Greensburg Salem wrestler John Meyers ready to tackle heavy hitters at 220

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Tuesday, December 17, 2019 | 5:25 PM


Greensburg Salem senior John Meyers is gambling on his ability.

A 2019 PIAA qualifier at 195 pounds, Meyers decided to tackle a heavier weight class this season — 220.

In doing so, Meyers had to win a wrestle-off against senior teammate Trent Patrick, also a PIAA qualifier in 2019, and did. Patrick wrestled at 220 last season.

“John feels 220 is his best shot at winning a state title,” Greensburg Salem coach Randy Parsley said. “Time will tell. I know if he’s got the right mindset, he can beat anyone.”

Meyers opened the season by winning two tournaments — at Erie McDowell on Dec. 7 and at Milford, Del., on Dec. 14.

“I’m pleased to get the wins,” Meyers said. “But the competition at McDowell wasn’t that strong, and it was a little better at Milford. I know I just have to continue to work hard.”

Patrick, who is currently dropping to 195, placed third at Milford.

Meyers (6-0) finished last season with a 31-10 record. He placed second in the Section 1 tournament and third at WPIALs. He went 2-2 in the state tournament.

His overall record is 62-23 and he’s committed to Seton Hill.

“I’m just going out there and pushing the pace every match,” Meyers said. “I’m focused on scoring points and getting to the legs this year. That was big mental block last year, not opening up and scoring on the legs. My main goal is to get out there and let it fly.”

The win in the championship final at Milford was against the Delaware state runner-up from Milford, Anthony Diaz, 7-2. Diaz edged Patrick, 3-2, in ultimate rideout in the semifinals.

“The difference this season is my mental toughness,” Meyers said. “Knowing I can compete against anyone on the country. “

In a preseason tournament at Johnstown, Meyers finished second to Erie Prep’s Dorian Crosby at 220, falling 6-4. Crosby finished fourth in the state in 2019.

“It was a close match,” Meyers said. “I have to be able to push the pace. I feel he’s one of the opponents I’ll need to beat at states.”

Also back at 220 is returning champion Nate Schon of Selinsgrove and third-place finisher Hunter Catka of Sun Valley.

Meyers went 2-2 in the state tournament at 195. He dropped a 7-6 decision to eventual state champion Kyle Swartz of Northern York to open the tournament. He won his next two matches and then fell to Thomas Jefferson’s Max Shaw in the blood round.

“The McDowell tournament was an easy one for me, not too many kids,” Meyers said. “Milford was a little tougher, more wrestlers, and I beat the Delaware runner-up. He was OK, but he doesn’t match up against the kids from Pennsylvania.”

Parsley said Meyers is a light 220 pounder, weighing in at around 212.

“John is tough,” Parsley said. “When he wants to go, he’s tough to handle. Hopefully he stays out of his own head and just wrestles.

“When he started moving the Delaware kid around on Saturday, you could tell the difference in ability between the two. Hands down, John was a much better wrestler than that kid.”

Meyers has two big tournaments coming in the next few weeks — Southmoreland on Dec. 27-29 and Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association on Jan. 3-4.

The competition at those tournaments should show him how he’ll do in late February and early March.

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

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