Newcomers find Class AA wrestling regionals daunting, but they're still alive for states
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Kittanning sophomore 220-pounder Jacob Robb noticed just the largeness and loudness of Cambria County War Memorial when he stood in the middle of the Johnstown arena Friday during the opening night of the PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional Championships.
What struck West Shamokin junior 182-pounder Brendon Glover was the chilliness of the War Memorial, a hockey rink.
Impressions for first-time participants in the regional tournament vary, but Robb and Glover agreed the event tested their mettle. Both, however, made it through the first day of competition.
Robb advanced to the semifinals, and Glover kept himself in the consolation bracket after losing a quarterfinal, so each will wrestle Saturday. Action begins at 11 a.m.
Kittanning senior 145-pounder Jason Nolf, meanwhile, is expected to deliver one of Saturday's highlights as he can become the fifth wrestler in the tournament's 28-year history to claim four Class AA regional titles.
The top five finishers in each weight class advance to the PIAA Championships in Hershey. Robb and Nolf need to win just one more match each to ensure themselves spots in the state tournament, while Glover has to win two more.
“I think it's lined up perfectly for me to go. I just need to execute,” said Glover, whose only loss Friday came against No. 1 seed Scott Thompson of Blairsville. “The first-round match (a 7-3 win for Glover), I was really nervous and couldn't stop pacing. … There was a good bit of people here today, and it's cold in here. You definitely have to warm up a little bit.”
Robb, whose only loss in the WPIAL Tournament came against undefeated Avella senior Jake Temple, will meet another unbeaten in the regional semifinals as he squares off with West Branch junior Reynold Maines (34-0).
That reality might test Robb's ability to relax in a venue that he found daunting, even after visiting it during a previous trip to watch his older brother, Nate, a 2013 Kittanning grad, compete in regionals.
“The gym, it's really big,” Robb said. “There are a lot of people here, so it's kind of hard to get used to it. And there's a lot of noise, so it's hard to hear your coach. It's weird wrestling in a different environment.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.