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Medal Bout Results
PIAA AA Championships
PIAA AAA Championships
PIAA Southwest AA Regional
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WPIAL AA Sections
WPIAL AA Championships
WPIAL AAA Sections
Saturday--AA Championship Finals
Record six gold for WPIAL AA wrestlers
Six different years since 1974, WPIAL AA wrestlers combined for three individual titles at the PIAA championships. Saturday afternoon, the District 7 finalists comined for six championships, the most for any district since 1990.
Frank Martelotti and Dane Johnson, Shady Side Academy, are the first Class AA teammates to go back-to-back since 1999. Martelotti avenged a seven-point SW Regional finals loss when he held on for a 4-3 win over A.J. Schopp of Tyrone.
Johnson trailed 5-1 early in the third to Evan Yenolevich, NW Lehigh. Johnson scored a quick takedown, then went to the 'give one, get two' mode through the period, tying the bout with a late takedown. Then, 30 seconds into overtime, Johnson picked up his fourth takedown and his first PIAA gold medal.
Make it three straight--for Derry's Troy Dolan AND for the WPIAL. The senior totally dominated his bout with Cody Myers, Southern Huntingdon, just as he did in the SW Regional finals a week ago. Dolan writes his name in the record books as the 30th three-time PIAA champion in the 70-year history of the event. The three straight titles won by D-7wrestlers in the PIAA finals mark the first time any district has done that since D-3 won four straight weights in the 2001 tournament.
Jordan Shields, a Burrell junior, claimed the Bucs' fourth-ever PIAA title with a 4-3 win over Penn-Cambria's Nathan Link. The win is Shields' second straight post-season win over Link since losing to him as a freshman in the 2005 SW Regional tournament. All four PIAA titles for the Bucs have come since 1997.
Jesse Byerly, Keystone Oaks, won a bout in the 2006 PIAA AAA tournament a year ago. He won four in this year's AA bracket, winning the 145-pound title with a 5-4 decision over Micah Bollinger of Mifflinburg. Byerly scored takedowns in the first and second periods, then held off Bollinger to win the first PIAA crown for Keystone Oaks. Robert Schell, Dormont, now part of the district, won the 120-pound title in 1944.
South Allegheny's Phil Sorrentino brought his final season to a rousing conclusion with the best view in high school wrestling--standing on top of the awards platform at the PIAA championships. Having won the school's first-ever WPIAL and PIAA Southwest Regional titles, the Gladiators' senior won four decisions at the Giant Center, 2-1, 2-0, 5-2 and 4-2 in the final against Chad Sindoni, Athens.
Byerly's teammate Myles Caragein was the only WPIAL finalist to come up short in the the championship bouts as Richie Smith, Pen Argyl, completed an unbeaten season with a 3-1 win in the 285-pound final. Smith scored an escape and a takedown in the middle period to get all the points he would need.
Andrew Arnold, Northern Lehigh worked takedowns in the first and third periods to beat Warrior Run freshman Tyler Hain, 5-2, in the 125-pound final. Ft. LeBoeuf senior Steve Waite got a late takedown in regulation, then another 39 seconds into overtime to beat Colby Pisani, Ridgway, 8-6, in the 135-pound title bout. A third-period takedown was the difference in Scott Davis' 4-2 win over Joey Anceravage, Bloomsburg. Davis, a Lake Lehman senior, missed last year's tournament after an 8th-place finish in 2005.
Blairsville's Matt Moore suffered his first loss of the season in last week's Southwest Regional semifinals. He hasn't lost since, running the table at Hershey, including a 3-0 win over Jon Fausey, Line Mountain in the 160-pound championship match. Cory Beaver, Littlestown, had little time left, in fact, less than two seconds when he scored his 171-pound title winning takedown against Shawn Fausey, Line Mountain. Beaver won 6-5. Westmont-Hilltop sophomore Zac Bennett was a runnerup a year ago. Saturday, he claimed a gold medal to go with his silver, beating Aaron Karns, Berwick, 11-7, in the finals.
Kellen Harris, Sharon, won the school's first-ever PIAA title two years ago, then missed the PIAA tournament last year. On the way to being named the Outstanding Wrestler in the AA tournament, Harris delivered a technical fall and back-to-back falls in the quarterfinals and semifinals. Then, as a exclamation point, Harris pinned Bethlehem Catholic's Ziad Haddad in just 28 seconds to win the 215-pound title. PIAA Dual Meet champion Reynolds also won the team title at the 2007 PIAA Individual championships.
Luke Miller (Chartiers-Houston) and Zak Klinvex (Shady Side Academy) wrapped up their senior seasons with fourth-place finishes, losing in the consolation finals. Sophomore and returning PIAA champion John Prezzia (South Side Beaver) dropped a 1-0 decision in the third-place bout.
Alex Evans (Washington) and Devon Maloney (Burrell), both seniors, finished sixth. Shane Welsh (Burrell) and Kory Bissett (West Greene) won consolation finals in the 7th-place brackets while Ethan Virgili (Jeff-Morgan) finished eighth. Welsh and Virgili are both juniors.
Frank Martelotti & Dane Johnson (Shady Side Academy) will lead the WPIAL Class AA wrestlers into the PIAA AA Finals Saturday afternoon. Troy Dolan (Derry) will attempt to become the 30th 3-time champion in PIAA's 70-year history. Jordan Shields (Burrell) will meet Penn-Cambria's Nathan Link for the second weekend final in a row.
Jesse Byerly (Keystone Oaks) has beaten two straight regional champions and has one more in his path. Phil Sorrentino (South Allegheny) is on a run for the Gladiators--the first WPIAL title, the first SW Regional title, and now in the PIAA finals. Myles Caregein (Keystone Oaks) was a 4th-place AAA medalist a year ago. Now, he's going for AA Gold!
