Wrestling in his third different weight class in three years, Wyoming Area's Andy Schutz just did what he does best come this time of the year – win.
The junior grappler ran his District 2 record to 9-0 as he won a 10-4 decision over Meyers' Jeff Nealon to capture the 132-pound championship at the D2 Class 2A Tournament at Lake-Lehman High School on Saturday night. The victory gave Schutz his third straight District 2 gold medal. He won the 125-pound title as a sophomore and the 119-pound crown as a freshman.
"It's the third one and it never gets easier. Today's match felt like an absolute brawl," Schutz told the Times Leader. "It feels really good to get the win though. I've been training really hard and I'm going to be training ever harder to try my best to get a fourth. That's a goal of mine and I really want to try and get after that next year, but, for now I'm going to focus on regionals."
With the win, Schutz (93-13 overall, 27-7 season) entered this weekend's PIAA Class 2A Northeast Regional at Williamsport High School as the second seed in the 132-pound bracket.
All season, first-year Wyoming Area wrestling coach Steve Mytych boasted about his Warriors and the talent they possessed.
On Saturday, the Warriors backed up his words.
Wyoming Area took home five medals, finished sixth over all as a team, and qualified two wrestlers – Andy Schutz and Carmen Mauriello – for the Northeast Regional Tournament.
Coming into the 120-pound tournament, Wyoming Area's Carmen Mauriello had posted a non-descript 13-13 record after his second season on the mat for the Warriors.
But the junior racked up four wins at the District 2 Class 2A championships and captured his first medal – a bronze – to give Wyoming Area a second qualifier at the PIAA Northeast Regional this weekend.
Mauriello (17-14) won two bouts to get to the championship semifinals before being sent to the consolation bracket in a tough technical fall loss to eventual silver medalist Justin Elick of Meyers on Saturday night at Lake-Lehman.
However Mauriello rebounded nicely, taking a 4-3 decision from Eric Young of Dallas in the consolation semifinals before beating Scranton Prep senior Pat Creedon for the second time in the tournament – this time a 6-1 decision – in the third-place match.
The win earned Mauriello the fifth seed at the regional event.
Wyoming Area heavyweight Carl Zielinski put himself in position to join Schutz and Mauriello at the Northeast Regionals on Saturday afternoon after winning his consolation semifinal. But the Warriors junior had his fortunes reversed in a rematch with Western Wayne's Joseph Ingaglio in the third-place bout.
Ingaglio – who Zielinski had beaten 10-7 in Friday night's championship quarterfinals – edged Wyoming Area's 285-pounder in a 2-0 decision to earn the bronze medal and a trip to Williamsport.
Zielinski (13-13) was knocked into the consolation bracket by eventual silver-medalist Ben Lehman of Lackawanna Trail in a 4-1 decision in the championship semis. But he rebounded with a pin of Scranton Prep's Nick Stahl in 24 seconds to gain a spot in the third-place match.
Ryan Filipiak entered his first District 2 wrestling tournament as somewhat of an unknown. The Wyoming Area senior posted just an 8-10 record entering the 145-pound bracket of the Class 2A tournament at Lake-Lehman last weekend.
But Filipiak made his name known with a solid two days of wrestling and entered his name in the WA history books in his only season of varsity wrestling by earning a fourth-place medal after winning four matches at this year's event.
Filipiak did lose two bouts, but both were to Elk Lake's Derrick Smith. Smith knocked Filipiak into the consolation bracket with a 2-1 decision in the championship quarterfinals and then pinned the Warriors grappler in the bronze-medal bout in 4:18.
But in between, Filipiak won three consolation bouts, including a 7-2 decision over Nanticoke's Klayton Krasprzyk in the consolation quarters, and a sudden victory pin of Trail's Victor Rosa in 5:04 in the championship semis. Rosa went on to win a fifth-place medal.
A rough regular-season didn't stop Wyoming Area' Steve Barush from putting his best foot forward at the District 2 Class 2A Championships last weekend at Lake-Lehman.
Barush lost to just one wrestler – fourth-place finisher Matt Judge of Valley View – at the two-day event, and won three bouts on his way to earning a fifth-place medal for the Warriors.
The junior 126-pounder lost to Judge in the preliminaries, 6-3, on Friday, and again on Saturday in the consolation semis, 2-1. But between those two losses, Barush defeated Jordan Visneski of Dallas on Friday, and then won a 2-0 decision over Gary Parks of Montrose in the consolation quarterfinals.
In the fifth-place bout, Barush won by disqualification over Troy Maby of Blue Ridge.
Nick Hromek lost his two bouts at last week's championships, but the freshman lost to two medal winners.
Hromek was knocked into the consolation bracket by eventual 106-pound champion Dominic DeGraba of Dallas, and was eliminated in the consolation quarterfinals by fifth-place medal winner Michael Canaveri of Valley View.
Shawn Whiting also was knocked off by two medal winners.
Whiting, Wyoming Area's 195-pound junior, was knocked into the consolation bracket by eventual bronze medalist Ryan Monk of Dallas, and eliminated by eventual fourth-place finisher Curtis Barbacci of Lake-Lehman in the consolation quarterfinals.
And the same happened to Nick Mazzone.
Mazzone lost to eventual 152-pound bronze medalist Beau Fuller of Western Wayne in the championship quarterfinals before being eliminated in a 4-2 decision by Maurice Wood of Nanticoke who finished fourth.
Times Leader reporter Dave Rosengrant contributed to this article.