Kiski Area’s Levett, Reid aim to join McCutcheon as PIAA wrestling champion
By: Doug Gulasy
Friday, March 9, 2018 | 6:27 PM
HERSHEY — Noah Levett and Isaac Reid looked up to Matt McCutcheon as they grew up in the Kiski Area youth wrestling program.
They need two more victories to join him in the program's history books.
The Kiski Area senior wrestlers advanced to the semifinals of the PIAA Class AAA championships by posting quarterfinal victories on the second day of the tournament Friday afternoon at Giant Center.
McCutcheon's 2012 state title remains the only one for a Kiski Area wrestler, but Levett and Reid can change that Saturday, starting with the 9 a.m. semifinals. Levett will face Bethlehem Catholic's Ryan Anderson in the 138-pound bracket, while Reid will take on Ryan Stewart of Warwick at heavyweight.
“If I win states, it would be everything I've worked for for my whole entire life,” Levett said. “I've been wrestling since like kindergarten. Being a state champ's always been something that I've wanted to be. I've watched the live finals every year since I was younger. It's like every kid's goal to be a state champ.”
Reid and Levett both own a pair of state medals, and Reid came within a victory of a PIAA championship in 2017, falling to Canon-McMillan's Brendan Furman in the finals. The top-seeded Reid has a strong chance for gold Saturday.
“It'd be an honor,” Reid said. “Matt McCutcheon's a phenomenal athlete and wrestler. I'd like to say (his title) was well-deserved. He did a great job. If I can also join that list, I'm just going to keep thanking God every day.”
Levett's quarterfinal victory over McDowell's Leno Ciotti was the 157th of his Kiski Area career, moving him to within one of McCutcheon, who tops the Cavaliers' all-time wins list. Two wins Saturday — the same number he needs for a state title — would put Levett atop the list.
McCutcheon went 158-14 in his Kiski Area career; Levett is 157-32.
“You think of Kiski wrestling, you think of Matt McCutcheon,” Levett said. “He's a great guy, he's a good wrestler, he's always looking to help people. He's just an all-around Division I athlete; he's awesome.”
To get to the final, Levett will need to get past Anderson in a rematch of an Anderson victory from the PIAA team championship match in February. Levett beat Anderson in the team tournament last season.
“Last time we wrestled, I just let him do his offense, and I didn't really do much of mine,” Levett said. “I'm just going to do my offense and do my thing.
“I feel like honestly me and him should be the two in the finals. It's just my personal preference. But you're going to have to beat him sooner or later if I want to be a state champ.”
Reid picked up his second pin in as many matches, recording a fall of Lower Dauphin's Kyler Wuestner in 1 minute, 11 seconds. His two pins have taken a combined 2:11 this weekend.
A championship on Saturday would provide a winning bookend for Reid's season, which began with uncertainty as he battled and overcame a pulmonary embolism in his lung that kept him away from wrestling until January.
“I'd just like to give glory to God and take it one match at a time,” Reid said. “I'm not looking past anyone. Everyone here has their own tricks of the trade, so I'm just playing it smart. I'm just focused on my semifinal match here. I'm looking forward to it.”
Kiski Area junior Cam Connor also earned a medal Friday by advancing past the third round of the consolation bracket, the so-called “blood round.” After Connor fell to Ryan Vulakh of Pope John Paul II in the quarterfinals, he posted a 9-3 decision over Pennridge's Evan Widing in the consolation match. Sophomores Jack Blumer and Nick Delp each finished one win shy of a medal after falling in the quarterfinals and blood round.
The Class AAA tournament resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday with semifinals and fourth-round consolations. The finals are at 7 p.m.
Tags: Kiski Area