NEPA Sports Nation

12 Wrestlers To Watch

TYSON COOK, West Scranton

Cook finished second in District 2 Class 3A and fourth in the Northeast Regional last season as a freshman. He went 12-7 as a 106- and 113-pounder with six of the losses coming in decisions by four points or less, including a pair of one-pointers.

ZACH JACARUSO, Delaware Valley

Jacaruso, a state runner-up as a sophomore, has already opened this season with the 120-pound title at the Cumberland Valley Kickoff Classic. He went 20-1 last season with the only loss coming in overtime in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class 3A state final. Jacaruso won district and regional titles at 113 pounds and often wrestled at 120 while helping the Warriors win Lackawanna Division 1 and District 2 Class 3A team championships.


Molinaro spent the opening weekend of the season winning the 189-pound title at the Top Hat Tournament in Williamsport and winning his 100th career bout at the same time. The two-time defending Class 3A district champion placed sixth in the state last season after finishing third in the Northeast Region. He was a regional finalist as a sophomore.

GUNNAR MYERS, Wallenpaupack

The first six times Myers stepped on a varsity mat as a freshman last season, he won by pin, including three in less than a minute. He ended the season with a state medal, placing fifth at 120 pounds in Class 3A. Myers lost just once in the regular season before placing second in the district and fourth in the region.

JADEN PEPE, Wyoming Area

The defending state 113-pound Class 2A champion went 69-4 in his first two high school seasons. Pepe went 50-3 with a third-place state medal as a freshman, then topped it with the state title to cap a 19-1 season. Pepe avenged his only loss – twice – and proved he could win tense, low-scoring matches against the state’s toughest competition. He worked his way through the PIAA tournament by winning 3-1, 1-0 and 3-2 decisions, the last of which settled his season series with Gavin Bradley of Athens by winning two of their three meetings. The two-time district champion, who is still seeking his first regional title, opened this season at 126 pounds.

COOPER PRICE, Wyoming Area

Price returned from a year of inactivity to win the district Class 2A title at 152 pounds. He finished his junior season 13-4 after placing third in the Northeast Regional. Price began his career as a freshman at Coughlin, which is now part of Wilkes-Barre Area, where he won a district championship and went 32-8.

DEEGAN ROSS, Lackawanna Trail

Ross won district Class 2A titles in each of his first two high school seasons. He was 39-12 as a freshman and 12-2 in last season’s shortened schedule. After spending all of last season at 132 pounds for the Lackawanna Division 2 and district Class 2A champions, Ross began this season at 152 pounds.

ROBBIE SCHNEIDER, Lackawanna Trail

Schneider continued the combination of individual and team success by opening this season with the 160-pound title at the Rough Rider Invitational in Catasauqua where the Lions won the team title in the 13-team event. His 14-3 sophomore season included a runner-up finish in the Northeast Regional. Schneider went 35-8 and reached the district final as a freshman in 2019-20.

MAX SHNIPES, Scranton Prep

Despite competing in the highest weight class as a freshman, Shnipes was able to finish third in both the district and Northeast Regional in Class 2A last season as a 285-pounder. All nine of his on-mat (non-forfeit) wins came by pin, five of them in the first period.

LUKE SIRIANNI, Abington Heights

The defending district champion is the only Comet off to a 6-0 start while the team has gone 5-1. Sirianni won his district Class 3A title at 106 pounds, then took second in the Northeast Regional and sixth in the state. He was 32-14 as a freshman and 17-6 last season.

AUSTIN SMITH, Abington Heights

Smith won his first dozen matches last season as a freshman. He went on to win the district title at 132 pounds in Class 3A. He also placed fourth in the Northeast Regional to advance into the state tournament.


After winning 35 times as a freshman, Spindler claimed a Class 3A district title at 160 pounds. He started last season at 9-0, including seven pins in the first eight times he took the mat. Spindler led the Patriots in wins in each of his two seasons.

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