The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

January 27, 2013

Four area squads qualify for District 6-AA tournament

Eric Knopsnyder
eknopsnyder@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — Four local wrestling teams have qualified for the District 6 Class AA dual-meet tournament, but they’re all going to have to travel to compete in it.

Westmont Hilltop is the highest-seeded local team at No. 7, but the Hilltoppers will have to head to Huntingdon on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. match with No. 10 Claysburg-Kimmel. The winner of that match will take on No. 2 Huntingdon at 8 p.m.

“I think that, since the beginning of the season, we have progressed and improved day to day and week to week,” Westmont coach Matt Beaujon said. “I can’t say enough about the approach that my guys have had in the room and on match day. We had goals at the beginning of the year, and this was one of them. We’re going to go wrestle Claysburg and see where things fall.”

Eighth-seeded Cambria Heights wrestles No. 9 Moshannon Valley at West Branch at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Both teams were at the Richland Coaches Duals earlier this month, but they didn’t face each other.

“They were in a different gym, so I didn’t even see them wrestle,” Cambria Heights coach Mike Eckenrode said.

The winner will take on top-seeded West Branch at 8 p.m.

Eckenrode was unsure if Brad Thomas, who was a District 6 runner-up a year ago, will return to the team. He said Thomas left the team for personal reasons.

Ligonier Valley grabbed the 11th seed in the district duals and will take on No. 6 Blairsville at Mount Union at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The winner of that match will advance to face the third-seeded host.

Penn Cambria is the lowest seed in the event and will take on No. 5 Penns Valley at Juniata at 6 p.m. Tuesday. That’s just fine with Panthers coach Todd Niebauer.

“We’re extremely young,” Niebauer said. “I think that’s a feather in their cap just to get in. You never know what can happen. Just to get in and get the experience (is good).”

The Penn Cambria-Penns Valley winner will take on No. 4 Juniata at 8 p.m.

The quarterfinal winners will advance to Saturday’s semifinal round, which will be wrestled at 10 a.m. at Tyrone Area High School. The championship will be wrestled at noon Saturday.