HERSHEY — The Brookville wrestling team brought a smaller than usual contingent to Hershey, with just three competitors fighting there way through the Northwest Regional brackets last weekend in Sharon.
And, the trio of seniors Caleb Hetrick (145) and Dontae Constable (138) and sophomore Colby Whitehill (285) experienced a mixed bag of results. Hetrick won a tight first-round bout and was the lone Raider to reach today’s quarterfinals.
Whitehill lost his opener but bounced back with a win to stay alive, while Constable saw his Raiders’ career come to and end with an 0-2 day inside the Giant Center.
Hetrick carried the Raiders’ banner on Thursday and wrestled a tough, smart match to pull out a 3-1 win against Saucon Valley sophomore Thomas Spirk (27-15) in the first round in a loaded 145-pound field.
The pair entered the third period scoreless after Hetrick rode out Spirk in the second. The Raider senior chose bottom in the third and needed just eight seconds to escape to go up 1-0. Hetrick then scored a huge takedown with 42 seconds remaining.
Hetrick was hit with two cautions following the takedown, giving Spirk a late points with seven seconds left, but the Raider held on for the victory.
Next up for the Raider is Palmerton junior Lucas Christman (32-5), who notched a 6-1 win over D.J. Erickson (32-6) in his first-round bout Thursday.
Whitehill (38-5), making his state tournament debut, got off to a tough start with a 5-2 loss to Valley junior David Schuffert (35-4) in the first round. Schuffert scored two takedowns in the first period against the Raider and that proved to be enough as the pair traded escapes in the final two periods.
The loss dropped Whitehill into the consy bracket, where he rebounded with a strong 9-0 major decision against Saucon Valley sophomore Nickolas Warnke (15-7).
Whitehill looked like a different wrestler, perhaps having shaken off some state jitters in his first match. The Raider notched a takedown with 11 seconds left in the first period to grab the early lead, then seized control of things with a six-point second period.
Whitehill started down in the period, escaping just three seconds in. He took down Warnke shortly thereafter and turned him for three backpoints just past the midway point of the period.
Struggling to get out in the second, Warnke chose top in the third — a move that didn’t pan out as Whitehill needed just four seconds for an escape this time. Leading 9-0, Whitehill battled with Warnke on his feet the remainder of the period to salt away the victory.
Whitehill returns to action today against Mount Pleasant senior Cody Vokes (37-8) in a second-round consolation match.
As for Constable, he dropped a pair of tough, one-point matches on a day where he struggled to score.
The Raider opened the day with a 2-1 loss to Juniata senior Tyler Feltman (33-15) in a 138-pound pigtail match. The duo traded escapes in the second and third periods in the bout, with an interlocking call against Constable midway through the third period ultimately being the decided point.
Constable still had a chance to force overtime after that call, but Feltman escaped with just over 10 seconds left to come away with the victory.
The Raider senior then suffered an even tougher loss in his consy bout, as three stall calls on Constable in the third period — the last with 10 seconds remaining — handed a 1-0 win to Notre Dame-Green Pond junior Nicholas Vonelli (35-7).
Vonelli rode out Constable in the second period in the bout, while the Raider returned the favor in the third. However, he couldn’t turn Vonelli in the closing seconds after he received the stalling point that decided the match.