Boiling over

The battle for fifth place at the Southwest Region Tournament can be emotional for wrestlers. The winner goes to Hershey, fed to a regional champion and most likely first-round defeat. But that fate is better than the loser, who goes home.

At 160 pounds, Charleroi's Tommy Thorpe was headed for an end-your-season loss against Jeremy Barlett of Tyrone. Thorpe was trailing 5-2 with 20 seconds remaining, when he motioned to the referee and showed him his hand. He claimed Barlett bit him. The official agreed and disqualified Barlett.

Minutes later, a Tyrone fan made his way to the section where the Charleroi wrestlers, coaches and fans were sitting and began yelling. The confrontation lasted a couple minutes and appeared ready to escalate until Cougars assistant coach Dave Grillo, who was at one time a lineman at Pitt, stepped in.

The fan was escorted from the arena by security officials.

The semifinals from hell

No Washington-Greene County wrestler will look upon the 2009 semifinal round of the Class AA regional tournament with fond memories. For the first time since this region tournament was formed in 1987, no area wrestler made it to the finals.

It was a stunning round with some stunning losses. Maybe the most surprising came at 215 pounds, where Burgettstown's Ryan Watson was pinned in 37 seconds by Josh McDannell of Chestnut Ridge. Watson hit a five-point move to start the match but McDannell rolled through it and pinned the Burgettstown senior.

Also, at 103, Fort Cherry's Andrew Lucarini looked sluggish in a 13-6 loss to Josh Polacek of Westmont Hilltop. Lucarini trailed 7-1 in the first period and never recovered.

At 135, Avella's Mitch Spencer was hit with a controversial stalling call that tied his bout with Zach Sheridan of Mt. Pleasant, 1-1 with 49 seconds to go. Sheridan got a takedown with 14 seconds to go for a 3-2 win.

Semifinal losers still need one victory to qualify for the state tournament. Stay tuned.

Making his point

It was not a good first day for head coach Scott Rhodes and the wrestlers on Jefferson-Morgan's team. None made it through the first two rounds. The frustration bubbled over in a consolation match that featured J-M heavyweight Zach Doman. Doman was trailing 5-2 in the third period when he spun around for a takedown attempt. The official was not quick enough to get out of the way and Doman collided with him. The official stopped the action, which brought the J-M coaches out of their seats.

The official said he stopped the match because he got in the way. That didn't sit well with Rhodes or assistant Mike Lesko, who continued their argument that the action should not have been stopped. That led to this exchange.

"That's enough, coach," the official said

Rhodes and Lesko continued to argue.

"That's a warning," the official said.

They still continued to argue.

"That's another warning," the official said, "and you lose a team point."

"We don't have any," Rhodes yelled back, before sitting back in his seat for the remainder of the bout.

Alas, the Rockets did not have a team point to surrender. No one is sure whether the PIAA can award a negative-1. J-M's team total did not show up on the scoring sheet at the end of the night.

Like I said, it was a tough day.


Johnstown update - 2

Most of the matches in the first round went as expected but there were some surprises.

Jake Linn, a heavyweight from Charleroi, made it to the semifinals. He is undersized at 230 pounds and will run into a buzzsaw that is Jordan Roussos of Carlynton in the semifinals but he has a good shot to get to Hershey. Charleroi is having a good tournament with Aaron Toth (103), Josh Kwasny (112) and Tommy Thorpe (160) still alive in the wrestlebacks.

Maybe the most unpredictable weight class is 171, where WPIAL champion Cody Catalina was beaten in the first round and looked sluggish in the process. Fort Cherry's Sam Guidi won his first-round bout against Zack Hicks of Mt. Union with a reversal at the buzzer then lost to Tyler Capitosti 11-4. West Greene's Josh Durbin pieced together two wins and draws Capitosti in the semis.

Not only did Michael Innes of Chartiers-Houston default out of the tournament, but he will need eight weeks to recover.

Shady Side Academy's Matt Tadich injure his ribs in a quarterfinals loss to Devin Cook of Bedford but the injury was bad enough to force him to default from the tournament.

Johnstown update - 1

I was told Mike Henderson of Highlands, the WPIAL runner-up at 103, was scratched in the regional tournament because he missed weight. The word is he was 3/10ths of a pound over.

Michael Innes of Chartiers-Houston won his first-round bout over Drew Zettle of Penns Valley, 11-4 but he reinjured his rib cage muscle in the third period. Innes was in severe pain and does not look like he will be able to wrestle again.

Maybe it was a case of nerves but Sam Guidi of Fort Cherry needed a reversal with one second remaining to take a 4-3 decision from Zack Hicks of Mt. Union, a fifth-place finisher in District 6.

