HERSHEY – Two Wyoming Valley Conference wrestlers entered the PIAA Class 2A Championships as past state qualifiers with hopes of improving on their previous performance.
Although each would’ve loved to win a higher medal, Wyoming Area senior Andy Schutz and Lake-Lehman junior Austin Harry achieved personal goals.
Schutz became the first Warrior since Don Morgan in 1996 to claim a state medal and just the fifth state medalist in school history. He will finish seventh or eighth. Harry, who finished eighth last year, will wrestle for the third-place medal this afternoon. Both rounds, along with the finals will begin at 2 p.m.
Schutz, who went 1-2 at last year’s event, secured his standing as a state medalist Friday morning when he beat Kyle Lukowich from Conneaut Area 9-4 in the second round of consolations. That set up a rematch of last week’s regional final with Kent Lane from Southern Columbia. In a similar match as a week ago, Lane won 3-1 scoring points on an escape and a takedown in the third period.
“I’m glad to be in the medal round but once you’re here it’s not really enough,” said the 126-pound Schutz. “I’m definitely disappointed because I tried to get to the third and fourth-place bout but I’ve still got another match so I can’t really look back at this time.”
Schutz wrestles Saegertown freshman Nick Monico for the seventh-place medal this afternoon in the final match of his career. He’s already racked up several accomplishments like four District 2 Class 2A titles and 124 career wins, the most in school history. But he wants to end his career on a high note.
“Last match of my high school career I’m definitely not going out with a loss,” he said.
Harry meanwhile had a day filled with emotions. The 132-pounder lost his first match of the season Friday morning when he was beaten by Nick Zanetta from Keystone Oaks 5-0 for the second time in as many years in the state quarterfinals.
He had to regroup quickly after that loss and did as he knocked off Lee Todora from Bethlehem Catholic 3-1 in the second round of consolations to become the first two-time state medalist at Lake-Lehman since Matt Dragon in 2004 and 2005.
“You’ve just got to pick your head up and move on. After it’s over there’s nothing you can do about it,” Harry said about losing to Zanetta. “I was upset. Everybody wants to be in the state finals but you can’t dwell on it.”
Harry (41-1), who finished eighth last season, then won his third round consolation match, a rematch of the regional final against Mifflinburg’s Cole Walter, to assure a better finish than last season. The Black Knight moved to the fourth consolation round Friday night and defeated Michael Commune from Pius X to reach the third-place match where he will take on Hanover’s Ian Brown.