Jordan Toledo left the opening day of the PIAA 3A wrestling tournament bloody and battered. He also came away a winner.
Toledo walked away from his preliminary 130-pound bout with Greater Latrobe's Ty Lydic with a 4-2 victory to land him a spot in today's 1 p.m. quarterfinals in Hershey's Giant Center.
He also left with the discomfort of stitches above his eye. As blood poured down the face of Toledo following the completion of his bout, he was immediately summoned to the back room, where trainers quickly inserted three stitches under his left eyebrow to give the Pleasant Valley senior a one of kind exit from the first day of competition.
"It feels better to win than to get these stitches right now," said Toledo (38-4), who will now meet Solanco's Dan Neff (40-2) in the quarters. "I mean the stitches hurt, but this is my last year and I just have to push through it."
Toledo sustained the injury against Lydic (36-6) after getting a knee to the head in a scoreless first period. The slight mishap didn't have an effect on Toledo in the second period, as he took a 2-1 lead with a takedown.
The two were tied following an escape, but Lydic made the crucial mistake of locking hands in the third period to put Toledo up 3-2. Toledo followed that up with an escape to solidify a victorious first day.
"When this match started, I was nervous going out," he said. "Now that I have the jitters out of the way, I'll feel better about wrestling the rest of the way. You just have to get that first match out of the way."
Bear teammate Jacob Chamberlain didn't sustain any injuries Thursday, but he did find himself in the consolation bracket after falling to Derry's Travis Shaffer 7-0. Shaffer (30-3), a Southwest Regional champion, scored a first period takedown and added two near fall points to build a 4-0 advantage he never looked back upon.
The loss may have been a wake up call for Chamberlain (32-8), but he didn't let it traumatize his efforts of coming back in the consolation round.
"I knew Shaffer was going to be a tough match because my coaches kept talking about him before," Chamberlain said. "After losing that match, I knew that I just had to stay focused and win the next one."
That's what he did, as he slipped past Lewistown's Jake Schultz 1-0 in the consolation round to keep his chances of medaling alive.
"I know I just need one more win to medal, but I definitely want to win more than one more," he said. "As long as I wrestle my best and wrestle smart, I know I can finish this out the way I want to."
Toledo hopes for the same and just hopes his battered brow doesn't cause any problems during his final weekend of high school wrestling.
"They're going to wrap it [head] up pretty good, so hopefully it doesn't bother me," said Toledo. "The only thing I'm focusing on Friday is wrestling. Nothing else."