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March 12, 2012

(Photo by Zak Lantz of The Punxsutawney Spirit)

March 3, Punxsy hosted the Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling (PJW) Area V, Section III qualifier tournament, and 14 of 19 Punxsy participants advanced to the Area V finals, which will be held Saturday at Clarion University. Area V consists of 21 schools, which are mostly the same as District IX at the high school level, with the exception of Marion Center. Section III includes Punxsy, Clarion, Keystone, Marion Center and Redbank Valley. The top two grapplers at each weight class Saturday will advance to the state finals, which will be held at Hershey Park Arena March 23-24. Punxsy coach Bill Burke said the competition "becomes quite a bit more difficult at the next stage, so the kids will have to be ready." Despite lower numbers in the program this season, Burke said there are still a number of hopefuls for advancing to states. Burke also noted other Punxsy wrestlers could advance due to positions opening up as the tournament nears. Pictured here are the PJW Area V final qualifiers (front, from left): Dallas Bond (11- & 12-year-olds, 125 pounds, second place); Ben Skarbek (eight & under, 60 pounds, first place); Jacob Schuckers (11 & 12, 105 pounds, second); Jake Skarbek (nine & 10, 65 pounds, second); Dylan Ishman (nine & 10, 105 pounds, second); Conner Giavedoni (nine & 10, 95 pounds, first); Brandon Ishman (nine & 10, 85 pounds, second); (back) Stone Smith (11 & 12, 100 pounds, second); Zoie Smith (13 & 14, 77 pounds, first); Kaleb Young (13 & 14, 117 pounds, first); Keegan Fischer (13 & 14, 147 pounds, first); Levi Campbell (13 & 14, 132 pounds, second); and Eli Lambiotte (13 & 14, 97 pounds, first). Missing from the photo is Travis Perry (13 & 14, 167 pounds, first).

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