Not that it's set in stone, but the stage is set for Exeter senior Austin DeSanto to get his year-long awaited rematch with one of the best wrestlers in state history, Franklin Regional senior Spencer Lee.
DeSanto (49-0) and Lee (32-0) are on opposite sides of Class 3A 126-pound bracket and wouldn't wrestle each other in the PIAA Wrestling Championships until the final Saturday night.
Each will have to win three bouts against high-caliber opponents before they would meet in the three-day tournament that starts Thursday at 9 a.m. in the Giant Center with the Class 2A preliminary round.
DeSanto was 50-0 last year until losing in 120-pound championship bout by a second-period technical fall to Lee, who won his third state title.
DeSanto is one of nine Berks wrestlers who will be joined by 12 wrestlers from the Tri-County area in the 3A tournament, which begins Thursday at 4 p.m.
DeSanto's chances of winning a state title diminished when he dropped from 132 to 126 to get another shot at Lee. Before he can wrestle Lee again, DeSanto may have to defeat Boyertown two-time state medalist Jakob Campbell (35-4) in the semifinals.
Campbell is one of six Boyertown wrestlers to qualify for the state tournament.
Most other Berks wrestlers also have roadblocks in their way to winning a state title, many before the finals.
Exeter senior Tyler Bagoly (35-3) has won 26 straight bouts and hasn't lost since Dec. 30. But Bagoly could face a major obstacle in the semifinals in returning champion Michael Labriola (39-0) of Bethlehem Catholic.
"Mikey Labriola is a real hammer," Bagoly said. "He's ranked No. 1 in the country. He beat me over the summer pretty well. I just have to battle against him."
Also at 170, in the other half of the bracket are Wilson's Tommy O'Brien (30-5) and Pottsgrove's Ryan Finn (31-4).
Based on the first-year points system used by the PIAA to rank the regional champions in each weight class, Boyertown senior Matt Wilde (43-3) has the best shot of winning a state title.
Wilde is the highest-ranked wrestler at 113, even through the weight class includes undefeated Sam Hillegas (39-0) of North Hills. Hillegas is in the opposite half of the bracket, but Wilde could face a tough semifinal matchup with Ed Scott (35-1) of DuBois.
Boyertown junior Elijah Jones (43-6) is in the same half of the bracket with two undefeated wrestlers in possible quarterfinal opponent Cole Urbas (28-0) of State College and top-ranked Nino Bonaccorsi (36-0) of Bethel Park.
Daniel Boone senior Jesse Enck (33-1), who placed fifth last year, opens with Ian Edenfield (29-4) of Laurel Highlands, the lowest-ranked of the five regional champions at 220. Enck would have to win three matches to get another shot at Francis Duggan (34-3) of Cedar Cliff, the wrestler who handed Enck is only loss this season.
Twin Valley's C.J. Morton (31-8) at 113, Muhlenberg's Stefahn Mayo (25-3) at 145 and Exeter's Oscar Daniels (44-6) at 285 are the only Berks wrestlers who will be in the preliminary round of their 20-wrestler brackets.
In Class 2A, four of the six Berks qualifiers will wrestle in the preliminary round. Only Southeast Regional third-place finishers Jack Bennett (22-12) of Schuylkill Valley at 138 and Tanner Vogel (34-6) of Wyomissing are already in the round of 16.
If Vogel can get past his first match with Jack Kallenborn (30-5) of Port Allegany, he likely would face the top-ranked 160-pounder, Creighton Edsell (33-1) of Wyalusing, in the semifinals.