It wasn't the most memorable end to Jordan Toledo and Jacob Chamberlain's wrestling careers Saturday night at the Giant Center in Hershey, but as the days pass, both will come to realize the significance of their efforts on the mats during the grueling three-day gauntlet.
Both Toledo and Chamberlain lost the final bouts of their careers to each take home sixth place medals from the PIAA 3A wrestling championships. It marked the first time either attained medals from Hershey in their careers, with Chamberlain getting his medal on his initial try, while Toledo, who became the first Pleasant Valley wrestler to ever qualify for states four years in a row, finally got the medal he had been long waiting for.
Toledo (39-7), who reached Saturday morning's semifinals and lost to eventual 130-pound champion Steve Spearman of McDowell 3-1, had a tough time rebounding, losing his next consolation bout, as well as a 4-0 decision to Easton's Mitchell Minotti in the medal round.
Chamberlain's three-match win streak in the 135-pound consolation bracket was broken Saturday, losing a 10-4 decision to Derry's Travis Shaffer to pit him in the fifth place bout against Alex Pellicciotti of Boyertown.
Pellicciotti proved to be too much for Chamberlain (34-10), defeating him 7-0 to take fifth.
"We came away with two medals and I'm really proud of the kids," said Bears head coach Mark Getz. "They both had really tough weight classes and the tournament didn't end the way we would have liked, but this is states and it's the toughest tournament in the country.
"I think Jordan was down and wasn't himself after losing in the semis and Jake had a good showing as well. I'm still proud of the way they represented our program."
Both wrestlers were obviously distraught at the unfavorable conclusion Hershey can pose on departing wrestlers, but Getz understands the importance multiple medal winners can mean in the long run for a program such as Pleasant Valley.
"It was great to have these guys do well, because we had a lot of our midget wrestlers out here for the midget wrestlers out here for the weekend, watching these guys and cheering them on," Getz said. "We want to have a tradition at the school and now we have kids looking up to them. We need kids like Jordan and Jake out here to set the benchmarks for the program and to show the younger guys that they can make it to Hershey and come away with medals."
Now the onus rests upon Pleasant Valley's underclassmen to carry the torch of qualifying for Hershey.
"Our guys know that it takes a lot of work to get to Hershey and it all starts with the work in the off-season," said Getz. "When you really look at this tournament, you truly understand how difficult it is. There's a lot of wrestlers who placed in states before and have come out here again and didn't bring home medals. It's truly a great accomplishment to leave here with a medal and I know our guys are upset about how things ended, but they'll realize how much their medals will mean to them."