Cassidy shifts goal from record to gold medal

Bedford’s Kaden Cassidy was at one time focused on breaking the state record for technical falls. He had 16 technical falls in his first 18 bouts, and he had his eye on Exeter’s Austin DeSanto’s 29 technical falls.

Now the goal has shifted from breaking records to state titles.

Cassidy rolled to his third Southwest Regional Tournament title with a 6-0 win over St. Joseph’s Zack Witmer in the finals. He notched two takedowns in the win.

“I’ve definitely gotten a lot better on my feet,” Cassidy said. “I have more movement. If you look at me from the Thomas Tournament until now, I’m moving a lot more. I feel good. I like having it figured what I’m going to do.”

Cassidy has finished third in Hershey twice, including last year, when he medaled despite having a knee injury. He’s taking a 34-0 record into Hershey next week.

“No one scored a point on me here, so I feel good going into states,” Cassidy said. “It’s the best I’ve felt all year, the best I’ve felt in the past two years. I think this is the best I’ve wrestled in awhile.”

CementJob does a great job

Those who didn’t make it to IUP last weekend were able again to watch the Southwest Regional Tournament online thanks to CementJob.

CementJob provided live video streaming of all four mats with play-by-play and commentary from Sam Shuss and John Topper from WAYC-FM “Star 100.9” throughout the tournament.

The CementJob team did a great job keeping up with everything on the mats.

Shuss and Topper focused much of their commentary on District 5 wrestlers because they’re from Bedford County, but they did a good job with other bouts. Viewers could watch other bouts even when Shuss and Topper were focusing on another mat.

I was able to watch the huge semifinal between Chestnut Ridge’s Duane Knisely and Mount Union’s Jake Ryan on the site.

On the other hand, fans couldn’t follow results on Flo Arena for much of the day because officials couldn’t update results on the usually reliable site. The site was back to normal on the second day.

Rankings undergo shakeup

There are a lot of changes at the top of weights in the Altoona Mirror wrestling rankings because of some clutch wrestling.

There are five new No. 1 wrestlers in Huntingdon’s Roland Mills at 120, Tussey Mountain’s Hunter Horton at 126, Glendale’s Tristan Rutter at 145, Cambria Heights’ Ian Eckenrode at 182 and Philipsburg-Osceola’s regional champion Parker Moore at 195.

The rankings also changed a lot within the top five at many of the weights because of head-to-head competition and great performances.

Berge to miss postseason

Two news-making items came out of Penn State’s 40-3 blowout of American on senior day.

Nittany Lion 157-pounder Brady Berge, who missed most of the season with a concussion, won’t be wrestling in this year’s Big Ten Championships. After going 20-5 last season, Berge wrestled in only a December match against Lehigh and the recent Ohio State match.

Also Penn State will host the 2021 Big Ten Championships at either the Bryce Jordan Center or Rec Hall. That’s huge for local college wrestling fans.

Todd Irwin can be reached at tirwin@altoonamirror.com. He can be followed on Twitter at @ToddIrwin1.


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