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### Top 10 Pound-for-Pound Rankings: Lehigh Valley High School Star Wagner Surpasses Expectations

Trey Wagner approached the PIAA Class 3A 127-pound final differently from his previous matches at Hershey’s Giant Center last weekend.

In his own words, “Every match is a different match, a new match even if you pinned him, teched him,” said the Northampton sophomore. “This match was a new match. I wiped my mind, didn’t know who this kid was. It was a new kid, never wrestled him before.”

Although Wagner had faced Daniel Boone’s Dean Houser before and defeated him 8-2 in a previous tournament, he experienced inconsistency and a lack of confidence in the 98 days leading up to their second encounter. However, something within him shifted during the individual postseason, leading to a remarkable performance.

The ultimate showdown with Houser resulted in a 5-1 decision, crowning Wagner as Northampton’s 25th state champion. Reflecting on his unexpected success, Wagner expressed his newfound confidence and determination moving forward.

Wagner’s stellar performance throughout the tournament, where he outscored four seniors 14-4, defied his initial expectations. “I was thinking top 5-6 was my goal,” he admitted. “But coming into the state tournament, I just said that I can do this. I’ve got nothing to lose.”

With a refreshed mindset and a focus on taking on each opponent with unwavering determination, Wagner navigated the tournament with a sense of freedom and purpose. Despite the challenges of weight cutting, his perseverance paid off in the end.

Coach Joe Provini of Northampton had always seen Wagner’s potential for a state championship. It was a matter of Wagner believing in himself, and when he wrestled with confidence, he lived up to that potential.

Wagner’s victory marked one of eight local competitors who secured state gold, each with their own stories of triumph and perseverance on the wrestling mat.

In addition to Wagner’s success, the wrestling community witnessed notable achievements and inspiring moments from various medalists, each sharing their unique insights and experiences from the intense competition.

As the dust settled on the state championships, Wagner’s victory solidified his position among the top wrestlers in the pound-for-pound rankings, a testament to his skill, determination, and unwavering spirit on the wrestling mat.

Morning Call reporter Tom Housenick can be reached at 610-820-6651 or at [email protected]