Schutz becomes a rare four-time champ
Last Modified: February 24. 2013 7:05PM
LEHMAN TWP. – District 2, you have a new member to add to your four-time district champ fraternity.
Welcome, Andy Schutz.
The Wyoming Area senior won his fourth District 2 Class 2A championship, putting on an impressive display in the 126-pound final, using an assortment of moves en route to a technical fall over Meyers’ Kashif Alston.
Schutz was one of four Warriors to win district crowns – the first time multiple Wyoming Area wrestlers have won titles since 1996 – while Lake-Lehman captured its 22nd district team title with 219 points.
Lehman and Wyoming Area each had four district titlists, while GAR also crowned multiple champs for the first time since 1996. Meyers sophomore TJ Cistrunk, seeded No. 3 at 160, also captured his first title and 29th win of the 2012-13 season.
In all, the Wyoming Valley Conference will send a total of 26 wrestlers to regionals at Williamsport High School. The Knights move 10 wrestlers into next week’s tournament, Western Wayne will ship eight to Lycoming County, while Wyoming Area sends six. GAR takes four, and Hanover Area and Meyers has three and two, respectively.
“As a coach, to watch these guys put the time in and totally buy into the system, it’s great,” Wyoming Area head coach Steve Mytych said. “It’s great for the kids. It’s awesome to see all of their hard work pay off. I always say suffer now, and live forever as a champion.”
For Schutz, it was an emotional moment.
He watched as freshman Patrick Heck won his first title at 106. He beamed with pride after watching his cousin, Carm Mauriello, hold off Lehman’s Zeb MacMillan in the 120-pound championship bout. Middle weight Nick Heck was the fourth champ, shutting out WW’s Morgan Fuller, 6-0, at 138.
“It’s great to see when the training pays off – for the entire team,” Schutz said. “I was pretty fired up going into the match. Watching my buddy Patrick win a district title, and then, watching my cousin win a title, I was ready to wrestle after that.”
Schutz, also named the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler, was dominating. After ending his semifinal in the first-period fall, the senior used a combination of moves against Alston.
Whether it was single-leg takedowns, double-leg dumps or a nifty reverse cradle to record a set of back points, all eyes were on the Warrior and his quest to join a pretty elite group.
His near-side cradle sent the championship match into a technical fall with 23 seconds left in the third period.
“It’s definitely exciting. It’s been my goal since I was a freshman,” Schutz said. “Basically, I’ve been working hard to do it.”
Lehman put on a strong team display.
The Knights sent nine to the championship finals – crowning four district champs. Austin Harry continued his unblemished season with a 6-3 win over Blue Ridge’s Zach Edwards at 132, marking his third straight district crown. Teammates Derek Dragon and Brady Butler won back-to-back titles at 170 and 182, while Dustin Jones – seeded No. 3 in the heavyweight bracket – beat the No. 2 and No. 1 seeds en route to his first district championship.
Jones and GAR’s Elijah Gresham were tied at 4 after three overtime periods. In the 30-second ride-out session, Jones chose down and escaped Gresham’s grasp in three seconds.
“The kids worked hard, and it paid off,” Lehman head coach Tom Williams said. “We’ve been working hard all year. They’ve been putting the time in, and buying into what we are selling. We did a nice job sending nine to the finals, and putting together some gutsy performances in the finals. Any time you can walk away with a district title, you have to be happy.”
Not lost in the mix is the showing by GAR as the Grenadiers will send four to next week’s regional tournament at Williamsport.
A.J. Luton, in probably the most entertaining championship final, built a 4-2 lead over Lehman’s John Tomasura at 113, and used a late single-leg takedown at the edge of the circle to capture a 6-3 victory.
He was joined on the victory podium by sophomore Zac Faust, who controlled his bout with Western Wayne’s Austin Swoyer to win at 220.
“It feels great to come from an underdog environment and rise to the top,” Luton said. “At GAR, we haven’t had a district champ in a few years. It feels great. I want this district title for myself and my teammates. It was emotional, a pretty happy moment. I wanted to circle and stay low, especially in the last few seconds. I didn’t want him to get that last shot. I knew the score was close.”