Two returning champions were rebuffed in the bids to repeat, both losing in the semifinals. Scott Clymer, Northwestern Lehigh and Ridgway's Nikko Leitzel both rebounded to advance to the third-place bouts, as did South Side Beaver's John Prezzia. The returning 103-pound champion picked up a third straight consolation win after losing in earlier in the day in the quarterfinals.
In addition to Prezzia, Shady Side's Zak Klinvex, Luke Miller of Chartiers-Houston and Mt. Pleasant's Paul Snyder will wrestle for third. Devon Maloney (Burrell), Alex Evans (Washington), Charlie Wonsettler (Bentworth) and Codie Noga (Avella) challenge for fifth place while Shane Welsh (Burrell), Kory Bissett (West Greene) and Ethan Virgili (Jeff-Morgan) will wrestle for seventh. All told, the WPIAL will bring home 18 PIAA AA medals, up one from a year ago.
The Southwest Regional has placed 12 wrestlers in the finals. The Northeast has eight, Southeast five and the Northwest three.
The other four returning AA titlists all moved to the semifinals. Troy Dolan, Derry, advanced with a technical fall over Nick Yocco, Brandywine Heights. Scott Clymer, NW Lehigh, scored a late reversal to win 2-0 over Shane Welsh, Burrell. Nikko Leitzel, Ridgway, won a 3-1 decision against West Greene's Kory Bissett. Kellen Harris, Sharon, pinned Chartiers-Houston's Luke Miller in the third period.
Shady Side Academy went 3-for-3 in the quarterfinals as Frank Martelotti and Zak Klinvex also won Friday morning.
Jordan Shields, Burrell, was the only member of the WPIAL team champion Bucs to get through the quarterfinals. Shane Welsh, Devon Maloney and Zach Majocha dropped into the 2nd-round consolations.
Keystone Oaks teammates Jesse Byerly and Myles Caragein advanced to the semifinals, along with Phil Sorrentino, South Allegheny. Bentworth's Charlie Wonsettler and Codie Noga, Avella both moved to the semifinals as the WPIAL won 10 of 21 quarterfinal bouts.
Alex Evans (Washington) won his first consolation bout and has clinched a medal in his third trip to the PIAA tournament. Ethan Virgili (Jeff-Morgan),Luke Miller (Chartiers-Houston) and Paul Snyder (Mt. Pleasant) all bounced back from quarterfinal losses to win in the consolations.
Dave Burrows (Derry) and Anthony Zanetta (Keystone Oaks) were eliminated in the 112-pound bracket. Chris Stay (Beth-Center), Kurt Brendel (Shady Side Academy), Stefan Firmstone (Mt. Pleasant) and Sam Miller (Washington) all lost in the 2nd-round consolations and were eliminated.
The WPIAL Class AA wrestlers finished 8-7 in the 2nd-round consolations.
Thursday--AA Preliminaries Original AA Brackets
All five Class AA returning champions advanced to Friday's PIAA quarterfinals. Two-time champion Troy Dolan, Derry leads the way. South Side Beaver's John Prezzia knocked off a regional champion to advance to the second round. Scott Clymer (NW Lehigh), Nikko Leitzel (Ridgway) and Kellen Harris (Sharon) are also in the quarterfinals.
WPIAL Class AA wrestlers claimed 21 spots in the quarterfinals with opening round wins. Burrell has four in the quarters, Shady Side Academy and Keystone Oaks each have three. Derry advanced two wrestlers. Avella, Bentworth, Chartiers-Houston, Jefferson-Morgan, Mt. Pleasant, South Allegheny, South Side Beaver, Washington and West Greene each have one wrestler still in the championship brackets and resume action Friday morning at 8 am.
Consolation victories were a little harder to come by. Only Chris Stay (Beth-Center), Kurt Brendel (Shady Side Academy), Stefan Firmstone (Mt. Pleasant), and Sam Miller (Washington) were able to rebound from their preliminary losses. Eight other WPIAL AA wrestlers were eliminated.
Six regional champions didn't make it out of the preliminaries. SW Regional wrestlers took out five of them, and the other was scratched. The Southeast lost three champions, Northeast lost two and the Norhtwest lost one.
Who are these guys?
A look at the Dandy Dozen
There are a dozen of them running around the Giant Center this weekend. They are the most honored guests of the PIAA Wrestling Championships, at least, officially. They are the 12 returning titlists, looking to collect another gold medal at the state's premier scholastic sports event. And, despite their great honor, when one of them loses--and at least TWO of them will--the house will shake with the thunder.
Two returning champions, Troy Dolan, Derry Area, and Tim Darling, Nazareth, are trying to accomplish something that less than 40 Pennsylvania wrestlers have done in the tournament's first 70 years. With four straight wins in the championship brackets, Dolan and Darling can become the PIAA's 30th & 31st three-time champions. Dolan, now a four-time qualifier, finished off the medal stand as a freshman, going 1-2 in his first visit to the Giant Center. Since then, the Trojan senior has been impressive, going 41-1, 42-1, 42-2 heading into these championships. Dolan scored two major decisions and two 7-point wins on the way to his second title a year ago.
Darling, also a four-time qualifier, has back-to-back 45-2 seasons ending in gold medals coming into the '07 tournament. The Nazareth senior took third as a freshman, losing in the semifinals before winning two straight consolation bouts. Not one of those 'don't grow' type wrestlers, Darling has progressed from 112 pounds that first year, to championship runs at 130, then 145 pounds. Now, stepping up one more weightclass, the Blue Eagle is 42-4, but to get to win #46 in the finals, he could have to face another returning champion.
That would be Ryan Goodman, Greater Latrobe. In his first appearance in Hershey last year, Goodmand won four straight close bouts to claim the Wildcats first-ever PIAA wrestling title. Now, the Latrobe senior wants to keep Darling from putting his name on the three-timers list.
