In his second season on the mats for Wyoming Area, sophomore 126-pounder Charles Johnson turned in one of the most impressive season by a Wyoming Valley Conference grappler this year.
Johnson was one of only nine WVC wrestlers to make the trip to the PIAA Wrestling Championships held in Hershey. He came out on the losing end in his first two matches, but that doesn’t take away from the year he had.
Johnson finished his sophomore season at 36-7.
In Chocolate Town, Johnson had a tough draw to open the preliminary round. He was pitted against Reynolds’ Michael Bartolo, who is a state powerhouse in 2A.
Johnson found himself down 10-0 after two periods, eventually dropping the match in 5:08 with a 17-2 technical fall.
He was no stranger to wrestling back in the consolation round - that’s how he advanced out of the Northeast Regionals. But this time, things weren’t as easy.
Facing Tamaqua’s Colin Mashack, Johnson was toe-to-toe with the District 11 wrestler. Mashack was the fourth-place finisher at the Southeast Regional.
The match went into triple overtime before Machack, a senior, pulled out a 9-6 win.
Making it to Hershey was just the end of a great season for the sophomore.
Johnson fell to Pittston Area’s Tyler Lutecki at the WVC Wrestling Tournament in early January. The Warrior sophomore found himself down 6-1, before staging a dramatic comeback. He would take Lutecki down, and let him up quick, eventually taking the match to overtime with an 8-8 tie.
Lutecki eventually won the decision.
At the District 2 tournament, Johnson was a little more fortunate. He claimed his first district title in 2A and advanced to regionals for the second straight season.
At the Northeast Regional tournament in Bethlehem, Pa., Johnson picked up a win in the prelims before falling to Sullivan County’s Shawn Nitcznski, 3-2. However, he wrestled back and eventually picked up a 3-1 decision over Warriors Run’s Brian LeBarron in the third-place bout.