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Teats completes redemption year with state bronze in Class 3A

Mar. 9—HERSHEY — Three days before he stepped onto the mat at the Giant Center, Tucker Teats posted a pretty gory picture to his X account.

The photo was of the Selinsgrove senior after he suffered a bloodied and broken nose when he collided faces with his opponent during last season's PIAA Class 3A tournament. Teats was leading in that match but was forced to bow out of the tournament after the first day of competition.

It was clear that the early exit served as motivation for Teats entering this year's state tournament. After losing his first match, Teats won five consecutive matches to win a bronze medal at 189 pounds on Saturday. Teats won his final high school match in style, pinning Freedom's Jared Karabinus in the second period of the third-place match. Teats is the first Selinsgrove wrestler to medal at states since Nate Schon won the state title at heavyweight in 2021.

Teats was one of two Class 3A wrestlers from the Valley to come away with state medals. Shikellamy's Connor Wetzel earned fourth place at 172.

"I didn't really expect getting third at all," Teats said. "My main goal this season was getting 100 wins and getting on the podium, and everything else was icing on the cake from there. So it's definitely a great feeling to be back here being able to get some wins and not having a broken nose or any injuries coming off of that. I'm definitely proud and I give credit to my coaches, my family and everybody else who's been supporting me."

Teats was pinned by Central Catholic's Roman Thompson in the first period of his opening match on Thursday. However, Teats earned pins in three of his next five wins in the consolation bracket to clinch a top-three finish at states.

"I just got out of position, it was unfortunate," Teats said. "Knowing that, he was a good wrestler, great wrestler. But coming back and knowing that I had one lost left, just letting it fly. Whatever happened, I didn't really care but whatever came out of it with me getting third, it's definitely a big accomplishment for me."

"I don't even know if third place was on my radar at that point," Selinsgrove coach Seth Martin added. "It was just a weird way to start the tournament, and I was just hoping he could squeak through and get a medal. And then after he medalled, it just seemed like he was on a roll... He didn't just do it by a little, he pinned his way through the medal rounds. I just can't think of a better storyline to end his career."

Teats ended up with a 42-8 record this season and finished 112-40 for his career. Teats qualified for the state tournament twice in four seasons.

Teats wrestled in his last-ever match on Saturday as he's committed to play football at Lock Haven. On the gridiron, Teats set Selinsgrove single-season records with 2,354 rushing yards, 33 rushing touchdowns and 10.4 yards per carry. Teats helped the football team to 13-1-1 record and a District 4 Class 4A title. The Seals' season ended with a 52-32 loss in the state semifinals to eventual champion Aliquippa.

Before Teats goes to Lock Haven, he'll play on the baseball team one more time in the spring. The Seals made it to the Class 5A state quarterfinals on the diamond last season.

"I mean the balance is a big key," Teats said. "Balance is definitely a good thing to have in wrestling, especially if you got a single leg all year. Definitely having good balance, which you need as a running back too, but the biggest is the mental aspect. Being able to handle adversity and being able to handle a loss like I did and being able to overcome that.

"You know it's just you out there, so there's not a team to back up you. If you lose, you gotta fix yourself, correct your mistakes and move on. If you win, you just know you did that and you accomplished your goal."

Wetzel landed on the medal stand at states for the first time in his career after losing to Sam Gautreau (Owen J. Roberts) in the third-place bout in a 5-4 decision. It was the second time in as many days that Wetzel fell to Gautreau after he lost an overtime match in the quarterfinals.

Wetzel is Shikellamy's first state medalist since 2019 when current Bloomsburg University wrestler Cade Balestrini earned seventh at 132.

"It feels good, I really wanted to medal," Wetzel said. "I wanted first, but I like fourth too."

Wetzel, a junior, was partaking in his second state tournament after he fell short of the medal podium last season. Wetzel completed the year with a 38-4 record with two of those losses coming to Gautreau this weekend.

"He just did a really good position," Wetzel said. "I kinda relaxed and I let a couple of takedowns that I probably could've stopped.

"I came in here really wanting first, and not getting it this year is really gonna help push me for next year."