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Freshman hoping to take his place in Derry wrestling history

Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Derry Area's George Phillippi celebrates his 2-1 tiebreaker victory over Boiling Springs' Korbin Myers during their 113-pound semifinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Derry Area's George Phillippi celebrates his 2-1 tiebreaker victory over Boiling Springs' Korbin Myers during their 113-pound semifinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Derry Area's George Phillippi umps into his head coach Mike Weinell's arms while celebrating his 2-1 tiebreaker victory over Boiling Springs' Korbin Myers during their 113-pound semifinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday March 08, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Derry Area's George Phillippi  umps into his head coach Mike Weinell's arms while celebrating his 2-1 tiebreaker victory over Boiling Springs' Korbin Myers during their 113-pound semifinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday March 08, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Charleroi Area's Nick Gavazzi (right) reacts after giving up the winning takedown in overtime of his 3-1 loss to Line Mountain's Seth Lansberry during their 138-pound quarterfinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Charleroi Area's Nick Gavazzi (right) reacts after giving up the winning takedown in overtime of his 3-1 loss to Line Mountain's Seth Lansberry during their 138-pound  quarterfinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Blairsville's Andrew Doak (right) is stood on his head by Reynolds' Austin Matthews during their 152-pound quarterfinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Doak lost by a 6-2 decision.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Blairsville's Andrew Doak (right) is stood on his head by Reynolds' Austin Matthews during their 152-pound quarterfinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Doak lost by a 6-2 decision.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Burrell's Dakota DesLauriers tries to force Saegertown's Dylan Reynolds to the mat during their 182-pound semifinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013, at the Giant Center in Hershey. DesLauriers defeated Reynolds by a 9-1 major decision.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Burrell's Dakota DesLauriers tries to force Saegertown's Dylan Reynolds to the mat during their 182-pound semifinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013, at the Giant Center in Hershey. DesLauriers defeated Reynolds by a 9-1 major decision.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review News Service - Southmoreland's Austin Griffiths (left) attempts to turn Lancaster Catholic's Joe Lobeck during their 106-pound second-round consolation match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships March 8 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Griffiths won by a 2-0 decision.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review News Service</em></div>Southmoreland's Austin Griffiths (left) attempts to turn Lancaster Catholic's Joe Lobeck during their 106-pound second-round consolation match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships March 8 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Griffiths won by a 2-0 decision.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Charleroi Area's Nick Gavazzi (right) gives up the winning takedown in overtime of his 3-1 loss to Line Mountain's Seth Lansberry during their 138-pound quarterfinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Charleroi Area's Nick Gavazzi (right) gives up the winning takedown in overtime of his 3-1 loss to Line Mountain's Seth Lansberry during their 138-pound quarterfinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Blairsville's Scott Thompson reacts as Muncy's Troy Hembury attempts a crossface during their 182-pound quarterfinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Thompson lost by a 9-0 major decision.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Blairsville's Scott Thompson reacts as Muncy's Troy Hembury attempts a crossface during their 182-pound quarterfinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Thompson lost by a 9-0 major decision.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Ligonier Valley's Justin Patrick (top) attempts to score on Bethlehem Catholic's Stephen Maloney during their 113-pound second-round consolation match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Patrick won by a 6-3 decision.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Ligonier Valley's Justin Patrick (top) attempts to score on Bethlehem Catholic's Stephen Maloney during their 113-pound second-round consolation match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Patrick won by a 6-3 decision.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Burrell's Dakota DesLauriers looks to score on Saegertown's Dylan Reynolds during their 182-pound semifinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey. DesLauriers defeated Ryenolds by a 9-1 major decision.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Burrell's Dakota DesLauriers looks to score on Saegertown's Dylan Reynolds during their 182-pound semifinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey. DesLauriers defeated Ryenolds by a 9-1 major decision.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Ligonier Valley's Joshua Patrick is lifted by Wyalusing's Collin Edsell during their 120-pound semifinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Patrick lost by a 10-5 decision.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Ligonier Valley's Joshua Patrick is lifted by Wyalusing's Collin Edsell during their 120-pound semifinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Patrick lost by a 10-5 decision.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Jefferson-Morgan's John Demaske is lifted by Trinity's Ryan Diehl during their 120-pound semifinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Demaske lost by a 9-3 decision.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Jefferson-Morgan's John Demaske is lifted by Trinity's Ryan Diehl during their 120-pound semifinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Demaske lost by a 9-3 decision.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Derry Area's George Phillippi (right) escapes from Boiling Springs' Korbin Myers in overtime of their 113-pound semifinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Phillippi defeated Myers 2-1 in a tiebreaker.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Derry Area's George Phillippi (right) escapes from Boiling Springs' Korbin Myers in overtime of their 113-pound semifinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Phillippi defeated Myers 2-1 in a tiebreaker.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Derry Area's George Phillippi celebrates his 2-1 tiebreaker victory over Boiling Springs' Korbin Myers during their 113-pound semifinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Derry Area's George Phillippi celebrates his 2-1 tiebreaker victory over Boiling Springs' Korbin Myers during their 113-pound semifinal match at the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 8, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey.

