Derek Smail Finishes This Season Strong With Third Place Finish At The PA Junior Wrestling State Tournament (04/05/16)

(Submitted by Clarion Elementary Wrestling)

Derek (third from left) with this year's other 8-Under 110lb medalists

(Photos courtesy of Clarion Elementary Wrestling) Derek (third from left) with this year’s other 8-Under 110lb medalists

Clarion Area third grader, Derek Smail finished off a good wrestling season with heart and determination, as he captured the third place medal in the 8U – 110 lbs division at the 2016 PA Junior Wrestling State Tournament held in Erie, PA at the Erie Insurance Arena this past weekend, April 1st and 2nd. This was a double elimination tournament.

Derek qualified for the state tournament by competing in the Area V Championship and earning the number 1 seed. Our Clarion Area program is one of almost 30 schools located within our Area V, from Redbank to Coudersport, Bradford to West Branch. There are 14 areas within the Commonwealth.

Being a previous state qualifier (2015 8U – 90 lbs) earned him one of four coveted first round byes.

In the preliminary round, Derek faced Area IV top seed, Khalil Ellerbee of Aliquippa, where he was able to pin him at the 2:13 (second period) mark.

In the quarter finals, he faced the eventual first place wrestler, Area II 2nd seed, Jacob Yatsky of Forest Hills, falling at the :40 mark. This matched moved Derek to the wrestle backs, but the two wins on the first day enabled him to come back and wrestle on Saturday.

Derek trying to set up a tilt

Derek trying to set up a tilt

Saturday morning began in a tough position, one loss away from being sent home or one win away guaranteeing the medal rounds. With that being said, Derek entered the fourth round consy’s, where he made quick work of Area III, number 1 seed, Dante Fox-White, of Hempfield, with a :13 fall.

The fifth round consy’s consisted of a match-up with Area VI number one seed, Trevor Milesend of Meadville, where Derek won 8-1.

In the sixth round consy’s, Derek went head-to-head with Area XII number one seed, Brock Spindler of Pittston. Derek won 3-1 in overtime and secured his spot in the third place match-up.

These rounds concluded the second session and made way for the Parade of Champions, where all of the remaining matches were to determine these young boys’ positions on the podium. Only the top 8 from each age and weight, out of the 32-man brackets, remained.

In his final match of the tournament, Derek faced Area VII number 2 seed, Bradyn McConneha of Shaler, where he pinned McConneha at the 1:07 mark to secure third place in the state.

Derek's hand is raised after his Preliminary Round win

Derek’s hand is raised after his Preliminary Round win

CONGRATULATIONS TO DEREK SMAIL, WAY TO WORK HARD AND STAY FOCUSED. YOU HAVE SHOWN MUCH GROWTH, NOT JUST PHYSICALLY, BUT MENTALLY AS WELL AND PUT YOUR HEART INTO IT.

(Thanks to Clarion Elementary Wrestling for the article and photos. GREAT JOB, DEREK!!!!)