A strong showing for Central Mountain wrestlers and Centre County matmen at D6 championships
Feb 19, 2023

By Kenny Varner

ALTOONA – It was a prosperous day Saturday for both the Central Mountain, Bald Eagle Area and Bellefonte Wrestlers as both sent on numerous wrestlers to Regionals after successful outing at the District 6 Class AAA and AA wrestling championships held at Altoona high school.

Central Mountain held the top of the team standings coming back late to top MIfflin County as the Huskies finished a close second, 193.5 to 189.5.

The Wildcats sent seven wrestlers into the championship of their respective weight classes Collin Bauman (107), Luke Simcox (133), Dalton Perry (139), Gage Walizer (145), Rocco Serafini (189) and Giovanni Taratella (215).

“As they’ve done all year, they stepped up when they had to. So it was good to see that,” said Central Mountain coach Biff Walizer. “I’m real proud of the kids. I think we were down my 10 points going into 172 in the final round we were able to sweep. We got big wins at 172 by Jacob Weaver. Rocco Sarafini picks up a pin at 185. Gino Tarantella’s win at 215 tied it for us and Brayden Blackwell’s pin in the third place match at heavyweight won it for us. Those heavyweights came though again for us when we needed them.”

The Wildcats came out with three District 6 champions by Simcox , Rocco Serafini and Tarantella.

Simcox defeated State College’s Jacob Campbell 2-0.

Central Mountain crowned its second district champion at 189. Rocco Serafini won by a 4-0 victory over Greater Johnstown’s Marquan Tisinger.

Central Mountain made it three champions. In the 215-pound weight class, Tarantella was able to get past MIfflin County’s Truitt Davis 7-4 to step to the top of the podium.

Finishing as runner ups were Bauman, Perry and Walizer.

Bauman fell to Altoona’s Braiden Weaver 5-0.

At 145, MIfflin County’s Asher Cunningham topped Walizer 9-5.

In the match of two former State Champions, State College’s 139-pounder Pierson Manville picked up an early escape and was able to hold on against Dalton Perry.

At 160, Gino Serafini fell in a nail biting 3-2 contest against MIfflin County’s Deakon Schaeffer.

All in all, Central Mountain will be sending 10 wrestlers to next week’s Regional competition.

Other placing for the trip back to Altoona for regionals were Braylen Corter, Jacob Weaver, Brayden Blackwell all finished in third.

Central Mountain’s head coach Biff Walizer won the best coach in AAA also. His coaching staff also was recognized for their efforts this year, winning staff of the year

In class AA, the Bald Eagle Area wrestlers found themselves with four placing in the title tilt. They were; Lucas Fye (121), Coen Bainey (127), Caleb Clouse (172) and Cam Dubbs (189).

The Eagles were led by 4-time District 6 champion Coen Bainey. He finished his day as the the third ever in Bald Eagle to earn that honor. He was on fire this weekend as he collected had 10 pinfalls, a tech fall, and two major decisions.

In the 127-pound championship match, Bainey outlasted Jakin Hess 13-1.

At 121, teammate Lucas Fye notched a district title as well as he defeated United’s Gideon Bracken in a 5-4, battle.

172-pounder Caleb Close won by injury to captured his title by default over Tommy Cohenour (Southern Huntingdon), 2-0 1:22.

Cameron Dubbs settled for district runner up as he lost a tough match to Mount Union’s Josh Ryan 2-0.

Also punching a ticket to regionals this weekend were fifth place finishers were Jeffre Pifer (152), Gage Gardner (215).

The sixth place finishers were Alex Surovec (139), Mason Reese (145).

The Eagles’ coach Ron Guenot was selected Coach of the Year for District 6 Class AA.

“We have eight moving on. We were hoping we’d be in that area, we were trying to get nine but we were a little bit short of that,” said Bald Eagle coach Ron Guenot. “Overall we are happy with eight. We are excited about the effort we got this weekend.”

Penns Valley sent two to the championships in Colten Shunk (133) and Ty Watson (152).

Philipsburg-Osceola sent Marcus Gable (152) in a showdown with Watson.

Bald Eagle Area also walked away with the team title, posting a first place tally of 201.5, next was Huntingdon while Penns Valley and Bellefonte rounded out the top four AA team results.

Despite not getting any wrestler into the finals the Bellefonte Red Raiders finished with six earning a bid to the Class AA Regionals.

Advancing to next week’s regionals will be Max Murray, Addison Shawley, Noah Weaver, Jackson Long, Cameron Garcia and Ezra Swisher.

Centre County was well represented in AAA as State College sent six. Jacob Campbell (133), Hayden Cunningham (127), Pierson Manville (139), Asher Cunningham (145), Carter Weaverling (172), Nicholas Pavlechko (285).

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