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Punxsy to send 29 wrestlers to Area V Tourney

March 16, 2011

Brett Buck (left), shown here competing at the PJW Section III Qualifier March 8 at Clarion High School, is one of 29 Punxsutawney wrestlers who will compete in the PJW Area V Tournament Saturday at Clarion University. (Photo by Dan Walk/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Punxsutawney proved that it is a growing wrestling program by sending two wrestlers to the PIAA Tournament last weekend, and at the lower levels, it has shown that more talent is on the way.

Punxsy will send 29 grapplers to Saturday's Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling Area V Tournament at Clarion University. That's a distinct difference from last year's 17 Area V qualifiers.

Of last year's 17 qualifiers, 14 will compete again this weekend. Leading the way is Kaleb Young, who finished in first place at 102 for the 13- & 14-year-olds March 8 at Clarion High School during the Section III Qualifier. Young was the state runner-up the last two years.

Another state place-winner from last year to compete in this weekend's Area V Tournament is Conner Giavedoni. Giavedoni, who won the top prize at 90 pounds for the nine- & 10-year-olds March 8, won a sixth-place state medal last year.

Punxsy's other 12 returning Area V Tournament qualifiers are Troy Peace (first place, 212 pounds, 13 & 14), Travis Perry (second, 167, 13 & 14), Keegan Fischer (second, 147, 13 & 14), Jeff Bottenhorn (second, 140, 13 & 14), Perry Arrington (first, 132, 13 & 14) Darin James (117, 13 & 14), Josh Schuckers (second, 107, 13 & 14), Eli Lambiotte (first, 87, 13 & 14), Zoie Smith (second, 70, 11 & 12), Ryan Jones (second, 95, 11 & 12), Joey DiPietro (second, 125, 11 & 12) and Dylan Ishman (second, 95, 9 & 10).

Peace, Fisher, Arrington and Schuckers each advanced to last year's state tournament, while James is one of four Punxsy wrestlers that reached this year's Area V Tournament without placing March 8 due to openings at their respective weight classes and age divisions.

Punxsy wrestlers who will compete Saturday after placing March 8, but didn't make the Area V Tournament last year, are Brandon Ishman (first place, 80 pounds, 8 & Under), John Butler (second, 110, 8 & Under), Travis Parsell (first, 75, 9 & 10), Derek Ishman (second, 75, 9 & 10), Gaje Becker (second, 90, 9 & 10), Dallas Bond (first, 105, 9 & 10), Brett Buck (first, 80, 11 & 12), Brandon Parsell (second, 80, 11 & 12), Stone Smith (second, 90, 11 & 12), Levi Campbell (first, 125, 11 & 12), Tristen Herndon (second, 102, 13 & 14) and Matt Burke (second, 117, 13 & 14).

The other three Punxsy wrestlers that didn't place March 8 but will wrestle Saturday are Jaydon Grusky (124 pounds, 13 & 14), Derek Conrad, (107, 13 & 14) and Jacob Schuckers (95, 9 & 10).

Two Area V grapplers from each age division and weight class will advance to states, which take place Friday and Saturday, March 25-26, at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre.

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