Kiser and Kightlinger hunt for hardware at states

By Braeden Kantz, managing editor

Saegertown wrestlers are headed to the PIAA AA Individual State Championship in Hershey. Junior Kenny Kiser will make his third consecutive appearance along with junior Alex Kightlinger, who will make his debut at the 2019 State Competition.

Last weekend at the North West Regional tournament, both Kiser and Kightlinger secured their place at states. Kiser claimed his second region title with a 6-2 decision over Rocco Bartolo from Reynolds. Kightlinger placed fourth, securing his first appearance in the state tournament.

The Saegertown Panthers have sent wrestlers to the PIAA State Championship for 11 consecutive years under the leadership of head coach Jimmy Mulligan. Mulligan has mentored ten state medalists, including four state champions.

Kiser, who is currently ranked second in the state by the PA Power Wrestling website, will attempt to capture his first state medal this weekend. After two consecutive losses in the “blood round” (a high stakes round in which you medal if you win, and go home if you lose), Kiser is excited to return to the Giant Center and attempt to bring home some hardware. “I don’t want to repeat what happened last year,” Kiser said. “I have a lot more confidence in my wrestling and my ability to compete at the top levels after this season.”

Kightlinger, who is also ranked by PA Power Wrestling, will make his first appearance as an individual in Hershey this weekend. After coming up short in the 2018 regional tournament, Kightlinger battled back in 2018-2019, boasting a (35-14) season record and placing fourth in the region, qualifying him for the state tournament. “I feel pretty proud that I’m here, and I’m ready to take home some hardware for the first time,” Kightlinger said.

Wrestling will begin tomorrow March 7 at 9 a.m. The tournament will continue on Friday and the finals and other medal rounds will take place on Saturday, March 9.

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