Franklin Regional wrestlers fall just short of goals at PIAA tournament

Monday, March 12, 2018 | 11:00 PM

Franklin Regional wrestlers Colton Camacho and Carter Dibert set high goals for themselves heading into the PIAA Class AAA tournament in Hershey.

For Camacho, a junior who claimed the WPIAL championship earlier this month, state gold was the objective. Meanwhile, Dibert, a freshman, eyed a spot on the podium as a top-eight finisher. Both wrestlers narrowly missed their goals, but the disappointing endings did not tarnish their terrific seasons.

Camacho fell 5-4 to McDowell's Jeffrey Boyd in the 132-pound finals Saturday, and Dibert lost 5-4 in the 106-pound consolations Friday, just missing the medal round.

“Just the competitors they are, they both obviously wanted more,” FR coach Matt Lebe said. “That's a natural reaction for anyone like those guys who wanted to be the best.”

Camacho, who earned a bye in the preliminary round, narrowly avoided a first-round upset Thursday. Camacho edged Nazareth's Ryan O'Grady 4-3, after Camacho scored a third-period reversal. The outcome was much different in the quarterfinals on Friday, however, as Camacho dominated Michael Cassidy of Cedar Cliff, 11-1.

On Saturday morning, Camacho scored an 8-4 decision against Souderton's Tyler Williams.

That set the stage for Camacho and Boyd to do battle inside Giant Center with the gold medal at stake. After a scoreless first period, Camacho scored the first three points of the match in the second period. Boyd scored two points late in the second, however, as Camacho was called for a penalty for locking hands, and then Boyd escaped with just five seconds remaining.

The locking hands violation, a rarity for Camacho, shifted momentum, according to Lebe.

“Anytime you get called for a penalty point, it kind of changes the course of the match,” he said.

Boyd escaped at the beginning of the third period to pull even, and then took the lead on a takedown. Although Camacho eventually escaped to pull within 5-4, he was unable to score again before the time expired.

Dibert, meanwhile, won his preliminary round match Thursday, defeating Kyle Hauserman of Council Rock North, 4-1. Dibert suffered a setback in the first round later that day, though, falling 6-0 to Council Rock South's Kyle Waterman.

In the consolation bracket, Dibert notched a 9-1 victory against Aidan Lewis of Cedar Cliff. In the third-round consolations, however, Dibert fell 5-4 to Matt Mayer of Bethlehem Catholic.

Even though Dibert came up just short, his resolve and tenacity impressed his coach.

“He put himself in a position to come back. He wrestles hard the whole time, and I think we were getting close, and if there was a little more time on the clock, he would've had a great opportunity to score,” Lebe said.

Sean Meyers is a freelance writer.


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