Dried blood clung to Nick Naglic’s lip.
A cut to his right eyebrow had finally stopped bleeding but was in need of some stiches.
And the Richland wrestler had a huge grin on his face.
Such is the life of someone who loses his first match at the Southwest Regional Class AA Wrestling Tournament and then comes back to win four consecutive matches and earn a spot in Hershey for the state tournament next weekend.
Naglic did just that, capping his run with a 3-1 victory over Huntingdon’s Jacob Oliver for third place at 145 pounds on Saturday. The Richland senior is one of 23 wrestlers from The Tribune-Democrat’s coverage area that placed to qualify for the state tournament.
Naglic also qualified for the state tournament last season, but after losing to South Fayette’s Brett Beltz on Friday afternoon, a return trip was a long shot. Locked up in a tie match with District 5 champion Trent Crouse of Chestnut Ridge in the closing seconds of a win-or-go-home bout on Friday night, Naglic tried a dangerous throw. He tied up his opponent’s arms and fell onto his own back in an attempt to launch Crouse to his. At first, it didn’t look like it worked, but eventually Naglic forced Crouse to his back for a takedown and the victory.
“I knew I had to do something. It was either then or the first minute of overtime. I had it locked up and I like that throw, so I went for it,” Naglic said.
From there, he picked up momentum.
“Today I knew I had the pressure, I had to come out. I knew if I lost my first match I was done,” Naglic said. “I wouldn’t get back to Hershey.”
He scored a major decision over Mount Pleasant’s Austin Mears, then pinned Marion Center’s Isaac Stewart – the same wrestler who beat him in the District 6 tournament two weeks ago – to ensure a spot in the top four and a return trip to Hershey.
“This season, I’ve had some troubles,” Naglic said. “Coming out last year and being a state qualifier – nothing’s easy, but I thought I could come out and dominate a little more this year. But I had to come out and wrestle my best. I had a whole lot of guys that were very good.”
Arguably, none is better than Oliver. The freshman entered the tournament with a 34-1 record and the District 6 title. But Naglic frustrated him from the neutral position – when the match wasn’t being stopped for the bleeding from the cut above his eye – and held on for the victory.
“I like to go and grind on him,” Naglic said of trying to wear out his opponent. “It was hard to get him tired. We both got breaks the whole time.”
Richland’s Nico Pecora also qualified for the state tournament by placing third at 170 pounds. Adam George fell just short, placing sixth at 126 pounds.
Dried blood clung to Nick Naglic’s lip.
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McCort pitcher wins May Award
Bishop McCort High School’s Brad Coleman earned the May Point Stadium Award nomination based on his performance in a District 6 Class A playoff victory on May 22.
Coleman pitched a seven-inning, complete game in a 7-2 win over Homer-Center in the 6-A semifinal round. With the win, McCort clinched its fourth consecutive state tournament playoff berth.
Richland pole vaulter decides on Red Flash
Maddison Feather has sailed to great heights throughout her scholastic career at Richland High School.
Feather – a pole vaulter – takes away a District 6 title and an appearance in the PIAA championship meet from her senior season with the Rams.
Area players get PHSBCA nods
Brad Coleman and Alex Sobecky were part of an amazing four-year run by the Bishop McCort High School baseball team.
Jack Shirk is an underclassman who stood out on a Richland squad that also has been one of the best in the LHAC in recent seasons.
Cory Isenberg | Big numbers posted all around in Lantzy game
The South’s 48-18 victory over the North in Friday night’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game was an entertaining evening of football for the reported crowd of close to 4,500 at Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium.
The point total for the Rebels equaled the output of the South squad in the 30th edition of the game but is behind the 51 scored by the Yankees in the 1992 contest and the 50 points tallied by the South in the 39th game.
Local stars shine in Ken Lantzy Finest 40 game
While the Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star Game brings football standouts from across the region to Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium, Friday night’s contest took on a distinct Richland flavor as the South toppled the North 48-18 in the 44th edition of the summer football contest.
Former coach honored for long service
The venerable Jerry Page, former coach of Laurel Valley, always preached that football was so much more than just a game.
Page, whose son Greg of Homer-Center was the North squad coach Friday at the 44th Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game, was honored prior to the start of the game.
North offense shows big gains during Lantzy practices
As the North offense prepared for tonight’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game at Trojan Stadium on the campus of Greater Johnstown High School, tightening up issues with timing and terminology was at the top of the unit’s to-do list.
If the North’s offense takes the field and operates with machine-like precision tonight, it can thank the intersquad scrimmage on Tuesday as the breakthrough point of the group’s progress during the week.
Three quality quarterbacks bolster South’s chances in Lantzy Game
The South squad has an impressive arsenal of offensive talent on hand for Friday’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star Game, set for 7 p.m. at Trojan Stadium.
The Rebels have three skilled quarterbacks on the roster who have combined for nearly 5,000 yards passing and another 2,000 yards on the ground.
South changes defense after last year’s loss
After being thrashed 41-7 last year by the North, the South is hoping to rise again as it prepares for Friday’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star Game set for 7 p.m. at Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium.
On defense, those plans will evolve around the change in defensive schemes that has been instituted with teams now required to run a 4-3.
North defense happy to get back to contact as Lantzy game approaches
It’s been a while since organized live contact on the football field has been a concern for anyone suiting up to play in Friday’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game at Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium.
Talking to members of the North defensive unit, that long wait came with a satisfying end on Monday when teams went into contact drills in the week-long preparations for the 44th edition of the region’s football showcase.
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- McCort pitcher wins May Award