Five things to watch at PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional wrestling

Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 5:39 PM

The PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional wrestling championships will begin Friday at IUP’s Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex.

Action begins 1 p.m. and resumes 10 a.m. Saturday. The semifinals are at noon Saturday and finals are slated for 5:45 p.m.

The WPIAL will battle wrestlers from District 5 (Somerset, Bedford and Fulton counties) and District 6 (Westmoreland, Cambria, Huntingdon, Mifflin, Centre, Blair, Indiana, Armstrong, Clearfield and Clinton counties).

The top six wrestlers in each weight classes (14) advance to the PIAA Championship on March 5-7 at Giant Center in Hershey.

Here are five things to watch for this weekend.

1. How many WPIAL wrestlers will win titles?

Last year, South Park’s Joey Fischer (106 pounds), Elizabeth Forward’s Ryan Michaels (113), Burrell’s Ian Oswalt (120), Hopewell’s Jacob Ealy (138), Freedom’s Trent Schultheis (152), Frazier’s Thayne Lawrence (160), Mt. Pleasant’s Dayton Pitzer (182) and Derry’s Dom DeLuca grabbed titles. Fischer, Michaels, Oswalt, Schultheis and Lawrence return. Pitzer is injured and must wait until 2021 to defend his title.

2. Going for three?

Caleb Dowling (152 pounds) of St. Joseph Catholic Academy of Boalsburg will be attempting to win his third consecutive Southwest Regional title. He is already a three-time finalist.

3. Will third time be charm?

Derry junior Ty Cymmerman hopes so. He reached the finals in 2018 and ‘19. He fell to Glendale’s Brock McMillen, 6-4, at 126 last year and to St. Joseph Catholic Academy’s Zach Whitmer, 9-5, at 120 in 2018. Forest Hills sophomore Jackson Arrington is seeded No. 1 and Cymmerman No. 2 at 126.

4. We are seeded No. 1

There are five wrestlers from the WPIAL seeded No. 1. They are Fischer (113), Michaels (120), Lawrence (160), Schultheis (170) and Ellwood City senior Austin Walley (182). Fisher is a two-time finalist, and Lawrence has reached the finals three times.

5. Don’t forget me

Quaker Valley junior Conner Redinger was the 106-pound champion in 2018. But as a sophomore, he moved up to 132 pounds and finished sixth in arguably the toughest weight class. He finished second to Burrell’s AJ Corrado in the WPIAL 152-pound final and is seeded fifth. Redinger is capable of winning it all.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at or via Twitter .

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