Pine-Richland youth wrestlers win Road Warrior Tournament
TribLIVE Sports Videos
There is seldom a sweeter victory than the first championship for a team. The Pine-Richland Youth Wrestling Team found that out when it captured the North Hills Wrestling League Road Warriors series for the first time.
The league, which consists of teams from Shaler, North Hills, Hampton, Mars, Pine-Richland, North Allegheny and Avonworth, host tournaments during the season, and points are awarded and tallied. The league is made up of wrestlers in kindergarten through sixth grade.
“This is a nice league, there are 400 kids who participate,” said Pine-Richland coach Jeff Esswein, whose team also competes against schools from outside the league. “We hosted the year-ending tournament, which was just the local schools.
“The key to winning is participation. Mike Ferraro deserves the credit; he gets kids involved.”
Esswein said another important factor was getting the kids time to work out on the mat.
“The more time you put in, the better you get,” Esswein said. “The more participation the better, it's fun.”
Esswein has been involved with the team for 14 years and said the input, time and effort of the parent volunteers has made the program better.
“The kids have fun, and that feeds into the middle and high school programs,” Esswein said.
Recently, former North Hills league wrestler Brendan Burnham, a sophomore at Pine-Richland, took third in the WPIAL championship bracket.
Perhaps the next generation will enjoy similar success — Anthony Ferraro won the individual novice division title (for wrestlers who have one or two years of experience), and Kelin Laffey took first in the open division (for kids with more than two years of experience).
“I really like wrestling,” Ferraro said. “It is one of the toughest sports there is. You have to be confident and can't get mad (if things don't go your way).”
Ferraro's dad, Mike, said his son is proof of what hard work can get you.
“He doesn't have great athletic ability, but he is dedicated,” Mike Ferraro said. “He worked at it, and does his push-ups and sit-ups and chin-ups every night.”
Kelin said he likes the fact wrestling is a one-on-one affair.
“That makes it harder than team sports ,” he said. “It felt good to win my division. It was hard, but that just makes me want to work harder.”
Sam Neill earned an undefeated mark in the Novice Division Tournament Series.
Wrestlers placing high in the Open Division were Cole Spencer, who took third place; Jake Worthington, who took 11th; Luke Meckler and Tyler Ruddick, who shared 14th; and Ryan Geyer and Matt Wood, who shared 25th. In the Novice Division, Sam Neill took second; Dominic Ferraro took seventh; and Sam Heckert took 15th.
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers film session: Harrison on the field often
- Steelers are vowing to fix the costly penalties, lack of self-discipline
- Mental health facility won’t take Franklin Regional stabbing suspect as patient
- Prosecutors float possibility of jail time for former Justice Melvin
- Body found in Allegheny River near Clemente Bridge
- 20 improbable Pirates wins in 2014
- Fundraising under way for Indiana County newborn struck by stray bullet
- Healthy again, Penguins’ Dupuis eager for game action
- Charter school founder’s court hearing must remain open
- Gunfire plagues New Kensington
- Shooting victim identified in Lawrence Co. home invasion