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Medal Bout Results
PIAA AA Championships
PIAA AAA Championships
PIAA Southwest AA Regional
WPIAL AAA Championships
WPIAL AA Championships
WPIAL AA Sections
WPIAL AAA Sections
103 pounds--Montoursville freshman Luke Frey rode Mason Beckman, Reynolds, through the ultimate tie-breaker period for a 3-2 victory. Frey took a 2-0 lead midway through the third period, but Beckman forced overtime with a takedown with just 14 seconds left. Neither was able to get out from underneath in the 30-second overtime periods. Frey chose top for the rideout and made it work for the PIAA gold medal.
112 pounds--Anthony Zanetta, Keystone Oaks, scored a late takedown with a leg hook to beat Joe Spisak, Boiling Springs, 9-7. The two traded control and near-fall points in the first. Zanetta scored a second-period reversal to lead 6-4. Spisak's escape and takedown midway through the third put him in front, 7-6. Zanetta tied the bout with 22 seconds, then scored the winning takedown with one second remaining to finish his junior season at 40-0.
119 pounds--Tyler Erdman, Line Mountain, took advantage of two missed shots by Evan Yenolevich, Northwestern Lehigh, to score a 5-3 overtime win. A tilt in the second put Yenolevich up 3-0, but he was cautioned twice in the period for false starts. Erdman got on the board at the start of the third as Yenolevich beat the whistle for a third time. Just over halfway through the final period, Erdman avoided a Yenolevich shot and spun behind to tie the bout. In overtime, Yenolevich lost the leg on a fireman's carry attempt and Erdman scored the winning takedown with 24 second remaining in the extra period. Erdman improved from 7th-place a year ago. Yenolevich settles for a second straight silver medal.
125 pounds--Dane Johnson scored a takedown 20 seconds into his bout with Nick Hodgkins and controlled the entire bout, winning his second straight PIAA title with a 7-2 victory. The Shady Side Academy junior used a spin to get the first two takedowns, then a leg grab with 30 seconds to go to get his third medal (5th in 2006). Hodgkins, a Wyomissing freshman managed just two escapes in the bout.
130 pounds--In his first trip to the PIAA Finals, Derek Reber, Lewisburg scored all he needed with an early first-period leg takedown. The undefeated senior rode Eric Hess, Benton through the second, then scored a quick escape in the third to lead 3-1. The bout stayed that way until the final buzzer sounded as Hess took Reber down, but too late to get the points. Reber (41-0) had two third-place and a fourth-place finish previously at the Giant Center.
135 pounds--Sharon sophomore Jordan Moss picked up a leg takedown out of a first-period scramble and went on to beat Shane Welsh, Burrell, 3-2. Moss got control with 1:13 to go in the first and rode Welsh through the rest of the period. The Burrell senior got on the board with an escape halfway through the second to make it 2-1. Welsh cut Moss loose halfway throught the third to try for a takedown but managed only to force a stalling penalty in the final 25 seconds. Moss (43-0) was a fourth-place medalist a year ago. Welsh was seventh last season after a bronze medal in his sophomore season.
140 pounds--Chestnut Ridge senior Gary Pfahler kept Burrell's Jordan Shields from winning a second championship, beating the Bucs' senior, 4-3. An early third-period escape for Pfahler tied the bout at 2-2. Shields got in on a leg attempt, but Pfahler was able to lace on the way down, eventually getting the takedown and the win, improving on an 8th-place medal in 2006.
145 pound--Brock Parker, a Canton senior, worked single-leg and double-leg takedowns in the first period to lead Justin Ferguson, Greenville, 4-2. Another 4-2 advantage for the Northeast Region champion gave him plenty of cushion on the way to an 8-5 win, keeping Ferguson from completing an undefeated season. Parker was third two years ago. Ferguson finished eighth last year.
152 pounds--Dirk Cowburn, Coudersport, finished off an unbeaten sophomore season with a 5-2 win over Ethan Laudermilch, Northeast Bradford in the finals. Cowburn used a couple leg takedowns in the first period to forge a 4-1 lead. And then, the action seemed to disappear. Laudermilch got free early in the second, Cowburn early in the third to complete the scoring. Cowburn improved on a fourth-place medal a year ago as a freshman.
