Undefeated Warrior Run looks to repeat as district champions

Feb. 2—The Warrior Run Defenders wrestling team comes into today's District 4 Class 2A team duals at Milton High School well-rested, undefeated and seeking to win its second consecutive team title.

As the top seed, the Defenders were the only team that didn't have to wrestle during Wednesday's first-round matches. The Defenders haven't wrestled since last Friday's 41-26 win over Montgomery.

Warrior Run (18-0) opens today's action at 11 a.m. against No. 8 Southern Columbia, which is coming off a 48-22 win against South Williamsport. The two teams met during the Heartland Athletic Conference-Division III duals on Jan 20. The Defenders came away with a 50-14 win. The Defenders and Tigers also squared off in the quarterfinal round last year with Warrior Run winning 60-12.

The Defenders boast five state-ranked wrestlers including Reagan and Cameron Milheim, who are first at 145 pounds and 152, respectively. Max Wirnsberger (133), Tyler Ulrich (139) and Cole Shupp (172) are also ranked.

"They've been wrestling well," Warrior Run coach Jeremy Betz said after last week's win over Montgomery. "In practice, it's less about what we've done and more about trying to get better, trying to find ways to score more points, which I think they've been doing throughout the season. So if we continue to do that, we should put ourselves in a good position to win matches come district duals."

Southern has four wrestlers ranked in the state: Brayden Andrews (145), Mason Barvitskie (152), Garrett Garcia (189) and Jude Bremigen (215).

The winner of the Warrior Run-Southern match will take on either No. 4 Towanda or No. 5 Montgomery in the semifinals. The Defenders upended both teams during the regular season.

On the other side of the bracket, No. 2 Line Mountain will open today's duals against No. 7 Canton. The Eagles advanced to the quarterfinals after getting past No. 15 Mifflinburg 39-27 in the first round on Wednesday. Line Mountain (7-1) was undefeated in duals until suffering a 48-20 loss to Class 3A Shikellamy on Thursday.

"It gives us confidence not only going into Milton, but going into postseason," Line Mountain junior Kohen Shingara said after his team's win on Tuesday. "All the kids that got all this excitement and a great mindset, it helps us for the rest of the season."

Line Mountain boasts four wrestlers ranked in the state: Brock Rothermel (114), Nolan Baumert (139), Dalton Schadel (152) and Shingara (160). Canton's lineup also features four-state ranked wrestlers in Holden Ward (145), Hudson Ward (160), Michael Davis (215) and Mason Harold (285).

The winner will get either No. 3 Montoursville or No. 11 Wyalusing in the semifinals.

District 4 will be sending the top two teams to next week's PIAA state duals in Hershey. The district champion will take on the winner of a pigtail between Districts 7 and 10 while the runner-up will battle it out with the District 3 champion in the first round on Thursday.

Braves, Seals meet in rematch for 3A title

Cross-rival rivals Shikellamy (8-4) and Selinsgrove (9-3) are set for the District 4 Class 3A championship tonight at Selinsgrove High School at 7 p.m. The Seals are seeking to avenge a 37-22 loss to the Braves last week in Sunbury.

The Braves and Seals are the only two teams left in contention for a district title after the three other 3A squads, Jersey Shore, Williamsport and Columbia Montour Vo-Tech, all opted out.

Shikellamy is looking to win back-to-back district titles. Each school has three state-ranked wrestlers. Isaac McGregor (133), Connor Wetzel (172) and Brody Rebuck (215) are ranked for the Braves while Ethan Miller (160), Tucker Teats (189) and Jack Peters (285) represent the Seals in the state rankings. Teats is at currently at 99 career wins.

The winner of tonight's championship will take on the District 7 runner-up in the first round of the PIAA state duals on Thursday.

"Just moving forward, we know we're doing the right things in the room," Shikellamy coach Tim Boetsch said after the win against Selinsgrove on Jan. 25. "The guys are taking care of business outside of the room. They're getting rested, they're taking care of every part of the sport of wrestling that needs taking care of, and it's paying off. We're looking to be wrestling in March at Hershey, so they're well on their way. We just gotta keep the ball rolling, keep doing what we're doing right now."