HS WRESTLING: Disqualification dampens PIAA Championships for Blairsville
First-year Blairsville coach D.J. Doak couldn’t rejoice after watching a pair of his wrestlers advance to the quarterfinal round of the PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships on Thursday at the Giant Center in Hershey.
For Doak, the disqualification of Blairsville senior Noah Tarr felt worse than a punch to the gut.
Doak watched both his son, Drew Doak (152 pounds), and fellow sophomore Scott Thompson (182), notch first-round wins, but he cringed after witnessing the debacle that led to Tarr’s premature dismissal.
Tarr surrendered a takedown at the buzzer in his first-round bout and lost, 7-6, to Billy Barnes, of Williamson. After the match, the frustrated Tarr yelled a profanity in front of the referee, a violation that resulted in his disqualification from the tournament.
Derry’s Micky Phillippi (113) and the Patrick brothers from Ligonier Valley, Justin (113) and Joshua (120), joined Drew Doak and Thompson in today’s quarterfinals.
Also, in the Class AAA tournament, Punxsutawney’s Kaleb Young, the Northwest Regional champion at 126, advanced to the quarterfinals with a first-round victory. Junior Joel Bowers (120), a third-place finisher in the Northwest Regional tournament, was eliminated after dropping back-to-back matches.
Tarr failed to earn a medal at the state tournament in his third, and final, attempt. In all likelihood, Tarr would have qualified for the state tournament in his sophomore campaign, but he tore a ligament in his ankle before the postseason and didn’t survive the regional tournament.
“The four of us were all together after the first round, and we should have been happy, but none of us were,” D.J. Doak said. “We were all just upset for what happened to Noah. Those boys are still going to go out and wrestle hard for their school, their coaches and their families, but it’s definitely a tough pill to swallow. Not just for Noah, but for all of us.”
Tarr (37-5) dictated the majority of the action against Barnes. But trailing 6-5 in the waning seconds of the third period, the sophomore clinched up with Tarr and executed a Hail Mary-like throw in the middle of the mat as the buzzer sounded to earn a 7-6 win.
“He was definitely controlling the match completely. He just made a mistake,” D.J. Doak said. “It was just a mental error at the wrong time, but he should have never been DQ’d.
“Noah was not disrespectful to the ref, to the other coach or to his opponent. He was just upset with himself and he got frustrated and used a bad word.”
Drew Doak (37-2) used a pair of takedowns and an escape to stamp a 5-4 first-round win over Saucon Valley’s Travis Buddock, a third-place finisher in the Northeast Regional tournament. Doak locked horns with two-time state runner-up Austin Matthews, of Reynolds, today in the quarterfinals.
“If you make one mistake at regionals you can come into the state tournament and be in a really tough situation right off the bat,” D.J. Doak said of Drew’s loss to Freedom’s Boe Bonzo in the regional finals. “Matthews has been ranked No. 1 in the state all season, and Drew was arguably the No. 2 or 3 kid until he got upset at regionals. The best two guys in the bracket will be wrestling in the quarterfinals, but we’re still very excited. It’s a really big opportunity for Drew.”
Thompson (16-1) scored a takedown in the first period and an escape in the third to secure a 3-2 first-round win over Redbank Valley’s Aaron Hook. Thompson took on Troy Hembury, of Muncy, today in the quarterfinals. Hembury won the Northeast Regional tournament and entered the match with a 40-1 record.
“The score was 3-2 but Scott really controlled the entire match,” D.J. Doak said. “He’s (Thompson) got a pretty good double-leg that he uses a lot, but the kid had a nice counter for it, and he stopped it every time. So Scotty went to a single-leg instead and got a takedown. He made a nice adjustment and that was a big difference in the match.”
Joshua Patrick (28-0) thumped Schuylkill Valley’s Josh Giorgio, 13-3, in the first round.
Patrick topped Wyalusing’s Collin Edsell this morning in the quarterfinals.
Justin Patrick (34-4) scored a 9-2 first-round win over Warrior Run’s Eric Hunt. In this morning’s quarterfinals, Patrick lost to Boiling Springs’ Korbin Myers, who entered the match having lost just once in 43 matches.
Phillippi (39-4), meanwhile, advanced on the same side of the 113-pound bracket as Justin Patrick with a 9-0 first-round win over Wilkes-Barre GAR’s A.J. Luton.
Phillippi beat Redbank Valley’s Willis Gruver this morning in the quarterfinals.
“Micky controlled the whole match from start to finish. He did great,” second-year Derry coach Mike Weinell said. “He basically did whatever he wanted to do. He rode him well on top he scored a couple of takedowns, and he stayed calm every time he tried a big move. I think he (Luton) made it so far because he’s pretty good at hitting a few big moves regularly. Micky didn’t panic and stuffed every headlock or throw he tried.”
Young (27-1), a freshman and a Northwest Regional tournament champ, earned a 10-6 first-round win over Boyertown’s Eddie Kriczky, a third-place finisher in the Southeast Regional tournament. He took on North Hills’ Tyler Walker in the quarterfinals.