160 pounds--In another matchup of returning medalists, Johnathan Brothers, Redbank Valley grabbed a late first-period takedown, and a reversal halfway through the third, to knock off Nick Venditti, Berwick, 4-2. Brothers, a once-beaten senior, finished fifth a year ago, and had wins against the fourth and sixth place medalists this year. Venditti, who beat the eventual third and fifth place winners on the way to the finals today, improved on an eighth place medal.
171 pounds--Ben Clymer, Northwestern Lehigh, scored a reversal and three different near-fall situations in the second period along on the way to an impressive 12-1 major decision over Gene Baier, Montoursville. Both wrestlers are seniors and making their first appearances at the PIAA championships. Leading 2-1 entering the second, Clymer hit a switch with 1:30 remaining, then used a tilt for two, then three, then two more near fall points at the buzzer to build an 11-1 lead. An escape for Clymer in the third wrapped up the scoring.
189 pounds--Shady Side Academy's Roman San Doval got free in nine seconds in overtime, then rode Ethan Virgili, Jefferson-Morgan, for 30 seconds to seal the deal, winning the PIAA championship, 2-1. After going scoreless through the first period of regulation, San Doval stood up four times in the second before getting free with 30 seconds remaining to lead 1-0. Virgili needed just two seconds to sit and turn free to tie the bout in the third period and eventually send it to overtime. This was the third straight overtime finals meeting between the two. Virgili won last week in the Southwest Regional final. San Doval won the week before at the WPIAL Championships.
215 pounds--Dan Conley, Burgettstown, missed the 2007 post-season due to a shoulder injury. The Blue Devils senior made up for his absence in a big way, pinning Dan Winnie, Danville in the PIAA Finals. Conley nearly turned a followup doubleleg shot into a pin in the first. Then, after getting off the bottom in just five seconds, Conley walked into another deep double, putting Winnie right to his back, using a half-nelson to get the fall at 3:03. It's Burgettstown's first state title since Jeff Abbott in 1992 and just the sixth all-time. Conley (31-4) has the fewest wins of any of the finalists.
285 pounds--Ziad Haddad finished second a year ago. A third-period takedown gave the Bethlehem Catholic senior enough cushion to beat Phillip Catrucco, Sharpsville, 4-2. Haddad scored an escape in the second, plus was awarded a stalling point. In the third, after cutting Catrucco loose, Haddad swept in on a leg takedown to win the 285-pound title, finishing the season 39-0. The loss was the first of the year for Catrucco.
AA Consolation Finals
District 7 AA wrestlers won seven of 12 consolation bouts Saturday afternoon, including a third-place finish for returning PIAA champion Frank Martelotti, a Shady Side Academy sophomore. Brian Scritchfield, Jefferson-Morgan, capped his senior season with a bronze medal at 103 pounds.
Beth-Center's Aaron Hrutkay finished fourth at 160 pound, battling through a wrist injury in the consolation bouts.
Shady Side sophomore Matt Cunningham, freshmen teammate Geoff Alexander and Travis Shaffer, a Derry Area ninth-grader, all won their fifth-place bouts.
Dominick Demor, South Side Beaver, finished his career with three straight losses, taking sixth place at 140 pounds. Kurt Brendel ended his Shady Side career with a sixth-place medal, losing two straight in the consolation rounds.
Avella junior Mitch Spencer repeated a WPIAL Finals win over South Allegheny 11th-grader Robert Blotzer for seventh place. South Park's Dave Ivashchenko won three consolation bouts for a seventh-place finish at 135 pounds.
Washington senior Sam Miller took eighth place at 285 pounds.
AA Semifinals / 3rd-4th-round Consolations!
Shady Side Academy all but locked up the team championship with two wins in the semifinals and four more in the consolation rounds. The Indians lead by almost 25 points over Northwestern Lehigh. Shady Side juniors Dane Johnson and Roman San Doval are in the finals Saturday afternoon.
Burrell teammates Shane Welsh and Jordan Shields, both seniors, will try to win back-to-back titles at 135-140 pounds. If both win, it will be just the second time teammates won back-to-back in the past 10 years.
Anthony Zanetta, Keystone Oaks seeks his 40th win of the season, one of seven undefeated wrestlers in the AA brackets.
