Bellefonte puts three wrestlers on the state podium as well as capturing D6 team title


Submitted Photo

Bellefonte Wrestling team proudly holds the D6 trophy after the match against the Little Lions

Allison Ivicic, Photo Editor

Due to the unprecedented times that come with the COVID-19 pandemic, Bellefonte wrestlers worked extra hard to qualify for the PIAA State wrestling tournament. In normal circumstances the wrestlers would compete in the District VI tournament and Northwest Regionals tournaments to qualify for states. However, this year an extra tournament, the AAA Western Super Regional, was added to qualify for states. 

The following wrestlers moved onto Regionals from the District tournament; Garrett Choates (106), Aidan O’Shea (113), Lane Aikey (120), Jude Swisher (132), Ethan Richner (160), and Ethan Rossman (189). 

After Regionals, Lane Aikey, Jude Swisher, Ethan Richner, and Ethan Rossman advanced to Super Regionals. Jude Swisher, Ethan Richner, and Ethan Rossman then advanced to the State tournament held in Hershey, PA.

The Super Regional tournament was unusual in the wrestling world, however, if wrestlers placed within the top four, they were guaranteed placing in the top eight in the state. The competition is tough, and wrestlers had to perform their best to assure placing in the state tournament.

“We saw several state finalists fail to make an appearance in Hershey due to the rigorous competition that they have to undergo through weeks prior,” junior Jude Swisher said. 

Jude was able to get past the rigorous competition and placed third at states. His determination and strong work ethic definitely did not go unnoticed. 

“Mental preparation was a large contributor toward my readiness. Everyday I wake up fixated on my goal and everyday I strive to inch closer towards my dream,” Jude said. 

Along with Jude, senior Ethan Richner finished seventh in the state. Ethan is not shy to the State tournament, as he has been to the arena in the previous two years. Wrestling during a pandemic is new to everyone. With this, Ethan is thankful to have been able to have a season. His determination to the sport has paid off to stand on the state podium.

“I worked hard in the off-season and when we weren’t sure if we were going to have a season, I stayed focused and continued to work,” Ethan said. 

Fellow senior Ethan Rossman placed fourth in the state tournament. This is a major accomplishment and proud moment for Ethan in his wrestling career. 

“Being a state placer shows all the work you’ve done actually played off, it makes it all worth it,” Ethan said. 

Ethan wouldn’t be able to get to where he is at without his family’s support. His biggest challenge is when he gets in his head and psychs himself out.  He was able to push past this and stand proud on the state podium. 

These three wrestlers certainly made, history teacher and head wrestling coach Mr. Maney, very proud in the postseason. Earning a state medal takes hardwork and dedication.

“A lot of times people do not know how many hours and sacrifices a student-athlete must make to earn a PIAA state medal in wrestling in the state of Pennsylvania. These three individuals have put in a tremendous amount of time through the years to earn their accomplishments,” Mr. Maney said. “I am honored to have coached them & I think they are great examples of the standards we want to represent the Bellefonte Wrestling program,” he continued.

After the state tournament the team began their District duals. They first took on Central Mountain on March 16 with a 31-28 victory. It was an exciting match coming down to sophomore Addison Shawley to achieve a 4-1 win to advance the team to wrestle State College in the championship. Addison didn’t stop there, with an exciting match against Little Lion’s heavyweight he clenched the title District VI Class 3A champions with a 31-30 win. 

As of press time, the team will wrestle in the state quarterfinal dual meet on Wednesday March 24 in Bellefonte’s home gym.