Thomas Jefferson's young Weber wreaks mat havoc
Thomas Jefferson freshman team grappler Alex Weber kicked off the 2013-14 season last month with an impressive first-place finish at the South Fayette Invitational.
Other TJ medalists included Austin Mee, Nico Stoicovy, Kellen Lynch, Noah Lynch, Luke Petruzzi and Devon Danielson.
Weber, a seventh-grade student at Pleasant Hills Middle School who wrestles in the 100-pound weight class, sparked TJ to a fourth-place finish among 23 teams at the invite.
Weber captured the championship with a 5-0 victory in the 100-pound finals, after posting three falls in earlier rounds.
“Our team is young and inexperienced, but we have had a lot of people step up. We have had a good season so far,” said Bob Marlow, head coach of the TJ freshman wrestling program.
“I have 13 wrestlers starting for the first time, including seven seventh-graders in our starting lineup, which is the most I have ever had to start.”
Marlow welcomed four returning starters to the lineup this season, including McKenzie Matta, who is the reigning girls' state champion in her weight class in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Matta currently owns a winning record in the 115-pound weight class.
The Lynch twins, Kellen and Noah, both eighth-grade students, also are returning starters who compete at 90 and 95 pounds, respectively.
Dustin Lanning, a ninth-grade student who wrestles in the 185-pound weight division, was the team's fourth returning starter this year.
“One interesting tidbit about the teams I've coached (at TJ) is I've been blessed with lots of twin brothers,” Marlow said.
“First, I had the Devine twins, Dom and Cole; then, the Metro twins, Peter and Julian. Now, I have the Lynch twins, Kellen and Noah.”
The TJ freshman team roster consists of Weber, Matta, Kellen Lynch, Noah Lynch, Lanning, Mee (75), Alex O'Dea (80), Luke McCullough (85), Alex Bowyer (85), Stoicovy (90), Ridge Vlha (85), Brayden Lautner (90), Brendan Fitz (100), Andy Kalup (95), Jake Miller (95), Mike Siemon (100), Cole Miller (100), Brendan Finnerty (100), Jimmy McCoy (100), Dylan Robis (105), Ben Anton (105), Ryan Davison (110), Sean Bell (122), Austin Sobeck (138), Matt Lantz (145), Nathan Pearson (155), Logan Burnsworth (155), Petruzzi (165), Jason Muren (210) and Danielson (210).
The Jaguars lost their first meet on their 2013-14 schedule against Belle Vernon, but have not lost a dual meet since the season opener, including recent victories over Connellsville and Ringgold.
TJ is scheduled to participate in Keystone Oaks tournament this weekend.
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.