Freshman Reese Wood Takes Fourth at PJW States

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Reese Wood representing Tyrone on the States podium.

After a tough weekend filled with matches, freshman wrestler Reese Wood took fourth place at the Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling State Tournament this past weekend at the 1st Summit Arena in Johnstown.

Wood’s journey began on Saturday evening, where he received a bye his first round. A “bye” means he doesn’t have to wrestle because of the way the bracket was set up, so he was matched against the winner of the original 42 man bracket.

The beginning matches took the number of 42 wrestlers down to 32, which was Reese’s first match because of his bye.

Wood wound up wrestling Mason Beckowski from Saucon Valley, and beat him 8-0. This was a great start to his weekend because losers have to wrestle their way back to the top in the consolation rounds. Wood got a takedown in the first period, a reversal in the second, and a takedown and two points for a nearfall in the third.

Wood then moved on to wrestle Patrick Knepp from Clearfield in the round that brought the number of wrestlers from 32 to 16.

Wood beat Knepp with a pin in three minutes and fifteen seconds. This was the match that secured Wood’s spot in the quarter finals, which meant he moved on to wrestle on Sunday. Wood started off strong with three points in the second period for nearfall, then Knepp came back and got a point for an escape, two four a takedown and then three for a near fall. In the third period, Wood got a reversal, then pinned Knepp.

I had been focusing on this tournament match by match and it was such a great feeling to have moved on,”

— Reese WOod

“After realizing I was moving on to the second day I was so relieved. I had been focusing on this tournament match by match and it was such a great feeling to have moved on,” said Wood.

Wood started back up again early Sunday morning wrestling Artem Skyba from Council Rock South. Reese won with a pin in four minutes and twenty one seconds. Artem had taken Wood down earning two points in the first period, then Wood got two points for a reversal in the third, before pinning Skyba.

Wood’s second match of the day started slow and he scored all of his points in the third period. He got a reversal and a takedown beating Ryan Thomas from Conemaugh Township 5-0.

Wood then came to wrestle Vaughn Spencer from Pine Richland. Spencer eventually went on to win first place in the State for the 140 pound weight bracket. Spencer beat Wood 9-0 with a takedown, and five combined points for a nearfall in the first period. He then got a takedown in the second period before pinning Reese in two minutes and fifty-three seconds.

“I tried my hardest in this match, but there is always going to be someone better than you,” said Wood, “I was relieved to find out eventually he was the State Champion.”

I’m very proud of my placement and I’m optimistic about the future to come.”

— Reese Wood

This loss took Wood to the consolation bracket.

He had to wrestle a match to determine his ranking in the top eight. Here he wrestled Artem Skyba again and took a close win with a 5-4 score. Skyba had a takedown in the second period, and another in the third. Wood had a takedown in the first, and an escape and reversal in the third period. This win took him to the match where he would wrestle for third and fourth place.

Reese was pitted against Andrew McMonagle from Central who had lost to Bodie Morgan of Trinity who took second in the state. Andrew beat Reese 10-0 but the match was very competitive. In the first period, McMonagle had a takedown and got two points for a nearfall. In the second period, he had a reversal and another two points for a nearfall. In the third period, he got a takedown then secured third place leaving Reese winning fourth.

“I think I wrestled the best I have ever wrestled,” said Wood, “I’m very proud of my placement and I’m optimistic about the future to come.”

Wood is going to continue working and wrestling in the offseason and will hopefully come back even stronger next year in varsity.