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Local hopefuls prepare for Southwest Regional

The Southwest Regional Wrestling Tournament will begin Friday, March 2, and continue through Saturday, March 3.
Local hopefuls will attempt to navigate through the weekend step-by-step trek on the ladder to the individual wrestling championships at the Giant Center in Hershey this weekend at the Cambria County War Memorial in Johnstown.
Four Tyrone Area High School wrestlers and one Bellwood-Antis wrestler will begin their Regional tournament in the preliminary round at 1 p.m. on Friday.
Tyrone freshman 103-pounder A. J. Schopp (33-3), the third place winner from the District 6 tournament, will open against Burrell sophomore Dylan Corey (28-14), the third place finisher from District 7. The winner will advance to meet District 5 champ Joe Lascari (33-2) a freshman from North Star, who drew a bye through the opening round.
Eagle senior T. J. Albright (27-9), a fifth place winner at 125, will wrestle freshman Drae Johnson (20-10) the District 7 third place winner from Valley. The winner will get the winner of a preliminary match between Carlynton senior Dean Baker (28-7) the third place winner from District 7, and Cambria Heights junior Glenn Winslow (28-2), who lost to District 6 OW Cody Feathers of Claysburg-Kimmel, in the District 6 finals two weeks ago. Winslow lost to Tyrone senior Robert Waite in overtime in last year’s district final.
At 130, Tyrone junior Anthony Romano (17-13), the fourth place winner from District 6, will battle Jefferson Morgan junior Ty Basinger (27-8), the runner-up from District 7. The winner will meet the victor of the match between Chestnut Ridge junior Gary Pfahler (29-2), the District 5 champ, and Bobby Lyons, (17-12), a Derry Area senior, who finished sixth at the District 7 Tournament.
Rounding out the Tyrone contingent is Jacob Smerekar (23-11) a senior who finished fifth at 152, in the District 6 Tournament. Smerekar will wrestle Southmoreland junior Jeff Beal (30-9), the third place winner in the District 7 Tournament. The winner will face undefeated District 6 champion Jason Foor (34-0) of Southern Huntingdon, who gets a bye through the preliminary round.
Ricky Shawley (29-3), the lone representative from Bellwood-Antis, a fifth-place winner at the District 6 Tournament, will open against undefeated Shady Side Academy freshman Matthew Cunningham (21-0), the District 7 champ. The winner will advance to battle against the winner of the preliminary match between Bobby Speer (34-10), the fifth place District 7 finisher from Burrell, and Chestnut Ridge junior Cameron Corle (25-11), the District 5 runner-up.
Wrestling action will begin at 1 p.m. on Friday with the preliminary round, followed at 4 p.m. by the quarterfinals and consolation preliminaries at 7 p.m. On Saturday, the semifinals and consolation quarterfinals will begin the day at 11 a.m., with the consolation semifinals at 1:30 p.m. The consolation finals for third and fifth place will begin at 5 p.m., and the championship finals will be wrestled at 6:30 p.m.