Wrestling all-stars: Chestnut Ridge, Glendale well represented on first team
Glendale junior 132-pounder Brock McMillen and Bedford senior 138-pounder Kaden Cassidy would make for a heck of a 1-2 punch if they wrestled in the same lineup.
McMillen captured his second state title at the PIAA Class 2A Championships less than a year after discovering he had a heart issue. Cassidy followed minutes later by winning his first state gold medal.
After turning in their respective banner seasons, McMillen and Cassidy have been named Co-Wrestlers of the Year on the 37th annual Mirror All-Star Team. It’s the second straight year McMillen has garnered the honor, sharing with Chestnut Ridge’s Jared McGill last year.
McMillen, a three-time state finalist who was Glendale’s first state champion last year, made the walk to the top of the medals stand after outlasting Burrell’s Ian Oswalt, 5-1, in a tiebreaker in the finals.
Cassidy had placed third at the PIAA Championships as a freshman at Bishop McCort and third last season at Bedford. He finally won a state title by beating Saegertown’s Kenny Kiser, 10-6, to cap off a 38-0 season.
McMillen’s coach, Billy Dubler, has been named the Mirror’s Co-Coach of the Year with Chestnut Ridge’s first-year head coach Josh Deputy.
Deputy kept the Chestnut Ridge dynasty going after Greg Lazor resigned following last year’s state tournament. Deputy guided the Lions to an 18-2 record and a third-place finish at the PIAA Duals.
Dubler coached the Vikings to a 16-2 record and the first District 6 Tournament team title in the program’s history. He became the first Glendale coach to be named District 6 Class 2A Coach of the Year.
There is more on the Wrestlers of the Year and the Coaches of the Year in the following pages of the Mirror.
The state tournament ended just a few days before the high school basketball season was halted because of the coronavirus. The Mirror followed the government’s guidelines of avoiding groups of 10 and opted not to have a group photo of the first-team all-stars.
The first, second and honorable mention teams follow the order of the Mirror rankings, with some exceptions at deep weights like 113, 120 and 220, where there are two first-teamers, respectively. The deepest weight is 126, where there are six wrestlers on the three teams.
106 pounds: Calan Bollman, Chestnut Ridge: Bollman’s freshman season began unceremoniously, having to sit behind returning state placewinner and fellow first-teamer Nathan Holderbaum at 113. But once he got his chance, Bollman shined, placing third at 113 at King of the Mountain before making the drop to 106.
Bollman went on to win a Thomas Chevrolet Tournament title, a District 5 title, a Southwest Regional Tournament gold medal and became the first freshman in program history to make the finals at the PIAA Class 2A Championships. He finished as a runner-up after a 4-2 loss to Montoursville’s Branden Wentzel in the finals.
He finished with a 40-4 record, 17 pins and seven major decisions.
113 pounds: Kai Burkett, Chestnut Ridge: Burkett returns to the first team after going 40-7 with 15 pins, 10 major decisions and four technical falls. A first-teamer at 106 last season, the Ridge junior captured his third District 5 title, finished second at the Southwest Regional for the second straight year, dropping another one-point bout, 1-0, to South Park’s Joey Fischer in the finals.
Burkett, who began the season at 120, earned his second fifth-place medal at the state tournament, beating fellow first-teamer Hunter Walk of Tyrone, 5-1, in the fifth-place bout. He’ll look to match his older brother Aaron in state medals next season. Burkett is 106-22 in his career.
113 pounds: Hunter Walk, Tyrone: Walk returns to the first team as a junior after going 39-9 with 16 pins, five major decisions and three technical falls. One of his wins this year was over two-time West Virginia state champ Michael Dolan, 4-3, in the consolation semifinals of the MyHouse Trojan Wars Tournament.
Walk finished second at the District 6 Tournament, losing 4-0 to Forest Hills’ Easton Toth, and third at the Southwest Regional Tournament before taking sixth at Hershey in his second state tournament appearance. He has a career record of 93-36.
120 pounds: Roland Mills, Huntingdon: A first-teamer last season, Mills returns after going 40-8 with 18 pins, five major decisions and four technical falls wrestling between 120 and 132. The Bearcat senior won his first District 6 Class 2A title at 120 with a 2-1 win over Bald Eagle Area’s Cooper Gilham.
Mills finished second at the Southwest Regional, beating Holderbaum, 8-6, in the semifinals, and went 2-2 in his first state tournament to just miss the medal round. Mills, who went 31-12 as a junior, went 109-48 in his career.
