Yough champs enter school’s wrestling record books, still have goals to achieve

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | 4:41 PM


Shane Momyer and Glenn Christner did something Friday at the WPIAL Class AA section tournament that is a rare occurrence in Yough wresting history. They won section titles.

The last Yough wrestler to win a section title was Tom Sever in 2015.

And in an even rarer occurrence, Yough wrestlers won multiple titles for the first time since the trio of Rick Boyd, J.J. Mathews and Justin Poorbaugh finished first in 1999.

Poorbaugh went on to become Yough’s only WPIAL champion and one of two to place second in the PIAA tournament. Jeff Barnes finished third in the WPIAL and second in the PIAA in 1988.

Momyer (106 pounds) and Christner (170) became only the 16th and 17th section champions in school history.

One of the previous section champions was Scott Momyer, the father of Shane, who won in 1989.

It was a combination of hard work finally paying off for Shane Momyer and Christner, both juniors.

“During the course of the year, both of them have stepped up, not just in their individual accomplishments but being leaders on the team,” Yough coach Eric Bush said. “I think that helped them personally.

“It was one of those things that over the course of last year and being disappointed in the results, both stepped up their efforts during the course of the season. They worked their tails off.”

It was the first time that either had won a tournament during their high school careers.

Winning the section tournament was one thing, but both also followed by qualifying for the PIAA Southwest Regional tournament on Friday and Saturday at IUP’s Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex.

Momyer finished seventh in the WPIAL tournament Saturday and Christner placed second, falling to three-time champion Trent Schultheis of Freedom.

“I found out that if I want to reach my goals, I have to work a lot harder,” Christner said. “I was outclassed with speed and strength. My focus the rest of the week is on my training.

“Working so hard for so many years and I finally got up there with the big dogs.”

Christner (26-6) will open with District 6 fourth-place finisher Gage Peters (20-12), a senior from Huntingdon. Momyer (26-9) will battle District 6 champion and second seed Coen Bailey (31-5), a freshman from Bald Eagle Area.

While winning a region title is the hope, finishing in the top six is the goal. A top-six finish qualifies a wrestler for a trip to Hershey and the PIAA tournament March 5-7.

WPIAL wrestlers will find that the competition from Districts 5 and 6 is tough.

Momyer said he knows the challenge that awaits him, but he’s ready.

“My freshman and sophomore years I didn’t win,” Momyer said. “So I wanted to go big. I wasn’t just done winning the section title. I wanted to place at WPIALs and qualify for regions.

“I’m not looking to win three or how many it takes to qualify for Hershey. I’m just focusing on my first match. I’m not looking ahead.”

Christner said he has a similar mentality except for one thing.

“I want to go farther and go to states,” Christner said. “I have to put in extra time and work on the techniques that I had issues with last week.”

If either can put together a similar effort, they’ll join Poorbaugh, Barnes and Sean Holmberg as PIAA qualifiers from Yough.

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

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