Lizak leads as six Trojans reach states
Ethan Lizak looked like himself back on the mat at last week's Northeast Regional 3A finals at Liberty's Memorial Gymnasium.
After battling through Northampton's Todd Hetrick with a 6-3 decision in the semifinals, Lizak appeared to not have been happy with that result.
When his brother, Jacob, lost at the buzzer against Nazareth's Tyrone Klump in a 4-2 106-pound championship bout, it only heightened Lizak's discourse.
So, he took it out on Pleasant Valley's Kenny Yanovich in the finals.
Lizak wiped the mat clean with Yanovich, posting a dominating 12-2 major decision in the 113-pound championship. It was a natural response after what Lizak went through in the semifinals and as he watched his brother's finals bout.
"That may have happened, but also seeing my brother lose his match got me upset too," said Lizak about his motivation heading into the finals. "I was getting my shots down and counter shots were working. Everything just seemed to work [against Yanovich]."
Now he'll have the chance to see if everything can work for him again on the Giant Center mats in Hershey, when the PIAA championships kickoff Thursday afternoon.
The Parkland junior won the state title a year ago at 106 and will look to make his third straight state title appearance.
"I really just have to take each match one at a time like I have been so far," Lizak said. "I don't want to focus on winning and losing. I want to go out there and have fun. I know what I'm capable of at this point."
Lizak is joined by five Parkland teammates this weekend, as the ride to Hershey brings a van full of Trojans to the competition.
Five Trojans reached the regional finals last week, but only the elder Lizak came away with a crown. Josh Ortman (138), Nezar Haddad (182) and Omar Haddad (195) all took silver medals last week.
Shaun Heist (220) was able to battle through the consolation round to take third.
The younger Lizak suffered heartbreak in his finals bout, as Klump scored a reversal at the buzzer for the victory.
Ortman was on the opposite end of the spectrum, as he was tech falled by a 23-8 margin in 4:38 by Father Judge's Joe Galasso, who may have been the most skilled and dominating wrestler over the weekend.
Both of the Haddads suffered one-point defeats to District 11 rivals, as Tyler Greene clipped Nezar by a 4-3 decision and Dieruff's Jovon Reyes scored a 3-2 win over Omar.
The elder Lizak (40-2) starts his state path against A.J. Wilkins (16-3) of Gateway on Thursday.
His younger brother Jacob (38-6) opens with Shae Bloom (36-5) of DuBois.
Ortman (38-11) finds himself matched against Shane Ruhnke (33-6) of Great Valley.
Nezar Haddad (39-8) takes on Central Mountain's Blaze Buckwalter (30-8) in the prelims, followed by his brother Omar's (33-16) bout against William Tennant's Marc Isaac (30-8).
Heist (41-9) concludes the six-man Trojan contingent against Hasan Alic (33-6) of Carlisle.