 195–Tyler Price, SC, F Tyler Benner, B, 0:44. Nikolas Miller, CM, DEC Jacob Krepps, MC, 3-2. 220–Hayden Crum, MC, DEC Ray Boose, A, 5-2. Gage Sutliff, CM, DEC Max Barrier, B, 7-4. 285–Blaine Davis, MC, F Trevor Manley, A, 5:53. Harrison Schoen, SC, DEC Cyrus Mccarl, CM, 3-2


106–Nic Allison, MC, DEC Hayden Cunningham, SC, 5-3 SV. 113–Derek Keen, CM, F Aidan O’shea, B, 3:02. 120–Lane Aikey, B, DEC Derek Burk, MC, 3-0. 126–Jude Swisher, B, MD Taylor Weaver, CM, 15-5. 132–Matt Sarbo, A, TF Owen Woolcott, SC, 21-6 5:52. 138–Kyler Everly, MC, DEC Clayton Leidy, SC, 2-0. 145–Ethan Kauffman, MC, DEC Lane Porter, CM, 10-4

152–Anson Wagner, MC, DEC Aaron Sleeth, H, 5-0. 160–Ethan Richner, B, TF Campbell Walls, H, 16-1 4:50. 170–Trey Kibe, MC, MD Lance Urbas, SC, 11-3. 182–Ethan Rossman, B, TF Colin Allmond, A, 19-4 5:28. 195–Tyler Price, SC, DEC Nikolas Miller, CM, 3-1 SV. 220–Gage Sutliff, CM, F Hayden Crum, MC, 3:04. 285–Blaine Davis, MC, DEC Harrison Schoen, SC, 1-0.


106–Gino Serafini, CM, F Casey Smith, J, 0:59. 113–Hunter Johnson, MC, DEC Colin Smilnak, H, 4-3. 120–Eric Weaver, SC, DEC Cameron Sweigart, J, 7-3. 126–Carter Weaverling, SC, DEC Damion Finnegan, A, 5-3. 132–Alex Coppolo, B, DEC Zack Moore, GJ, 10-3. 138–Kasir Malcolm, GJ, TF Zach Miller, CM, 18-3 4:01. 145–Nicholas Burkey, H, DEC Kyle Martin, SC, 7-4

152–Damien Galentine, CM, DEC Adam Zerbee, A, 7-2. 160–Trey Shoemaker, MC, DEC Kaden Falls, CM, 7-0. 170–Caleb Porter, CM, DEC Stephen Ivicic, B, 2-0. 182–Brycen Hassinger, MC, F Paul Risley, CM, 2:16. 195–Jacob Krepps, MC, DEC Tyler Benner, B, 7-3. 220–Max Barrier, B, F Ray Boose, A, 2:22. 285–Trevor Manley, A, DEC Cyrus Mccarl, CM, 6-1 SV


106–Garrett Choates, B, FOR Mykal Jobes, GJ, 0-0. 113–Bailey Weaverling, SC, DEC Jordan Carlucci, A, 5-0. 120–Braylen Corter, CM, F Caleb Fasick, A, 4:44. 126–Lucas Sheetz, MC, F Daniel Painter, J, 3:59. 132–Garidan Bridenbaugh, H, MD Tristan Probst, CM, 10-2. 138–Brady Martin, B, F Tyson Aurand, J, 2:59. 145–Graham Black, A, DEC Alec Bossert, B, 3-2

152–Andrew Mcchesney, B, DEC Jason Dry, SC, 4-3. 160–Harrison Hoopes, SC, F Aaron Carothers, A, 2:54. 170–Chase Willis, J, DEC Anthony Weyant, H, 9-3. 182–Phaustyn Houtz, J, DEC Braden Newby, SC, 8-5. 195–Josh Keirn, A, F Jesse Weir, H, 0:50. 220–Dominic Rowles, J, F Nick Beebe, SC, 3:55. 285–Hunter Lucas, J, DEC Tristan Winegardner, H, 8-3


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