Franklin’s Geer falls short in pursuit of second state title

HERSHEY – A new state champion will be crowned in the 182-pound class at the PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships as Franklin senior Dakota Geer lost his bid to repeat as a gold medalist on Friday as he dropped his semifinal bout with Montoursville’s Garrett Hoffman by a 3-1 score in sudden victory at the Giant Center.

Geer came into the match as the top-ranked wrestler in the state with a 39-0 record, but he was limited to only an escape point in his loss to Hoffman. Geer got the point in the second period before Hoffman tied the match with an escape point late in the third to send the bout to sudden victory. There, Hoffman got a takedown to secure his trip to the finals where he will face South Park’s Greg Bulsak today.

“We didn’t wrestle the match that we wanted to and it just wasn’t our match,” Franklin head coach Kevin Hesson said.

Geer will now wrestle for third place at 2 p.m. today against Northern Lebanon’s Luke Funck after pinning Troy’s Zach Zimmerman for the second time in the tournament at the 3:46 mark. Geer opened the day with a pin in 2:57 over Everett’s Wesley Graham in the quarterfinals. He dominated the entire match as he built a 13-0 lead before orchestrating the fall in the second period.

Three other area wrestlers will be competing for medals today as Redbank Valley’s BryLee Shumaker will also be wrestling for third-place while his teammate, Tanner Altobelli, and Clarion’s Zach Sintobin will be wrestling for fifth place.

Shumaker opened the day with a pin in 2:36 over Wyomissing’s Robert Dunbar in the quarterfinals. He then lost a 5-3 decision to Southmoreland’s Jake Beistel in the semis before pinning Wyalusing’s Dawson Otis in 5:51 in the fifth-round consolations. He will square off with Salisbury’s Alex Nicholas today for third place.

Altobelli had a busy day as he posted a 2-2 record. He opened with an 8-2 loss to Central Cambria’s Max Murin in the quarters. He then rebounded with two straight wins in the consolations as he posted an 11-4 decision over Jamestown’s Hunter Goodlin in the third round and then bested Tamaqua’s Tanner McHugh by a 5-3 decision in the fourth round.

However, Altobelli lost a 4-2 decision in sudden victory to Reynolds’ Cole Matthews in a rematch of the Northwest Regional finale in the fifth round. Altobelli will face Brockway’s Mason Lindenmuth today for fifth place.

Sintobin also went 2-2 on the day as he was pinned by Jefferson-Morgan’s Bill Bowlen in just 44 seconds in the quarters. He then came back with a pair of wins in the consy bracket as he recorded an 8-4 decision over West Branch’s Clayton Green in the third round and a 3-1 sudden victory decision over Cambridge Springs’ Deven Simpson in the fourth round.

Sintobin then dropped to the fifth-place match with a 7-0 loss to Greenville’s Blake Reynolds in the fifth round. Sintobin will meet Chestnut Ridge’s Conner Buttry today.

Cranberry’s Paul Zacherl will be leaving the Giant Center without a medal as he lost both of his matches in the 160-pound class on Friday. He opened the day by getting pinned in 5:06 by Penn Cambria’s Austin Farabaugh in the quarterfinals. Zacherl then dropped a 15-5 major decision to South Allegheny’s Cody Jenkins in the third-round consolations to end his medal bid.