Wetzel, Teats clinch spots on medal podium in Class 3A

Mar. 8—HERSHEY — It's been a long year for Connor Wetzel and Tucker Teats.

After both wrestlers came up short at Hershey last year, Wetzel and Teats clinched spots on their respective medal podiums with wins in the third round of consolations in the PIAA Class 3A tournament on Friday at the Giant Center.

Wetzel, who finished 2-2 at states last season, sealed a spot on the podium when he pinned Conestoga Valley's Abdoul Akala during the 172-pound consolations.

"I'm very excited," Wetzel said. "Last year really sucked — I lost by a point in that same round, so to come this round and I can pin my match, it feels really good."

Wetzel bounced back from a narrow quarterfinal loss to Sam Gautreau, of Owen J. Roberts, in a match that was decided in overtime. Wetzel and Gautreau were knotted up 4-4 heading into the extra period, but then Gautreau scored a takedown to advance to the semifinals.

Gautreau is a returning state-medalist and a Maryland recruit. Gautreau is ranked third in the state; Wetzel is fourth.

"I just to try to forget about it," Wetzel said. "Focus on the next one and I can just work my way back up there now."

After having to bow out of last year's tournament due to suffering an injury in his opening bout, Teats secured his spot on the podium after besting Williamsport's Nariq Burks in an 11-5 decision in the 189 consolations. It was the third time Teats defeated Burks this postseason. The two also met during the district and regional finals.

Teats bounced back from Thursday's loss by pinning Spring-Ford's Mason Richards in his first match of the day.

Wetzel and Teats will both seek to move on to their respective third-place bouts today after each other in the fourth round of consolations. Teats advanced due to a forfeit.

Teats is Selinsgrove's only wrestler remaining after Jack Peters lost both of his matches on Friday. Peters was pinned by Kennett's John Pardo in the 285 quarterfinals. Peters' time at the state tournament ended when he was on the losing end on another pin to Maxwell Roy (St. Joe's Prep). Both Pardo and Roy are ranked in the top 10 in the state.

Peters, a sophomore, was a first-time state qualifier and finished the season 35-10.

The three other Shikellamy wrestlers who started Friday in the consolations were all knocked out of the tournament. Two of them, Alex Reed (121) and Isaac McGregor, ended their high school careers as seniors.

Reed and McGregor both crossed the 100-win plateau this season and were two-time state qualifiers.

"They had an outstanding season," said Shikellamy coach Tim Boetsch. "Obviously making it to Hershey is a big deal. Both of them wanted to be on the podium, they worked real hard all year. So obviously anytime your guys lose, it's disappointing and there's some frustration and a lot of emotion involved making it this far.

"That's part of the character building of wrestling. Unfortunately, there's only one guy on the podium who doesn't lose, and that's the champion. There's only one kid that doesn't deal with that adversity of losing, but it's a really tough sport."

Brody Rebuck (215) also ended his season on Friday after he dropped a 4-1 decision to Franklin Regional's Juliano Marion in a 3-0 decision. Rebuck was making his debut at the Giant Center and completed his sophomore campaign with a 32-8 record.

"Brody's a young wrestler," Boetsch said. "We've got a lot of time that we can work on. It's impressive that he got down here, and I think he knows what he needs to work on for next season. He's the type of kid that'll get right to work on what he needs to work on for next year."