120 pounds: Nathan Holderbaum, Chestnut Ridge: The Ridge senior returns to the first team after winning a Thomas Tournament title, his second District 5 title, taking third at the Southwest Regional and placing seventh at the state tournament. It was his second state medal after placing fourth last season.
Holderbaum, who began the season at 113 before moving up to 120, finished with a 37-12 record, 14 pins and six major decisions. He was 97-39 in three years as a starter.
126 pounds: Hunter Horton, Tussey Mountain: Horton saved his best wrestling for the postseason, beating Ridge’s Thomas Tournament champ Ross Dull for his first District 5 title in his second finals appearance and knocking off Glendale’s returning state qualifier Suds Dubler in an epic tiebreaker in Southwest Regional quarterfinals.
After finishing fifth at the regional, the Titans’ junior went 2-2 at the state tournament to just miss the medal round. Horton went 34-10 with 14 pins this season. An honorable mention selection who was 24-11 last season, Horton has a career record of 70-34.
145 pounds: Tristan Rutter, Glendale: After his junior season ended with a leg injury before the postseason, Rutter finished fifth at the District 6 Tournament and qualified for his first state tournament by placing sixth at the Southwest Regional.
Rutter posted a 34-15 record to go with 16 pins and seven technical falls. A two-time honorable mention pick, he went 104-45 in his career.
152 pounds: Luke Moore, Chestnut Ridge: The Ridge sophomore went 31-18 with 14 falls wrestling at 152 and 160. Moore finished third at the District 5 tournament and qualified for his state tournament by taking sixth at the Southwest Regional. Moore, who was 18-16 as a freshman, went 1-2 in Hershey.
160 pounds: Hunter Weitoish, Philipsburg-Osceola: Weitoish returns to the first team after finishing second at the District 6 Tournament, dropping a 9-7 overtime decision to St. Joseph’s Keegan Rothrock in the finals, and taking third at the Southwest Regional.
The P-O junior finished eighth in his second state tournament appearance. Weitoish was 34-9 with 14 pins and three technical falls, and he’s 86-29 in his career.
170 pounds: Colby Imler, Northern Bedford: The Black Panther senior had the best year of his career, going 31-10 with 13 pins. A two-year starter who was 17-13 last year, Imler won his first District 5 title and placed fourth at the Southwest Regional to qualify for his first state tournament. He went 2-2 at Hershey to come a win of making the medal round.
182 pounds: Ian Eckenrode, Cambria Heights: The Heights junior is on the first team for the first time after winning a Thomas Tournament title and finishing third at the District 6 Tournament. Eckenrode was fifth at the Southwest Regional, beating Huntingdon’s returning state qualifier Myles Baney, 6-1, in the fifth-place bout to qualify for his first state tournament.
Eckenrode, who finished with a 38-7 record and 17 pins, went 1-2 in Hershey.
195 pounds: Parker Moore, Philipsburg-Osceola: Moore is the most improved wrestler in the area after he went 9-16 as a sophomore to 36-9 as a junior. Moore finished third at the District 6 Tournament, but he won a Southwest Regional title with a 7-1 win over Westmont Hilltop’s district champ Tanner Dluhos.
Moore continued his remarkable run at Hershey, finishing sixth, including rallying to tie Conneaut’s Trevor Tursky late in the third period of their consolation bout and pinning him in overtime – one of his 17 pins this season.
220 pounds: Duane Knisely, Chestnut Ridge: One of the best athletes in the region, Knisely returns to the first team after winning his second District 5 title and claiming the 220-pound title at the Southwest Regional by beating Mount Union’s returning state runner-up Jake Ryan, 6-4, in the semifinals and Glendale’s returning state placer Cory Johnston in overtime, 3-1, in the finals.
The Ridge senior lost a controversial semifinal in Hershey to Wilson Area’s Kolby Flank in overtime, 3-1, but he rebounded to beat Ryan, 6-1, in a very physical consolation semifinal and avenged a regular-season loss to Brookville’s Nathan Taylor, 3-0, to finish third.
A Thomas Tournament champion, Knisely led the area in wins with a 43-4 record, and he had 19 pins. Knisely, who will continue his track and field career at Penn State, finished his wrestling career with a 121-46 record.
220 pounds: Cory Johnston, Glendale: The Viking senior returns to the first team after going 39-6 and leading the Mirror coverage area in pins with 25. Johnston captured his second District 6 title by avenging two regular-season losses to Ryan, 5-4, in the finals. Dubler said before the tournament Johnston was looking to “crack the code” against Ryan.
