Dylan Evans of Scott Township wrapped up a successful sophomore season by earning his second medal at the PIAA championships held March 12-13 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
As a freshman, Evans finished eighth in the state at 126 pounds. Last weekend, the Chartiers Valley sophomore moved up four spots on the podium with a fourth place finish in the 138-pound weight class.
“We are all proud of Dylan,” said Billy Evans, who is the CV head coach as well as Dylan’s dad. “The community and school district have really gotten behind him over the course of the postseason. I’ve received many emails and messages from alumni of the wrestling program — many well wishes and positive thoughts, along with a lot of congratulations.
“The recent success that Dylan is having, along with the rest of the team over the past few seasons has really created some excitement for our program,” he added. “Coupled with the recent success of the other sports programs here at CV this year, it really has been a great year to be a Colt.”
Evans opened state competition with a thrilling 3-1 victory over Kyle Houseman. The Council Rock North wrestler came into the match undefeated and as the District 1 champion. He had placed fourth in last year’s state championship tournament.
“Dylan grinded out a tough overtime win, which has pretty much been the story of many of his postseason key victories,” Billy Evans said. “He definitely showed a lot of patience and poise in such an important match on a big stage like that.”
Though Evans dropped his semifinal bout 5-1 to Waynesburg’s Cole Homet, he rebounded and won a 3-0 decision over Trent Kochersperger from Kennett in his consolation semifinal.
Evans again faced Houseman in the third-place consolation match. This time Houseman triumphed 8-4 to take the bronze medal.
“They are both very good wrestlers.” Billy Evans said. “When you put two really tough kids out there on the mat in the state championships, anything can happen.
“The difference seemed to be that Kyle came out and started a lot faster and with a little more of a sense of urgency,” he added. “Definitely a learning experience for Dylan.”
Evans finished the season at 33-9. He owns a 69-20 overall record.
The promise of an even brighter future, though, is just as unpredictable as the season was during the COVID-19 pandemic, Billy Evans said.
“In reality, we were very lucky and blessed to have this season. Things were put into perspective this year more than ever,” he said. “It is easy to get caught into the mentality where you look at this like a ladder, that if you take 4th in the state this year, that next year the obvious outcome is first, second, or third. That can be super dangerous. You stop developing, and all you do is start looking ahead to March every year with no focus on where your feet are right now.
“The only expectation for Dylan or anyone else on the team is that they promise to continue to grow as a person and an athlete, love the sport, and always stay in the moment and enjoy the journey that they are on,” he added. “When you do that, the success on the mat takes care of itself.”