NEPA Sports Nation

Pepe, Evanitsky capture state gold

Anthony Evanitsky, front left, in file action from last season. Above: Jaden Pepe in the District 2 final.

Wyoming Area teammates and training partners Jaden Pepe and Anthony Evanitsky pushed each other all the way to the top of the podium at the state championships in Hershey.

Not long after Pepe stepped off the top spot on the medal stand at The Giant Center for the third time in his career, Evanitsky stepped on to it as the Class 2A 139-pound champion at the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Individual Wrestling Championships.

Pepe won the 133-pound title, following his championships at 113 pounds as a sophomore in 2021 and 120 pounds last season.

Both won close decisions because of their performance on their feet.

Pepe used takedowns in each of the first two periods to defeat Midd-West’s Conner Heckman for the second straight weekend, 5-3.

The Harvard University-bound senior finished 43-1 on the season and 157-5 for a career that also produced four District 2 and two Northeast Regional championships. Pepe won four state medals, including one for third place as a freshman.

Evanitsky followed his teammate and his older brother in winning state championships.

William Evanitsky won a state championship for Scranton in 2018.

Anthony Evanitsky got there with two takedowns in the first period and another in the second to post a 7-4 decision over Warrior Run’s Reagan Milheim in another rematch of a bout from last week’s Northeast Regional.

Pepe and Evanitsky helped Wyoming Area finish seventh in the state team standings.

Evanitsky was 41-4 this season and is 88-8 for his career.

Lackawanna Trail also had two place-winners to finish 11th.

Deegan Ross shut out Collin Hearn from Conneaut Area for an 8-0 major decision in the consolation final to place third at 160.

Max Bluhm lost, 5-1, to Cael Weidenmoyer from team champion Faith Christian Academy to place third at 152.

Follow us on social media