Getting the opportunity to wrestle at the state tournament for PIAA wrestling is what many wrestlers dream about since they started wrestling. For Southmoreland 170 pound wrestler Jaden Datz, it is his first and last year entering the Convention Center in Hershey for a shot at the state title.
Datz started wrestling at the age of 3 and made it to states for the Junior Olympic program at Southmoreland.
“I made it to states for the team but I never placed,” said Datz. ”I guess you could say that was the start of my dream to make it when I got to the varsity team and to make a name for myself.”
After missing states last year, he knew he had to “train hard” in the offseason to prepare for his senior year.
“I trained from the second the season ended last year the whole way through the summer,” said Datz.” I knew that if I wanted to be successful this season that I was going to have to work hard to earn it.”
After working through the season, Datz’s hard word paid off as he punched his ticket to “chocolate town” at the regional tournament at Indiana University of Pennsylvania after placing third.
“My season with the team as a whole was tough,” said Datz. ”Wrestling is a long and tough season mentally, but I’m not done. I hope to place an odd number at states (1, 3, 5).
Datz looks to have a difficult second match of the tournament as his draw looks to have him matching up with Dalton Group of Susquenita.
“I know Dalton is a good wrestler because he is ranked number 1,” said Datz. ”But at the same time we’re all wrestling the best of the best now. We all worked to get to this point of the season. I just have to wrestle like I know how and not worry about rankings.”
Besides Datz, Southmoreland also has Tyler Griffiths (138) and Ryan Mauro( 220) representing the team at the tournament in Hershey on March 8-10.