Bentworth's Francis Mizia, who was fifth in District 7, knocked off Brandon Berkey of Chestnut Ridge, 3-0. Berkey was a D-5 runner-up.

Welcome to Johnstown

Ah, Johnstown. What an interesting town. It's Friday afternoon and the first round of the Southwest Region Tournament is about to get under way. The drive up was interesting. Unusually warm weather and a splash of sunshine has hit this town, bringing relief from a long winter. When you take the time to look, though, it's still pretty much a dog of a town.

Anyway, I will be blogging from this tournament today and tomorrow. I will update you on who is doing what and when. There are hundreds of wrestlers competing but, really, everyone is waiting for the San Doval-Bennett final at 189 pounds.

Here's your first nugget: Highlands' Mike Henderson was scratched at 103 pounds. He was a WPIAL runner-up to Fort Cherry's Andrew Lucarini.

Oh, if you want to weigh in on this tournament, comments welcomed.


Class AA Regional picks

1. Lucarini, Fort Cherry
2. Roberts, North Star
3. Link, Penn Cambria
4. Polacek, Westmont-Hilltop
5. Greco, Keystone Oaks

1. Alexander, SS Academy
2. Hough, Westmont-Hilltop
3. Easter, Bedford
4. Runk, Huntingdon
5. Kwasny, Charleroi

1. Zanetta, Keystone Oaks
2. Schopp, Tyrone
3. Fogle, Forest Hills
4. Landowski, Burrell
5. LiPari, Chartiers-Houston

1. Garbinsky, Tyrone
2. Myers, Penn Cambria
3. Makara, Burrell
4. Tadich, SS Academy
5. Blumer, West Greene

1. Sheldon, Hyndman
2. Martellotti, SS Academy
3. Kushner, Westmont-Hilltop
4. Sheridan, Mt. Pleasant
5. Maust, Bedford

1. Spencer, Avella
2. Steinberg, Central Cambria
3. Demor, SS Beaver
4. Sheridan, Mt. Pleasant
5. Sollenberger, Northern Bedford

1. Johnson, SS Academy
2. Knott, Claysburg-Kimmel
3. Henderson, United
4. Innes, Chartiers-Houston
5. Shane, Chestnut Ridge

1. Perich, Portage
2. Carr, South Fayette
3. Dumire, Westmont-Hilltop
4. Checkan, SS Beaver
5. Gibbons, Bedford

1. Appleby, Avella
2. Keklak, Westmont-Hilltop
3. Miller, Richland
4. Darr, North Star
5. Moore, Beth-Center

1. Cunningham, SS Academy
2. Julian, Penn Cambria
3. Corle, Chestnut Ridge
4. Hostetler, Forest Hills
5. Thorpe, Charleroi

1. Guidi, Fort Cherry
2. Catalina, Beth-Center
3. Durbin, West Greene
4. Burnheimer, Westmont-Hilltop
5. Deffibaugh, Chestnut Ridge

1. Bennett, Westmont-Hilltop
2. San Doval, SS ACademy
3. Shook, Portage
4. Dudley, Valley
5. Glessner, Forest Hills

1. Watson, Burgettstown
2. Shippey, Bedford
3. McDannell, Chestnut Ridge
4. Everhart, Huntingdon
5. Rizzo, Richland

1. Rousson, Carlynton
2. Krupa, Bedford
3. Duplin, Westmont-Hilltop
4. Morris, Central Cambria
5. Kisla, Chartiers-Houston

