HERSHEY — Cade Wirnsberger’s goal has always been to win a state championship and while he finished just short of reaching the top of the podium at the PIAA Class 2A wrestling tournament at the Giant Center on Saturday, the Meadowbrook Christian School senior was philosophical about finishing second at 145 pounds in Hershey.
“It’s a good accomplishment,” Wirnsberger said. “I mean it’s not what I wanted. I wanted to win that last match, end my high school career with a win and on top of the podium. But it is what it is. I wrestled well this weekend and that’s all that matters.”
Wirnsberger lost a 3-2 decision to Notre Dame-Green Pond’s Vince Bouzakis, a Florida product who landed at NDGP after a stop at Blair Academy.
A takedown early in the first period was the difference in the tight match and Wirnsberger never really recovered after falling behind.
“Cade had a good tournament leading up to the finals but he gave up that early takedown and that resulted in the ending of the match,” Meadowbrook coach Garth Watson said.
Wirnsberger finished his senior season with a 41-4 record and his career record was a spectacular 141-25. His silver medal is his third state medal after a 6th place as a sophomore and a 4th place last year.
“I loved Cade like my own kid,” Watson said. “I have watched him grow up over the last four years through wrestling. I had a huge lump in my throat when he lost because he does everything in his life the right way. In four years, he never missed a practice, never blamed someone else when he fell short, and he was the best teammate anyone could ask for. It was super special for me watching such a great kid end his career in the state finals in Hershey with my high school coach Randy Watts.”
Wirnsberger is headed to Bucknell to wrestle for his dad, head coach Dan Wirnsberger.
Max Wirnsberger gave Meadowbrook a second state medal when he finished seventh at 121 pounds. He edged Elijah Brosius of Cranberry, 3-2 in the ultimate tiebreak of overtime, to win his 45th bout of the season.
“I’m super proud of him,” Cade Wirnsberger said. “It’s hard to place as a freshman down here. For him to do that, for him to win his last match and end on a good note, it’s special and I can’t wait to see what he does for the rest of his high school career.”
Watson noted that Max’s mental toughness made a difference in Hershey.
“Max is the type of kid that wrestles better on the big stage,” Watson said. “Some kids get nervous and wrestle tentatively but not Max. He gets excited and hyped to compete and when you get a wrestler that has an attitude like that, he is going to be really good. He was in some tough situations during his different matches down here but his mindset and determination not to lose carried him through. I’m excited about coaching Max for the next three years.”
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