The Raiders qualified their entire team for next week's tournament.
By BILL ALBRIGHT
SHARON -- As expected, the Reynolds High wrestling team dominated the District 10-AA Section Three Saturday as the Raiders qualified their entire team for next weekend's District 10-AA tournament.
Qualifying for next week's action at Sharon High School were Jake Habel (103), Jason Brown (112), Travis Battles (119), Justin Hollobaugh (125), Owen Brickell (130), Tyler Middleton (135), Nick Hunt (140), John Svirbly (145), Joel Davis (152), Mike Tumpak (160), Nick Sommerfield (171), Eric Campbell (189) and Mike Hills (275).
"We are always shooting for the ultimate top spot on the podium, but the critical thing to do is to get the kids qualified for the next week," Reynolds coach Brian Hills said. "Even if they have a bad match along the way, we want them to have the opportunity to see what they can do next week."
The Lakeview Sailors qualified a pair of wrestlers -- Tim Gadsby at 112 and Brad Watson at 275 -- for the finals, but the Sailors also had five other wrestlers pick up wins in the consolation semifinals to stay alive for next weekend's action.
Also going to the district tournament will be Lakeview's John Fleming (103), Cody Smith (125), Chad Smith (119), Tyler Shearer (152) and Jerry Drew (171).
"I had expected maybe a little more, but with the freshmen coming in here to their first section, you really don't know what to expect from them," Lakeview coach Rusty Wright said.
Gadsby and Watson have been through the ropes and Wright is expecting some big things from his bookends.
"Without a doubt, [Gadsby] is ready to go," Wright said. "He has to stay focused at this level of competition, but he understands that and he is in it for the long haul.
In addition to Reynolds' success, the rest of the Mercer County Athletic Conference schools did well also.
Sharon second: Sharon finished second in the team race, with the Tigers advancing eight wrestlers to the district finals: Tom Safranic (112), Chris Whalen (125), Ryan Martell (135), Eric Squatrito (145), Mark Zamaro (152), Mike Bochert (160), Chrystan Bedell (171) and Bill Napieroski (275).
The Mercer Mustangs qualified four wrestlers while Grove City has a trio of advancers and Slippery Rock has a pair of wrestlers alive in Liam Powell (145) and Jeff Becker (119).
Extending their season one more week for Mercer were Rick Trowbridge (135), Charlie Burk (140), Josh Sicilian (130) and Braden Bice (189).
Grove City coach Marty Ruley had been hoping for four-to-six qualifiers. But when the final tally was taken, the Eagles had only three remaining.
"Two of the other kids I thought we would get out of here both got headlocked," Ruley said. "We did everything we could do, but when you get caught, that just happens."
Just as Reynolds qualified its entire team, so did Kennedy Catholic as the Golden Eagles' one-man show -- 160-pounder Jimmy Gibson -- was impressive while earning his trip to the district meet.
Gibson recorded a pair of falls to earn his trip, decking Rocky Grove's Adam Graham in 1:01 in the quarterfinals before disposing of Sharon's Mike Bochert in 1:42 of their semifinal matchup.