Bucks County Herald


Stillings, five others earn tickets to states


Pennridge wrestling summed up Josh Stillings’ historic, yet still incomplete, career in one tweet.

On Sunday, in less than 280 characters, Pennridge announced that, with his victory by fall over Boyertown’s Jacob Miller in 1:17 in the final at 182 pounds at Saturday’s Southeast Class AAA regional at Oxford Area, Stillings became the Rams’ first regional Outstanding Wrestler and the first to reach states all four years.

It was Stillings’ third straight regional championship and the third straight week he picked up Outstanding Wrestler honors as he searches for his first state championship. Stillings was fourth in the state at 160 as a sophomore; last year, he lost in the final, also at 160, and had to settle for second.

Stillings bumped up two weight classes for his senior year. States get under way this Thursday and continue through Saturday at The Giant Center in Hershey. Stillings will open against either Hampton’s Justin Hart or Parkland’s Adam Lizak.

Five local wrestlers will be joining Stillings in Chocolatetown USA. Pennridge teammate Evan Widing, a junior, is among them. Widing placed fourth at 145 at regionals; he went 4-2 over the two-day event. He will be making his first trip to states and drew Moon Area’s Nick Acuna in the first round.

Quakertown has two en route to Hershey: junior Josh Stahl, who came in third at 126 at regionals, and freshman Domenic DeFalco, who was fifth at 132.

“Josh’s season started off a bit tough for him,” Panthers head coach Kurt Handel said. “He was struggling to hold weight and was struggling with his self-confidence. It is a true testament to how hard he worked, day-to-day, to improve mentally as well as physically. Assistant coach (Dan) Ziegler and Josh started drilling harder and I believe the tough drill sessions are what brought Josh’s confidence back. It showed this past weekend in his placing-round match with Neshaminy’s Colton Jordan. Jordan locked up a cradle on Josh, but he did not panic and wrestled out of the pinning move.”

Stahl did not medal a year ago at 106 at states. This year, he begins his march with Red Land’s Bryce Brennan.

DeFalco earned his ticket with a thrilling 4-2 victory over Council Rock North’s Shane Thompson for fifth at regionals. Only the top 5 in each weight class in Class AAA move on.

“Domenic wrestled in some of the biggest national tournaments in the offseason, which prepared him for his fifth-place match with Thompson,” Handel said. “Domenic was definitely the underdog being a freshman wrestling a senior who had already beaten him two times this season. Domenic believed in his training and experience in competing in high-stakes tournaments to help him focus on just wrestling. His conditioning shined through when he hit a switch with two seconds left to score two points and the win.”

DeFalco will take on Shaler Area’s Garrett Reinsfelder in the opening round of states.

In Class AA, Palisades junior Nathan Haubert captured the Southeast regional title at 145 with his 5-2 triumph over Boiling Springs’ Kollin Myers in the final. Haubert finished second in each of his first two seasons at regionals.

Haubert was fourth in the state at 145 in 2017. This year, Haubert enters as the top seed and will challenge either Westmont Hilltop’s Clayton Dorian or Muncy’s Coleman Good in his opening bout.

Faith Christian junior J.J. Vizcarrondo is also heading to states. The Lion came in sixth at 182 at regionals (top 6 in each class in Class AA advance).

Vizcarrondo went 3-3 at Wilson-West Lawn. Huntingdon Area’s Ryder Kocik is Vizcarrondo’s first-round opponent at states.




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