State Rankings

Off The Mat Rankings

Class AA

1. JAMIE WELSH 10 Pen Argyl
2. DYLAN D’URSO 9 Reynolds
3. ANDREW LUCARINI 12 Fort Cherry
4. MIKE HENDERSON 12 Highlands
5. EVAN LINK 10 Penn Cambria
1. LUKE FREY 10 Montoursville
2. COLTON FOUGHT 10 Benton
3. MASON BECKMAN 10 Reynolds
4. GEOFF ALEXANDER 10 Shady Side Academy
5. BROCK WAUGHEN 12 Milton
1. ANTHONY ZANETTA 12 Keystone Oaks
2. AARON SCHOPP 11 Tyrone
3. JOE SPISAK 11 Boiling Springs
4. DAVID FOGLE 12 Forest Hills
5. MIKE RHONE 11 Benton
1. EVAN YENOLEVICH 12 Northwestern Lehigh
2. RON GARBINSKY 10 Tyrone
3. PATRICK MYERS 11 Penn Cambria
4. COTY BURNETT 12 Greenville
5. DESTRY HARTRUM 12 Wilson Area
1. CODY KELLY 12 Reynolds
2. NICK HODGKINS 10 Wyomissing
4. LOGAN SHELDON 12 Hyndman
5. GARET PISANI 11 Ridgway
1. JORDAN MOSS 11 Sharon
2. COLIN SHOBER 11 Schuylkill Valley
3. RICKY WILLIAMS 12 Northwestern Lehigh
4. PHIL STEINBERG 11 Central Cambria
5. AARON FRY 11 Muncy
1. DANE JOHNSON 12 Shady Side Academy
2. DEREK SCHMELYUN 12 Bermudian Springs
3. DANIEL KNOTT 12 Claysburg-Kimmel
4. AUSTIN WARMAN 12 Wilson Area
5. PHILLIP MACY 12 Littlestown
1. ERIC HESS 11 Benton
2. TYLER KNEPP 12 Midd-West
3. SHAWN PERICH 11 Portage
4. CHARLES WALLS 11 Littlestown
5. DAKOTA KUHN 12 Boiling Springs
1. DIRK COWBURN 11 Coudersport
2. JOE HARPER 12 Susquenita
3. DAVID SNOOK 12 Mifflinburg
4. DEVIN O’BRIAN 12 Bermudian Springs
5. SAM KUHN 12 Harborcreek
1. MATT CUNNINGHAM 11 Shady Side Academy
2. CORY LEAR 12 Benton
3. ERIC HUMMEL 12 Lewisburg
4. CHRIS REITZ 12 Iroquois
5. ALEX DEPEW 12 Wilson Area
1. CALEB KOLB 12 Grove City
2. JOSHUA SMITH 12 Octorara
3. NATHANIEL BROWN 10 Lewisburg
4. MICHAEL BLASZCZYK 12 Lancaster Catholic
5. GLENN MILLER 11 Hamburg
1. ZACK BENNETT 12 Westmont-Hilltop
2. JON FAUSEY 12 Line Mountain
3. ROMAN SANDOVAL 12 Shady Side Academy
4. DALLAS BROWN 12 Delone Catholic
5. DARIN ROCKWELL 12 Towanda
1. BRANDON PALIK 12 Saucon Valley
2. JUSTIN BUCHANAN 12 Sharpsville
3. JOSH MCDANNEL 12 Chestnut Ridge
4. RYAN WATSON 12 Burgettstown
5. NICK DAWSON 12 Montoursville
1. JOSH KRUPA 12 Bedford
2. LANCE MOORE 11 Lackawanna Trail
3. WILL RINGER 12 Reynolds
4. TYLER DEMOTT 11 Benton
5. WILL FLETCHER 12 Palisades


A few thoughts over the weekend

Now, I wish I would have kept ALL my section programs. Because I am wondering when the last time Trinity did not have a section champion. The Hillers qualified 8 for the WPIAL Championships but none as champs.

Dane Johnson of SS Academy became the 18th wrestler in WPIAL history to win four WPIAL championships. His fourth came Saturday night, by forfeit over Chartiers-Houston's Mike Innes. Innes had a rib muscle injury. Not only is Johnson's accomplishment impressive, but give C-H coach Bill Sutton credit for not throwing Innes out there and possibly have him get hurt even worse. No sense in that.

Oh, James Fleming could become the 19th wrestler in WPIAL history to win four WPIAL titles next weekend. The West Mifflin senior will have to beat Jake Kemerer of Hempfield. Obviously, not a given. Kemerer is 41-0 and beat Fleming earlier in the season.

Quietly, Don Rush is doing a nice job at Avella, where all five wrestlers advanced to the regional tournament and Mitch Spencer was named OW after winning his second straight WPIAL gold.

Cody Klempay of Canon-McMillan had a nice section tournament. Only a freshman, Klempay won the title at 215 pounds by pinning Brenton Sutton of Ambridge in 4:28. Klempay entered the tournament losing five of his last eight bouts.

Waynesburg's Derrick Nelson did a nice job beating Dylan Mogan of Bethel Park, 7-2, to win the 112-pound section title. The Raiders have a nice group of young wrestlers and Nelson, only a sophomore, forms a nice 1-2 punch with sophomore Zach McGinnis in the lightweights.

Check back tomorrow for Class AA regional predictions.


Class AA wrestling recap

If you want to know just how difficult it is to go through the postseason in wrestling, check out the 135-pound weight class in the WPIAL championships. Avella's Mitch Spencer was the fourth seed and had his pride hurt when Dave Demor of SS Beaver beat him in last week's section finals.

So all Spencer does is knock off top-seeded Zack Sheridan of Mt. Pleasant in the semifinals, and third-seeded Travis McKillop of Mt. Pleasant in the finals to win his second WPIAL title. If you didn't like the results for your wrestler, don't worry. Just wait a week.

