Viking desires 3-peat
McMillen could join 7 others from D6
Glendale’s Brock McMillen burst upon the high school wrestling landscape as a freshman and made an immediate impact.
The two-time Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling state champion went 41-4, with all of his losses coming to Mount Union’s Josh Boozel in the dual meet, District 6 finals, Southwest Regional finals and in the 113-pound Class 2A state finals.
Fast forward to today and McMillen (19-0), a 138-pound senior, is a three-time district and regional champ and a day away from vying for his third state title.
If he captures his third title at Hershey’s Giant Center, he’ll be the Mirror coverage area’s first three-time champ since Juniata Valley’s Garrett Scott won gold from 2003 to 2005.
Only seven wrestlers in District 6 history have won three state titles, including Lock Haven’s Mike Johnson, who is the district’s only four-time state champ (1958-1961).
McMillen’s won a state title as a sophomore when he earned three straight 3-2 decisions, including his finals win over Bishop McDevitt’s Chase Shields. His second state title came last year when he survived a 5-1 tiebreaker win over Burrell’s Ian Oswalt.
“I’m confident. I think he’s confident. It’s what he does,” said Glendale coach Brian Storm, who was the program’s junior high coach before this season. “He expects a lot out of himself. He wants to be on top of that podium again.
“He was always the leader of wrestling at Glendale. He’s always been our trailblazer. He always did everything first. He was our first PJW state champion. I think kids always looked up to him, and it really helped our program too.”
Cambria Heights 189-pound senior Ian Eckenrode (18-3), who finished fourth at the Western Super Regional, joins McMillen in Hershey for the second straight year.
With eight-man weight classes in Hershey this season, they have already earned medals. It’s just a matter of positioning themselves on the medals podium.
The Class 2A Wrestling Championships begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Giant Center with the quarterfinals for McMillen and rest of the wrestlers from 106 to 138. The semifinals and consolations for that group are at 10 a.m. The consy semifinal round is slated for 4 p.m., and the medal round follows at 5.
Eckenrode and the rest of the wrestlers from 145 to 285 pounds start at 12:30 p.m., and the semifinals and consolations follow at 2. The consy semis are set for 7 p.m., and the medal round is scheduled for 8.
Flo Wrestling is streaming all of the bouts for those who can’t attend the tournament.
Don’t expect any bad nerves to affect the even-keeled McMillen.
“He doesn’t seem to get nervous,” Storm said. “He just seems more intense. He has routines, and he just follows them.”
McMillen opens the tournament with what appears to be the least stressful bout in the weight class. He faces Lewisburg’s Eastern Super Regional fourth-placer Logan Bartlett (20-10), who was ranked 22nd by PA Power Wrestling before last week’s tournament.
A win would move him into the semifinals against Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy fourth-ranked Amonn Ohl (12-4) or Allentown Central Catholic’s sixth-ranked Eastern Super Regional runner-up David Kreidler (12-4).
“We’ll get that Bartlett in the first match, and we’ll see how it goes,” Storm said. “Then he’ll probably have Amonn Ohl. I’m sure Amonn wants to avenge his (16-6) loss from Super Regionals. I don’t think anybody is going to lay down for him. I think Brock’s looking to get better every match also. I think he’s going to want to score even more points.”
Oswalt (21-2) is the likely finalist from the other side of the weight.
“I’m looking forward to next week,” McMillen said after winning his Super Regional title. “New kids are coming in, but I think our region will do pretty well overall again, like it always does.”
Eckenrode, who didn’t place in last year’s tournament, opens with a rugged opponent in Montoursville’s returning state third-placer and top-ranked Cael Crebs (31-1).
Eckenrode will get either Freedom Area’s fourth-ranked Western Super Regional runner-up Trent Schultheis (32-5) or Halifax’s ninth-ranked Eastern third-placer Bryce Enders (26-4).
“Hey, everybody that goes to states is a medal winner now,” Cambria Heights coach Mike Eckenrode said. “So, you really have a lot less pressure than you have coming (to the Super Regional Tournament). For the kids that do get there, it’s icing on the cake.”
Vikings entering Duals
The season won’t be done just yet for McMillen and the rest of the Vikings when the Class 2A state tournament is complete on Friday.
The District 6 Duals and the PIAA Duals are being held after the individual state tournament this year. The top four teams in the standings of the Class 2A and 3A district tournaments automatically qualified for the District 6 Duals.
Storm confirmed Wednesday that Glendale, which finished third in the team standings at districts, will visit second-place Penns Valley in a semifinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Fourth-place Bald Eagle Area will visit District 6 champ Forest Hills the same night.
The semifinal winners in both classes wrestle in their respective District 6 Duals finals next Saturday at the Altoona Fieldhouse.
“It’s tough, but I think the kids want to see what will happen,” Storm said. “It’s kind of weird with it being at the end. No one is really wrestling. We had spring sports start, so we have guys going to baseball practice. Football is starting its offseason program. I think we can do all right.”
The Class 2A district champion faces the District 10 champ in the state quarterfinals on March 24. Only the district champs move on this year. The semifinals and finals are being held on March 27 at Cumberland Valley High School.
PIAA WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS SCHEDULE
At Hershey’s Giant Center
Class 2A Tournament: Friday
Class 3A Tournament: Saturday
Same Schedule for Both Tournaments
Quarterfinals: 8:30 a.m., Semifinals and consolations: 10 a.m., Consolation semifinals: 4 p.m., Finals and medal round: 5 p.m.
Quarterfinals: 12:30 p.m., Semifinals and consolations: 2 p.m., Consolation semifinals: 7 p.m., Finals and medal round: 8 p.m.
All wrestlers at every weight are medalists.
Limited fan attendance: 6 tickets per qualifier
Streamed by Flo Wrestling. Live brackets via Flo Arena