Ethan Virgili, Jefferson-Morgan faces San Doval in the 189-pound final, the third straight weekend the two meet in the finals. Each owns an overtime win, San Doval in the WPIAL finals, Virgili last week at the SW Regional.
Burgettstown's Dan Conley has the fewest wins this season among the finalists. But one more for the Blue Devil senior will make him the first state champion for Burgettstown since Jeff Abbott (1992).
The WPIAL will bring home 19 medals in Class AA, up one from last year. Sevens medals will come from six championship bouts, three more from the third-place matches, including returning PIAA champion Frank Martelotti (Shady Side Academy). Five District 7 wrestlers are in the fifth-place bouts and four more in the battles for seventh place.
AA Quarterfinals / 2nd-round Consolations!
Shady Side Academy and Burrell brought five wrestlers each to the PIAA AA Quarterfinals Friday. Three Indians and two Bucs moved on to Friday night's semifinals. Geoff Alexander, Dane Johnson and Roman San Doval, along with Shane Welsh and Jordan Shields won second-round bouts. Johnson and Shields are returning PIAA champions.
Seniors Anthony Zanetta (Keystone Oaks), Dominick Demor (South Side Beaver), Ethan Virgili (Jeff-Morgan) and Dan Conley (Burgettstown) are joined in the semifinals by Derry freshman Travis Shaffer.
Shady Side Academy leads the team scoring with 39 points. Northwestern Lehigh (28.5) is second. Dual-meet champion Burrell (27) is third but has just the two finalists remaining in the tournament. Shady Side also has three wrestlers alive in the consolations.
Seventeen WPIAL wrestlers dropped into the consolations, either with losses in the preliminaries (eight) or in the quarterfinals (nine). Nine of them won second-round bouts, clinching at least an eighth-place finish. The WPIAL will win 19 medals in Class AA. That's up one from last year.
WPIAL/PIAA dual meet champion Burrell led the way as District 7 advanced 19 of its 32 qualifiers into the Class AA quarterfinals. The Bucs scored five-opening round victories Thursday, including one by defending PIAA champion Jordan Shields.
Shady Side Academy also moved five wrestlers into the second round, led by 2007 titlist Dane Johnson. Returning champion Frank Martelotti lost his 1st-round bout, but came back with a consolation win to stay alive.
Both Jefferson-Morgan qualifiers--Brian Scritchfield and Ethan Virgili--are in the quarterfinals, leading a Washington/Greene County contingent of five winnners. Dan Conley, Burgettstown, Aaron Hrutkay, Beth-Center and Sam Miller, Washington were also winners on Thursday.
Derry Area, Keystone Oaks, South Allegheny and South Side Beaver also have one quarterfinalist each.
WPIAL AA wrestlers won eight of their 13 consolation bouts. The five consolation losers were eliminated--Southmoreland teammates Erik Frund and Jeff Beal, Dave Brown (Shady Side Academy), Sam Guidi (Fort Cherry) and John Kazalas (Keystone Oaks).
Returning PIAA Champions
The story of the AA field of returning champions is just as much about those not returning as it is those who are. John Prezzia, South Side Beaver's first state champion, has been bothered by injuries throughout his scholastic career and was unable to wrestle most of this season. Prezzia won the 103-pound title as a freshman two years ago. Zac Bennett, Westmont-Hilltop, went down with a knee injury and Littlestown's Cory Beaver suffered elbow and ankle injuries two weeks ago.
The 2007 titlists that did return are all from the WPIAL. Frank Martelotti and Dane Johnson, teammates at Shady Side Academy, and Burrell's Jordan Shields all return to the PIAA championships seeking a second gold medal. Martelotti is a sophomore, Johnson a junior and Shields is a senior.
PIAA Southwest AA Regionals -- Final Brackets
Consolation/Championship Finals Results (Click)
WPIAL (Dist. 7) wrestlers won 12 of the 14 individual championships at the Southwest AA Regional championships Saturday night. The WPIAL also claimed 32 of the 70 individual PIAA berths out of the Southwest Regional.
Shady Side Academy (141.5 points) won the team title, including three individual titles. Burrell (138) finished second despite picking up four championships. Mt. Union, Westmont Hilltop and Cambria Heights round out the top five teams.