Two of the remaining nine returning champions didn't win gold in 2006. In fact, one of them didn't even get to Hershey last year. Austin Carter, Council Rock South, ran the 160-pound table in 2005, going 45-0, and joining teammate Mike Rappo as the 2nd and 3rd CRS state champions. Carter's title run came on the heels of a fourth-place finish in '04. The Golden Hawk lost his first bout, then picked up four straight consolation bracket victories before settling for fourth.
Chris Sheetz, Upper Perkiomen also won a 2005 title. In fact, his final victory kept CRS' RICK Rappo from winning ahead of his brother Mike. Sheetz' title-bout victory was his 49th of the season. Wrapped around that title, though, are two sixth-place finishes for the Indian's lightweight. And he has Matt Kyler of Clearfield to blame for it. In 204, Sheetz was 3-3 in the tournament, losing the 5th-place bout to Kyler. In 2006, after losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Billy Chamberlain, Sheetz lost to Kyler again, this time, dropping him into 5th/6th place bout.
Think you've heard the last of Matt Kyler? Think again. In 2005, the Clearfield junior became the Bison's 39th PIAA individual champion, the most of any school in the state. In the 103-pound final that year, Kyler beat freshman Jordan Oliver of Easton. Oliver didn't like finishing second, so his sophomore season ended one step up, on top of the awards platform at 103 pounds. Oliver rolled to the finals with a fall, a tech. fall and a major decision. Then, he knocked off Nico Cortese, then-Greensburg Central Catholic, 6-2 in the finals. Guess what? Cortese is ALSO in the 119-pound bracket, along with Sheetz, and North Allegheny's Joe Waltko, the fourth-place finisher in the 103-pound bracket, and Nick Bedelyon, Indian Valley (5th), and Zack Zummh, Plum (7th), and five other guys who each qualified at 112 pounds last year. WOW! Talk about a meat-grinder!
Colin Johnston is now a three-time qualifier from Canon-McMillan. After going 1-2 as a freshman, Johnston became the 35th PIAA titlist for Canon-McMillan with an impressive major decision in the 112 pound final. The CM sophomore went 48-1 for the year. Since Canonsburg and Cecil High Schools merged, only three Big Macs have won multiple PIAA titles, including Angelo Marino who will be inducted Saturday night into the Pa. Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Would be fitting for "Butch" to be in the house when his fraternity adds another member, if it happens.
Upper Perkiomen's Zach Kemmerer has won 49 bouts this year already. That's an impressive total. But even if the UP senior wins his second PIAA title, it won't match his 54-0 run to the 135 pound title. The Indian's 140-pounder, now a four-time qualifier, has a couple 5th-place finishes in addition to the gold medal. As a sophomore, Kemmerer lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Ashtin Primus, Connellsville. In 2004, following a first-round loss, Kemmerer went 4-1 in the consolation brackets.
Sharon's Kellen Harris won the 189-pound championship a year ago, running a 38-2 record to the school's first-ever PIAA wrestling title. Harris dropped his first match as a sophomore, then battled back to a fifth-place finish.
Nikko Leitzel, Ridgway, went undefeated (40-0) to win the 130-pound state championship. This now four-time qualifier also has a fourth-place medal, having lost in the quarterfinals as a sophomore, then winning three of four bouts in the consolations. Leitzel went 0-2 as a freshman, just the 2nd & 3rd losses of his first season.
The last two returning champions have something in common. Both won PIAA titles last year, having entered the tournament as something less than a regional champion. Scott Clymer, Northwestern Lehigh, came in as the 3rd-place finisher out of the Southeast Region. But what Clymer couldn't do March 2nd, he did emphatically March 9th at the Giant Center, beating SE champion Adam Hluschak, 8-2 in the final. Clymer went 0-2 as an '05 sophomore. His freshman year ended with a 5th-place medal, after losing in the semifinals.
South Side Beaver's John Prezzia won the 2006 title, coming in as the Southwest's 3rd-place finisher. The freshman allowed just four bout points the entire weekend on the way to the 103-pound championship, the first ever for the Rams. Prezzia is the only one of the twelve returning champions coming in not winning his regional title this year. Obviously, that, in itself, isn't a major issue. However, the significant leg injury Prezzia suffered earlier this year may be. It was clear as late as the end of January whether he would even be able to enter the Section tournament. But here he his, starting out on a road as a returning PIAA champion with 11 other guys that understand exactly what lies around the bend. They've been there before.
PIAA Southwest AA Regionals
Click for FINAL Brackets
The WPIAL qualified 33 wrestlers for next week's PIAA Championships in Hershey next weekend, up two from last year. WPIAL wrestlers picked up nine individual titles, up one from a year ago. Sixteen WPIAL AA schools have wrestlers heading to Hershey--Burrell and Mt. Pleasant with five apiece. Shady Side Academy has four, Keystone Oaks three. District 6 has 27 qualifiers and five Regional champions while District 5 advanced ten wrestlers.
Troy Dolan, Derry, a four-time regional finalist and two-time PIAA champion, won his third straight SW regional title. Burrell junior Jordan Shields and senior Devon Maloney each won their second titles. Maloney hadn't reached the finals since winning the 2004 crown as a freshman. The Bucs' Damian Majocha, a senior, won his first title as the Regional team champions went 3-for-3 in the finals.
Keystone Oaks sophomore Anthony Zanetta and senior Myles Caragein each won their first AA regional titles. The Golden Eagles are the only school beside Burrell to have multiple champions.
