Two Dellickers wrestle into regional round
Northwestern’s Jake Dellicker pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the District 11 Class 2A Wrestling Tournament on Friday night when he took down top-seeded Mikey Myers of Williams Valley.
On Saturday night, he was standing on the podium with a silver medal around his neck and his ticket to regionals punched.
Dellicker, who placed second in the 113-pound weight class, is one of three Tigers to earn medals at Liberty High School. And his brother—Will Dellicker—will join Jake at regionals this week.
“[Will] was really eager and wanted to make it out to regionals for his senior year,” Jake Dellicker said. “It will be a nice experience for both of us.”
“I’m just really excited to be a part of it,” Will Dellicker said. “Last year I went two-and-out [at districts], and I was on the outside looking in watching my brother and all my teammates. I remember when districts ended last year kind of feeling that I didn’t help the team.”
Will took fourth place in the 160-pound weight class and will make the trip to Wilson West Lawn on Friday for the Class 2A Southeast Regional Tournament. Ben Griffith came in sixth and earned a medal at 126 pounds, but was one place short of qualifying for regionals.
Jake Dellicker met Central Catholic’s Daniel Kreidler, the No. 2 seed, in Saturday’s 113-pound final. And while he came up short 9-2, he exceeded most expectations that he set for himself coming into the tournament.
“It hurts a little,” Jake Dellicker said. “It’s itching to get a win there. He’s a tough kid, and I’ll probably see him again at regionals.
“I’ve never seen him before. I had a few people tell me that he was a tough rider on top. I’ll give him credit where credit is due. He was.”
Jake’s tournament started off with a bang. After disposing Jim Thorpe’s Gabe Heaney via a 14-2 major decision in the opening round, Jake was set to meet the Williams Valley junior credited with only two losses all season in the quarterfinals.
Jake handed him setback No. 3 with a tough 3-1 decision.
“It felt great,” Jake said. “I was 0-3 against that kid up until that point. I changed up my game plan. I knew he liked to tie up, so I didn’t give in to any of his tie-ups. I made him wrestle my match.”
“I was screaming so loud during his match against Meyers, and I got yelled at by the front desk,” Will said. “I’m thrilled for Jake. I can’t wait to see what he does.”
In between those two matches, Jake had another eye-opening moment. He pinned No. 4 seed Tony Morello of Notre Dame (Green Pond) in the semifinals.
Will’s run to regionals was a bit more difficult.
After pinning Mahanoy’s Colin Timko in the first round, No. 2 seed Derek Berlitz of Notre Dame (Green Pond) sent Will into the consolation bracket with a 9-1 major decision.
But the Tiger senior kept his regional chances alive with three victories and advanced to the third-place match on Saturday. He opened the consolation bracket with a 6-0 decision over Pen Argyl’s Gianni Reto. Then, he pinned Panther Valley’s Eric Moyer early in the second period, followed by a quick fall against No. 4 seed Aaron Heffron of Tri Valley.
The two Dellicker brothers will make the trip to regionals together for the first time. Jake, who advanced last year, is hoping they both make it one step further to states in Hershey.
“It was great motivation,” Jake said. “It proved that I’m just as good as any of these guys. I’ll see them again and hopefully beat them again.
“I’d like to advance to states. That’s the ultimate goal. We’ll see how I do.”