WPIAL AA Championships -- Final Brackets
Consolation/Championship Finals Results (Click)
Jordan Shields, Burrell, scored an escape in the rideout period against South Side Beaver's Dominick Demor to win his fourth WPIAL Individual wrestling championship. A defending PIAA champion, Shields is just the 15th wrestler in the more than 70 year history of the sport to win four individual titles.
Shady Side Academy won five individual titles as well as the Outstanding Wrestler award. Dane Johnson, a junior and returning PIAA titlist, won his third District championship, scoring a second-period fall over Travis Shaffer, Derry Area. Sophomore Matthew Cunningham won his second title. Geoff Alexander won a major decision at 103 pounds and Kurt Brendel dominated thye 171-pound title bout, a 7-1 win over Ryan Watson, Burgettstown.
WPIAL Team Tournament champion Burrell won three other individual titles including the third for Shane Welsh. The Bucs senior scored a 4-3 win in the finals, giving South Park's David Ivashchenko his first loss of the season. Freshman Travis McKillop won the 119-pound title, then senior Bob Speer won at 145 pounds, improving on his sixth-place finish a year ago.
A couple of juniors kept returning champions from repeating. Keystone Oaks Anthony Zannetta remained undefeated at 112 pounds, scoring a 3-1 overtime win over Shady Side's Frank Martelotti, the 2007 103-pound titlist. Roman San Doval, Shady Side Academy, needed overtime, but scored a 3-1 win over defending 189-pound champion Ethan Virgili, Jefferson-Morgan.
Avella junior Mitch Spencer picked up his 30th win of the season, a 3-2 victory over Robert Blotzer, South Allegheny, in the 130-pound finals. Fort Cherry freshman Sam Guidi scored a takedown 39 seconds into overtime to beat Aaron Hrutkay, Beth-Center, in the 160-pound final. Dan Conley's second post-season win in two weeks against Carlynton's Jordan Roussos made the Burgettstown senior the 215-pound WPIAL champion. Zack Reefer, Elderton, pinned Tyrone Ezell just before the first-period buzzer to win at 285 pounds.
WPIAL Four-Timers Club Welcomes Newest Members
Johnston, Shields win fourth titles
Almost 70 years ago, Andy Puchany (Canonsburg) won his fourth WPIAL individual wrestling title. Last February, Derry Area's Troy Dolan joined this exclusive fraternity with his fourth WPIAL crown, becoming the 14th member.
Saturday night, at this year's WPIAL AA & AAA Individual Championships, a pair of seniors became WPIAL wrestling immortals. Canon-McMillan's Colin Johnston and Burrell's Jordan Shields became just the second duo to enter the Four-Timers Club the same year. Larry Hall (Jeannette) and Coleman Scott (Waynesburg) each won their fourth WPIAL titles in 2004.
Johnston is the fifth member of this exclusive club from Canon-McMillan, just the second in the last 50 years. Johnston is now 37-1 this season, heading to the PIAA Championships. The 135-pounder has been to the PIAA Finals twice, winning in 2006 before finishing second last year.
Shields was also a 103-pound champion as a freshman, then at 112 pounds his sophmore season. As a junior, Shields not only won the 130-pound WPIAL title, but claimed the PIAA championship as well, the fourth in Burrell history. Now, after scoring his fourth WPIAL crown, Shields heads to the PIAA Southwest Regional for the final trip at 41-1.
Puchany 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. The Canonsburg Three & Conklin waited 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 Hall and Scott followed the next year. All but Whyte and Hall followed up their WPIAL titles with PIAA gold medals in their senior seasons.
Two juniors won their third individual WPIAL titles--Dane Johnson (Shady Side Academy) and James Fleming (West Mifflin).
Andy Puchany, Canonsburg (1936-1939)
WPIAL AA Section Tournaments -- Feb. 16
Top four in each weight advance to WPIAL Championships
Consolation/Championship Finals Results (Click)
1-AA at West Greene -- Final
2-AA at Mt. Pleasant -- Final
3-AA at Shady Side Academy-- Final
PIAA AA Team Tournament (Feb. 5-9) -- Final Bracket
Forest Hills 33, Ridgway 30
Shady Side Academy 45, Harborcreek 22
Brandywine Heights 60, Octorara 10
Mt. Carmel 33, Northern Lehigh 26
Round 1 Consolations
Round 3 Consolations
WPIAL AA Team Tournament -- FINALS
Burrell 36, Shady Side Academy 26 -- Listen Here!
