HERSHEY – Just a few years ago, Meyers was at the bottom of the Wyoming Valley Conference standings.
The tradition-rich program, which has won the most state championships in District 2 with 13, was battling through a winless 2007-08 conference season.
Then came a stellar freshman class led by Darren Stucker and Vito Pasone that helped return the team back to respectability with a district duals championship in 2011 and a third-place showing in the district team standings just a few weeks ago.
While Pasone's quest for a state championship in the PIAA Class 2A championships at 113 pounds is still alive, Stucker was dispatched at 145 losing twice.
The senior still ends his career with 87 career wins, two district championships, a regional bronze medal and a regional fourth-place showing.
Perhaps most importantly, he was a big part of the restoration process for the Mohawks.
"He's been one of our key guys all the way through. He just works hard all the time. He's a great role model for the younger guys coming in," Meyers coach Ron Swingle said. "He's done a tremendous amount of work and really helped step us up a notch. He's going to be a hard one to replace. He's a good kid."
After a grueling six-minute match to open the PIAA Class 2A Championships, Wyoming Area's Andy Schutz wasn't about to relax.
Immediately after his preliminary round win over South Huntingdon's Brennan Shields, Schutz wasn't done working.
The 132-pound junior sprinted over to the scorer's table with his winning bout sheet then ran into the back and completed more sprints.
"Just get a cool down," Schutz said. "To make sure I'm not cramping up or anything so I'm ready for the next match."
Northwest hasn't had a wrestling program in many years, but the Rangers have been in a co-operational with Benton.
This year, two wrestlers who attend Northwest have advanced to the Class 2A PIAA Championships and won their matches.
Senior Jake Mankey won his 182-pound preliminary match 4-3 over Eastern York's Alex Cooley in overtime. The Northeast Regional champion is now 39-1 this season.
Junior Matt Welliver, a 113-pounder, won his first bout with a 12-6 decision over Trey Constable from Brookville. Welliver, a third-place medalist from the Northeast Regional, improved his record to 31-7
As expected all seven past state champions in Class 2A won their first round matches Thursday morning. The list also includes a two-time West Virginia champion in Trinity 126-pounder Ryan Diehl.
The same occurred in Class 3A where the nine returning champions all won.
The first undefeated wrestler to get a number in the loss column went to Class 2A 132-pounder James Dodson from Claysburg Kimmel. The Southwest Regional champion was pinned by the Southeast No. 5 seed in the first round, Pottstown's Trenton Clifford. He was the only unbeaten in either classification to be hit with a loss.
Lackawanna Trail's Eric Laytos (2A, 220 pounds) and Coughlin's Brad Emerick (3A, 285) extended their winning streaks this season to 36 and 40, respectively.
The first day of action consisted of just three falls under one minute in Class 2A. One of those came by Lackawanna Trail's Eric Laytos, who pinned his opponent in 33 seconds. That was just the second quickest of the day.
The fastest fall belongs to one of the 20 unbeatens left in the state, Cody Copeland from Greenville. He got his freshman 152-pound opponent to his back in 8 seconds.
There were no pins under a minute in the first round of the Class 3A tourney.
Norristown is known for getting its wrestlers a good number of bouts in every season.
And it showed once again on Thursday in the PIAA Class 3A Championships when sophomore Mikey Springer won career bout No. 100.
That's right, the 138-pounder is just a sophomore. He had 50 wins as a freshman and his 50th this season came in the first round of consolations.