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Friday, March 8, 2013, 10:39 p.m.
 

HERSHEY — All Derry freshman 106-pounder George Phillippi wanted was to keep his school's streak intact.

He's succeeded in part of his goal.

Phillippi became the 10th consecutive Derry wrestler to earn a medal and the eighth in the last nine years to reach the finals at the PIAA Class AA championships Friday at Giant Center.

Now he aims to become the next Derry wrestler to win a state title. That list includes Mike May (1999), Troy Dolan (2005-2007), Travis Shaffer (2011) and Jimmy Gulibon (2009-12).

Phillippi (41-4) advanced to the PIAA finals, where he will meet South Fayette senior Seth Carr (39-4), whom he defeated, 1-0, in the WPIAL title bout two weeks ago.

The freshman fought off four deep shots by Boiling Springs sophomore Korbin Myers to win, 2-1, in an overtime tiebreaker in the semifinals. Phillippi, who was able to escape in the extra period, kept Myers from escaping for the win.

After the match, tears flowed from his eyes as he raced into the arms of his coach, Mike Weinell.

“This is so awesome. It's my dream,” Phillippi said. “It's what I've been training for my whole life. I can't believe this just happened.

“This means everything to me. I wanted to be in the state finals since I was 6. I dreamt about it. It's finally coming true.”

After the match, Phillippi got a call from one of his role models — Shaffer.

“I grew up watching Troy, Travis and Jimmy win titles,” Phillippi said. “I looked up to them so much. It's awesome to get where they were.”

Before coming to Hershey, Phillippi spent time training with Central Catholic coach Sunny Abe's club, Pitbulls, and he talked to former Mt. Pleasant coach Rob Waller.

The extra work paid off.

Phillippi said he doesn't know how he was able to fend off Myers' first shot.

“Great defense, great practice,” he said. “When you get into those situations, you can't panic. He was deep on the first one. He had a cradle and was so close to getting it.”

Phillippi lost his father, Steven, this summer.

With another tear running down his face, he said: “He probably watched, and he's probably so excited. He pushed me to go to practice, and he made me. I thank him for that.”

Burrell senior Dakota DesLauriers (182) moved one match closer to his first title. A finalist last season, DesLauriers earned a return trip by toppling Saegertown's Dylan Reynolds, 9-1, in the semifinals.

“It's not like the kids aren't good — I'm just showing a dominant style, forcing my will on opponents, who are top level also,” said DesLauriers, who improved to 35-0. “I'm extremely motivated.”

DesLauriers will wrestle Muncy senior Troy Hembury for the gold.

Ligonier Valley senior Josh Patrick (120) endured a rough day, as he dropped a 10-5 decision to returning champion Darian Cruz of Bethlehem Catholic in the semifinals and then lost his first consolation bout, 5-3, in the tiebreaker period of overtime to Benton's Matt Welliver.

He'll wrestle Pen Argyl's Matt Williams for fifth place.

Patrick's brother, Justin, will get another shot at Boiling Springs sophomore Korbin Myers with third place on the line. The junior 113-pounder lost, 3-1, to Myers in the quarterfinals Friday in the consolation bracket and charged his way back with three wins.

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com.

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