Tyrone freshman A.J. Schopp won his first title. Sophomore Zac Bennett, Westmont-Hilltop, a Regional and PIAA runnerup last year, won his first title. Cody Feathers, a Claysburg-Kimmel junior also won his first Regional crown. Senors Ryan Jacoby (Moshannon Valley), Eli Norvell (Huntingdon) and Phil Sorrentino (South Allegheny) not only won their own first SW regional titles, but also the first for each school. Washington senior Alex Evans scored the school's 12th title since the Regional tournament started in 1987. Codie Noga, a senior at Avella, picked up the Eagles' eighth title, the first since 2001.
Eight title bouts Saturday night were rematches from District finals a week ago. Five of them were won by the District champions, Feathers, Jacoby, Evans, Majocha and Caragein. Zanetta's win avenged a WPIAL Finals loss to Dane Johnson, Shady Side Academy. Maloney captured regional gold after losing to West Greene's Kory Bissett in the WPIAL Finals.
Noga's win avenged losses to Chartiers-Houston's Luke Miller in the Section 1-AA and WPIAL Finals. Noga also beat Miller in the Washington County Tournament. Caragein's win over Paul Snyder, Mt. Pleasant, was the third straight over the defending WPIAL and Regional champion. Caragein also beat Snyder in the Section 2-AA and WPIAL Finals.
Thanks for bracket updates--CementJob.com
2007 WPIAL AA Championships -- Click for FINAL Brackets
All ten returning WPIAL champions qualified for the finals. All but two of them picked up additional gold medals. Troy Dolan (Derry senior) won his fourth, Kory Bissett (West Greene senior) and Jordan Shields (Burrell junior) their third crowns.
Dane Johnson (Shady Side Academy sophomore), Shane Welsh (Burrell junior), Alex Evans (Washington senior), Damian Majocha (Burrell senior) and Myles Caragein (Keystone Oaks senior) all won their second WPIAL titles. Evans' championship is the 70th all-time for Washington High School.
Jesse Byerly, Keystone Oaks, who won WPIAL AAA gold a year ago, lost in his title bout to Shady Side Academy freshman Matthew Cunningham. Paul Snyder, Mt. Pleasant lost to Caragein in the 285-pound final.
Winning their first WPIAL titles were the following: Shady Side Academy freshmen Frank Martelotti and Matt Cunningham, Mt. Pleasant sophomore Zack Sheridan, Jefferson-Morgan junior Ethan Virgili, Chartiers-Houston senior Luke Miller and South Allegheny senior Phil Sorrentino, winning the first individual title in South Allegheny school history.
Everyone who wrestled tonight advances to the PIAA Southwest AA Regional next weekend in Johnstown. Derry has ten wrestlers in the medal bouts. WPIAL Team Tournament champion Burrell has seven qualifiers. Mt. Pleasant six. Shady Side Academy, South Side Beaver and West Greene have each advanced five wrestlers, Fort Cherry and Keystone Oaks four.
WPIAL Four-Timers Club gets new member!
It's been nearly 70 years since Andy Puchany won his fourth WPIAL individual wrestling title. And in that time, only a dozen other WPIAL wrestlers had repeated his feat until Saturday evening.
Derry Area senior Troy Dolan joined this most-exclusive fraternity with his fourth WPIAL title, beating Mitch Spencer, Avella by major decision, 10-2. Dolan is also a two-time PIAA champion.
With juniors Colin Johnston, Canon-McMillan and Jordan Shields, Burrell each winning a third WPIAL crown, this fraternity could grow again next year. In addition, several sophomores won their second titles and are halfway to joining the club--Dane Johnson, Shady Side Academy and James Fleming, West Mifflin.
Andy Puchany, Canonsburg, won four consecutive WPIAL individual wrestling championships from 1936-1939. Waynesburg's James Conklin started his four-year run the next season. Canonsburg's Donald Haney (1947-1950) and Manuel Pihakis (1949-1952) soon followed.
It was another 36 years before John Dasta, Penn Hills '88, joined the club. Since then John Richey (Connellsville '91), Cary Kolat (Jefferson-Morgan '92), Mark Angle (Canon-McMillan '95), Shawn Whyte (West Greene '98), Troy Letters (Shaler '01), and Joe Makara (Burrell '03) have won four individual WPIAL championships.
A year later, Larry Hall (Jeannette '04) and Coleman Scott (Waynesburg '04) became the first members of the club to complete their accomplishments in the same year. All but Whyte and Hall followed up their WPIAL titles with PIAA gold medals in their senior seasons.
WPIAL AA Section Tournaments
On the road again!
It's a long & winding road for WPIAL AA wrestlers in their search for PIAA Gold. One step has been taken--the WPIAL Section Tournaments are now complete. The top four placewinners in each section have secured a berth in the WPIAL AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Charleroi next Friday & Saturday. Brackets are expected Wednesday, February 21st.
1-AA at Chartiers-Houston
Fort Cherry teammates Adam Hoffman and Matt Kosarik won their second section crowns, as did South Side Beaver's John Prezzia and Dominick Demor. Avella's Mitch Spencer picked up his second title along with West Greene's Tucker Conklin.
Andrew Lucarini (Fort Cherry), Garrett Johnston (West Greene), Troy DeClair (Washington), Patrick Morris (West Greene) and H.J. Mroz (Fort Cherry) won their first titles. Johnston was a two-time runnerup in the section.
2-AA at Mt. Pleasant
Keystone Oaks teammates Jesse Byerly and Myles Caragein each won their third titles, the first for both in AA. For Caragein, it was his four straight section final appearance. A second championship for each of the following: Jefferson-Morgan's Brian Scritchfield, Mt. Pleasant teammates Zack Sheridan and Stefan Firmstone, Phil Sorrentino of South Allegheny and Anthony Zanetta, Keystone Oaks.
The third time was a charm for Jeff-Morgan's Ty Basinger, winning his first title in his third final matchup. Fellow Rocket Ethan Virgili won his first crown. Also winning their first section championships: Travis Watt (Derry), Wesley Watson (South Allegheny) and Aaron Hrutkay (Beth-Center).
