Nate Heckenberger’s District 1-South selections

The PIAA wrestling postseason will be have an unprecedented look this winter, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to capacity restrictions and social distancing recommendations, District 1 will be selecting eight wrestlers per weight for the two opening-round postseason tournaments: District 1 North and District 1 South, February 20.

The previous two seasons, the opening weekend of the District 1 postseason was occupied by four sectional tournaments, with every team permitted to enter one wrestler per weight. This postseason, the district is halved, with 28 teams being represented in each tournament.

Coaches from the 28 teams must vote for their top eight wrestlers in each weight, and the top eight vote-getters will fill in each of the 13 brackets. The top four finishers from the North and South tournaments will then combine for the Southeast Regional tournament, February 27.

These are my selections for each weight class, based on prior accomplishments, results from this season and opinion. THEY ARE NOT OFFICIAL AND WILL NOT BE COUNTED IN THE VOTING.

Cole Smith of Spring-Ford. (Nate Heckenberger – For MediaNews Group)


  1. Cole Smith, Spring-Ford, Soph., 8-0
  2. Gavin Sheridan, Boyertown, Fr., 6-0
  3. Cole McFarland, Haverford, Fr., 10-1
  4. Farhan Chowdhury, Upper Darby, Sr., 8-1
  5. Tim Kearney, Sun Valley, Fr., 6-0
  6. James Pizzi, WC Rustin, Fr., 6-1
  7. Brien Wildermuth, WC Henderson, Soph., 7-2
  8. Alex Tenaglia, Marple Newtown, Sr., 14-4

Outlook: Smith dropped to 106 and makes his postseason debut after getting bumped last year after a 25-11 season with some quality wins. Sheridan, McFarland and Kearney are promising freshman, who have not lost at this weight. McFarland beat Chowdhury, who beat Tenaglia, twice. Kearney owns close wins over Pizzi and Wildermuth.

West Chester Henderson’s Carmen Cortese. (Nate Heckenberger – For MediaNews Group)


  1. Dominic Ortlip, Spring-Ford, Jr., 8-1
  2. Carmen Cortese, WC Henderson, Soph., 9-0
  3. Luke Heimbach, Boyertown, Soph., 4-2
  4. Victor Quintiliana, Interboro, Jr., 4-0
  5. Xain Cabalo, Sun Valley, Soph., 6-1
  6. Reiland Canaday, Oxford, Soph., 0-0
  7. Dysen Neil, Owen J. Roberts, Fr., 6-2
  8. Joey Wuchter, Kennett, Fr., 7-1

Outlook: Ortlip is a returning state qualifier and just dropped to this weight. Cortese, Heimbach, Quintiliana and Cabalo reached regionals last year. A year ago, Cortese pinned Quintiliana, who is 1-1 against Heimbach. There is a lot inexperience to choose from for the final three spots, but Canaday won 26 matches as a freshman and pinned Cortese a year ago, and Wuchter was leading Cortese prior to injury-defaulting.

Boyertown’s Jay Maldonado (Nate Heckenberger – for MediaNews Group)


  1. Jay Maldonado, Boyertown, Sr., 6-0
  2. Keanu Manuel, Downingtown East, Sr., 8-0
  3. Cannon Hershey, Oxford, Jr., 0-0
  4. Jimmy King, WC Rustin, Sr., 7-1
  5. Quinn Smith, Spring-Ford, Soph., 8-1
  6. Sam Gautreau, Owen J. Roberts, Fr., 8-0
  7. Matt Ricci, Garnet Valley, Jr., 12-1
  8. Max Parnis, WC East, Soph., 8-1

Outlook: This might be the deepest weight in the tournament with four state qualifiers — Maldonado, Manuel, Hershey and King — and four regional qualifiers — Smith, Radnor’s Zack Fluck, Henderson’s Max Jackman and Ridley’s Alex Treloar. Gautreau knocked off Ortlip and Heimbach. Ricci and Parnis were fifth-place finishers at the West Sectional last year. Ricci’s only loss was at 126, and Parnis defeated Jackman, but lost a decision to King at 126.

Downingtown West’s Dom Findora. (Nate Heckenberger – For MediaNews Group)


  1. Dom Findora, Downingtown West, Jr., 4-0
  2. Nate Shippey, Interboro, Jr., 7-0
  3. Rocco Hartfuss, Ridley, Soph., 15-0
  4. Matt Englehardt, Owen J. Roberts, Jr., 6-2
  5. Billy Wilson, WC Henderson, Jr., 8-1
  6. Shane Holefelter, Sun Valley, Jr., 3-3
  7. Mitch Baker, Conestoga, Jr., 7-2
  8. Jack Lacianca, Haverford, Sr., 9-2

Outlook: Findora is the lone state qualifier here, doing it twice. Shippey was a regional qualifier as a freshman before missing out last year due to injury. Hartfuss has come on strong with two wins over Baker, a regional qualifier. Wilson pinned Holefelter, who majored King the week before.

