Ligonier Valley wrestling team hits mat in District 6 Tournament
The Ligonier Valley High School wrestling team competed in the District Six Tournament recently, where they finished 10th of 25 teams. Four Ligonier wrestlers placed in the top 10 in their respective weight classes. Josh Patrick won the 120-pound division, his brother Justin Patrick finished second in the 113-pound class and Derek Croyle, 145 pounds and Raymond Marsh, 220 pounds, both finished sixth in their weight classes.
The Patrick brothers both earned the chance to compete Friday and Saturday in the Southwest Pennsylvania AA Regional Tournament at the War Memorial Arena in Johnstown, with a chance to move on to the PIAA AA state wrestling tournament.
Head coach Brian Matson said he expects Josh and Justin will both do well at the regional tournament and will advance to the state tournament.
“I have high expectations for both Josh and Justin, as they are both returning state place winners and both should accomplish the feat, again,” Matson said.
Matson said Justin was a little off his game, which prevented him from finishing at the top of his weight class, though he is optimistic Justin will be fit and focused for his opponents at the regional tournament.
“Over the next two weeks Justin will clean up those issues and will be ready for regionals and states,” Matson said. “Josh was solid at districts and will only get better in his return from the injury that kept him sidelined for most of January. I expect both of the Patrick boys to make a concerted run at a state title, this year.”
In the district tournament, Josh Patrick won all four of his matches at 120 pounds, scoring a pin, a technical fall, a major decision and a decision. At 113 pounds, Justin Patrick won all but one of his four matches, winning by pin, technical fall and major decision. In his last bout, Justin lost a 6-5 decision.
Max Caldwell, wrestling at 126 pounds, won three bouts and lost two. Caldwell scored a pin, won a 2-0 decision and won an 11-0 major decision.
Derek Croyle, 145 pounds, Dominick Shawley, 182 pounds and Joseph Neiderhiser, 138 pounds, all split their matches. Croyle won three and lost three, with victories by a pin and two decisions then lost two decisions and gave up his last match because of injury. Shawley and Neiderhiser both won two and lost two. Shawley scored two pins and lost two decisions. Neiderhiser also won twice by pin, but gave up a pin and a major decision.
Raymond Marsh won twice and lost three times at 220 pounds. He won twice by pin then lost by a pin and a pair of decisions.
Daniel Croyle and Gordon Matson both won once and lost twice. Croyle won a pin, gave up a pin, and lost by major decision in the 132-pound class. Matson lost a decision and a major decision then won an 8-6 victory in overtime.
Nickolas Stahl, 152 pounds, Justin Bellas, 160 pounds, Oliver Hall, 170 pounds, and Benjamin Hoch, 195 pounds, all lost two matches by pin.
Peter Turcik is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.