His second-place finish at the regional tournament qualified him for the state tournament, where he finished seventh for his second state medal. His only losses in this year’s tournament were to Montoursville’s eventual champ Cameron Wood, 4-0, in the quarterfinals and to Ryan in the consolation quarterfinals.
Johnston finished his career with a 111-26 record.
285 pounds: Evan Pellegrine, Bellwood-Antis: Pellegrine had a strong senior season, finishing second at the District 6 Tournament and fifth at the Southwest Regional, joining teammate Alex Taylor in making the trip to Hershey. He went 2-2 at the state tournament with two pins, coming up a win shy of making the medal round.
Pellegrine went 32-9 with 19 pins this season and was 76-32 in his three-year career.
2019-20 Altoona Mirror wrestling all-stars
Wgt. Name School Yr Record
106 Calan Bollman Chestnut Ridge Fr 40-4
113 *Kai Burkett Chestnut Ridge Jr 40-7
113 *Hunter Walk Tyrone Jr 39-9
120 *Roland Mills Huntingdon Sr 40-8
120 *Nathan Holderbaum Chestnut Ridge Sr 37-12
126 Hunter Horton Tussey Mountain Jr 34-10
132 +Brock McMillen Glendale Jr 36-3
138 *Kaden Cassidy Bedford Sr 38-0
145 Tristan Rutter Glendale Sr 34-15
152 Luke Moore Chestnut Ridge So 31-18
160 *Hunter Weitoish Philipsburg-Osceola Jr 34-9
170 Colby Imler Northern Bedford Sr 31-10
182 Ian Eckenrode Cambria Heights Jr 38-7
195 Parker Moore Philipsburg-Osceola Jr 36-9
220 *Duane Knisely Chestnut Ridge Sr 43-4
220 *Cory Johnston Glendale Sr 39-6
285 Evan Pellegrine Bellwood-Antis Sr 32-9
Wrestlers of the Year: Brock McMillen, Glendale and Kaden Cassidy, Bedford
Coaches of the Year: Josh Deputy, Chestnut Ridge and Billy Dubler, Glendale
*–Indicates second first team selection; +–Indicates third first team selection
Wgt. Name School Yr Record
106 Jaxon Matthews Central So 24-19
113 Zeke Dubler Glendale Fr 36-9
120 Mat Emerick Bedford Sr 22-9
126 Ross Dull Chestnut Ridge So 39-11
126 Damion Finnegan Altoona Jr 24-14
126 Suds Dubler Glendale So 36-9
132 Matt Sarbo Altoona Jr 35-4
132 Kaleb Miller Chestnut Ridge Jr 27-15
138 Ian Sherlock Northern Bedford Sr 34-11
138 Chase Chapman Philipsburg-Osceola Sr 32-15
145 Gryphon Callihan Chestnut Ridge Sr 31-13
152 Aaiden Taylor Bellwood-Antis Jr 29-9
160 Campbell Walls Hollidaysburg Jr 26-10
160 Alex Taylor Bellwood-Antis Jr 33-10
170 Alex Weaver Tyrone Jr 23-12
182 Myles Baney Huntingdon Jr 31-12
195 Ashton Dull Bedford Jr 24-13
195 Seth Dudurich Glendale Sr 32-11
220 Logan Propst Everett Sr 28-12
285 Matt Watkins Tussey Mountain So 31-12
Wgt. Name School Yr Record
106 Korry Walls Tyrone Fr 25-11
106 Landon Dunsmore Huntingdon Fr 28-15
113 Zach Brandis Central Cambria Sr 13-10
113 Nick Coudriet Philipsburg-Osceola So 24-11
120 Ian Crouch Central Jr 33-8
126 Camden Koontz Bedford Jr 25-13
126 Alex Bowman Central Jr 12-3
132 Lane Younker Everett Sr 25-8
132 Cole Claycomb Claysburg-Kimmel Fr 23-6
138 Trevor Weyandt Chestnut Ridge So 25-14
145 Austin Foster Philipsburg-Osceola So 20-10
152 Aaron Sleeth Hollidaysburg So 23-12
160 Daniel Moore Chestnut Ridge So 26-8
160 Kobe Harr Claysburg-Kimmel Sr 21-5
170 Gage Peters Huntingdon Sr 21-14
182 Seth Holderbaum Chestnut Ridge Sr 25-13
195 Cody Rock Everett Sr 19-11
220 Austin Wagner Penn Cambria Fr 21-13
220 Izzy Reed Huntingdon Sr 17-4
285 Kyle Jasper Glendale Sr 29-13
285 Trevor Manley Altoona Jr 18-13