Canton's Wesneski finishes career with bronze medal - 2014 NTL and District 4 News -

Canton's Wesneski finishes career with bronze medal.

By: Chris Manning | Towanda Daily Review | March 9, 2014 | Photo courtesy Chris Manning


Canton's Wesneski finishes career with bronze medalHERSHEY - Canton's Garrett Wesneski showed why he deserved to be wrestling in the 195-pound championship match at the PIAA Wrestling Championships Saturday.

After going down early Wesneski dominated in the second period against Valley's Marcus Davenport and got the fall in 2:23 to take third.

"That's what I wanted to go out and do," Wesneski remarked.

His coach and father Lyle Wesneski was pleased to see him rebound as quickly as he did to go from losing in the semi-finals to taking third in dominant fashion.

"It was great to see him comeback," Lyle said. "He rebounded real quick. Today he was at peace and relaxed and he just went out there and let the cards fall where they may. And he finished it off."

Davenport took an early lead with a first period takedown after getting a single leg.

"That kind of woke me up," Wesneski said. "I was trying to feel him out which that wasn't the plan."

In the second Wesneski scored the tying reversal and once he was on top he went to work. He quickly got back points on Davenport then squeezed him to the mat for the pin.

"Once I got on top I felt a lot stronger than him," explained Wesneski. "I broke him down easy and put him right to the back. I had his arm trapped so I knew it was a matter of time before I would pin him."

His 2-1 loss to eventual champion, Bermudian Springs' Tristan Sponseller, gave him confidence going into the bronze medal match. Sponseller won the state title 9-1.

"I wrestled the best kid in the state in the semis and I gave him all he wanted," remarked Wesneski. "I knew I was right there with being one of the best so I was hoping to go out with a bang."

"We knew that match was the basically the state final," added Lyle. "Whoever won that match was probably going to win the class. I think the first two minutes of that match there was a little bit of self-doubt in his mind and then when he found out 'I could wrestle, I'm just as good or better,' from that point on it was dead even and I think he even controlled the bout."

Coach Wesneski believes it won't be the last time Garrett sees Sponseller.

"I believe they will meet many times in the collegiate level," Lyle said. "It may be different."

The senior was pleased with his tournament and his second state medal.

"It was a memorable one," he said. "You see a lot of kids lose in the semis and lose their focus but I kept my head and came back and got third."

He will now go down as one of the best wrestlers in Canton history with his two state medals.

"I would say it's a pretty good career," Wesneski remarked. "Starting out at 171 as a freshman I took my beatings and just kept working. It was my goal to get as many state medals as I could."

He also had the added experience of winning two states medals with his father in his corner.

"That was awesome," Wesneski said. "I had my uncle my freshman and sophomore years as a coach then my dad and coach Route the last two years. I give a lot of credit to all my coaches."

And his father was just as excited to coach him.

"He's in a very elite group now at Canton High School," Lyle said. "He's 10 times the wrestler his father ever was and right now there a lot of emotions on my part. Sitting up there today, thinking about all the trips we've taken since he was six years old all over the country and wrestling. Hard work and sacrifice, he's been everything you could ask for and more. A gentlemen, he works hard and everything he gets he deserves."

Wesneski has battled two knee surgeries to get to this point.

"He's had to overcome a lot of adversity in his career," explained Lyle. "He's accepted the challenge, he's come back from injury multiple times and he's come back stronger physically and mentally. I think that's the difference. I'm proud of him."