Congratulations to Cody Catalina, who became Beth-Center's first WPIAL champion in a decade. He was a fourth seed but a pair of 2-1 decisions – over Sam Guidi of Fort Cherry in the semifinals and Josh Durbin of West Greene in the finals – shot him to the top.

Give Bill Sutton, the head coach at Chartiers-Houston, credit for knowing when to say when when it came to Michael Innes' injured rib muscle. Innes defaulted out of the 140-pound finals against SS Academy's Dane Johnson, who won his fourth WPIAL title without breaking a sweat.

Ryan Watson seemed bemused by the dozens of fans cheering for him during the tournament. The group hung a sign praising his 100th career victory and led cheers for the Burgettstown, Avella and Fort Cherry. They were a breath of fresh air in a tournament that was in need of some.

For all the talk about how down wrestling has been in Western Pennsylvania, there is a good chance that five Class AA wrestlers from the WPIAL can win a state title. The obvious candidates are Keystone Oaks' Anthony Zanetta, and Shady Side Academy's Dane Johnson and Roman San Doval. After this tournament, you have to put Andrew Lucarini of Fort Cherry and Matthew Cunningham of SS Academy in the mix.

I also like Jordan Roussos of Carlynton. Just a hunch.

Charleroi had a nice tournament, advancing five and getting Tommy Thorpe to the 160-pound finals.

Avella's Kyle Appleby won the 152-pound weight class, despite suffering with a severe head cold. Imagine how good he can be when he's healthy.


Restrictions and seeds

The plan was to blog from the WPIAL Class AA Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley. The school offers wireless access but restrictions go along with the hookup. One is access to blogs. Ah, well.

The first round of the tournament might have seemd like an upset-filled event because a lot of third- and fourth-seeded wrestlers lost. But that wasn't really the case. The seeding process for this event left wrestlers with some underwhelming records seeded third or fourth. The reason was the WPIAL seeded only the top two wrestlers in each weight, then used a predetermined bracket to fill in the rest.

That made for some bizarre placements. Maybe the strangest was at 145 pounds, easily the weakest of the tournament. Alex Kowalski of Valley was the fourth seed, despite a 13-19 record. Montana Trombetta of Carlynton, who got into the tournament midweek because Rich Trybend of Chartiers-Houston pulled out, made it to the semifinals.

Also, Nick Carr of South Fayette was in the pigtails, despite a 26-4 record. No matter: he made it to the semifinals, outscoring opponents 26-9 in two bouts.

Other underwhelming seeds included Andrew Henkel of Southmoreland, who was fourth at 160 with a 15-11 record; and Anthony Deni of Jeannette, who was third seed with a 19-9 record. He was beaten by Fort Cherry's Corey Garry 7-2 and fell into the consolation round.

The bottom bracket of the heavyweight class had four wrestlers with 25 or more victories. The way it worked out, either Zach Doman (26-8) of Jefferson-Morgan or Tyrone Ezell (25-8) will not advance because they wrestle in an early consolation round.

The fastest pin of the night went to James Miller of Jefferson-Morgan, who disposed of Jeremy Keenan of Steel Valley in 19 seconds.

Nine of the top-seeded wrestlers had pins in the quarterfinals, four of them coming in under a minute.

Best headgear toss of the night went to Jordan McKenzie of Center, who was pinned by Josh Bickerstaff of Mt. Pleasant in 3:56. McKenzie, who led most of the match, fired the headgear into the emergency exit doors at Chartiers Valley.

Top-seed Ryan Watson of Burgettstown stormed into the locker room after his match, unhappy about something. Could it be his wrestling? Doubt it. He took a 17-1 technical fall over Brandon Epps of Summit Academy at 215.

I can't remember the last time the WPIAL used Chartiers Valley for a postseason wrestling tournament. It should be a regular venue for the sport because it's 25 minutes from everywhere.

Picking the . . . losers

Rather than waste your time predicting that Dane Johnson of Shady Side Academy will win the 140-pound weight class and teammate Roman San Doval will win at 189, I thought I would make some upset predictions for the WPIAL Class AA Championships.

My top upset pick is at 130 pounds, where I think Frank Martellotti of SSA will lose to Colin Sheridan of Mt. Pleasant in the finals. Martellotti is a brawler who depends on his strength. When he wrestled a technically sound wrestler in John Prezzia of SS Beaver, he had trouble. Sheridan doesn't give up many points. If he wrestles a smart match, he can win.

I like Dave Demor of SS Beaver at 135 to beat Zack Sheridan of Mt. Pleasant in the 135-pound finals. Demor has flown under the radar this season. He looked good beating Avella's Mitch Spencer last week and I'm riding that horse to the finish line.