Travis McKillop pinned defending PIAA champion Frank Martelotti, igniting Burrell in the early bouts on the way to a 36-26 win over Shady Side Academy and the Bucs' second straight WPIAL Class AA Team Wrestling title.
Martelotti shot for a takedown against McKillop who blocked and then rolled Martelotti to his back. After about 40 seconds there, McKillop was able to put both shoulders to the mat for the fall and a huge swing in momentum. The Bucs would go on to win four of the next five bouts, including falls by Shane Welsh, Jordan Shields and Bob Speer to build a 30-10 lead.
Shady Side Academy's "go-to guys" stepped up, but couldn't get enough to make up for the early losses. Kurt Brendel and Geoff Alexander scored pins for the Indians. Dane Johnson and Roman SanDoval picked up major decisions.
Burrell has won four WPIAL Class AA Team championships now, including three of the last five. The Bucs have been to the finals six straight years.
- Geoff Alexander (SSA) fall Dave Makara, 0:39
WPIAL AA Team Tournament (Jan. 28-Feb. 2) -- Final Bracket
Highlands 37, Chartiers-Houston 36 -- Listen Here!
112 pounds--Shane Young, a Penn-Trafford junior, goes back-to-back at the state championships, beating Taylor Brown, Emmaus, 8-3. Young took Brown to his back in the first to open a 6-1 lead. Young (44-0) then completed his second-straight unbeaten season with a third-period reversal. Brown lost in the finals for the second straight year.
119 pounds--Kegan Handlovic, Easton, got after it quickly, scoring a takedown just 15 seconds into the bout. After giving three-time medalist Matt Snyder, Lewistown, an escape, Handlovic worked another takedown in the first to lead 4-1 after one. Snyder got back in the bout with a nice doubleleg takedown in the second. The Easton senior put the bout away with two takedowns in the third to win 9-4, his second state title, the 33rd all-time for Easton. Snyder finished third in the two previous tournaments.
125 pounds--A first-period takedown stood up as Cortland Choate, Blue Mountain, scored a 2-1 win over Chris Albright, Red Lion. Choate worked a dump with about 22 seconds left in the first for his only score. Then, Choate rode Albright through the entire third period to get the win. He just the second PIAA champion for Blue Mountain. Albright was a fourth-place finisher a year ago.
130 pounds--On the way to a third-straight PIAA title, Jordan Oliver, Easton, did not allow a takedown--ALL SEASON LONG. Scoring two himself in the finals, Oliver became just the 41st wrestler in the PIAA Championships history to win three or more titles. Josh Kindig, Blue Mountain, got an escape in the second to lead 1-0, but Oliver snagged an ankle and worked the takedown to take a lead he would not give up. Oliver added another takedown in the third to win 4-2.
135 pounds--Using a 'cement mixer,' Dylan Alton became Central Mountain's first-ever state champion, repeating his Northwest Region victory over Adam Will, Indian Valley, 8-2. Leading 2-1, Alton hit the mixer, putting Will on his back for two & three and a six-point lead. Will couldn't find an opening over the next two periods to get back in the match. Alton was a seventh-place medalist last year.
140 pounds--Just seconds into the second period, Marshall Peppelman, Central Dauphin, scored an escape from Bryce Busler, Cumberland Valley. It proved to be the only point of the bout. Peppelman, a sophomore, goes from silver to gold on the medal platform. Busler, who beat Peppelman in the SouthCentral Region finals two weeks ago, finished sixth two years ago.
145 pounds--Joey Napoli, Cumberland Valley, fought off a funk roll and turned returning PIAA champion Walter Peppelman to his back in the first for a five-point move. Peppelman, Central Dauphin, scored a late reversal to make it 5-2. Napoli rode through the second, then fought off his own back out of a Peppelman tilt, got a reversal and led 7-4 with 30 seconds remaining. Peppelman reversed Napoli and tried to tilt again but ran out of time in his bid to repeat. Peppelman is a three-time finalist, a four-time medalist. The 7-6 win for the Cumberland Valley junior is his first PIAA tournament medal.