3-AA at Shady Side Academy
Frank Martelotti, Matthew Cunningham and Tim Giel each won their first titles for Shady Side Academy. Burrell's Nolan Greenwald and Derek Edwards scored their first, along with Dre Johnson (Valley), Jamie Atwood (Kittanning), Michael Coleman, Jr (Apollo-Ridge) and Rob Rutkowski (Highlands).
Weightclass reduction in the near future?
During the PIAA Team Tournament, WJPA's Bob Gregg spoke with PIAA Associate Executive Director Robert Lombardi and Assistant Executive Director Mark Byers on a number of issues: Longterm viability of the PIAA Duals, the goods and bads of the Weight Management Program, Co-operative Sponsorship of Sports (particularly as it relates to Hempfield/Greensburg Central Catholic), plus the number of classes (AA & AAA) and the the number of weightclasses being contested.
Lombardi/Byers on number of weightclasses (.mp3)--Click Here!
Lombardi on Co-ops and their future (.mp3)--Click Here!
Reynolds wins PIAA AA Team, Again! (Bracket)
An overtime win in the middle of the dual meet turned out to be crucial as District 10 champion Reynolds won its second-straight PIAA AA Team Tournament, beating Northwestern Lehigh, 33-26. Rob Miller's overtime win was the third of four straight Raider bout wins, putting Reynolds up 19-12 halfway through the dual. Reynolds would go on to take eight of nine bouts during the stretch, including falls by Sam Fuchs and Aaron Nestor. The Raiders have made the championship match three straight years and are just the second AA team to win back-to-back PIAA Team Tournament titles. Wilson Area won the 2001 & 2002 crowns.
Burrell, the WPIAL AA champion, lost to the eventual champions, 39-23, in the semifinals, due in part to a misunderstanding surrounding weighins. Damian Majocha was listed at 173.3 pounds, high enough to qualify for the 215 pound class on FRIDAY. But with a second straight day of weighins, wrestlers are allowed an additional pound, making Majocha eligible for 171 pounds, plus one weightclass higher, making him unavailable for the 215 pound bout. The Bucs eventually finished fourth, losing to Ridgway, 36-20 in the third place dual meet. Ridgway won four straight bouts in the consolation rounds after losing to Northwestern Lehigh Friday morning.
Bucs dominate WPIAL AA field! (Bracket)
Top-seeded Burrell didn't allow more than 18 points in any of their WPIAL AA Team Tournament dual meets, beating second seed Derry Area, 40-18, in the finals. The championship is the second in four years for the Bucs who have been to the WPIAL finals five years in a row.
103 Dante DeCario
(Derr) dec. Dylan Corey, 2-0
Saturday--AAA Championship Finals
Two undefeated wrestlers squared off to start the night in the PIAA AAA championships. Shane Young, Penn-Trafford, won his school's first-ever PIAA title witha 5-2 victory over Mark Rappo, Council Rock South. Takedowns in the first and third periods propelled Young, a sophomore, to the title and a 46-0 season record.
Kegan Handlovic, Easton, used a seven-point first period to cruise to the 112-pound title, the 31st all-time for Easton. Handlovic beat Taylor Brown, Emmaus, 7-4. Red Rover teammate and returning champion Jordan Oliver got a first-period takedown and second-period nearfall to beat Nic Bedelyon, Indian Valley, 4-1 in the 119-pound final. Handlovic and Oliver are both juniors. Brown finished eighth a year ago. Bedelyon was fifth last season, fourth in 2005.
Corey Houser, a Governor Mifflin senior, won his school's first PIAA title, keeping Canon-McMillan's Colin Johnston from repeating as a PIAA champion. Houser used a two-on-one tilt twice to pick up six nearfall points on the way to an impressive 13-8 victory.
Now a four-time medalist, Tyler Nauman, Middletown, scored the finals first fall, pinning freshman Marshall Peppelman, Central Dauphin, at the 5:00 mark. After a scoreless first period, Nauman used a two-on-one tilt twice in the second, then a headlock to pin Peppelman in the third. Nauman, Middletown's first-ever PIAA champion, was a runnerup last year, following 3rd-place and 7th-place finishes.
Walter Peppelman, a junior at Central Dauphin, scored two different nearfall situations in the second period against Mike Greck, Nazareth. Peppelman, was third two years ago and a runnerup last year, then held Greck at bay to win 7-2.
Zach Kemmerer, Upper Perkiomen, won his second PIAA title with a clinic against Tony Dallago, Central Dauphin. Kemmerer, who finished fifth as a freshman and sophomore, got one takedown in the first, two in the second and three more in the third to win 13-6. The victory is the 199th for Kemmerer.
Nick Nelson won Shaler's first PIAA title since Troy Letters (2001), beating junior Steve Bosak, State College, 7-3. Takedowns in each period led the senior to the win, improving his finish from runnerup last year. Nelson, a third-place finisher in 2005, was eighth as a freshman.
A penalty point in overtime made Tim Darling, Nazareth, a three-time PIAA champion. After seven and a half minutes of even wrestling, returning champion Ryan Goodman, Latrobe, was called for his third false start, giving Darling one point, and a 2-1 win. Darling, a four-time medalist, is the 31st three-time PIAA champion in the 70-year history of the event, joining Derry's Troy Dolan on that list today.
One bout after returning champions met, two guys that finished second a year ago squared off in the 160-pound final. Quentin Wright, Bald Eagle Area, avoided a headlock attempt by Canon-McMillan's Matt Ryan, scored a takedown and his first PIAA title with a 6-3 decision.
A third-period escape gave Rob Waltko, North Allegheny, a lead he wouldn't give up, beating A.J. Brentzel, Penn-Trafford, 6-3 in the 171-pound final. Waltko, the Tigers' 25th PIAA champion, but just the second in the past 12 years, was a runnerup two years ago. Brentzel improves one step on his third place finish as a junior.