Finally, I think Michael DePalma of Jeannette has a chance to beat Matt Tadich of SS Academy in the finals. Tadich missed a month with injuries. I know he's highly thought of but he's been up and down late in the season. I am most shaky on this pick.

Tell me your upset picks.

Good news

I have been told that there is wireless internet available for the WPIAL Class AA Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School. If that is true, and my trusty computer remains so, then I will blog from the tournament on both evenings. I will make you aware of any upsets and or surprises.

If you don't see it here tonight, then you can assume there were - what do they call it? - oh, yeah, technical problems.


Section 4-5 Top Seeds

Section 4

103–Alex Dunaway, McGuffey (11, 24-5)
112–Derrick Nelson, Waynesburg (10, 24-4)
119–Tyler Zymroz, Central Catholic (9, 25-2)
125–Sam Sherlock, West Mifflin (11, 27-3)
130–Lorenzo Thomas, Central Catholic (10, 30-1)
135–Matt Mauer, Peters Township (10, 24-5)
140–Jordan Bonham, Bethel Park (12, 33-8)
145–Ken Downing, Central Catholic (12, 27-2)
152–Josh Ricciuti, Bethel Park (12, 31-9)
160–James Fleming, West Mifflin (12, 31-2)
171–Fred Garcia, Ringgold (11, 27-3)
189–Todd Miller, Ringgold (12, 29-3)
215–Adam Lazenga, Bethel Park (11, 27-4)
Hvy–Chris Clark, Ringgold (12, 18-13)

Section 5

103–Tim Dusch, Hopewell (10, 29-5)
112–Tanner Cogar, West Allegheny (9, 25-11)
119–Ron Schram, Canon-McMillan (12, 27-5)
125–Dave Baker, Montour (12, 23-5)
130–Nick Catalano, Canonn-McMillan (10, 29-5)
135–Dan Bruni, West Allegheny (11, 24-12)
140–Sam Lombardo, Canon-McMillan (11, 25-7)
145–Aaron McKinney, West Allegheny (10, 28-8)
152–Matt Hundenski, Hopewell (11, 33-2)
160–Brian Foy, Hopewell (11, 30-3)
171–Troy Reaghard, West Allegheny (11, 32-4)
189–Jake Leninsky, West Allegheny (12, 33-6)
215–Bryan Cook, Hopewell (12, 22-5)
Hvy–Sam Brownlee, Canon-McMillan (12, 26-2)

Top Class AA seeds

Here are the top seeds for the WPIAL Class AA championships:
(Grades, records in parenthesis)

103–Andrew Lucarini, Fort Cherry, (12, 29-3)
112–Geoff Alexander, SS Academy (10, 39-6)
119–Anthony Zanetta, Keystone Oaks (12, 36-0)
125–Matt Tadich, SS Academy (10, 12-7)
130–Frank Martellotti, SS Academy (11, 21-6)
135–Zack Sheridan, Mt. Pleasant (12, 30-6)
140–Dane Johnson, SS Academy (12, 43-2)
145–Colin Checkan, SS Beaver (11, 32-5)
152–Kyle Appleby, Avella (12, 28-4)
160–Matthew Cunnningham, SS Academy (11, 35-2)
171–Sam Guidi, Fort Cherry (10, 28-3)
189–Roman San Doval, SS Academy (12, 41-4)
215–Ryan Watson, Burgettstown (12, 32-4)
Hvy–Jordan Roussos, Carlynton (12, 30-1)


Section tourney thoughts

It's hard to get excited about a tournament where half the wrestlers advance in the bracket. Most needed one win to go on and those came against wrestlers with sub-.500 marks. But like Avella's Mitch Spencer said after his loss in the 135-pound finals, the point is to advance.

How much do two forfeits affect a team in the dual meet season? Just ask Fort Cherry, which had the best showing in the Section 1 Tournament at SS Beaver Saturday. The Rangers advanced eight, including 5 champions and 1 runner-up. Their heavyweights might be the best group in Class AA. The best part is Sam Guidi (171), Gary Kiefer (189) and Corey Garry (215) are sophomore, sophomore, freshman.

Kyle Appleby's socks are hard on the eyes. They ran up to his knee and had barber pole stripes. But if the 152-pound senior from Avella wrestles the way he did with them on, I wouldn't take them off.

Got my first look at South Fayette's Nick Carr. Even though he lost to Colin Checkan of SSB in the 145-pound finals, it's clear he has a lot of talent for a sophomore.

Bentworth led Section 2 with 8 qualifiers and I think Gus Mizia, who won at 140, is the most talented.

