Kiski Area heavyweight Reid a cut above in Hershey
HERSHEY — At weigh-ins on the first day of the PIAA wrestling championships, officials told Isaac Reid he needed to cut an inch and a half from the back of his mullet to conform to a shoulder length.
There might be less party in the back, but the Kiski Area sophomore is having a bigger party on the mat.
Reid advanced to the PIAA Class AAA 285-pound semifinals after beating Shai Hines from Louis E. Dieruff, 3-0, in a quarterfinal match Friday afternoon at Giant Center in Hershey.
“I didn’t know what to expect, honestly,” Reid said. “Coming in here, my mindset is right. It’s been right for a while. I did a lot of work in the (wrestling) room, worked hard in the weight room. I knew it would all pay off.”
Reid (37-7) is making his debut at the PIAA championships, but he’s already wrestling like a veteran. After outlasting Neshaminy’s Bruce Graeber on Thursday in a first-round overtime match that left Reid exhausted, he took control early against Hines with a first-period takedown.
After doing good work on top against Graeber, Reid was strong in that area again Friday.
“After beating (Graeber), I just had a lot more confidence,” said Reid, who will face Liberty’s Andrew Gunning (40-0) in the semifinals, which start at 9 a.m. Saturday. “I’m taking it one match at a time, not overlooking any of my opponents because that’s when you end up screwing up.”
The loss of his mullet still miffed Reid — “It’s been growing for a while. It’s been the talk around my school,” he said — but he expects to grow it long again by summer.
A PIAA title would make up for it, too.
“I’m taking every match as an equal opponent and wrestling the way I know how,” Reid said.
By advancing to the semifinals, Reid assured himself of winning a PIAA medal.
So, too, did Cavaliers sophomore 120-pounder Noah Levett (41-8), who won second- and third-round consolation bouts to clinch at least a top-eight finish. He secured his medal with a pin of New Oxford’s Zurich Storm in the third-round consolation.
“It’s probably the most nerve-wracking round of all of them,” said Levett, who went 0-2 at the PIAA tournament as a freshman, including a loss to Storm. “You want to win so bad, but you have a chance of losing and not placing. Your biggest goal is to place.
“It’s awesome. I was happy to make it to the second day, first off, but placing was my main goal. It was probably one of the best feelings of my life so far — the best wrestling feeling for sure.”
Kiski Area junior Joey Blumer finished one victory shy of earning his second PIAA medal. He lost 6-2 to Zack Trampe of Council Rock South in the 132-pound quarterfinals, then dropped a consolation bout to North Penn’s Ryan Vulakh.