Forest Hills keeps churning out state champions in wrestling.

Devon Magro and Mason Gibson won Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling Junior High titles on Sunday at 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial in Johnstown.

It was the third title for Gibson and the first for Magro, who was a runner-up last year, as seven of his Ranger Pride Wrestling teammates won PJW championships between the elementary and junior high divisions.

Gibson and Magro are both seventh-graders, meaning they’ll have another opportunity to capture a PJW title next year.

“It feels great,” Gibson said after beating Upper Darby’s Tommy Link 15-6 on Sunday for the 107-pound title. “Winning back to back to back? That’s my dream.”

Well, at least until he gets the chance to win a fourth. 

His older brother, Erik Gibson, is a two-time PJW champion who is one of three Forest Hills freshmen headed to Hershey for the PIAA tournament this week, and Mason’s looking to keep following in his footsteps.

“His goal is to win four high school titles,” Mason said. “That’s my goal also.”

After defeating Link 7-2 for the state title a year ago, Mason Gibson widened the gap this time, scoring seven takedowns in the major decision.

“That just proves just how much hard work I’ve put in since last year,” he said.

Hard work also has been a key for Magro, who went from a runner-up in the elementary division to the 87-pound champion this year.

“Since I started junior high, I’ve been doing three practices a night,” Magro said, noting that he works out with Forest Hills, Young Guns Wrestling Club and The Compound youth strength training center. 

“Working harder than ever, visualizing every night.”

Magro tossed West Branch’s Landon Bainey to his back for five points in the first period of their title match on his way to a 7-0 victory.

Magro practices with some of the best wrestlers in the state at his age level, so facing this level of competition is nothing new.

“My training partners are Bo Bassett, Mason and Trent Hoover,” he said. “Mason’s a state champ. Bo’s a four-timer. Trent’s going to win it this year. They all push me every practice to be a state champion.”

Tim Colosimo, the assistant junior high coach at Forest Hills, said that junior high coach Chris Gallaher and the Rangers’ coaching staff – led by varsity coach Jake Strayer – have done a tremendous job with the program and that the future looks bright.

“We had seven state champs last year,” Colosimo said. “I think we’ll have around six or seven again this year.”

The Rangers’ Dustin Flinn placed seventh at 147 pounds.

“Dustin Flinn finished strong in the toughest weight in the tournament, and Isaiah Shilcosky went 2-2,” Colosimo said.

Only two other wrestlers placed at the tournament, which does not contain divisions to separate small schools from large ones like the PIAA does. North Star’s Logan Reffner took fourth at 132 pounds. Penn Cambria’s Austin Wagner finished sixth at 212 pounds.

The Rangers’ Dustin Flinn placed seventh at 147 pounds.

“Dustin Flinn finished strong in the toughest weight in the tournament, and Isaiah Shilcosky went 2-2,” Colosimo said.

Only two other wrestlers placed at the tournament, which does not contain divisions to separate small schools from large ones like the PIAA does. North Star’s Logan Reffner took fourth at 132 pounds. Penn Cambria’s Austin Wagner finished sixth at 212 pounds.

Eric Knopsnyder covers wrestling for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @Eric_Knopsnyder. Read his blog at papowerwrestling.com.

Eric Knopsnyder is the digital editor of Tribune-Democrat.com. He can be reached at (814) 532-5069. Follow him​ on Twitter @Eric_Knopsnyder.

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