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Tough opening night for local wrestlers with just three surviving

“It was a tough day for Tyrone,” said Tyrone coach Blair Packer, “just a tough day for local wrestlers and District VI in general. We lost five of the first six matches we wrestled.”
Freshman Robert Waite went two and out at 103 to begin the tournament losing his opening match by 13-3 major decision to Jeff Kusich (28-8) of Avella, and then was pinned by Brad Merkel of Southside Beaver. Brett Harris lost to Chuck Wiltrout (25-4) of North Star. In the first consolation match at 130, Harris went back and forth with Jon Clemens of Mount Union, before dropping a 12-8 decision to exit the tournament.
David Miller lost his first match at 135, to Damien Rose (26-3) of Freedom. In a consi pigtail, Miller won by fall over Bob Gates of Blairsville, before getting doubled up 10-5 by Jeff Havelka of Burgettstown.
Tyrone still has three wrestlers who survived the first day of wrestling at the University of Pitt-Johnstown, actually located in Richland, but all three are in the consolation brackets with a long way to go if they have any hope of continuing on to the State Tournament at The Giant Center in Hershey next week.
Thad Westley had a bye through the pigtail round, then lost a tough 6-4 overtime verdict to Luke Lorson of Berlin-Brothersvalley. In the consolations, Thad majored Mount Union senior Clyde Hendrickson 11-2. Westley will wrestle Justin Berrier of Southern Huntingdon in the consolation quarters that begin at 10:30 a.m.. this morning.
Brice Mertiff lost a 13-0 major decision to Todd Cessna (26-6) of Elderton in the first round. In the consi rounds, Brice added to his team leading pin total with two more getting Chalmer of Derry Area in 3:13 and Michael Young of Bedford, in just 0:29. Mertiff will wrestle Gary Greene of Fort Cherry this morning.
Terry Tate decisioned Chris Taueetia (21-13) of Burrell by an 8-1 count in the opening round at heavyweight, then was pinned by Justin Poole of Southmoreland. His first opponent this morning will be Eric Miller of Everett.
Bellwood-Antis qualified a pair of wrestlers for the regional from last weekend’s District VI Tournament in junior Will Edwards (18-9) who dropped a pair of tough one-point decisions on Friday to exit quickly and senior Jared Ervine (21-10) who managed a first round victory before dropping two to fall from the tourney.
Edwards, a junior, who had no wrestling experience at any level prior to his sophomore season last year at Bellwood-Antis showed he could wrestle at the Regional level despite his early out at UPJ. Will dropped his opening match to Brent Willison (20-6) of Hyndman 5-4. That threw Edwards into the pigtail consolation round, where he allowed just one point to his opponent, but couldn’t get on the board at all in absorbing a 1-0 loss to Greg Wamock (26-7) of Avella. ‘”He was right in there,” described Bellwood-Antis coach Ron Wilson, who collected two Regional titles during his own wrestling days in the early 1980s. “He showed he could wrestle with the rest of the kids here at his weight class at Regionals. It should be a great help for Will next wrestling season.”
In an irony, both Willison and Wamock lost to District 6 wrestler Donny Clark of West Branch, who decisioned Edwards 9-2 in the consolation semifinals last weekend at the District Tournament at Tyrone.
Jared Ervine opened his regional at 152, by decisioning Koleman Dudek (15-11) of Bedford 7-2 in the pigtails. Ervine then fell by a 14-4 major decision to Justin Scarfo (26-1) of Mars in the first round. In the quarterfinals, Ervine lost 3-0 to South Park’s Andrey Ivafhchenko (25-3), the fifth-place finisher from District 7. Ivafchenko scored all his points in the middle period, registering an escape and a takedown in an otherwise scoreless match.
Wrestling will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the consolation quarters and championship semifinals. Consolation semifinals will begin at 1:45 p.m. Consolation finals will start at 5 p.m. and championship finals will begin at 6:30 p.m.