For senior student-athletes, there is no better place to end scholastic careers than states. Zach Kelly is a senior and he’d really like to go out with a bang.
On Saturday afternoon at Hershey’s Giant Center, during the annual District Three wrestling championships, Northern Lebanon’s Kelly copped the title of the Class AA 138-pound weight class. Kelly capped a 3-0 run through the bracket with a thrilling 3-1, 3OT triumph over Middletown junior Devin Martin in the final.
After Kelly and Martin had traded escapes in regulation, the combatants battled through two score-less overtime periods and the part of a third. Kelly won it with a two-point near-fall near the end of the third extra session.
Kelly had reached the title tilt with a 13-3 semifinal major decision over Jack Bennett of Schuylkill Valley. The Viking 12th-grader opened his tournament by decking Evan Hoffman of Upper Dauphin in the quarterfinals.
Not only did the results lift Kelly’s personal record to 39-8, it put him in a good spot for qualifying for the PIAA Class AA postseason, back at Giant Center in two weeks. But to reach his ultimate goal, Kelly must first navigate the state qualifier that is the regional tournament.
- Jeff Falk