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NTL WRESTLING: CANTON'S HAYDEN WARD TAKES 2ND AT DISTRICTS (2021-02-20)

BY CHRIS MANNING
Northern Tier Sports Report
WILLIAMSPORT — It wasn’t the tournament Canton wanted, but they still got Hayden Ward through to the Northeast Regional Tournament Saturday.

The Warriors brought eight wrestlers down, but just Hayden (138) made his way through as he took second in his weight class.


“It was a tough day,” said Canton coach Lyle Wesneski. “In this sport you’re going to have days like that.”


Hayden had a good first two rounds, reaching the final, but was pinned by Montgomery’s Conner Harer in 32 seconds in the championship bout.


“It feels great,” he said about getting to the finals. “Obviously, I didn’t get what I wanted, but I’m just moving on and hopefully I’ll come back stronger next week.”


To get there he defeated Milton’s T.J. Walter 13-3 in the quarters, then edged Lewisburg’s Logan Bartlett 2-0 in the semifinals.


In the finals Harer got the first takedown. They went into a scramble and Harer caught him in the right position to get the fall.


“I was in a little scramble and the next thing I know I was on my back,” he said. “He was too tight.”


Wesneski emphasizes mental toughness to his wrestlers.


“I teach the kids all the time to be resilient,” he said. “You’ve got to comeback, you’ve got to have a short memory about what happened. I just told Hayden that, I said ‘what just happened in the finals, forget about it. You have another week to train, and get better.’”


Hayden’s teammates didn’t fare quite as well.


Riley Parker (160) lost in the sixth place match, while Derek Atherton-Ely (189) went 1-2, Bailey Ferguson (132), Michael Davis (152) and Isaac Landis (120) went 0-2, and Cohen Landis (106) and Hudson Ward (145) lost in the elimination bout.


Parker opened the tournament with a fall against Southern Columbia’s Garrett Garcia in 1:54, but he came back and won his consolation match 11-4 over Lewisburg’s Brady Cromley. Muncy’s Ty Nixon beat him 16-3 in the consolation semifinals, then in the fifth place match Montgomery’s Kaide Drick won 9-5.


In that match Drick scored two first period takedowns to take a 4-1 lead. At one point Parker got a takedown to cut it to 5-3, but a Drick escape followed by a takedown extended his lead to 8-3.


Parker nabbed a reversal, but cut Drick as he tried to come back. However, he wouldn’t get another takedown after that.


Atherton-Ely got an injury default win in his wrestle in match, but then lost to Montoursville’s Cael Crebs by fall in 2:54, then lost to Wyalusing’s Zach Shaffer 10-5 in the consolations.


Landis opened with a 10-0 loss to Warrior Run’s Kaden Majcher, then fell to Montgomery’s Caden Flick 8-1 in the consolations.


Davis was pinned by Southern Columbia’s Brandon Gedman in 4:59 in the quarters, then was pinned by Danville’s Weston Whapham in 4:03 in the consolations.


Ferguson was pinned by Line Mountain’s Mason Leshock in 1:43 in the quarters, then lost 5-1 to Meadowbrook’s Cade Wirnsberger in the consolations.


Cohen lost 17-6 to Danville’s Blake Sassaman in the wrestling in match, while Hudson lost 9-0 to Montoursville’s Kayden Frame in his wrestle in match.


“As a coach, I look in the mirror at myself,” said Wesneski. “I ask, ‘what do I have to do differently to prepare.’ Obviously, we didn’t have a full season, we didn’t have a lot matches. I think today is where it reared its ugly head. I didn’t think we were physical like the way were capable of being. I don’t think we wrestled to our capability today.”


The Warriors have a young team, and they hope that this can be a learning experience for them.


“They know what they need to do,” said Wesneski. “They need to put more time in in the summer. It’s not a sport where you can show up in November and be good. They got to get in the weight room, they’ve got to get bigger and stronger, and they have to put more time in on the mats - things like that. If they do that they’re going to be right in the mix.”


CUTLINE: Canton’s Hayden Ward controls Lewisburg’s Logan Bartlett Saturday…PHOTOS BY MATT PATTON & CHRIS MANNING.



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