Ligonier Valley’s Patrick denied in state wrestling finals again
By: Paul Schofield
Saturday, March 10, 2018 | 6:12 PM
HERSHEY — Sometimes your best isn't just good enough.
Ligonier Valley senior Robby Patrick and Derry junior Dom DeLuca can attest to that.
Patrick and DeLuca came up short in their bids to win their first state titles at the PIAA Class AA championships on Saturday at Giant Center.
Patrick finished second for the third time. It was DeLuca's first time in the finals.
Patrick fell to Susquehanna Township junior Edmond Ruth for the second consecutive season, this time 6-4 in the 170-pound final, and DeLuca lost to Bishop McCort senior Anthony Walters, 16-8, for the second time in three weeks in the 220-pound final.
Patrick (34-1) seemed to set the tone early against Ruth (32-0). He got the first takedown with a single-leg shot and almost had a second takedown at the buzzer.
But things changed in the second period. Ruth didn't tie up with Patrick and altered his attack.
“At first, I thought tying up was better for me but that wasn't the case,” Ruth said. “The first period was a wake-up call. I needed to start moving more.”
Ruth tied the score, 3-3, with a takedown and then after he allowed Patrick to escape, he got another takedown to grab a 5-4 lead.
Late in the match, Patrick just missed tying the match with a leg trip, but Ruth was able to avoid the takedown.
“I made a mistake,” said Patrick, a Virginia recruit who finished with a 144-15 career record. “I went for a big move instead of securing the takedown.
“Maybe I'm not supposed to be a state champion. Maybe this will help me in my college career. I did everything I could to win.”
Walters (35-0) recorded two of his eight takedowns in the first period to take control of the match. He never allowed DeLuca (48-6) to set the tone.
“He's a good wrestler,” DeLuca said. “My game plan was to circle and keep him away from my legs.”
DeLuca, who usually weighs in at 211 pounds, said he needs to become bigger and stronger to compete at the 220-pound weight class. DeLuca also plays football and volleyball.
“I'm already looking forward to next season,” he said. “I just have to improve on some little things.”
While Patrick and DeLuca came up short, Jefferson-Morgan senior Gavin Teasdale (40-2) and Frazier sophomore Thayne Lawrence (30-2) were celebrating.
Teasdale captured his fourth state title by defeating Saucon Valley junior Joshua Jones, 2-0, in the 126 final. Teasdale, who has a career mark of 162-2, became the 13th four-time state champion. The other four-time state champions from the WPIAL are: Jim Conklin of Waynesburg, Ty Moore of North Allegheny, Jeremy Hunter of McGuffey, Jimmy Gulibon of Derry and Cary Kolat of Jefferson-Morgan.
“I knew what he had and I couldn't get caught in some dumb positions,” Teasdale said. “I was able to control what he did best.”
After the match, Penn State-bound Teasdale showed Derry coach Mike Weinell what headgear he wore. It was the headgear Gulibon gave him after winning his fourth title in 2012.
Lawrence made history at his school by defeating Chestnut Ridge senior and returning 145-pound champion Justin McCoy, 8-1, in the 152 final. McCoy and Patrick are Virginia recruits. McCoy defeated Lawrence, 10-1, at the Southwest Regional two weeks ago.
South Side Beaver senior heavyweight Bishop McCoy dropped a 3-2 decision to Tri-Valley senior Danny Schieb in the finals.