SHARON â€” Brookville senior Logan Stout has had one thing on his mind since the first day he stepped onto the mat this season â€” a regional championship.
Stout achieved that goal Saturday at the Northwest Regional Class AA Championships in Sharon by earning the 195-pound title over Alex Svetz, of North East, in a narrow 4-3 decision.
"It's awesome," Stout said. "Like I've said before, I didn't expect it earlier in my career. But my first goal for this year was to win a regional title, so it feels good to have my name up with my brother."
Stout comes from a long line of impressive wrestlers, including his brother Warren Stout, who earned the 135-pound crown in 1996.
Stout has become just the 16th wrestling in BAHS history to achieve a regional championship.
"He just does all the right things," Brookville head coach Dave Klepfer said. "He trains right; he diets right. He's a really, really coachable kid. He studies the sport ... and I'm really, really happy for him to make it out and win a regional title."
In the final match, Stout found himself in trouble early, as Svetz looked as if he would earn the first takedown. But Stout, who is known for staying focused, hustled out from under to keep himself safe.
"First takedowns are huge," Klepfer said. "We were in a situation where we were just about taken down, and he scrambles really, really well for a big guy. He's one of those guys that has some explosiveness to him."
Stout then steadily controlled the rest of the match, earning a takedown over Svetz and allowing just one escape in the first period.
"(Svetz) almost got a takedown in the first 30 seconds, but I was just (thinking), 'This isn't the way I want the match to go; I can't let him get a takedown right now,'" Stout said. "I stayed with it, then got myself the takedown, so I think that was the difference."
Svetz began the second period in control, but Stout used his size and speed to earn a reversal and take a 4-1 lead in the match. Svetz once again escaped to cut the lead to two before the end of the second. But Stout stayed mentally strong in the third period, allowing only one escape and being defensively sound for the remainder of the bout for the victory.
"(Stout) is just one of those kids that doesn't get out of position a whole lot, and we stress it all the time that (position) is really everything," Klepfer said. "He did a good job of staying in position late when the kid was trying to get at him and get that winning takedown."
Stout's first two matches weren't as close, as he earned a 7-2 decision over Jake Johnson, of Eisenhower, and a 6-2 decision over Shawn Reynolds, of Cambridge Springs, to make it to the finals.
"Leading up to the finals, I think the big difference that made me win in not real close matches was my riding," Stout said. "It's a big difference when you can take somebody down and ride them for two minutes. ... I can stay ahead with my top, and I think that really set me apart in the first two."
Brookville's wrestling program also earned another notch in its belt at the regional tournament when Dalton Zimmerman became the first freshman in BAHS history to qualify for states.
"It feels great to be the first," Zimmerman said. "I feel honored to be in this big of an arena and atmosphere as a freshman. ... And I'm two matches away from getting a state medal as a freshman."
In order to advance to the state tournament, Zimmerman battled his way through the consolation bracket to win the third-place match, 1-0, over junior Jesse Rivera, of Grove City.
Zimmerman's match rested solely on his ability to ride out Rivera. Zimmerman earned an escape early in the second period, and from there, he did everything he could to stay on top.
"I didn't really have a plan (going into it)," Zimmerman said. "I just wanted to keep ahead and not give up any points."
His victory was an emotional one for Klepfer because Zimmerman lost a close 5-2 match in the semi-finals, and Klepfer was worried he would be unable to stay focused after that.
"The ninth-graders â€” all kids for that matter â€” they just don't bounce back after a tough loss like that in the semis, but he put it behind him," Klepfer said. "He did a super job of just staying tough in that situation, and it just says a lot about him as a competitor."
The Raiders also had three other state qualifiers, each placing second in their class.
The first to advance for Brookville was Trey Con- stable, at 113, who lost to Redbank Valley's Wille Gruver, but still placed second.
"We're just dead even with (Gruver), and he got the better of us again (Saturday)," Klepfer said. "We might get another crack at him (this) week for a medal, and hopefully, things end up different."
Constable's run started with a pin fall over Alex DiGregorio, of Reynolds, in 1:26. He then faced Geoge McGuire, of Fort LeBoeuf, who was a returning regional champion. But Constable earned the narrow 4-2 decision to advance to the championship before falling.
Despite losing the final match, Klepfer said he was impressed with Constable's tournament as a whole and has high expectations for him at states.
"He's just another kid that gets tough and gets gritty when he needs to," Klepfer said. "He went out and had a huge win in the semis (to advance)."
The next qualifier came at 138 pounds in sophomore Brock Zacherl, who now has a solid 24-2 record heading into states.
Zacherl faced the No. 1 seed out of District X, Austin Matthews, of Reynolds, in the final match, and Matthews earned two reversals, which ultimately sealed the 5-3 victory.
"We have a 10th-grader out there against the No. 5 kid in the country, so I guess if there's one to lose, this is the one to lose," Klepfer said. "I know he knows that (Matthews) is beatable, and we just have to get after him (this) week and hopefully get another crack at him."
Zacherl earned the king seed out of District IX, so he started the match with a bye. He then earned two confident victories over Riley Smith, of Fort LeBoeuf, and Michael Bonner, of Sharon, 7-1 and 13-7 respectively.
Senior Brett Smith was the final second-place qualifier for the Raiders. He once again met Kyle Caggiano, of Ridgway, in the championship match, but unlike districts, Caggiano got the best of Smith with a 6-4 victory.
"They're dead even," Klepfer said. "I thought we battled hard, and he just got the better of us this week, but again, if you're going to lose one, this is the week to do it."
Smith earned a reversal for himself in the third period to take a 4-3 lead, but when he was called for fleeing the mat, the score was evened out. Caggiano took advantage of the neutral position, earning a final takedown for the win.
Smith also had a strong tournament leading up to the final match, earning a 9-4 decision over Ben BuCher, of Sharpsville, and a 1-0 decision against Jason Ondic, of Sharon.
Klepfer also said this weekend will be a bit bittersweet, as he will be taking three seniors â€” Constable, Smith and Stout â€” who will be wrestling for the final time in a Brookville uniform.
"We have one week left of guys like (Smith), Constable and Stout, so we're just hoping to end it on a good note," Klepfer said. "Hopefully, all three of those guys can get up on the podium and get themselves some medals."View more articles in: