Josh Stillings wanted nothing more this season than the PIAA Class AAA Wrestling Championship at 160 pounds.
He came up one win short.
His 2-0 loss to Mifflin County’s unbeaten Trent Hidlay in the 160-pound state final was a setback, but with another year left to reach his goal, Stillings could still find himself in the state winner’s circle.
If not, it won’t be for a lack of effort.
“I’m going to try and get bigger and stronger for next season,” Stillings told reporters after the title match. “I’m going to try and come back here next year and improve my finish.”
Stillings, the 2017 Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media Wrestler of the Year, completed his junior year with a record of 37-5, but knows he might see Hidlay, also a junior, in next year’s tournament.
As for his season, Stilllings did not lose within the confines of District One, but wound up the area’s highest placer at the PIAA championships.
Along the way there were wins at the league, district and regional tournaments as well as his run at states which ended in the state final to the aforementioned Hidlay.
Stillings rolled over his opponents, breezing to victories in the Suburban One League Continental Conference, District One East championships and Southeast Regional tournaments before coming up just short in the state finals.
“I had a good draw and a good tournament,” Stillings told reporters at state tournament’s end, “but I didn’t reach my goal.
“That’s going to help drive me next year.”
2017 The Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Wrestling Team
First Team: Corey Morabito (30-8, Methacton) Rough Rider Tournament champ, Governor Mifflin Tournament Runner-Up; PAC tournament runner-up; District One West third place; Regional fifth.
Second Team: TJ England (37-4, Archbishop Wood) — First, Sheetz Holiday Classic; First, Wetzel Classic; First, Meister Classic; Second, Philadelphia Catholic League Championships; First, District One AA Tournament; DNP, Northeast Regional.
First Team: Marco DiBattista (28-6, Plymouth Whitemarsh — Upper Merion Viking Classic champion; Governor Mifflin Tournament champion; runner-up Grapple at the Brook; SOL American champion; District One East runner-up; 4th place Southeast Regional; 1-2 at PIAA Championships).
Second Team: Cullen Malone (19-8, Lower Moreland) — First, Lancer Invitational; Second, Bicentennial League Championships; Third, District One AA Tournament. DNP Northeast Regional.
First Team: Matt Parker (37-4, Pennridge) — Cumberland Valley Kickoff champion; Third, Beast of the East; Second, Escape the Rock; SOL Continental champion; District One East champion; Southeast Regional champion; Third PIAA Championships.
Second Team: Harrison Andrade (29-12, Souderton) — Fifth, Comet Classic; Third, Manheim Holiday Tournament; Third, Coal Cracker Tournament; Second, Suburban One Continental Championships; Fourth, District One East Championships; DNP, Southeast Regional Tournament.
First Team: Brandon Bach (29-12, Souderton) — Comet Classic runner-up; Coal Cracker Tournament champion; SOL Continental champion; District One East runner-up; fifth, Southeast Regional.
Second Team: Alex Shaffer (31-10, Archbishop Wood) — Fourth, Sheetz Holiday Classic; Fifth, Wetzel Classic; First, Meister Classic; First, Philadelphia Catholic League championships; First, District 12 Championships.
First Team: Eric Fuentes ( 31-7, Norristown) — Donegal Tournament champion; Runner-up Wetzel Classic; First Pioneer Athletic Conference Championships; First District One West Championships; Second, Southeast Regional Championships; DNP PIAA Championships.
Second Team: AJ Tamburrino (29-4, William Tennent) — Third, Carlisle Invitational; First, Wetzel Classic; First, Suburban One League Continental Championships; Third, District One East Championships; DNP, Southeast Regional Championships.
First Team: Kristian Courtney (36-8, Faith Christian Academy) — First, New Hope-Solebury Tournament; Fourth, Iasiello Christmas Tournament; First Church Farm School Tournament; First District 1/12 AA Tournament; DNP Regional Class AA Tournament.
Second Team: Brad Mallon (24-11, Hatboro-Horsham) — Seventh, Solanco Mule Classic; Eighth, Wetzel Classic; First Suburban One American Conference Championships; Sixth, District One Central Tournament.
First Team: Bryce Reddington (35-3, Methacton) — Rough Rider Tournament champion; Carlisle Invitational champion; Manheim Tournament champion; Pioneer Athletic Conference champion; District One West champion; Southeast Regional DNP-injury).
Second Team: Will Laughlin, 31-13, North Penn) — DNP X-Calibur Tournament; DNP, Bethlehem Holiday Tournament; First, Meister Invitational; First, Suburban One League Continental Championships; Second, District One East Championships; Fifth, Southeast Regionals; DNP, PIAA Championships.
First Team: Colin Shannon (39-7, North Penn) — Fourth, X-Calibur Tournament; Third, Bethlehem Holiday Classic; First, Kurt Meister Invitational; First Suburban One League Continental Tournament; First District One East Tournament; Second, Southeast Regional Tournament; Sixth, PIAA Championships.
Second Team: Mike Sadowski (16-7, Abington Friends) — Second, Germantown Academy Tournament; Third, Church Farm Invitational; Fourth, PA Prep States.
First Team: Josh Stillings (37-5, Pennridge) — First Cumberland Valley Kickoff; Seventh, Beast of the East; Second Bethlehem Holiday Classic; Second Escape the Rock; First SOL Continental; First District One East; First Southeast Regional; Second PIAA Championships; Pa Prep Live Wrestler of the Year.
Second Team: Michael Blakemore (29-6, Methacton) — Third, Carlisle Invitational; Third, Manheim Tournament; Third, Pioneer Athletic Conference Championships; DNP, District One West Tournament.
First Team: Brendan Marion (36-9, Methacton) — Rough Rider Tournment champion; Second Carlisle Invitational Tournament; Fourth Manheim Tournament; Pioneer Athletic Conference champion; Third Place District One West tournament; Fifth-Southeast Regional Tournament; PIAA Championships DNP.
Second Team: David McCoy (29-7, William Tennent) — First, Carlisle Invitational; Third Place, Wetzel Classic; First, SOL Continental; Second, District One East; Fourth, Class AAA Southeast Regional ; DNP, PIAA Championships.
First Team: Harry Green (38-5, Archbishop Wood) — Third Sheetz Holiday Classic; First Wetzel Classic; First Meister Invitational; District 12 AAA champion; DNP Class AAA Northeast Regionals.
Second Team: Rich Maggio (25-13, Norristown) — Sixth, Donegal Tournament; Third, Pioneer Athletic Conference Championships; Third, District One West Championships; DNP, Southeast Regional Championships.
First Team: Paul O’Neil (26-9, Pennridge) — Third, Cumberland Valley Kickoff; DNP Beast of the East; Second, Bethlehem Holiday Classic; First, SOL Continental; First, District One East; DNP, Southeast Regional.
Second Team: Brandon Ullman (17-14, North Penn) — DNP, X-Calibur Tournament; DNP, Bethlehem Holiday Classic; Second, Kurt Meister Invitational; Third, Suburban One League Continental; Second, District One East Tournament; DNP, Southeast Regional Tournament.
First Team: Owen Verespy (30-10, North Penn) — Fifth, Bethlehem Holiday Classic; First, SOL Continental Tournament; Second, District One East Tournament; Fifth, Southeast Regional Tournament; DNP, PIAA Championships.
Second Team: Nasir Pettus (39-8, Bishop McDevitt) — Second, Travis Manion Tournament; First, Howdy Duncan Invitational; Second, Spartan Clash; First, PCL Championships; First, District One AA Championships; Fourth, Northeast Regionals; DNP, PIAA Championships.
First Team: Vincenzo Pelusi (33-5, La Salle) — First, Travis Manion Tournament; First, X-Calibur Tournament; Third, Bethlehem Holiday Classic; First PCL Championships; First District 12 championships; Second, Northeast Regional; Sixth, PIAA Championships.
Second Team: Nick Chapman (34-5, Hatboro-Horsham) — Third, Solanco Mule Classic; Second, Wetzel Classic; First, SOL American; Third, District One Central; First, Southeast Regional; PIAA Championships, DNP.
Top Photo: Pennridge’s Josh Stillings is locked in against Belle Vernon’s Zach Hartman at the PIAA Championships on Friday, March 10, 2017. (Bill Rudick/For Digital First Media)
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