Kyle Bove is already having a senior season that most can only dream of, and the Kennett High School wrestling star is just now coming to the best part of the journey.So far this winter, Bove is a perfect 35-0 at 135 pounds. After opening the post-season two week's ago by winning the sectional title in dominating fashion, Bove followed that up by capturing the district championship last Saturday during the District 1 Central Tournament at Spring-Ford High School.
Two tournaments, two titles.
Now comes the final step on the road to states - this weekend's Southeast Regional at Oxford High School - as Bove finds himself on the door step of returning to the PIAA Class AAA State Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey, where he finished seventh overall in the state a year ago at 125 pounds. The top-four in each weight class at regionals this weekend will punch their tickets to states.
Bove isn't looking to just simply get there, though, he's looking to get their in style by sweeping all three titles (sectionals, districts and regionals) on the way to the Giant Center.
It was unknown whether any Kennett wrestler has previously accomplished that feat. The Blue Demons last regional champion was Tyler Jones in 2000.
"At this point, there's really nothing to lose once you get this far," said Bove, who is Kennett's all-time wins leader with a career record of 140-19 overall. "There's no next year for me now, so I'm just going to go out there and leave everything on the mat because I definitely don't want to have any regrets.
"I'm hoping for first place at regionals. It would be the highlight of my senior season if I was to make states by winning all three. It's been a great year so far and that would put it over the top."
At this weekend's PIAA Class AAA Southeast Regional at Oxford High School, all of District 1 will merge together to form the tournament, as the competition gets stronger and stronger each week. Bove is the District 1 Central champion at 135 pounds. He'll be joined by the top wrestlers from District 1 North and South, including North champion Jon Brodzik (35-2) of Central Bucks East and South champion Zac Bush (33-0) of William Tennent.
"This is the time of the season we all get excited about," said Kennett head coach Tyrone Johnson. "If you can't get excited about this, something is wrong. Everything everybody has been doing for months comes down to this. We're really looking forward to it. There's going to be all kinds of support for Kyle at Oxford this weekend.
"I'd like for him to get the triple-crown. More importantly though we wanna get to the show [Hershey]. But getting all three titles is definitely on our mind before we get to the state tournament. It's going to be difficult, though, there's some really good guys coming into his weight class."
Bove barely broke a sweat in getting to the championship finals during last Saturday's District 1 Central Tournament at Spring-Ford High School. He opened with a pin of West Chester Henderson's Lee Emery in just 1 minute, 18 seconds and then followed that up with a 16-0 major decision over Spring-Ford's Kyle Duffy in the semi-finals. In the championship match, Bove won a 4-2 decision over Will Resnick (25-6) of Penncrest to claim his second district gold medal. He also won a district title at 119 pounds as a sophomore.
"Winning it again definitely meant a lot to me," said Bove. "Plus getting first at districts gives me a No. 1 seed at regionals this weekend, which makes life a little easier on me. So far this post-season I've wrestled well and done everything I've wanted to do. It's a big stage this weekend, and if I win my matches there and move on I get to go to states and that's the most exciting tournament of the year.
"I want to give a lot of credit to my three coaches for working with me during my four years in high school," added Bove. "They've helped get me to another level, and they're a big part of the reason why I'm where I'm at right now."