Maybe the surprise of the Section 2 finals was James Miller beating Charleroi's Josh Kwasny in the 112-pound finals. Those types of wins can propel a wrestler through the individual tournaments.

Hot rumor at the tournament: Jake Kemerer of Hempfield moved down to 160 and James Flemming of West Mifflin couldn't get to 152. There's only room for one champion and one of these wrestlers won't be. Kemerer won the first meeting 4-2 Jan. 24.


If it weren't for bad luck ...

John Prezzia might be one of the more talented wrestlers to compete in the PIAA, but he ended his career with little to show for it. Prezzia, a senior at South Side Beaver High School, won a state title in his freshman season and was being compared to some of the greats in the state. He had a chance to win four titles but injuries destroyed his career. He fractured an ankle last week and will miss the postseason. A knee problem stopped him in his sophomore season and a shoulder injury shelved his junior season.

Anyone who watched him wrestle as a freshman had to be impressed. Some thought he had a chance to be the best wrestler in Beaver County history. But Prezzia will have to live off the fond memories from that freshman year and wonder what might have been had he been able to stay healthy.

Too bad.


Top seeds in Sec. 1 & 2

Here are the top seeds for the Section 1 and 2 Tournaments.

Section 1
103–Andrew Lucarini, Fort Cherry, 12, 26-3
112–Ryan Dodd, Chartiers-Houston, 10, 22-9
119–Anthony Zanetta, Keystone Oaks, 12, 34-0
125–Mike Fleming, Burgettstown, 11, 20-9
130–Matt Drabick, Keystone Oaks, 10, 23-11
135–David Demor, SS Beaver, 10, 25-5
140–Michael Innes, Chartiers-Houston, 10, 31-2
145–Nick Carr, South Fayette, 10, 24-3
152–Kyle Appleby, Avella, 12, 23-2
160–Mark Zeno, Fort Cherry, 12, 19-10
171–Sam Guidi, Fort Cherry, 10, 25-3
189–Gary Kiefer, Fort Cherry, 10, 22-6
215–Ryan Watson, Burgettstown, 12, 28-4
Hvy–Jordan Roussos, Carlynton, 12, 27-1

Section 2
103–Ian Thom, Jeannette, 10, 20-3
112–Josh Kwasny, Charleroi, 9, 25-5
119–Caleb Porter, Yough, 11, 25-4
125–Colton Blumer, West Greene, 11, 20-3
130–Colin Sheridan, Mt. Pleasant, 12, 29-7
135–Zack Sheridan, Mt. Pleasant, 12, 28-6
140–Gus Mizia, Bentworth, 10, 20-5
145–Larry Pospisil, Mt. Pleasant, 12, 20-11
152–Dominic Moore, Beth-Center, 12, 19-5
160–Tommy Thorpe, Charleroi, 10, 19-8
171–Josh Durbin, West Greene, 12, 18-7
189–Derek Anderson, Bentworth, 12, 19-7
215–Anthony Deni, Jeannette, 10, 17-9
Hvy–Zach Doman, Jefferson-Morgan, 11, 24-7


