Verklereen gets easy victory in Hershey
TribLIVE Sports Videos
HERSHEY — Belle Vernon Area freshman Jarod Verkleeren secured his first win at the PIAA Class AAA individual championships in the rarest of fashions Thursday afternoon at the Giant Center.
To earn a spot in the quarterfinals of the 145-pound weight class, Verkleeren simply walked on the mat and allowed a referee to raise his hand.
Unlike the other 222 Class AAA wrestlers who competed in first-round bouts, Verkleeren lacked an opponent. The individual he expected to meet, Bangor junior Charles Sell, forfeited the match after officials identified a communicable disease on his skin during weigh-ins.
“I heard them calling his name, and he didn't show up,” said Verkleeren, the WPIAL's third-place finisher. “Then later I found out he didn't pass the skin check.
“I heard he was pretty tough; people had him placing fourth. I wanted to wrestle him. But I don't know. ... I don't get my first win; at least it's not really a win. Hopefully I'll get it in my next match.”
Verkleeren (21-4) will meet Cedar Cliff senior Max Good (30-7), a South Central region champion, in the quarterfinals, which begin at 1:30 p.m. Friday. The forfeit win gave the freshman an opportunity to study Good's entire first round match, a 6-0 decision.
“I saw my other guy, and I know what he's doing on top,” Verkleeren said. “I think I can take him.”
Sophomore 160-pounder Austin Bell also advanced to the quarterfinals, defeating General McLane freshman Ethan Laird with a third period pin. Bell (39-5) gets Carlisle senior Ian Shannon (31-3) in the quarterfinals.
A consolation-round win kept senior Brendan Hasson in the mix for third place at 120 pounds. Hasson lost, 2-1, in the first round but recovered with a 5-4 victory in the losers' bracket.
“The first-round match, I thought I could've done better, but the nerves definitely got to me,” Hasson said. “I've never been here before, and I always wondered what it's like, so it's awesome to be here.”
Ironically, Hasson's win came against Middletown's Zach Ulerick, who is coached by Mike Nauman, the father of BVA coach Tyler Nauman.
The performance by that trio put BVA in seventh place in the team standings through the first day.
Ringgold hoped an unprecedented two PIAA tournament qualifiers might lead to more achievements, but by late Thursday night, the Rams no longer had anyone in the running.
Sophomore 113-pounder Doug Gudenburr and senior 170-pounder Devin Fallenstein, both third-place finishers in the WPIAL, exited the tournament with two losses apiece.
In Class AA, Yough junior 220-pounder Tom Sever suffered the same fate.
Though he lost his first-round match, Bentworth sophomore 106-pounder Hunter Neely made it through the tournament's opening day with a 6-0 win in the consolation bracket.
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Connellsville wrestlers hope to meet program’s standard of excellence
- Plum wrestling hoping to solidify younger lineup