Griffin Hollingsworth of Garnet Valley. (Nate Heckenberger/For MediaNews Group)


  1. Nate Lucier, Coatesville, Sr., 8-0
  2. Griffin Hollingsworth, Garnet Valley, Sr., 13-0
  3. Chris Green, Ridley, Sr., 13-2
  4. Mason Karkoska, Owen J. Roberts, Soph., 7-1
  5. Brett Patton, WC Henderson, Jr., 7-2
  6. Ryan Loraw, Downingtown East, Soph., 6-2
  7. Dominic Sheridan, Boyertown, Jr., 6-0
  8. Liam Walker, Conestoga, Sr., 7-3

Outlook: Lucier is a returning sixth-place state medalist, and Hollingsworth and Loraw joined him in Hershey, last winter. Green has been to regionals twice, and Karkoska likely would have been there too if not for an injury late last season. Patton owns a decision over Loraw in the season-opener. In my opinion, it comes down to Walker and Strath Haven’s Kelton Brunner for the final spot, and Walker has more favorable results against common opponents.

Kennett’s Trent Kochersperger. (Nate Heckenberger – For MediaNews Group)


  1. Trent Kochersperger, Kennett, Sr., 7-1
  2. Chance Babb, Boyertown, Jr., 6-0
  3. Palmer Delaney, WC Henderson, Jr., 8-0
  4. Daniel Husain, Garnet Valley, Jr., 13-0
  5. Niko Partsanakis, Penncrest, Jr., 11-2
  6. Jake Finley, Interboro, Jr., 8-0
  7. Kevin Rainey, Ridley, Sr., 14-1
  8. Dan Kearney, Sun Valley, Jr., 4-2

Outlook: Kochersperger and Babb made states a year ago, and Partsanakis finished sixth in the region. Husain shut Partsanakis out, 5-0, in the Central League finals. Everyone listed has made regionals at some point in their career.

West Chester East’s Andrew Luke. (Nate Heckenberger – For MediaNews Group)


  1. Sammy McMonagle, WC Henderson, Sr., 9-0
  2. Dylan Lajudice, Interboro, Sr., 7-0
  3. Chris Wood, Garnet Valley, Jr., 12-2
  4. Andrew Luke, WC East, Sr., 8-1
  5. Charlie Dawes, Strath Haven, Sr., 9-2
  6. Charlie Baldesari, WC Rustin, Sr., 7-1
  7. Jackson Roberts, Unionville, Jr., 2-2
  8. Paul James Pebly, Kennett, Sr., 3-5

Outlook: McMonagle is a seventh-place state medalist and Lajudice and Wood should follow as multiple-time regional qualifiers. Luke made his case with wins over Baldesari and Pebly. Pebly has taken his lumps this year, with losses to Luke, Delaney, Baldesari and Jackson, but it’s not an overly deep weight and he was a regional qualifier as a junior.

Spring-Ford’s Zach Needles and Strath Haven’s Chase Barlow. (Nate Heckenberger – For MediaNews Group)


  1. Chase Barlow, Strath Haven, Jr., 12-0
  2. Zach Needles, Spring-Ford, Sr., 9-0
  3. Dom D’Agostino, Interboro, Jr., 7-0
  4. Landon Meredith, Oxford, Sr., 0-0
  5. Josh Barlow, Kennett, Soph., 7-1
  6. Alex Gamble-Williams, Sun Valley, Soph., 5-1
  7. Don Reimer, Haverford, Sr., 9-2
  8. Hayden McClellan, Conestoga, Soph.,

Outlook: Chase Barlow and D’Agostino landed in Hershey as sophomores and Needles, who owns a win over Chase Barlow, last year, is a three-time regional qualifier. Meredith has been to regionals twice, while Gamble-Williams, Reimer and McClellan made it once. Josh Barlow was a win away from regionals as a freshman and is a rising star.

Downingtown East’s Bo Horvath. (Nate Heckenberger – For MediaNews Group)


  1. Jack McGill, Spring-Ford, Sr., 9-0
  2. Cooper Johnson, Oxford, Sr., 0-0
  3. Bo Horvath, Downingtown East, Soph., 8-0
  4. Stephen Lozano, Haverford, Sr., 10-1
  5. Bobby English, WC Henderson, Sr., 9-0
  6. Cole Bechtel, Owen J. Roberts, Jr., 5-3
  7. Simon Bolinger, Strath Haven, Sr., 5-2
  8. Chris Yanko, WC Rustin, Jr., 7-0

Outlook: McGill is a seventh-place state medalist and is the only wrestler with states experience, though everyone else listed has made regionals. Johnson and Horvath could go either way at 2-3, but Johnson is a three-time regional qualifier. Lozano was the Central League champ and English and Bechtel are tough program kids who’ve improved while being on competitive teams.

