Burrell wrestling rolls into PIAA Class AA quarterfinals
By: Paul Schofield
Thursday, February 7, 2019 | 10:48 PM
HERSHEY — Jason Templer isn’t the most decorated of the Burrell wrestlers.
But the senior sure had a big smile on his face after his pin clinched a 42-15 win against Newport in the first round the PIAA Class AA team tournament Thursday.
Templer stunned those in attendance at the Giant Center, including his coaches and teammates, when he pinned Andrew Wright in the first period of the 220-pound bout.
“It feels great to actually contribute to my team by not actually getting three, but getting the pin,” Templer said. “This was my first pin at the state tournament. I was completely shocked. I felt good, and I knew early I could beat him.”
Templer didn’t start wrestling until his sophomore season.
“It was a big win for us and a big win for him,” Burrell coach Josh Shields said. “I love coaching state champions and guys at that level.
“Jake is a kid who came off the streets as a 10th grader, he was 260 pounds and never wrestled a day in his life. Now he’s 215 pounds and just got a pin in the state tournament. That puts a smile on my face. That’s a life-changing win for him.”
Templer was mobbed by his teammates after coming off the mat.
Burrell started quickly against the District 3 runner-up as Trent Valovchik (126 pounds), Bryan Gaul (132), A.J. Corrado (138) and Noah Linderman (145) got wins to make it 13-0. Corrado had a major decision.
“Our lower part of our lineup is so strong, it’s tough for teams to get through that,” Corrado said. “We’ve been talking about getting bonus points all week. That’s what we need to win. That’s what we were all going for.
“That was great win for Jason. He’s not used to winning, so going out there and pinning the kid gives him great confidence.”
After Newport’s William Davis got a win, Burrell’s Austin Mele was awarded a forfeit at 160. Daniel McCarthy followed with an overtime win and Ricky Feroce got a pin at 182 to push the Bucs’ lead to 28-3.
“That was a good starting spot for us,” Shields said. “We knew they were good at 132 and 145, and both our guys got wins. We knew early on we were in a good position as long as we did our job.”
A technical fall by Nick Salerno (113) and a victory by Ian Oswalt (120) finished off the win, though Oswalt was upset with his performance.
Burrell advanced to the PIAA quarterfinals where it will meet District 11 champion Saucon Valley at noon Friday. Saucon Valley defeated District 4’s Muncy, 28-22, in the first round.
“There are no easy matches here,” Shields said. “We’ll come back Friday ready to battle Saucon Valley.”
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at email@example.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.