Hershey head lock

Freedom wrestlers wrap up their season after competing in states

Brandon Majors, Staff Writer

After the season ended, all of the wrestlers competed in the regional finals at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) to get a chance to move on to the state finals in Hershey. This is every wrestler’s dream to make it to Hershey and compete against the best wrestlers in the state of Pennsylvania to see who is the best wrestler that year.

As the long two-day weekend at IUP came to a closing, a handful of wrestlers pulled out clenching spots to move onto the state tournament. Juniors Zach Ward and Bryson Miller, as well as two freshmen, Tent Schulthesis and Kenny Duscheck, had secured their spots to travel out to Hershey.

On March 7, the four finalists hopped into the car and started their journey to Chocolate World. Though it was a long drive, when they got there, it was time for weigh-ins. The boys made weight, so now it was time to get a little practice in on the open mat practice in the Giant Center, located in Harrisburg, Pa. With the biggest three days of their wrestlings careers ahead of them, they worked hard and used as much time as they could on the mats.

“It was great for me because it was my first time there for myself and not the team. It was just a whole different atmosphere than anywhere else I had ever wrestled,” junior Bryson Miller said.

On March 8, the wrestlers woke up early for their first day actually wrestling in the Giant Center.  As the guys got into the stadium, the stands were tightly packed full of spectators. They all checked the brackets to see when they wrestled and how many matches they had to wrestle that day. Ward, Schulthesis and Duscheck had three matches in their respective divisions; Miller only had one.

The first match is often viewed as the most important because it usually determines how the rest of the tournament could go. Everyone practiced hard and got a nice warm-up to where they were ready to face their opponent on the mat. All four of the Freedom wrestlers — Miller, Ward, Schulthesis and Duscheck — had won their first match and were on to round two.
After a good long season, Ward and Duscheck were eliminated from the tournament after losing their second match. Schulthesis and Miller had continued to wrestle their ways into a placing seat on the bracket. Schultesis finished eighth as a freshman in the 132 pound bracket and Miller placed sixth in the 195 pound bracket. This was Miller’s first appearance as an individual contender at the state level and Schultheis’s ninth appearance, in which he medaled in five of those runnings.