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3 wrestling tourneys set for weekend

While the District 6 Class 2A wrestlers have been trying to advance to the District 6 Tournament, the Class 3A and District 5 teams have been waiting their turns for the postseason to start.

All three tournaments will take place over the next two days.

The District 6 Class 3A Tournament starts at 2 p.m. today at the Altoona Fieldhouse. The District 6 Class 2A Tournament begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Fieldhouse. The District 5 Tournament is at North Star this year, and it begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Here’s a closer look at the tournaments:

History awaits

Altoona’s Matt Sarbo (5-1), the top seed at 138 pounds, is gunning for his fourth district title today.

Sarbo would become only the third Altoona wrestler to win a fourth title, joining T.J. Brandt in 2013 and Cole Manley in 2017. Central Mountain returning state qualifier Taylor Weaver (15-4) is the second seed.

“The Weaver kid is a pretty good wrestler,” Altoona coach Joel Gilbert said. “As long as Matt goes out and wrestles hard and wrestles fast, I think he’ll be real tough to beat this weekend. There have been only 25 guys in the district to ever (win four titles), so that’s a pretty impressive feat.”

Altoona has two other top seeds in Adam Zerbee (11-4) at 152 and Trevor Manley (10-5) at 285. Hollidaysburg doesn’t have any No. 1 seeds, but returning state qualifier Campbell Walls (12-3) is seeded second to Bellefonte’s returning state qualifier Ethan Richner (15-0).

“It’s been an odd year. It doesn’t feel like the postseason to me,” Gilbert said. “But we’re here, and I’ve got a pretty senior-oriented group. I think they’re ready to wrestle.

“I believe our goal is to get in the top two. We’d like to move on as many guys as possible to the regional tournament. I believe we have three first seeds, and it would be nice if our guys lived up to their seeds in the tournament and maybe even be a seed buster.”

“We’re looking forward to it,” Hollidaysburg coach Christian Harr said. “All of the guys are wrestling really well. I think they’re all peaking at the right time. I think we’re as well prepared as we can be. Hopefully we go in there and do as we’re trained to do.”

Only the top two placers at every weight class return next Saturday to the Fieldhouse for the Northwest Regional Tournament.

A true second format is being used. If the runner-up and the third-place finisher at a weight haven’t wrestled in the tournament, they’ll wrestle for a true second place.

The placing rounds are set for 7 p.m. No fans are allowed, but they can follow online at Flo Arena.

McMillen eyes third title

Glendale two-time state champion Brock McMillen (10-0 at 138) will be vying for his third district title. The seeding meeting was held via zoom Thursday night, and it was highly likely he was the top seed in his eight-man weight class.

No other area district champs return, but there are three returning runners-up in Central’s Jaxon Matthews (120), Tyrone’s Hunter Walk (120) and Glendale’s Suds Dubler (172).

The area teams are ready to go, especially Section 1 champion Tyrone and Section 3 champion Central.

“I think we’re looking forward to it a lot,” Tyrone coach Terry Tate said. “I think it’s going to be whole lot of fun. We’ve got a lot of younger guys who haven’t wrestled in a district tournament yet, so they get to experience what that’s like.

“I think we wrestled really well at sectionals last night. I think if we bring that same intensity and hunger to districts on Saturday, I think we’ll perform pretty well. I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people. I think we’re going to get a lot of guys through.”

“We can’t wait for the opportunity to compete,” Central coach Dave Marko said. “We’re excited for the opportunity to try to move on. We know that it’s going to be different, going to be tough, but those are the challenges you look forward to.

“We’re just looking to move (wrestlers) on. The team title the other night was neat, but the name of the game at this point is to get as many individuals to advance as possible.”

There’s a pretty good chance Walk, ranked No. 5 by PA Power Wrestling, could face Bishop McCort’s freshman phenom and top-ranked Mason Gibson (8-0) in the finals.

“I’m eager to see that match,” Tate said. “I think it’s going to be a good match. I think Hunter will be ready for it. Hunter is a gamer, and I think he’ll enjoy the challenge regardless of the outcome. I think it will be something that the district is excited about too.”

The top three at every weight class advance to the Southwest Regional Tournament at IUP. The true second format will again be used.

The placing rounds are set for 3 p.m. There will be no fan attendance.

Ridge aims for 10th straight title

Chestnut Ridge will likely run away with another District 5 title and many Southwest Regional Tournament qualifiers.

The Lions, led by returning state runner-up Calan Bollman, are vying for their 10th straight District 5 title.

Northern Bedford will have to exceed its seeds to qualify anybody for the Southwest Regional. The Panthers don’t have a first or second seed.

Only the top two advance to the regional at IUP. The true second format is being used.

The placing rounds are set to begin at 7 p.m.

There will be limited fan attendance with two passes per wrestler.

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