Four Saucon Valley Panther wrestlers took to Hershey’s, Giant Center mat on Friday night to battle for their position on the PIAA State Wrestling Championships podium. Josh Jones (132) and Matt Arciuolo (160) led the way as they both competed in the semifinals. Thomas Spirk (138) and Nick Rosengrant (145) continued to compete through the consolation bracket.
Jones won and will wrestle for gold against Ty Varndel of Cambridge Springs. Jones defeated Varndel last year in the state semifinals 10-0. Arciuolo fell in the semis and dropped to the consolation bracket. He did win his consolation bout and will now, once again, compete against Tyler Stoltzfus of St. Joseph’s Academy. They will wrestle for 3rd Place. Arciuolo defeated Stoltzfus 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
Rosengrant and Spirk battled their way through the consolation bracket in pursuit of 3rd-Place finishes. However, Rosengrant and Spirk both dropped their Friday night fight. Both will compete for either a 7th or 8th Place finish tomorrow afternoon. Rosengrant will face Palisades’ Nathan Haubert while Spirk will take on Mulachi DuVall of Penn’s Valley.
In his semifinal match, Jones was impressive. Last year’s silver medalist, perhaps drawing on his extensive experience, was cool, calm, collected and patient. Jones was all business in his semifinal bout against Bedford’s Kaden Cassidy. Cassidy scored first with a first-period takedown, but Jones appeared un-phased. At the end of the opening period, Jones trailed 2-0.
It was a scoreless second period, however, Cassidy received a stalling warning as he seemed to clam up with Jones on top. Jones came close a couple times trying to turn Cassidy, but just couldn’t quite get Cassidy’s shoulders turned enough toward the mat to get the near-fall points. Cassidy seemed to be in a defensive mode and never tried to improve from his defensive position. The second period ended with Cassidy still ahead by a 2-0 score.
Jones chose the top position to start the third period and went right back to work trying to turn Cassidy for back-points. About half way through the final period, Cassidy was again called for stalling and a point was awarded to Jones which made the score 2-1. As time ticked down Jones appeared to stay with the game plan and, with confidence, continued to dig and work for a turn. Finally, Jones was able to clearly turn Cassidy. With seven seconds remaining in the bout, the referee awarded Jones two near-fall points. Jones won 3-2 and will return to the PIAA Championship Finals.
PANTHER SEMIFINAL RESULTS
- 132 #1 Josh Jones Sr. (44-4) Saucon Valley, decision #1 Kaden Cassidy Jr. (30-8) Bedford, 3-2.
- Jones will wrestle for gold for the second straight season.
- 160 #1 Alec English Sr. (34-1) Kane, fall #1 Matt Arciuolo Jr. (39-4) Saucon Valley, 5:26.
- Arciuolo dropped to the Consolation Bracket.
4th Round Consy’s
- 138 #5 Anthony Corrado So. (36-11) Burrell, decision #5 Thomas Spirk Jr. (38-9) Saucon Valley, 4-0.
- Spirk will wrestle for 7th Place.
- 145 #4 John-Rocco Kazalas Sr. (40-3) Quaker Valley, fall #4 Nick Rosengrant Sr. (38-12) Saucon Valley, 1:53.
- Rosengrant will wrestle for 7th Place.
5th Round Consy’s
- 160 #1 Matt Arciuolo Jr. (39-5) Saucon Valley, major-decision Cole Sossong Sr. (41-7) Portage, 12-3.
- Arciuolo will wrestle for 3rd Place.
Up Next: Tomorrow at 2 p.m. four Panthers will wrestle in the 2019 PIAA Championship Wrestling medal round. When the final whistle blows, Josh Jones (132), Nick Rosengrant (145), Thomas Spirk (145), and Matt Arciuolo (160) will all be climbing onto the PIAA podium.
Good luck Panthers, the Source is with you!