Brad Emerick was excited to win his second straight District 2 Class 3A title at 285 pounds Saturday night.
But he knows this weekend is going to be much different. Despite being undefeated and the reigning Northeast Regional champ, Emerick is the No. 2 seed for the event, which kicks off Friday night at Liberty High School in Bethlehem.
That’s because in his bracket sits Nazareth’s Aaron Bradley, who is 29-1 and was state runner-up last year at 220 pounds.
“It’s going to be a barn-burner. I’m really looking forward to it,” Emerick said. “You have to take it one match at a time and I’m thinking about the first match at regionals and then the second, third. That’s the only thing you can do.”
Emerick isone of four Wyoming Valley Conference grapplers to be seeded second for the regional tournament. Dallas’ Dominick DeGraba (113 pounds), Pittston Area’s Tyler Lutecki (120) and Wyoming Valley West’s Kyle Krasavage (126) are the others. The only top seed from the WVC is Crestwood’s Matt Hammerstone at 145.
Due to the new format for the 3A regional with District 12 replacing District 4 and 14 wrestlers in each bracket instead of 10, there is a time change. In past years, the event started at 5 p.m. on Friday. This season, the preliminary round will begin at 4:30 with the final consolation round of the night beginning at approximately 9 p.m.
Saturday’s start times are still the same with the first round of consolations starting at 9:30 a.m. and the semifinals beginning at 11 a.m.
In Class 2A at Williamsport High School, the schedule and district participants are the same with D2 joining District 4.
There are just two top seeds from the Wyoming Valley Conference for that tournament, which consists of eight participants in each bracket.
GAR’s A.J. Luton is a No. 1 seed at 113 and Lake-Lehman’s Derek Dragon is atop the 170-pound bracket.
All four district champions from Wyoming Area — Patrick Heck (106), Carm Mauriello (120), Andy Schutz (126) and Nick Heck (138) — picked up No. 2 seeds.
Lake-Lehman’s Austin Harry (132), Brady Butler (182) and Dustin Jones (285) are also seeded second. Meyers’ district champ T.J. Cistrunk and GAR’s Zac Faust, at 160 and 220, respectively, round out the No. 2 seeds from the WVC.