By Braeden Kantz, managing editor
The Saegertown Panthers capitalized on another trip to the District 10 tournament last weekend, advancing five wrestlers to the North West Regional tournament which kicks off today at Sharon High School.
In the mix for the Panthers are senior Dawson Bartholomew, junior Kenny Kiser, junior Alex Kightlinger, freshman Landon Caldwell, and breakout athlete of the week, sophomore Jaden Reagle.
Reagle was seeded second in the Section 1 tournament and was able to triumph in the finals over first-seeded senior from Union City, William Burgess 2-1.
This marked Reagle’s first tournament championship in his varsity career and merited his nomination and win as Breakout Athlete of the Week from GoErie. Reagle went onto qualify for the region tournament by placing sixth at districts. “I’m excited to return to regions,” said Reagle. “I surprised I was nominated for the breakout athlete, but I hope to continue wrestling well this weekend.”
Kiser, who is currently ranked second in the state by papowerwrestling.com, captured his third consecutive Section 1 title beating Joel Huck from Fort LeBoeuf 16-3, earning a major decision. Kiser then took second place at the district tournament falling short in a last-minute effort from Alex Chess of Mercer. Kiser led Chess for the majority of the match, but Chess was able to rally with a last-second near fall to put Chess ahead 7-5. Kiser said “We both wrestled well, but (Chess) was able to beat me in the last few seconds. I’m planning on focusing on every match and look forward to wrestling (Chess) again.”
Veteran wrestlers Dawson Bartholomew and Alex Kightlinger also secured spots in the regional bracket. Kightlinger, who captured his first Section 1 Title this year, claimed his spot with a third-place finish while Bartholomew placed fifth in the 132-pound bracket to make his first appearance in the District 10 tournament.
Freshman Landon Caldwell will also make his first appearance at regions after placing eighth in districts.
The North West Region tournament begins today, March 1 and 2, at Sharon High School. You can see the brackets and follow the action at pa-wrestling.com.
The top four from the region tournament will advance to the PIAA AA State Tournament which will be help March 7-9 at the Giant Center in Hershey.