The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 18, 2014

H.S. wrestling: Pepper's final ride begins

CLARION — The final ride for Dwayne Pepper begins Friday at Clarion University’s Waldo Tippin Gymnasium.

The Shikellamy senior, the lone Valley wrestler to get a No. 1 seed for the Districts 4/9 Class AAA tournament, makes his last run at the chance for a berth in the PIAA championships.

Pepper battled back from a mid-season injury to notch a 16-3 record heading into the district tournament, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday and ends with the championship finals at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The top four finishers in each weight class will advance to the Northwest Regional the following weekend in Altoona, the final qualifier for the state tournament in Hershey.

If the seeds hold up, Pepper will meet Selinsgrove’s outstanding sophomore, Andrew Boob (19-3) in Saturday’s final at 220 pounds.

In addition to Boob, two other Seals received No. 2 seeds: junior Nathan Bingaman, 19-8, at 170, and senior Austin Lewis, 25-1 at 195. For Shikellamy, seniors Tyler Hepler (16-10) and Tristan Paul (23-3) are seeded No. 2 at 113 and 138, respectively.

Paul and Lewis are both on course to meet unbeaten wrestlers in the final. No. 1 at 138 is Punxsutawney senior Kaleb Young (25-0) and on top at 195 is DuBois senior Tom Sleigh (27-0). The latter placed third in the state tournament at 170 last year.

The only other undefeated wrestler in the field is Williamsport junior Roshaun Cooley (13-0) at 120.

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