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NTL WRESTLING: WYALUSING'S NICK WOODRUFF EARNS REGIONAL SPOT (2021-02-20)

BY CHRIS MANNING
Northern Tier Sports Report
WILLIAMSPORT — Wyalusing’s Nick Woodruff (152) reached a long held goal on Saturday at the District IV, Class AA Championships Saturday. The junior broke through the district barrier and reached the Northeast Regional Tournament with a fifth place finish.

“I feel pretty good,” said Woodruff. “I haven’t been able to get out the other two years, or even win a match, so my goal was to make it to regionals this year.”


Wyalusing coach Michael Earle was pleased to see Woodruff move on through to Regionals.


“Nick has wrestled a lot, he’s had a tough time in districts the first two times coming down here, so him getting over this hump was a big deal,” he said.


Teammate Zach Shaffer (189) came up just short of Regionals, taking sixth, while C.J. Carr (106), Hunter Manahan (126) and Skyler Manahan (138) all went 0-2 on the day.


Woodruff began the day with a fall to Montgomery’s Devin Deem in 4:38, the eventual district champion. Woodruff then came back to beat Line Mountain’s Bryce Carl 6-5, thanks to a reversal with five seconds left that broke a 4-4 tie.


He then fell to Southern Columbia’s Brandon Gedman 2-0 in the consolation semifinals, before coming back and pinning Danville’s Weston Whapham in 3:26 to advance.


In the fifth place match Woodruff gave up a first period takedown to Whapham.


“It didn’t worry me too much,” said Woodruff. “I still had a lot of time left. I wanted it more, really bad.”


Down 2-0 to start the second period, he chose down, first inducing Whapham into a locked hands call, then getting the reversal to take a 3-2 lead. Now on top he was able to cradle Whapham up for a 6-2 lead after the second period.


“I just kept saying ‘I’m not going to lose this one, and I just kept going,’” remarked Woodruff. “I just took the intensity up, and got those back points, which was big.”


In the third Whapman took a shot but Woodruff caught him. He then hipped into him so hard Whapman fell to his back, allowing Woodruff to sit on him, eventually getting the fall in 3:26.


“I put the grates in and he wasn’t able to move, and I got the finish,” said Woodruff.


Going forward, Woodruff is going to work on being a little sharper on his shots.


“I’m getting caught underneath,” he said. “And definitely not letting kids get to my legs.”


Earle thinks he has a good shot to moving on through to the Super Regional if he can tighten things up.


“He was real close in the one consi match, and just gutted it out,” he said. “The opportunity doesn’t come around all the time, and you have to make the most of it.”


Shaffer opened the day with a fall to Line Mountain’s Jacob Feese in 1:21, but he came back to win in the consolations 10-5 over Canton’s Derek Atherton-Ely.


In the consolation semifinals he was pinned by Jersey Shore’s Hadn Packer in 56 seconds before falling to South Williamsport’s Ryan caseload 8-7 in the fifth place bout.


In that match Casella got a big takedown with back points to go up 5-0. Shaffer rolled out of it to cut it to 5-2 with a reversal, but a Casella escape gave him a 6-2 lead after the first period.


Shaffer scored an escape and takedown in the second to cut it to 6-5. Casella got another escape for a 2-point lead going into the third.


In the final period Casella took down and got up quickly for the 8-5 lead. He was called for two stall points to cut it to 8-7, but Shaffer wasn’t able to get the winning takedown.


“That was too bad,” said Earle. “He wrestled really well against Derek again, and he was real close. One big move resulted in back points, and meeting that goal, but he’s still had a really nice year. He’s been a real nice leader for us as one of our only seniors on the team.”


Carr opened the day with a loss to Line Mountain’s Nolan Baumert 9-2, then fell in the consolations 9-0 to Danville’s Blake Sassaman.


Hunter Manahan lost to Southern Columbia’s Kole Biscoe by fall in 2:16 in the quarters, then lost to Athens’ Jacob Courtney 7-3 in the consolations.


Skyler Manahan opened the day with a 21-4 tech fall loss to eventual district champion Conner Harer of Montgomery. He then fell to Athens’ Kaden Setzer 10-2.


CUTLINE: Wyalusing's Nick Woodruff controls Danville's Weston Whapham during the fifth place bout...PHOTOS BY CHRIS MANNING & MATT PATTON.



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