WRESTLING: Prosen returning to regions

Sheffield’s Ricky Prosen is a two-time regional qualifier.

Next up, trying to become a first-time PIAA qualifier.

After advancing out of the District 9 Class AA Wrestling Championships as a 113-pound sophomore last year, Prosen did so once again Saturday as a 120-pound junior with a fourth-place finish at Clarion University.

Only the top eight out of 14 wrestlers in Prosen’s 120-pound division were seeded, and only four moved on the regions. Prosen entered this year’s tournament unseeded at 120 pounds (not considered top-8).

“Definitely feels good,” said Prosen. “I pulled two or three upsets and knocked off a couple seeded kids. “I definitely was not expected to move on, but I’m very happy.

“If it wasn’t for a great coach like (coach Rice) I don’t think I would have made regionals either year and wouldn’t be near as good as I am. This year, with all the hype of us breaking the school record (for wins) everyone was giving us all the credit, but really I think most of it should (go) to him. He came in and made some real good wrestlers out of us. We are all very happy to have a great coach like him.”

Rice was left in awe at the performance of his 120-pounder.

“120 pounds was an absolute stacked weight class,” he said. “Ricky wasn’t even seeded and he shocked me by making it out. It’s amazing how much his game rises when it matters most. He wrestled very smart and was rewarded with another trip to regions.”

Prosen’s tournament hardly got off to a great start Friday with the Wolverine beginning his tournament with a major decision loss to Redbank Valley’s Tanner Altobelli. On Saturday, Prosen turned things around and charged to the finish line with four straight wins.

The string of victories started with a 7-1 decision of Clarion’s Adrian Weber. From there, Prosen held off Port Allegany’s Dalton Caden, 1-0 and earned a 6-1 triumph over Kane’s Jon Gelsick. He secured his second straight trip to regions with a 6-5 win over Altobelli – the same wrestler he lost to on Friday.

The junior was able to enter Saturday’s consolation finals knowing he was already advancing. In that third-place match, Prosen fell to Cameron County’s Brandon Saline by a 7-2 count.

While Prosen was the only Sheffield grappler to extend his season by one week, he wasn’t the only Wolverine to experience success at the D-9 tournament.

Freshmen Tanner Barr and Kyle Holden each finished the weekend 1-2 and came within one victory of advancing to Sharon. After 0-1 starts, Barr beat Smethport’s Hunter Southard, 7-0 and Holden pinned Smethport’s Tristen Duffy.

Doug Grubbs, a junior, won three matches at the D-9 tournament, including a pin of Port Allegany’s Eli Knapp in just 36 seconds. Teammate Steven Gregerson finished 2-2.