152 pounds--In the first overtime bout of the AAA finals, Mallie Shuster got free with just 5 seconds to go, beating Robbie Robinson, 4-3. The Big Spring senior picked up a stalling point 5 seconds earlier, then got to his feet, peeled the hands and won the state title. Shuster was sixth as a sophomore, third last year. Robinson, a senior at Pittston Area, improved on an eighth place in 2007.
160 pounds--Jake Kemerer, Hempfield, spun behind Steve Bosak with a minute to go, beating the State College senior, 6-5. Kemerer picked up a late first-period reversal to tie the bout. After choosing neutral for the second, the Spartan junior shot for the legs, fought off a weak whizzer and built a one-point lead heading to the third. Bosak got an escape about a minute before Kemerer fought off a shot and spun behind for the winning points. Kemerer, who finished sixth last year, beat Bosak earlier this season at the King of the Mountain tournament. Bosak is now a two-time runnerup, three-time medalist.
171 pounds--Returning champion Quentin Wright, Bald Eagle, made short work of Joe Loffredo, pinning the Jersey Shore senior 28 seconds into the second period. Wright used great quickness from the neutral position to build a 6-2 lead in the first. Wright picked up an escape, then a takedown right into a cradle to put Loffredo away. Wright won 80 straight bouts to close his high school career, including back-to-back PIAA championships, since losing to Tim Darling of Nazareth in the 2005 state finals.
189 pounds--Delaware Valley has their first-ever state champion, senior Joe Kennedy. A takedown in the first, and two more in the final period led Kennedy to the win over Warwick's Giorgio Antonio, a sophomore suffering his first loss of the season. Kennedy was fifth last season.
215 pounds--Jordan Enck snatched an ankle and turned it into a takedown in the first period to lead 2-0, then a solid singleleg shot in third sealed the deal andthe Manheim Central senior improved from runnerup to PIAA champion, beating Chartiers Valley's Dan Utchel.
285 pounds--For just the second time since 1977, a senior did not win the AAA heavyweight championship. Sean Owen, a Clearfield junior, lead early, then scored a takedown with 35 seconds remaining to beat Evan Craig, 9-7. Owen is the 40th PIAA champion for Clearfield, the most of any school in the state. The champion was a fifth-place finisher a year ago. Craig, a sophomore at Abington Heights, improved on his eighth-place medal last season.
AAA Consolations Finals
Returning PIAA champion Colin Johnston (Canon-McMillan) led the WPIAL AAA wrestlers to a 7-2 record in the bronze medal bouts. Other third-place winners from District 7: Nico Megaludis (Franklin Regional), Nico Cortese (Hempfield), Joe Waltko (North Allegheny), Lance Bryson (Albert Gallatin), Matt Wilps (Chartiers Valley) and Justin Haines (Connellsville). Wilps beat returning PIAA champion Nate Eachus, Hazleton twice in the tournament.
Sam Sherlock, West Mifflin, and Donnie Tasser, Belle Vernon, finished fourth. Titan teammate James Fleming won his fifth-place bout, as did Norwin's Mike Salopek.
Bethel Park's Mike Ganley had to settle for sixth place. T.J. Valore, Hempfield, lost to Salopek in the fifth-place bout. Canon-McMillan's Mike Hull suffered an ankle injury in the semifinals and forfeited out to sixth place.
Jack Bachman, Hempfield won seventh place in his first trip to Hershey. Karl DeCiantis, North Allegheny took seventh in his final visit.
Eighth-place medals are coming home with Ryan Bohince (Penn-Trafford), Zack Zummo (Plum), Alexander Martinez (North Hills), freshmen Nick Bonaccorsi (Bethel Park), Jacob Boyer (Belle Vernon) and Eric Kush (Chartiers Valley).
AAA Semifinals / 3rd-4th-round Consolations!
And Great Was The Fall Thereof!
With a dozen wrestlers in the semifinals-including two returning PIAA champions-there was hope for a strong showing for the WPIAL AAA contingent. But a 3-9 record in the semfinals, coupled with just five consolation wins (out of 13 bouts) will burst the bubbles of even the most confident group.
Returning champion Shane Young remains unbeaten this season (43-0) and has now recorded 89 straight victories. The Penn-Trafford junior will face Emmaus senior Taylor Brown in the 112-pound finals.
Hempfield's Jake Kemerer will improve on a sixth-place finish a year ago. The Spartan junior takes on State College senior Steve Bozak, a runnerup last year.
