Four TN wrestlers headed to Hershey
Bob Ford/TIMES NEWS Northwestern's Michael Ortiz battles Tristan Sponseller of Bermudian Springs during the Class AA Southeast Regional semifinals. Ortiz is one of four area wrestlers who will be competing in the state tournament in Hershey.
Four TIMES NEWS area wrestlers wil be heading to Hershey later this week for the PIAA State wrestling championships.
Following is a look at the fields each of those wrestlers will have to navigate their way through to bring home a medal.
Ty Herzog, Northern Lehigh;
Zachary Graver, Palmerton
Herzog, a senior with a 28-4 record, is making his third trip to the state tournament. Herzog certainly comes in with a lot of momentum, after winning titles the last two weeks at districts and regionals, respectively. Herzog finished eighth in the state tournament at 145 pounds last year. His first round opponent will be Grant Fetchet of South Fayette. Fetchet, a junior, is 37-10 and was the fifth place finisher in the Southwest Regional. Should Herzog win, he will likely face Blake Marks, a freshman from Southern Columbia. Myers comes in with a 34-5 record and was second in the Northeast Regional.
Graver, a sophomore with a 31-7 record, is making his first trip to the state tournament. Graver took fourth this past weekend at regionals and third at districts. The Bomber is scheduled to face Boe Bonzo of Freedom in the opening round of the tournament. Bonzo is a senior with a 26-3 record. He was the Southwest Regional champ. If Graver wins, he will likely face Kyle Bova of Coudersport. Bova is a junior and comes into the tournament at 36-1 and was the runner up in the Northwest Regional.
The likely favorite in the 152-pound field is Reynolds' senior Austin Matthews, who comes into the tournament with a 45-1 record. Matthews, the Northwest Regional champ, is currently ranked seventh in the nation at 152-pounds by InterMat Rankings and has committed to wrestle Clarion University of Pennsylvania.
Michael Ortiz, Northwestern
Ortiz, a senior with a 32-4 record, will be participating in his first state tournament. Ortiz is coming off a district title and a second place finish at regionals, losing to Brandywine Height's Pete Renda in the finals. Ortiz will match up with Port Allegany senior Alexander Gular in the opening round. Gular is 30-5 and was second at the Northwest Regional. Should Ortiz advance past Gular, he will likely face Jefferson Morgan senior Dustin Conti. Conti is 37-0 and was the Southwest Regional champion. The favorite for the title is likely Renda, who enters the tournament with a perfect 38-0 mark. He is currently ranked seventh in the nation at 170 pounds and scheduled to wrestle at North Carolina State.
Kenny Yanovich, Pleasant Valley
Yanovich, a junior with a 34-4 record, is making his third consecutive trip to states. Yanovich was second at districts and regionals, losing both finals to Parkland's Ethan LIzak. Yanovich will face Owen J. Roberts' sophomore Derek Gulotta in the opening round. Gulotta was third at the Southeast Regional and comes in with a 38-6 record. The 113-pound field is loaded with talent, led by a trio of juniors that are ranked nationally by InterMat Rankings: Parkland's Ethan Lizak (8th), Pennridge's Scott Parker (9th) and North Allegheny's Dominic Forys (14th). The likely favorite is Lizak, who enters the tournament with a 40-2 record.