Another first-ever PIAA title, this time for Hazleton. Junior Nate Eachus built an 8-4 lead over David Crowell, Nazareth, then fought off a late takedown attempt to win, 9-7. Crowell also finished second last year.
Justin Wieller, Northampton, went around the head and under the arm of Jordan Enck, Manheim Central, in the first period, scoring a five-point move. Enck battled back to within one in the third, but couldn't pull square. Weiller, a fifth-place finisher as a junior, got a late escape to win 6-3.
Steve Santia, Hempfield, put Marcus Zimmerman, Manheim Central, on his back once and let him up. The second time, Zimmerman didn't get up, as the Spartans' senior got the fall at 1:54 to win the 285-pound title. Coach Vince DeAugustine was the last PIAA titlist for Hempfield, winning ten years ago.
All told, thirteen different schools won championships, eight of them by seniors, five juniors and one sophomore. The Northeast Region won five titles, Southwest (WPIAL) four, Southcentral had three. The Southeast and Northwest each finished with one titlist.
Central Dauphin won the team title, with one champion and three finalists. The Outstanding Wrestler award went to Tyler Nauman, Middletown.
After failing twice to medal, Brian Letters (Fox Chapel) won his third-place bout Saturday night. Albert Gallatin junior Lance Bryson's only loss was to Rob Waltko (North Allegheny) in the semifinals. Bryson won his two consolation bout to finish third. Determined to make the most of his second trip to the PIAAs, Michael Salopek (Norwin) did just that, beating former state champion Austin Carter (Council Rock South) to win third. Like Bryson, Justin Haines (Connellsville) lost only in the semifinals, then won two straight bouts in the consolations to finish third.
Matt Scherich (McGuffey) Grant Lowther (Trinity) and Danny Vaughan (Pgh. Central Catholic) all finished fourth. Lowther finished fifth last year.
Zach Cecchetti (Kiski) and Donnie Tasser (Belle Vernon) scored fifth-place bout wins over fellow WPIAL wrestlers Ken Trumbetta (Greensburg Salem) and Jake Kemerer (Hempfield). Nico Cortese (Hempfield), Nick Garber (Waynesburg), Jon Moore (Kiski) and Dan Utchel (Chartiers Valley) also finished sixth. Cortese settles for sixth after a runnerup finish last year, fifth in 2005. Garber is a three-time qualifier.
Dan Cawley (North Allegheny) scored a 7-3 decision over Tony Clark (Kiski) to win 7th place. Ethan Headlee (Waynesburg) took seventh with a 4-2 consolation win. Eric Fulmer (Shaler) tossed a shutout to win 7th place at 189 pounds and Eric Kush (Chartiers Valley) won 7th with a third-period pin. Headlee and Clark are two-time qualifiers.
In addition to Clark, Nick Rodgers (North Allegheny), Rudy Chelednik (Hempfield), Luke Miller (Indiana) and T.J. Valore (Hempfield) all finished eighth. Chelednik, a four-time PIAA qualifier, finished 7th two years ago. Valore, a junior, is a two-time qualifier.
Returning champions Colin Johnston (Canon-McMillan) and Ryan Goodman (Latrobe) lead eight WPIAL AAA wrestlers into the PIAA Finals Saturday night. Goodman will face two-time champion Tim Darling of Nazareth. Johnston's teammate Matt Ryan has advanced to the finals for the second straight year.
Penn-Trafford teammates Shane Young and A.J. Brentzel are in the finals. Young and his opponent Mark Rappo, Council Rock South are a combined 97-0. Brentzel faces North Allegheny's Rob Waltko, now a two-time finalist.
Nick Nelson, Shaler is now a four-time PIAA medalist and into the finals for the first time. Steve Santia, Hempfield, is the WPIAL Team Champions' only entrant in the finals.
2006 champion Jordan Oliver, Easton knocked off 2005 titlist Chris Sheetz, Upper Perkiomen in the first matchup of returning champions. Austin Carter, Council Rock South, another 2005 champion lost in the semifinals. Sheetz' teammate Zach Kemmerer won the 198th bout of his career and is in the finals looking for his second straight championship.
Four WPIAL wrestlers that lost semifinal bouts won their first consolations and will challenge for third place--Grant Lowther (Trinity), Lance Bryson (Albert Gallatin), Michael Salopek (Norwin) and Justin Haines (Connellsville). They're joined in the 3rd-place bouts by Matt Scherich (McGuffey), James Fleming (West Mifflin), Brian Letters (Fox Chapel), Travis Uncapher (Hempfield) and Danny Vaughan (Pgh. Central Catholic).
Eight wrestlers from District 7 are in the Class AAA fifth-place bouts, nine more in the 7th-place matches.
Perfection. Of course, you expect excellence from returning PIAA champions. All seven Class AAA titlists won their quarterfinal bouts Friday afternoon. As expected, two of them meet in Saturday's 119-pound semifinal. 2006 champion Jordan Oliver, Easton will face 2005 titlist Chris Sheetz, Upper Perkiomen.
Colin Johnston (Canon-McMillan) and Ryan Goodman (Latrobe) return to the semifinals as returning champions. They are among sixteen WPIAL AAA wrestlers who won quarterfinal bouts Friday afternoon.
Penn-Trafford teammates Shane Young and A.J. Brentzel both won, as did Hempfield's Jake Kemerer and Steve Santia. Johnston's teammate Matt Ryan gives the Big Macs two semifinalists.
Brentzel will have plenty of company in the 171-pound bracket. In the other half of the bracket, Rob Waltko (North Allegheny) will face Albert Gallatin's Lance Bryson as the WPIAL pulled down three of the four spots.
