Brookville’s Gavin Park Wins State Title

2017 Brookville State Champion Gavin Park
HERSHEY, Pa. (D9Sports) — Led by state champion Gavin Park of Brookville, the Raiders had a very successful Saturday at the PIAA Class AA Championships at Hershey’s Giant Center.

For the second straight year, the Brookville Raiders crowned a state wrestling champ as Park won gold Saturday at 120 pounds.

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A year ago, Raiders 132-pounder Tate Ortz was on top of the wrestling world and now, Park joins the elite, but growing, fraternity of Brookville wrestlers who are state champions.

Chuck Yale was Brookville’s first when he won at 145 pounds in 1993.

In 1999, when the Raiders won the first team championship, they crowned Jason Gilligan (145) and Jeremy Reitz (152).

Brock Zacherl came next in 2014 at 138 pounds, then Ortz.

“It feels great,” Park said. “It’s very special. I got to compete with two other ones on my team.

“Brock (Zacherl) told me how good I was and how good I could be my freshman year and Tate showed me how to go out and do it. “

Park was seventh a year ago.

Park (43-3) beat Benton junior Cole Rhone, 4-3, for the title.

Park took control of the match late in the first period with a takedown.

Rhone halved the lead with an escape early in the second, then he scored again to put Park behind, 3-2.

But Park escaped Rhone (38-5) late in the second to tie it at 3-3.

Rhone conceded an escape early in the third and Park didn’t give him a chance to do any more.

Park and head coach Dave Klepver hugged as they celebrated.

Park’s gold medal was one of five that Brookville wrestlers claimed Saturday.

Kunselman, wrestling at 113, placed seventh for his second medal at states. He scored a late, second-period takedown to take a 3-0 lead over Westmont Hilltop’s Derrick Christie and held on for a 3-2 win.

Caleb Hetrick, wrestling at 152, was making his third trip to Hershey and he claimed his second medal with a 4-2 win over West Branch’s Derek Yingling.

Hetrick got on top in the second period, 3-0, to get the win.

Junior Xavier Molnar, lost a 5-3 decision to Blairsville’s Jerry Moore and placed sixth at 195 pounds. It was Molnar’s first medal.

Junior 220-pounder Tyler Cook walked off a winner and won his first state medal when he beat Danville’s Jarret Walters, 6-1.

“It feels pretty good,” head coach Dave Klepfer said. “The kids set high goals for themselves and their hard work paid off.”

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