Individual rankings

Class AAA Individuals
103–1. James Goulibon, Derry, 28-1; 2. Chace Small, Latrobe, 22-5; 3. Dario Dobbin, Canon-McMillan, 22-6; 4. Makenzie McGuire, Upper St. Clair, 14-0; 5. Rob Heuler, Bethel Park, 28-3;
112–1. Nico Megaludis, Franklin Regional, 29-0; 2. Alex Dunaway, McGuffey, 18-5; 3. Dylan Mogan, Bethel Park, 29-2; 4. Zach McGinnis, Waynesburg, 24-3; 5. Cary Lydic, Latrobe, 11-2
119–1. Shane Young, Penn-Trafford, 28-1; 2. John Pezze, Norwin, 17-3; 3. Dante DeCaro, Derry, 12-7; 4. Ty Lydic, Latrobe, 18-6; 5. Ron Schram, Canon-McMillan, 25-5
125–1. Nathan Pennesi, Latrobe, 23-0; 2. Cory Bonura, Plum, 22-2; 3. Mike McGuire, Upper St. Clair, 13-2; 4. Brandon Grainy, Penn-Trafford, 27-9; 5. Anthony Bonaccorsi, Bethel Park, 27-4
130–1. Joe Waltko, North Allegheny, 31-1; 2. Sam Sherlock, West Mifflin, 22-3; 3. Lorenzo Thomas, Pittsburgh CC 25-1; 4. Nick Catalano, Canon-McMillan, 27-5; 5. Jesse Riley, Hempfield, 25-6
135–1. Travis Shaffer, Derry, 243-2; 2. Jesse Swink, Connellsville, 28-7; 3. Andy Candiello, North Allegheny, 30-5; 4. Stewart Owens, Penn-Trafford, 23-12; 5. Dom Pietropoal, Plum, 21-4
140–1. Jack Bachman, Hempfield, 29-1; 2. Joe Walters, Latrobe, 19-4; 3. Buddy Blotzer, South Allegheny, 14-2; 4. Tom Caldwell, Fox Chapel, 28-5; 5. Nate Cully, Seneca Valley, 16-3
145–1. Dave Cawley, North Allegheny, 11-0; 2. Ken Downing, Pittsburgh CC, 22-2; 3. Craig Chelednik, Hempfield, 28-3; 4. Mike Ganley, Bethel Park, 24-6; 5. Justin Harold, Kiski, 18-4
152–1. James Fleming, West Mifflin, 25-2; 2. Matt Hundenski, Hopewell, 29-1; 3. Devan Jones, Penn-Trafford, 28-5; 4. Dan Karpency, Albert Gallatin, 23-2; 5. Travis Watt, Derry, 22-6
160–1. Nick Letters, Fox Chapel, 32-1; 2. Nick Bonnacorsi, Bethel Park, 28-5; 3. Ben Amhrein, North Hills, 25-6; 4. Perry Hills, Pittsburgh CC, 20-6; 5. Brian Foy, Hopewell, 27-3
171–1. Jake Kemerer, Hempfield, 30-0; 2. P.J. Tasser, Belle Vernon, 18-3; 3. Troy Reaghard, West Allegheny, 31-4; 4. Tyler Wilps, Chartiers Valley, 23-3; 5. Aaron Barker, Fox Chapel, 30-3
189–1. Jake Leninsky, West Allegheny, 32-6; 2. Jay Whittaker, Derry, 23-6; 3. Petros Georgialis, Montour, 19-2; 4. Fred Garcia, Ringgold, 20-3; 5. Kyle McWreath, Trinity, 21-4
215–1. Adam Lazenga, Bethel Park, 21-3; 2. Nathan Gaffney, Connellsville, 32-5; 3. Todd Miller, Ringgold, 21-3; 4. Jeremiah Karpency, Albert Gallatin, 22-4; 5. Bryan Cook, Hopewell, 19-3
Hvy–1. Sam Brownlee, Canon-McMillan, 24-2; 2. Jamal Conroy, Shaler, 14-1; 3. Eric Minerd, Laurel Highlands, 17-4; 4. Adam Harvey, Avonworth, 17-3; , 5. Don Rhodes, Norwin, 15-4

Class AA
103–1. Andrew Lucarini, Fort Cherry 23-3; 2. Mike Henderson, Highlands, 26-1; 3. Ian Thom, Jeannette, 20-3;
112–1. Geoff Alexander, SS Academy, 31-5; 2. Josh Kwasny, Charleroi, 23-4; 3. James Miller, Jefferson-Morgan, 19-7
119–1. Anthony Zanetta, Keystone Oaks, 25-0; 2. Jeremy Landowski, Burrell, 22-9; 3. Caleb Porter, Yough, 24-4
125–1. Dave Makara, Burrell, 23-7; 2. Ben Fratangeli, Center, 17-3; 3. Anthony Elias, SS Academy, 19-8
130–1. John Prezzia, SS Beaver, 21-2; 2. Frank Martellotti, SS Academy, 16-5; 3. Colin Sheridan, Mt. Pleasant, 23-6
135–1. Mitch Spencer, Avella, 21-1; 2. Zack Sheridan, Mt. Pleasant, 23-6; 3. Travis McKillop, Burrell, 22-8
140–1. Dane Johnson, SS Academy, 34-2; 2. Michael Innes, Chartiers-Houston, 27-2; 3. Rich Bass, Highlands, 23-2
145–1. Nick Carr, South Fayette, 25-3; 2. Colin Checkan, SS Beaver, 23-4; 3. Jared Magon, Avella, 18-4
152–1. Kyle Appleby, Avella, 22-2; 2. Dom Moore, Beth-Center, 18-5; 3. Jordan Toth, Highlands, 19-5
160–1. Matt Cunningham, SS Academy, 26-2; 2. Cody Brown, Kittanning, 11-3; 3. Mike Kuhns, Valley, 19-7
171–1. Sam Guidi, Fort Cherry, 22-3; 2. Cody Catalina, Beth-Center, 24-6; 3. Josh Durbin, West Greene, 17-7
189–1. Roman Sandoval, SS Academy, 32-4; 2. Kyle Dudley, Valley, 22-5; 3. Derek Anderson, Bentworth, 19-7
215–1. Ryan Watson, Burgettstown, 20-4; 2. Brian Beattie, Burrell, 20-8; 3. Corey Garry, Fort Cherry, 24-5
Hvy–1. Jordan Roussos, Carlynton, 21-1; 2. Marty Kisla, Chartiers-Houston, 23-1; 3. Zach Doman, Jefferson-Morgan, 18-3

When team is not team

I've received a few calls from people upset that we did not run the full wrestling summary for some of this week's dual meets. The reason is simple: the team portion of the season for the Washington-Greene County area ended with the WPIAL Team Tournament finals.

