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First D6 tourney title worth wait for Vikings

Commentary

There was a long delay in announcing the District 6 Class 2A Tournament final team standings and awards to what were mostly Glendale fans, wrestlers and coaches standing on the gymnasium floor at the Altoona Fieldhouse.

But it was worth the wait.

When it was announced that the Vikings won the team title for the first time and coach Billy Dubler was voted District 6 Coach of the Year, the celebration began. Actually, the celebration was an ongoing one throughout the tournament as fans and the teams kept track online at Flo Arena.

Glendale, which finished third in the District 6 Duals, was atop the team standings for a majority of the tournament, with Bald Eagle Area, Philipsburg-Osceola, Huntingdon and others challenging the Vikings.

“I knew we had a shot at the team title because our guys are pinners,” Dubler said. “Our guys work for the bonus points all the time, and that’s what it takes in a tournament like this.

“The field was very, very even. This was probably the most exciting team race that I’ve seen in the last 15 years here. Most of the time it was either St. Joe’s or Huntingdon, and it was a landslide. But the team standings were changing all the time.”

The Vikings advanced seven wrestlers to this weekend’s Southwest Regional Tournament. District champs Brock McMillen (132) and Cory Johnston (220) and runners-up Suds Dubler (126) and Seth Dudurich (195) scored a lot of points, but the three other placers and non-placers scored their share.

Kyle Jasper, who lifted his coach after the Coach of the Year announcement, placed fourth at 285, but he had four pins in doing so.

“Without those guys, we don’t win this tournament,” Dubler said. “It was a team effort, and everybody contributed. I’m excited. I can’t believe we did it.”

Dubler is hoping the school, which gave the state qualifiers a sendoff to Hershey last year, recognizes the title.

“I think Glendale should probably hang a banner with the district championship,” he said. “I would love to see that. That would mean a lot. I think our administration will step up and make something like that happen because this is really special.

“We’re wrestling schools just not our size. We’re beating the big schools like Westmont, who I heard might even be triple-A next year, and Huntingdon. I hope this is something that is never forgotten at Glendale.”

Knisely could stop rematch

The Southwest Regional pairings have been released and 220 pounds looks to be interesting again.

Johnston beat Mount Union’s Jake Ryan, 5-4, for the first time in the District 6 finals. They are in opposite brackets, but Chestnut Ridge’s Duane Knisely, who’s ranked ahead of Johnston in the Mirror rankings, will likely tangle with Ryan in the semifinals.

As of last week, Ryan was ranked second by PA Power Wrestling, while Johnston and Knisely were fifth and sixth, respectively.

Lee win isn’t surprising

Word spread quickly around the Fieldhouse on Saturday night that Penn State’s second-ranked Nick Lee beat Ohio State’s top-ranked Luke Pletcher, 7-3.

Expect Lee and Pletcher to meet again in the Big Ten finals and maybe even in the NCAA Championship finals.

Todd Irwin can be reached at tirwin@altoonamirror.com.

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