Winning a district title is one of the best feelings a wrestler can have.
That excitement was made known by every district champion Saturday night.
Each grappler also had the same mindset of unfinished business this season hoping to continue success at the Northeast Regional tournaments this weekend and then hopefully at the PIAA Championships March 7-9.
“I worked so hard all year now it’s paying off I love it,” said Pittston Area 152-pound champion Angelo Lussi. “But it’s just getting started. I want to get down to states.”
Lussi, a senior, won his first district title after being a medalist three straight times. His teammate Tyler Lutecki, a 120-pound junior who also won a WVC title with Lussi this season, echoed those sentiments after placing third in 2012.
“This is bigger (than a WVC title), but I still want to get to states,” he said.
Lussi enters the Class 3A Northeast Regional Tournament as one of the hottest wrestlers in all of District 2 with a 35-1 record. He attributed his recent success to not worrying about anything.
“I’m not afraid to lose now,” Lussi said. “I’m just letting everything fly. Just going out there and doing whatever. My freshman year I went in like that and had a lot of losses. Now I’ve been doing that since last year and I’ve been doing really good.”
GAR had multiple champions for the first time since 1996. The most district champions every crowned by the Grenadiers came in 1965 when the team had five titlists. Wyoming Area’s four gold medals tied the school record set in 1987.
Delaware Valley, the Class 3A team champion, had six winners. The last team to do that was the 2007 and 2008 Berwick squads in Class 2A. In Class 3A, that number was surpassed just one other time, in 1977 when Meyers won seven individual titles. That year was just the second for that a 3A tournament was held.
AN OUTSTANDING EFFORT
Crestwood’s Matt Hammerstone won the 3A title at 145 and then claimed the event’s Outstanding Wrestler Award aftere beating previously unbeaten Kevin Laubach from Berwick.
Last month at the Wyoming Valley Conference Tournament, Laubach defeated Hammerstone for the tournament title and picked up the OW award after that.
FROM 2A TO 3A
Dallas’ Dominick DeGraba became the first Dallas wrestler to win a Class 3A championship since 2004 on Saturday night when he won the 113-pound gold medal. That was because the team had been in Class 2A since then.
That didn’t stop the Mountaineer senior from winning a championship in different classifications back-to-back seasons. The last grappler from the district to win a gold medal at two different levels in consecutive seasons was Berwick’s Dom Yantorn. He claimed a title in 3A in 2006 then won a pair of 2A golds in 2007 and 2008.
DeGraba said 3A was a lot tougher, but he was glad he got the good competition.
“There’s a lot more competition throughout the entire tournament (in 3A),” DeGraba said. “The Double-A brackets this year were pretty weak. We bumped up and no teams went down so there’s less teams there then here so yeah it’s definitely tough.”
THIS ‘N’ THAT
•The WVC Sportsmanship Awar, which was given to Tunkhannock’s Bob Hegedty in Class 3A and GAR’s Rick Simon in 2A, now is in honor of two former officials who have passed away recently. Jim Desiderio passed away in xxxxx and Francis “Yogi” Michael passed away late last year.
•The 26 regional qualifiers from the Wyoming Valley Conference in Class 2A equals the 26 in Class 3A. Normally, those numbers are in favor of Class 3A due to the top four in 3A advancing and just the first three at every weight in 2A moving to the next round. For example, last year there were 55 total qualifiers from the WVC, including 29 in Class 3A and 26 in 2A.
•The 52 qualifiers from the WVC is the least the conference has advanced since 2009 when just 47 wrestlers moved on. The last three years the numbers were 53 in 2010, 62 in 2011 and 55 in 2012.