Punxsy places 26 at host tournaments

PUNXSUTAWNEY — More than 600 grapplers competed during a pair of Punxsutawney Groundhog Wrestling tournaments this past weekend, including nearly 100 from Punxsutawney.

Saturday, more than 350 competed in the Youth Classic portion of the tournament, which had the more experienced wrestlers. Sunday, more than 300 wrestled in the Novice tournament, which featured grapplers who are new to the sport.

In all, 49 Punxsy wrestlers competed Saturday, with 14 winning at least one match and placing in the top four.

Twelve of Punxsy's 40 Novice wrestlers placed in the top four and won at least one match.

Leading the way during the Youth Classic were Perry Arrington and Troy Peace, who each won their weight class in the 13- to 15-year-old age group.

Arrington finished 3-0 at 124 pounds after a fall, and two decision victories.

At 212 pounds, Peace competed against two wrestlers, beating both by fall to claim the top prize.

Conner Giavedoni, Kaleb Young and Matt Burke each finished as runners-up for Punxsy. During a round robin tournament with three other competitors, Giavedoni finished 2-1 at the nine- and 10-year-old age division's 90-pound weight class.

Young also had a 2-1 day, losing in the final to Fox Chapel's Ian Moritz by a 2-1 score in the 13- to 15-year-old 102-pound weight class.

At 112 pounds, Burke went 2-1 and finished second for the 13- to 15-year-olds.

Punxsy did not place in the top four in the eight-and-under age division, but it did have two that took fourth place at nine- and 10-years-old.

Travis Parsell took fourth overall at 75 pounds after a 3-2 day, and Jacob Schuckers finished fourth at 85 pounds after a 4-2 performance.

Parsell eliminated Punxsy's Derek Ishman by a 4-3 score in the consolation semifinals. Ishman finished with a 2-2 record Saturday.

A trio of Punxsy grapplers registered a third- or fourth-place finish among the 11- and 12-year-olds. Both Levi Campbell and Joey DiPietro finished third, and John Serian went 1-2 to take fourth at 180 pounds.

Campbell was 2-1 at 115 pounds, winning both of his bouts by fall in less than a minute each time. He lost a 7-3 decision to the champion of that weight class, Knoch's Austin Warman.

DiPietro went 1-2 against three others while competing in a round robin tournament at 125 pounds.

Four other Punxsy competitors placed in the 13- to 15-year-old division, including Derek Conrad (third place), Darin James (fourth), Keegan Fischer (fourth) and Travis Perry (fourth).

Conrad compiled a 3-1 record at 107 pounds, and James (112 pounds), Fischer (147) and Perry (167) were 1-2 in their respective weight classes.

During the Novice tournament, which featured age divisions from six- to 12-years-old, Punxsy's Brandon Parsell led the way with a first-place finish at 75 pounds while competing against the 11- and 12-year-olds. He went 2-0, winning both of his bouts by fall.

Punxsy's wrestlers who finished second in Sunday's Novice tournament were: Angelo Pape (six-and-under, 50 pounds); Hunter Harris (six-and-under, 80); Jake Skarbek (9-10, 60); and Dallas Bond (9-10, 95). Pape, Harris and Bond were 2-1, and Skarbek tallied a 4-1 record.

Ben Skarbek (seven- and eight-year-olds, 50 pounds), Joshua Miller (7-8, 75) and John Mark Miller (11- and 12-year-olds, 125) each finished in third place. Ben Skarbek went 4-1 and won three times by falls, Joshua Miller went 2-1, and John Mark Miller was 1-2.

Finishing fourth from Punxsy were Jaugar McDivitt (six-and-under, 50 pounds, 2-2 record); Brock Siple (7-8, 75, 4-2); Brady Horne (9-10, 60, 1-2) and Matthew Wolfe (9-10, 75, 1-2).