Jersey Shore’s Brock Weiss and Hadyn Packer ended a 42-year streak on Saturday afternoon.
The only Bulldogs to compete at Hershey last weekend were the first Jersey Shore wrestlers to both finish in the top three in their respective brackets since Steve Litzelman and Dave Potter each placed first in 1980.
Weiss (120 pounds) capped off a sensational second season by finishing second overall. Packer – a junior – earned his 100th career victory and finished third. It was a memorable weekend for the Orange and Black faithful who made the trip to support both Bulldogs.
Weiss shed a tear before finally reaching the PIAA Class AA Finals in the 120 bracket. The sophomore knocked out last year’s seventh and third place finishers en route to becoming the first Bulldog to reach the finals since Joe Loffredo in 2008. Weiss finished the season with a 42-5 record.
“Brock comes from behind, he’s a really good wrestler and he always believes in himself. You can’t ask for a harder working kid,” Jersey Shore coach Crock Herman spoke about Weiss.
The Jersey Shore silver medalist kicked off his postseason tournament final with a shutout win over Reynolds’ Chase Bell. Weiss used a 7-0 win to reach the quarter-finals where he met 2021 seventh-placed Adam Schweitzer. The Notre Dame-GP scrapper held a late lead over Weiss, it wasn’t until the second Jersey Shore player attacked with five seconds left that Weiss took his first lead of the game. Weiss’ clutch move gave him a 6-4 win and booked a trip to the semis.
Chris Vargo, third from Bentworth last year, was next for Weiss. Similar to the quarter-finals, Jersey Shore’s scrappy second student came through when it mattered most. Weiss used a late withdrawal to condemn Vargo and advance to the final.
“I knew I had to get stripped down and out to win the game, so I thought about it and did it,” Weiss said after his semifinal match.
Weiss’ season finally came to an end after he fell to Wyoming Area State Champion Jaden Pepe in the Finals. Weiss now holds a career record of 73-11 to go with 37 pins and has established himself as one of the most electrifying wrestlers in the entire state.
While Weis is known for his electrifying moves and speed on the mat, teammate Packer is known for junior strength. Packer used his strong frame and telltale athleticism to finish third in the 189-pound bracket.
Packer did more than pick up a silver medal, he earned a monumental victory in the consolation round in 16. After Packer recovered his second of four pins last weekend – this one over Tucker Paynter of Trinity – he pointed to the Jersey Shore fanbase sitting inside the giant center.
It was the 100th victory for Packer who entered the tournament twice before the milestone.
“I mean I’ve been looking forward to this moment ever since I walked the mat my freshman year. To achieve this, knowing I’m on the podium now, 100th win. This was the win I’ve been waiting for. looking forward all my life. Packer said after his win over Paynter.
The junior continued to fight through the consolation bracket and avenge a loss he suffered earlier in the tournament. After Packer’s loss to Patrick Cutchember in the round of 16, he picked up three fall wins to move up to third place. It was there that he met Cutchamber in a rematch. Packer won, 3-1, in a sudden victory to earn third place.
“I can’t take any credit away from Patrick, he’s a great wrestler. I was looking forward to fighting him again, it’s a great win to have so late in the tournament,” Packer said after his third-place finish.