HERSHEY — Kollin Myers isn't nervous to be under the lights at Hershey's Giant Center. According to him, he never was.
"Ever since I wrestled my first match here (during) team states freshman year, I was never nervous," Myers said. "I just watched my brother (Korbin Myers) wrestle all those years and watching Joey Spisak and all them, I looked up to them and I said, 'I want to wrestle at the Giant Center one day.' Ever since that first match, I love it. I love wrestling here."
The Boiling Springs sophomore has a new goal: to win more than the silver medal he got last year at the PIAA Class 2A championships. And Thursday morning he got himself one step closer.
The lightweight handled Benton's Joe Klock without much trouble and escaped to the 126-pound quarterfinals with a 7-3 decision.
"It's definitely important and it starts you off strong," Myers said picking up a first-round win. "I had a tough kid, and I'm feeling good right now, especially with that win. I knew that kid was tough and just getting through that first round gives me an extra step in the tournament. I'm feeling good right now where I'm at."
After some quick blood time courtesy of Klock, Myers went in for the quick takedown to go up 2-0 before the end of the first. A reversal for Klock to start the second tied the score, but Myers opened it up with an escape. A reversal and an escape for Myers in the third was more than enough to secure the Bubbler the win.
Moving further into the brackets, there are a few names Myers is anticipating seeing before the championships are over. Especially one in particular.
"I'm trying to keep it one match at a time, but hopefully I'll meet (unbeaten Gavin Teasdale of Jefferson-Morgan) in the semis," Myers said one of his weight's toughest grapplers. "That's the match I need to keep focused and especially after losing to him in the finals last year, I want to beat him bad."
Day 2 can't come soon enough for the Bubblers, who move two of their wrestlers to the next rounds.
Myers will face Cambridge Springs' Tye Varndell in the quarterfinals and Cameron Palmer (145) faces Cranberry's Josh Hancock in the second round of consolations. Austin Taylor (195), who fell down in consolations, was knocked out of the tournament after a 7-4 decision loss to Summit Academy's Tyler Stine.
"It just didn't happen, it just wasn't in our cards today with (Taylor)," Bubblers head coach Rodney Wright said. "I thought Kollin wrestled real well, I thought (Palmer) wrestled pretty good. Let's go home, go back, get something to eat and get back in here tomorrow and see what happens."
Other Class 2A locals to make it to Day 2 of states include Camp Hill's Luca Colestock (170) who will wrestled in the second round of consolations against Tri-Valley's Dawson Schwalm, after being pinned in the championship first round in 1:37 by Reynolds' Joel Leise.
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Trinity's Colten Drawbaugh (182) moves into the second round of consolations against Greenville's Brendan Calvin after losing in the first round to Beth-Center's Dominic Fundy by 9-3 decision.
Class 2A continues Friday at 9 a.m. with quarterfinals and two rounds of consolations. The semifinals and another round of consies begins at 7:30 p.m.