Ken Trumbetta (Greensburg Salem) and Zach Cecchetti (Kiski Area) are in the 112-pound semifinals in opposite halves of the bracket. Trinity's Grant Lowther scored a reversal in overtime to win in the quarterfinals.
Shaler's Nick Nelson is in the 145-pound semifinals, along with Kemerer, though in opposite sides of the bracket. Michael Salopek (Norwin) advanced to the 189-pound semifinals while Dan Utchel (Chartiers Valley) is one win away from the 215-pound final. Connellsville's lone entrant, Justin Haines, won to move to the 285-pound semifinals.
Matt Scherich (McGuffey), James Fleming (West Mifflin), Luke Miller (Indiana), and Donnie Tasser (Belle Vernon) all picked up consolation wins and will finish no lower than eighth. Brian Letters (Fox Chapel), Eric Fulmer (Shaler), Danny Vaughan (Pitts. Central Catholic) and Eric Kush (Chartiers Valley) also advanced to the 3rd-round consolations.
Thursday--AAA Preliminaries Original AAA Brackets
All 14 WPIAL champions advanced to the PIAA quarterfinals with opening-round victories Friday. In addition, all seven returning PIAA AAA champions won their first bouts and are now in the quarterfinals, including Colin Johnston (Canon-McMillan and Ryan Goodman (Latrobe).
In an impressive showing, WPIAL AAA wrestlers won 29 of the 42 bouts (.690) in the opening session. At five different weightclasses, the three WPIAL wrestlers all won their bouts: 125, 145, 171, 215 and 285. Hempfield has five wrestlers in the quarterfinals. Kiski Area and North Allegheny have three each. Canon-McMillan, Chartiers Valley, Penn-Trafford and West Mifflin each have two wrestlers in the championship brackets. Quarterfinal action gets underway Friday afternoon at 1 pm, followed by the 2nd-round consolations.
The strong showing continued in the consolation round with ten WPIAL wrestlers winning to stay in medal contention. Only three WPIAL AAA wrestlers were eliminated with two losses.
Nine regional champions lost their opening-round bouts, five of them to WPIAL 3rd-place finishers (125, 145, 189, 215, 285). The Southeast Region lost five of its titlists in the first round. The Southcentral lost two, the Northeast and Northwest regions lost one each.
The PIAA Wrestling Championships
Seventy years and going strong!
The year was 1938. On a cold March day, Clearfield High School sophomore Sam Harry did something that had never been done before. He won a PIAA Individual Wrestling championship. He also became the victim of what would later be called the "Sophomore Jinx," never winning another title.
Just moments after Harry won the first ever PIAA gold medal, George Custer, Canonsburg (Canon-McMillan) won the first of his three PIAA titles, starting quite a tradition for the Big Macs. The next year, Waynesburg & State College each picked up the first of their numerous PIAA championships.
In 1940, Waynesburg's James Conklin won the first of his four individual titles. Jeremy Hunter, McGuffey, won his fourth title in 1996, becoming just the ninth member of the PIAA Four-time Champions fraternity.
Over the years, a single school claimed four individual championships in one tournament five times, starting with the 1941 Clearfield Four--James Mohney, Frank Shirey, Francis Forcey & Gilbert Johnson. Waynesburg (1943), Lock Haven (1961), North Allegheny (1990) and Northampton (2003) have since repeated that accomplishment.
There has always been a premuim on experience at the PIAA Individual Championships. Never was that more apparent than in the 1980. All 12 PIAA Class AA champions were seniors, the only time in the tournament's history that's happened. Nearly 40 years earlier, only four champions were seniors, the fewest. Of course, World War II played a part in taking "older" wrestlers out of the picture in 1943.
Penn State's Rec Hall hosted the fledgling tournament in those early days. In fact, for the first nine years, the PIAA Finals were held at PSU. After visiting smaller venues and the Cambria County War Memorial, Johnstown, the tournament returned to Rec Hall in 1952, staying put until 1970. Those smaller venues included Kingston's West Side Armory (1947-48) and Lancaster's J.P. McCaskey High School (1949). In 1950, the PIAA Championships were held at Washington High School, the first year WJPA provided live coverage of the event. We've been there ever since, 58 straight years as of this Thursday.
The Harrisburg Farm Show Arena would host the gathering of some of the nation's best scholastic grapplers three times over the next four season before the PIAA settled back at PSU through the end of the decade. Hershey has been the host city since 1979, first at the grand old HersheyPark Arena, then at the spacious new Giant Center beginning in 2003.
It's off to Chocolatetown U.S.A., the Sweetest Place on Earth. At least, it will be for the 28 soon-to-be-crowned 2007 PIAA Champions.
Here's to 70 years of great memories and stories, and to 70 more years!
PIAA Champions return, looking to repeat
Two won't, ten others might not...that the way it goes for returning champions in the PIAA Individual Championships. Easton's Jordan Oliver and Chris Sheetz, Upper Perkiomen, have both won PIAA Class AAA gold medals. Now, they're not only in the same weightclass for this year's tournament, they're in the same half of the 119-pound bracket. Had both won last year, the PIAA would have redrawn the bracket, but Sheetz' title came in 2005. If both win their first two bouts, make sure you're up early Saturday. They'll meet in the sixth bout of the 8 am Class AAA semifinal session.
The 152-pound weightclass also features returning champions, but they're on opposite sides of the bracket. Ryan Goodman, Latrobe and Nazareth's Tim Darling, a two-time champion, both won titles last year. They could meet Saturday night for the championship.
Three other Class AAA wrestlers in the tournament have previously won PIAA championships: Colin Johnston, Canon-McMillan (125), Zack Kemmerer, Upper Perkiomen (140) and Austin Carter, Council Rock South (189). Johnston and Kemmerer both won last year. Carter in 2005.