A senior for Chartiers Valley, Dan Utchel, is trying to complete the post-season trifecta. Like Kemerer, Utchel finished sixth last season. Now, after winning the Section 5-AAA and WPIAL titles, Utchel will take on Jordan Enck, a 41-1 senior at Manheim Central, a 2007 runnerup.
The fourth-round consolations saw nearly a complete turnaround for District 7 grapplers. Nine winners from the WPIAL put them into the third-place bouts Saturday night, including 2006 PIAA champion Colin Johnston (Canon-McMillan). Like their AA brethren, five WPIAL AAA wrestlers will be in the fifth-place bouts, though at 145 and 189, WPIAL wrestlers will face each other. Eight more southwestern regional placewinners are in the seventh-place bouts.
AAA Quarterfinals / 2nd-round Consolations!
Returning PIAA champion Colin Johnston has just enough to advance to the PIAA AAA semifinals. The Big Mac senior scored a late overtime takedown to advance. CM teammate Mike Hull is also in the semifinals. Returning medalists Jake Kemerer and T.J. Valore (Hempfield) both won their quarterfinal bouts.
West Mifflin junior James Fleming continued his undefeated, but difficult road knocking off previously-unbeaten James English, Central York. Up next for Fleming is returning PIAA champoin Walter Peppelman. Sam Sherlock, a Titan sophomore, is also in the semifinals.
Nico Megaludis (Franklin Regional), returning champion Shane Young (Penn-Trafford), Joe Waltko (North Allegheny), Mike Ganley (Bethel Park), Mike Salopek (Norwin) and Dan Utchel (Chartiers Valley) are all in the semifinals Saturday morning.
Like the quarterfinals, barely half of the District 7 AAA wrestlers in the second-round consolations stayed alive. Belle Vernon, Hempfield and Chartiers Valley each picked up two consolation winners. Seven other schools have one consolation wrestler still alive. The WPIAL AAA wrestlers will bring home 25 medals, down eight from a year ago, a particularly strong season.
Round One Action!
Canon-McMillan goes four-for-four in the opening round of the PIAA AAA Wrestling Championships. 2006 champion Colin Johnston led the way for the Big Macs. Hempfield had three winners in Thursday's prelimiaries, all three returning medalists.
Belle Vernon, Chartiers Valley, North Hills and West Mifflin each advanced two wrestlers in the championship brackets. CV's Matt Wilps knocked off returning champion Nate Eachus, Hazleton in the first round. WM's James Fleming remains undefeated, now 34-0.
All three WPIAL AAA wrestlers advanced in four weightclasses--145, 160, 189, 215. On the flip side, District 7 was shutout at 152 pounds. All told, 25 of the 42 WPIAL wrestlers advanced into Friday afternoon's quarterfinals.
Ten other WPIAL schools have one wrestler in the second round, including Penn-Trafford junior Shane Young, a returning PIAA titlist.
Eachus was the only returning PIAA champion not to make the quarterfinals.
The WPIAL AAA wrestlers won 11 of their 17 consolation bouts. The six consolation losers are eliminated--Belle Vernon teammates Jeremy Weslager and P.J. Tasser, Cory Bonura (Plum), Jared Dolde (Connellsville), Jeff Dulaney (Albert Gallatin) and Joey Walters (Greater Latrobe).
Going for MORE Gold
Jordan Oliver headlines the returning champions at the 2008 PIAA Wrestling Championships. The Easton senior has won two straight titles after finishing second as a freshman.
Six other AAA wrestlers in the field have stood atop the awards platform, five of them winning last year. Penn-Trafford's Shane Young, Kegan Handlovic, Oliver's teammate, Walt Peppelman, Central Dauphin, Quentin Wright, Bald Eagle and Nate Eachus, Hazleton all won their first gold medals a year ago.
Canon-McMillan's Colin Johnston was the 112-pound champion in 2006 before losing in the finals last year. All but Peppelman and Eachus return to the Giant Center as regional champions.
WPIAL AAA Championships -- Final Brackets
Consolation/Championship Finals Results (Click)
Colin Johnston was dominant in the finals, scoring a 9-3 win against Jack Bachman, Hempfield for the 135-pound title, Four takedowns paved the way for the Canon-McMillan senior to become the 15th four-time WPIAL champion. Johnston joins four other Big Mac wrestlers in the exclusive fraternity.