Desmon Perry of Garnet Valley. (Nate Heckenberger/MediaNews Group)


  1. Matt Romanelli, Downingtown East, Sr., 7-1
  2. Xavier Cushman, Spring-Ford, Sr., 8-1
  3. Desmon Perry, Garnet Valley, Sr., 12-2
  4. Marek Seaman, WC Rustin, Soph., 8-0
  5. Sam Elsen, Unionville, Sr., 3-1
  6. Jimmy Hally, Marple Newtown, Soph., 16-2
  7. Alex Hemmingway, Strath Haven, Sr., 9-3
  8. Darrale Barrett, Kennett, Jr., 5-3

Outlook: Romanelli is a returning state qualifier and Cushman, Perry and Elsen got as far as regionals. Seaman has made a strong first impression with two wins over regional qualifiers, Elsen being one of them. Hally split two matches against Perry and Hemmingway this season, and that last spot is between Barrett and Boyertown’s Jimmy Sinclair, who’s a returning regional qualifier but has a 41-46 career record.

West Chester Henderson’s Koh Bauman. (Nate Heckenberger – For MediaNews Group)


  1. Joey Milano, Spring-Ford, Sr., 5-0
  2. Koh Bauman, WC Henderson, Sr., 9-0
  3. Sam DiTrolio, Garnet Valley, Jr., 14-0
  4. Jon Harwood, Haverford, Jr., 9-2
  5. Gabe Federico, Strath Haven, Sr., 7-3
  6. Mason Hale, Downingtown West, Soph., 2-2
  7. Preston Fox, Boyertown, Sr., 4-0
  8. Nick Arbes, Conestoga, Sr., 7-3

Outlook: Milano is a two-time fourth-place state medalist, and Federico is the only other state qualifier. Harwood beat Federico twice this year, once by technical fall. Bauman’s key win was against Romanelli in the season-opener. DiTrolio and Hale are the other returning regional qualifiers.

West Chester Henderson’s Wyatt Hampton. (Nate Heckenberger – For MediaNews Group)


  1. Ryan Catka, Sun Valley, Sr., 7-0
  2. Shalom Thomas, Interboro, Sr., 6-0
  3. Jake Allred, Conestoga, Soph., 9-0
  4. Wyatt Hampton, WC Henderson, Jr., 7-1
  5. Anthony Bauer, Boyertown, Sr., 6-0
  6. John Pardo, Kennett, Fr., 6-2
  7. Victor Ninson, Ridley, Sr., 10-4
  8. Brett Fick, Coatesville, Sr., 6-2

Outlook: Catka placed third in the state and Bauer and Thomas are the only others listed who’ve made regionals. Allred majored Federico, a state qualifier. Hampton has wins over Hale and Fick. Pardo has wins over Fick and Rustin’s Matt Griffith, who, along with Strath Haven’s Anthony Crawford, has a case to slide in at the bottom. Ninson’s only losses at this weight are to Allred, one by fall, the other, 1-0. Fick twice knocked off Downingtown East’s Ray Wileczek, a regional qualifier, this winter. Griffith did not wrestle any regional qualifiers this season, and lost to Pardo, 3-1.

Upper Darby’s Julien Laventure. (Nate Heckenberger – For MediaNews Group)


  1. Julien Laventure, Upper Darby, Sr. 5-0
  2. Daetrel Jerome, Radnor, Sr., 8-3
  3. Matt Micale, Downingtown West, Sr., 4-0
  4. Ben Farabough, Strath Haven, Soph., 8-3
  5. Nick Mahoney, Garnet Valley, Jr., 13-2
  6. Bailey Shindle, Kennett, Soph., 8-0
  7. Robert Terra, Boyertown, Sr., 4-1
  8. Richard Nathan, Owen J. Roberts, Sr., 6-1

Outlook: Laventure reached states last year, beating Jerome on his way there. Jerome finished sixth in the region and split bouts against Farabough this season. Micale flirted with going 215, but stayed up as a returning regional qualifier. Mahoney lost to Laventure in ultimate tiebreaker. Shindle has not been tested much this year, and his best win is a 5-0 decision against Avon Grove’s returning regional qualifier, Josh Reuter. Terra pinned Nathan.

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