Anything after that is a scrimmage.

If a school wants to wrestle during the layoff, it's OK with me. I don't understand how the PIAA can allow dual meets to take place after the wrestling team season ends. The PIAA does not allow this in any other sport that I know of and it makes no sense to me that coaches see these matches on par with regular-season bouts. They are not. There are no section ramifications, the atmosphere surrounding these bouts is not the same, and coaches are quick to hold wrestlers out if they are slightly injured or ill, something they wouldn't do in the team season.

I know there is a long break between a school's last scheduled dual meet and the individual tournaments, but that's a problem you should address with your athletic director. I think the delay is stupid, unnecessary and unfair to wrestlers. Does basketball take a 2 1/2-week break between its regular season and playoffs? No. No sport does.

I feel bad for coaches who are struggling to keep wrestlers from weight problems with such a long layoff. I also understand they need these scrimmages to keep them sharp before the individual postseason. But that doesn't make them any more than scrimmages.


Postseason dates

The following are the dates for the individual postseason.

Section Tournaments
Saturday, Feb. 14
Class AA
Section 1 - South Side Beaver
Section 2 - Charleroi
Section 3 - Shady Side Academy

Saturday, Feb. 21
Class AAA
Section 1 - Indiana
Section 2 - Hempfield
Section 3 - Fox Chapel
Section 4 - Waynesburg
Section 5 - Mt. Lebnanon

WPIAL Championships
Feb. 20-21
Class AA - Chartiers Valley

Feb. 26-28
Class AAA - Canon-McMillan

Southwest Region
Feb. 27-28
Class AA - Johnstown

PIAA Championships
March 4-7
Giant Center, Hershey

PIAA team tournament

The three competing WPIAL wrestling teams had mixed results in the first round of the PIAA Team Tournament. In Class AAA, Hempfield, which finished third in the WPIAL, lost to Clearfield, 34-33 on criteria tiebreaker. Connellsville got the traditional tomato can - the City League champion - and breezed past Brashear, 75-4. WPIAL champ Bethel Park had a bye.

In Class AA, Shady Side Academy, the WPIAL runner-up, downed District 10 runner-up Fort Leboeuf, 39-30. WPIAL champion Burrell had a bye.

You can find all the scores on the PIAA link


Click on the wrestling link on the right side of the page and the team tournament info is at the top center of the page.


Team Tournament thoughts

1. Canon-McMillan's chances of winning a Class AAA team title went out the window in a victory against Fox Chapels in the quarterfinals. That's when Colin Ryan suffered a shoulder injury that could put him out for the rest of the season. Just as bad, C-M did not have a way of replacing him with an experienced wrestler. It's just not that deep of a team. Not having an injured Michael Hull (back) and losing Ryan kept the Big Macs from a trip to Hershey.

2. Not that it's all that bad, considering the PIAA still has the ridiculous format of handing out a trophy this weekend the the Triple-A and Double-A winners in Hershey, then doing the same thing four weeks from now at the individual tournament.

3. As per a phone conversation I had this week about the paper's coverage of the team tournament, I want to remind you that we don't have favorite teams or wrestlers, or coaches, or schools. Well, OK, the schools with the best hospitality rooms have won my heart. But that's the only consideration I make. I write about the key moments in a dual meet and what caused it to end up the way it did. Someone wins a big match, he probably finds his way into my story. Same if he loses. I get a paycheck no matter who wins or loses.

We send photographers out to the dual meets that have the most interest and are relatively close. Our photogs are not specifically for sports, but for the newspaper. So if the court house catches fire or some other major news event happens during a match, we want them close enough to get back in time. Not having a photographer at Burrell does not mean we hate the teams there. It's a 90-minute drive through the middle of Pgh.

3. If you want to know what a strong team looks like, examine the roster of Bethel Park. Good wrestlers at each weight class, except a couple lighter weights, all the weights filled, and pinners sprinkled all through the lineup. That wins team titles.

4. Zach Benzio has officially left the Connellsville wrestling team and will not return. Heard two explanations: 1. he was somehow picked on by one of the other wrestlers, and 2. he was a discipline problem. Not sure if either is true but the 189-pound weight class is more wide open.