Anthony Regalbuto knows how advantageous a seven-team wrestling region can be in advancing wrestlers to the state tournament.
The Spring Mills wrestling coach also understands that it can be detrimental to winning a regional championship if a team has a lot of seeds doing byes and not having the opportunity to wrestle a lot of matches, while others who lose and give up up to wrestlers, get extra matches and scoring chances.
The state’s third-ranked Class AAA Cardinals head into today’s Class AAA, Region II tournament in Musselman with six seeds and a trio of runners-up in the 14-event competition. The action starts at 10 a.m.
“On paper it puts us nine in the final, so that helps,” Regalbuto said. “A few years ago we did whatever we wanted, but it was out of our hands.”
The Cardinals are the title holders.
“I hope everyone is fighting well and maybe we can have some upsets, get the guys through to regionals and come away as winners,” Regalbuto said. “It’s going to be close.”
Spring Mills has three of the highest ranked wrestlers in the state in 106-pound Matthew Dolan, an undefeated defending state champion, Landon Perry (120) and Patrick Jackson (152).
Landon Hoffman (126) and Chance Williams (145) are ranked second and Jacob Perry third.
While Nevin Milburn, fourth in last year’s state tournament as the Cardinals finished second in the program, underwent shoulder surgery Friday, but Gavin Jones returned for Spring Mills.
The Cardinals have worked with a limited roster for much of the season.
“We are at full strength as much as possible,” Regalbuto said.
He watches Washington, which has four state-ranked wrestlers — No. 1 Kade Bradbury at 160, No. 2 Logan McFarland at 113, No. 4 Tyler Meisenzahl at 170 and No. 7 Caleb Kershisnik at 145. years.
“(Washington has) good wrestlers,” Regalbuto said.
Musselman, ranked ninth in the state, has three ranked wrestlers. They include No. 2 Parker Bentley at 195, No. 6 Brady Mills at 145 and No. 7 Dominic Marandola at 182.
The only other ranked wrestler in the area is Jefferson’s Tristan Rucker, sixth at 106.