James Fleming's name might be next on the list as the West Mifflin junior won his third title, a fall over Bethel Park's Mike Ganley to take the 145-pound crown.
Unlike the WPIAL AA championships where two returning champs came up short in their repeat bids, all seven AAA titlists returned to the top of the awards platform.
Undefeated Shane Young, Penn-Trafford won a second title, beating Kiski Area's Zach Cecchetti, 5-1. Young is also a returning PIAA champion. Nico Cortese, Hempfield has back-to-back 119-pound gold medals thanks to one-point win over Nick Catalano, Canon-McMillan. Zach Zummo, Plum, won his second individual title, shutting out West Allegheny's Zach Kelley, 3-0, in the 130 pound finals. Zummo finished third last year after winning the 103-pound championship in 2006. Dan Utchel, Chartiers Valley, and Justin Haines, Connellsville, both won second championships, each beating a Canon-McMillan wrestler in their home gym in the process. Utchel beat Mike Hull 3-2 for the 215-pound title, followed by Haines 9-1 win over top-seeded Sam Brownlee in the 285-pound championship bout.
Seven other championships were won by first-time titlists: Nico Megaludis (Franklin Regional), Sam Sherlock (West Mifflin), Donnie Tasser (Belle Vernon), Troy Reaghard (West Allegheny), Jake Kemerer (Hempfield), Karl DeCiantis (North Allegheny) and Mike Salopek (Norwin).
Tasser is Belle Vernon's first-ever WPIAL wrestling champion. Kemerer was a runnerup last year. Sherlock, DeCiantis and Salopek all finished third a year ago.
Twelve different schools WPIAL AAA Individual Championships Saturday night at Canon-McMillan. Hempfield and West Mifflin each won two titles, the other ten picked up one apiece.
Canon-McMillan, Belle Vernon and Hempfield have four PIAA qualifiers each. Chartiers Valley has three heading to the Giant Center March 6-8. Ten schools have two state qualifiers while seven more have single wrestlers heading for Hershey for the PIAA AAA Individual Championships.
WPIAL AAA Section Tournaments -- Feb. 16
Top four in each weight advance to WPIAL Championships
Consolation/Championship Finals Results (Click)
1-AAA at Gateway -- Final
2-AAA at Hempfield -- Final
3-AAA at Fox Chapel -- Final
4-AAA at Waynesburg -- Final
at Trinity -- Final
PIAA AAA Team Tournament (Feb. 5-9) -- Final Bracket
Penn-Trafford 60, Langley 9
Cumberland Valley 55, Shikellamy 15
Council Rock North forfeit D-12 champion (withdrawn by District committee)
Nazareth 45, over Quakertown 12
WPIAL AAA Team Tournament -- FINALS
Connellsville 42, Penn-Trafford 25 -- Listen Here!
Five Connellsville pins led the Falcons to a convincing 42-25 win over Penn-Trafford in the WPIAL Class AAA Team Wrestling finals. Zach Benzio's pin over Matt Grupp at 189-pounds clinched Connellsville's 7th Team Tournament title, their fifth in the past eight years.
After the teams worked to a 15-all tie halfway through the dual meet, the Falcons won five of the final seven bouts, including pins from Slade Harvey, Nate Gaffney, Zach Benzio and Justin Haines. Ethan Saylor had a pin for Connellsville in the first half of the match.
Shane Young, Stewart Owens and Drew Thays had pins for Penn-Trafford, making a third-straight finals appearance.
- Jerry Cramer (Conn) dec. Ryan Bohince, 3-1
WPIAL AAA Team Tournament (Jan. 29-Feb. 2) -- Final Bracket
Hempfield 51, Franklin Regional 13
Penn-Trafford 43, Waynesburg 16 -- Listen Here!
North Allegheny 44, Hopewell 21
Kiski Area 54, Butler 15
Connellsville 43, Fox Chapel 23
West Allegheny 43, North Hills 25 -- Listen Here!
Albert Gallatin 41, Bethel Park 26
Canon-McMillan 46, Ringgold 24 -- Listen Here!
Listen Here! via MSA Sports.net
AAA Championships (Feb. 21-23)
AA Championships (Feb. 22-23)
Southwest AA Regional
(Feb. 29-Mar. 1)
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