Five Class AA champions return to the Giant Center, looking for another championship. John Prezzia, South Side Beaver (112), Troy Dolan, Derry (119), Scott Clymer, Northwestern Lehigh (135), Nikko Leitzel, Ridgway (140) and Kellen Harris, Sharon (215) all won titles a year ago. Dolan is a two-time PIAA titlist.
WPIAL AAA Championships
Click for FINAL Brackets
Five WPIAL champions returned to the top of the awards platform Saturday night, led by Canon-McMillan junior Colin Johnston, winning his third AAA title. Teammate Matt Ryan picked up his second crown, as did Trinity's Grant Lowther and Ryan Goodman of Latrobe, all seniors. West Mifflin sophomore James Fleming won his second title.
Penn-Trafford and Kiski Area each won two individual titles, sophomore Shane Young and senior A.J. Brentzel for the Warriors, and junior Tony Clark and senior Jon Moore for the Cavaliers.
Five other wrestlers all won their first WPIAL AAA titles: seniors Ken Trumbetta, Greensburg Salem, and Shaler's Nick Nelson, along with Nico Cortese, Hempfield, Dan Utchel, Chartiers Valley and Justin Haines, Connellsville, all juniors.
Moore is the only champion that didn't win his Section title a week earlier. Moore lost to Norwin's Michael Salopek in the Section 1-AAA finals. The 285-pound final featured a rematch of last week's Section 2-AAA final. Haines beat Steve Santia, Hempfield, in the finals for the second straight weekend.
2007 WPIAL AAA Section Tournaments--Road to Hershey
WPIAL AAA wrestlers began their three-weekend tournament journey Saturday at five Section tournaments. From each of those tournaments, the top four placewinners advance to the WPIAL AAA Individual Championships at Norwin, March 1-3. Section brackets are posted.
1-AAA at Gateway
Five returning Section titlists failed in their bids to win a second gold medal. Tony Clark, Kiski Area, was able to win his second title.
Those losses left the door open for a large number of first-time titlists: WPIAL Team Tournament runnerup Penn-Trafford won four titles-Shane Young, Jared Jones, A.J. Brentzel, Garrett Gibson. Latrobe ended up with four titles as well, Joey Walters and Chad Schmeling in addition to Goodman and Zitelli. Zach Cecchetti, Kiski Area, joined Clark on the top rung of the ladder. Norwin teammates Joseph Hawley and Michael Salopek picked up their first crowns.
2-AAA at Connellsville
Greensburg Salem's Adam Steele picked up his third title, Michael Grant his second and Ken Tumbetta scored his first. Albert Gallatin's Lance Bryson also picked up his third crown. Connellsville won three individual crowns, Justin Haines his second, the first for Lee Newcomer and Zach Benzio.
Jacob Weslager, Belle Vernon, won his second title, the first in Class AAA. Three years ago, Weslager was a Section 2-AAA runnerup as a freshmen, then the Leopards competed in Class AA where Weslager went to the Section finals twice, winning last year.
3-AAA at Fox Chapel
North Allegheny's Karl DeCiantis and Steve Sabreen each won their third titles, Dave Cawley and Joe Waltko picked up their second crowns. The Tigers went a perfect seven-for-seven in the finals with Nick Rodgers and Andy Candiello picking up their first titles.
First titles were the order of the day for North Hills' Kevin Kyes and Alex Martinez, Shaler's Eric Fulmer, Matt Munchnok of Pine-Richland and Zach Eckstrom of Seneca Valley.
4-AAA at Waynesburg
McGuffey's Matt Scherich picked up his third championship while Ben Dunaway won his second. Upper St. Clair's Bobby Hill is now a two-time champion. The Panthers' David Doman won his first crown. Baldwin's Bryson Pritchard (103) and Nebojsa Nedic (285) started and ended the night winning their first championships.
James Fleming of West Mifflin picked up his second crown, while Ringgold's Nate Blackman won his first as did Danny Vaughan of Pittsburgh Central Catholic.
5-AAA at Trinity
Trinity's Grant Lowther scored his fourth WPIAL section title. The Hillers' Nick Standish won his second while Jared Roberts netted his first.
Four returning champions reached the finals but lost, all to other returning champions. Chris Pihiou, Canon-McMillan, failed in a bid to win a third title as did Trinity's Kalvin Schultz. The Hillers' Eric Williams, a defending WPIAL champion, and Zack Kelly, West Allegheny, also lost in bids to defend championships.
Chartiers Valley netted four individual crowns, all first-timers: Sean Lubin, Corey O'Keefe, Dan Utchel and Erich Kush. Also winning their first titles were Stan Kochanek of Mt. Lebanon and West Allegheny's Troy Reaghard.
Nazareth wins PIAA AAA Team Title! (Bracket)
Nazareth claimed its first-ever PIAA AAA Team title with an impressive 40-21 win over Easton. A week earlier, the Blue Eagles lost to the Red Rovers in the District 11 championship dual meet. Easton has been to the PIAA Team Tournament championship match seven straight years, winning four titles in a row from 2001 through 2004.
WPIAL champion Hempfield lost to Nazareth in the semifinals, then dropped a consolation dual to eventual third-place finisher Cumberland Valley. WPIAL runnerup Penn-Trafford finished 3-2 in the tournament. The Warriors were also eliminated by Cumberland Valley.
Spartans claim first WPIAL Team Title! (Bracket)
With a dominating performance throughout the tournament, Hempfield Area won its first-ever WPIAL AAA Team Wrestling title. The Spartans won nine of the 13 bouts in the finals, beating defending champion Penn-Trafford, 46-16.
Young (PnTr) maj. dec. Chris Mongelluzzo, 12-3
2007 WPIAL Team Tournament Results
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Team Tournament (FINAL
2007 Listen Link archives via MSA Sports.net
AA Championships (Feb. 23-24)
AAA Championships (Mar. 1-3)
Southwest AA Regional
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