He did it the hard way. But that’s not all that unusual for Colin Leonard.
The Northern Lebanon senior has always earned everything he’s gotten.
On Saturday at Wilson High School, during the contesting of the annual PIAA Class AA Southeast regional tournament, Leonard became the first wrestler in Lebanon County history to qualify for the state tournament four times. Leonard punched his ticket by finishing third in the 126-pound weight class.
It was a somewhat surprising third for Leonard, the reigning District Three Class AA champion who had to battle back through the meat-grinder to get back to Hershey’s Giant Center. Leonard had endured an 8-7 upset setback to Braedan Amole of Octorara in the quarterfinals of his weight bracket.
Leonard fought back with a 15-0, 3:10 technical fall over Kobin Karper of Boiling Springs in the third round of consolations. Then in the consolation semifinals, he nudged Eli Tuckey of Biglerville 7-3.
Leonard will carry a 37-6 overall mark and high expectations into the PIAA Championships at Hershey, where he garnered an eighth-place medal last year.
– Jeff Falk