Chestnut Ridge vs. Westmont

Chestnut Ridge’s Duane Knisley, right, controls Westmont Hilltop’s Noah Gresh in the 220-pound contest, during a Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference title match in Johnstown, PA., Tuesday, Jan.22, 2019. Knisley won by fall to help his team to a 44-18 victory..

A day after placing third at the PIAA Class AA Team Wrestling Championships, the Chestnut Ridge Lions turned their attention to the individual postseason, and if the District 5 tournament holds true to its seedings, it should be another successful outing for the eight-time defending champs.

Chestnut Ridge has the top-seeded wrestler in eight of the 14 weight classes, including the first five. They are: Calan Bollman (106), Kai Burkett (113), Nathan Holderbaum (120), Ross Dull (126), Kaleb Miller (132), Daniel Moore (160), Seth Holderbaum (182) and Duane Knisely (220).

“Obviously, there’s always the concern of coming off this weekend (at the dual meet championships),” Chestnut Ridge coach Josh Deputy said. “We’ve discussed our plan for this week. Hopefully everyone can wrestle to their seeds. If they do, it could be a really good weekend.”

Berlin Brothersvalley has a pair of top seeds in Tristan Pugh (145) and Jake Most (195). Bedford’s Kaden Cassidy (138 pounds), North Star’s Alec Supanick (152) and Meyersdale’s Jalen Stephens (285) are the other local wrestlers to earn top seeds.

Burkett, Nathan Holderbaum, Pugh and Supanick are each looking for his third District 5 title.

Eight champions return from last year, but only six of those – Burkett, Nathan Holderbaum, Cassidy, Pugh, Supanick and Knisely

– earned top seeds this year.

North Star’s Eli Brougher was the 120-pound champ a year ago but is second to Nathan Holderbaum. Northern Bedford’s Ian Sherlock is the defending champion at 138 pounds but is seeded behind Cassidy and Berlin Brothersvalley’s Tyler Coddington, who has beaten Sherlock three times in the past month.

Berlin’s Clayton Lee, who won a title as a freshman in 2017, is the second-seeded wrestler at 152 pounds.

With only 10 schools fielding wrestling teams, District 5 can have some small brackets, but Deputy said there is still quality in the Bedford-Fulton-Somerset county area.

“The top two guys in all of the weights are very solid,” he said. “For a small district, those things are to be expected. … Hopefully everyone makes it through healthy and we go to the Southwest Regional and District 5 does their thing there.”

The District 5 tournament will be held at Richland High School for the first time this season. Preliminary round matches begin at 10 a.m. The consolation finals begin at 6 p.m. with the finals at 7.

The top three wrestlers in each weight class advance to the Southwest Regional tournament, which will be held at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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