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Belle Vernon freshman gets to semifinals at WCCA tourney in return from injury

| Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, 10:51 p.m.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Belle Vernon's Jarod Verkleeren (left) battles Mt. Pleasant's Austin Mears during their 145-pound bout during the quarterfinal round of the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Tournament at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville on Jan. 10, 2014. Verkleeren won by a 10-4 decision.

If people don't know who Belle Vernon freshman Jarod Verkleeren is, they will in the coming weeks.

A shoulder injury in June prevented Verkleeren from competing until this week. His coach, Tyler Nauman, said he was cleared to participate until this week.

After one practice, a win Thursday night and two wins Friday in Day 1 of the 61st Annual Westmoreland County Coaches' Association wrestling tournament at Franklin Regional, Verkleeren finds himself in Saturday's semifinals at 145 pounds against another talented freshman, Latrobe's Ethan Smith.

Verkleeren and Smith beat seeded wrestlers in the quarterfinals. Verkleeren (0-3) defeated second seed Austin Mears of Mt. Pleasant, 10-4, and Smith toppled third seed Zach Mattucci of Greensburg Salem, 9-4.

Action resumes with the consolations at 9 a.m. Saturday. The semifinals are set for noon, the consolation finals at 5:30 p.m. and finals at 7 p.m..

Verkleeren and Smith have worked out together at Rob Waller's American Club and Young Guns in the past.

“I'm a little winded,” Verkleeren said. “I tore my shoulder in the Greco National finals. ... I was eager to get back.”

Nauman said Verkleeren's return is a boost to his team. Verkleeren is a two-time Junior Olympic state champion.

“I didn't know how good he'd be,” Nauman said. “I didn't know what to expect.”

Smith, who moved to Latrobe in eighth grade from Grundy, Va., said he knows what to expect from Verkleeren.

“I expect it to be a close match,” Smith said. “I was confident I could reach the finals.”

Mears wasn't the only second-seeded wrestler to fall. Greensburg Salem senior Zach Pasko (182) took down second seed Jack McGillick of Penn-Trafford, 5-1, and Penn-Trafford freshman Matt McGillick (195) defeated Travis Schmeling of Latrobe, 3-2 in overtime.

Franklin Regional advanced nine to the semifinals and leads the team standings with 105 points. Kiski Area is second with 86 points and has eight in the semifinals, Latrobe is third with seven in the semifinals and 83.5 points, while Belle Vernon is fourth with five in the semifinals and 70 team points.

Hempfield junior Sam Krivus (132) reached the semifinals with two wins, giving him 100 in his career.

While Krivus was pleased to reach the milestone, his focus quickly turned to his rematch against Penn-Trafford freshman Cameron Coy in the semifinals.

“It's a good feeling to get 100 wins,” Krivus said. “It's good that I got it early my junior season. Maybe 150 wins is possible. I'm just looking forward to another tough match against Cameron. I have to pick up my offense against him.”

Franklin Regional's Tyler Smith (132), Josh Maruca (145) and Josh Shields (152), Latrobe's Zack Zavatsky (182) and Kiski Area's Shane Kuhn (220) are in line to become the next three-time champions, while Latrobe's Luke Pletcher (120), Krivus and Franklin Regional's Michael Kemerer are looking for their second titles.

Southmoreland freshman Cole Lambie (106), like Derry Area's George Phillippi (120) and Shane Kuhn, didn't spend much time on the mat. Both had two quick pins. Lambie had falls of 30 and 47 seconds, Phillippi's were 48 and 30 seconds, while Kuhn's were in 20 and 24.

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

61st Annual Westmoreland County Coaches' Association Franklin Regional High School Friday's results Pigtail round

120: Mason Luckiewicz, Hempfield p. Dom Zona, Penn-Trafford, 1:15.

126: Tyler Haddad, Penn-Trafford t.f. Joshua Smail, Jeannette, 17-0 (1:57).

First round

106: Brady Shaw, Greensburg Salem p. Nick Marigoni, Norwin, :57; Austin Mihalichik, Mt. Pleasant p. John Fedorek, Yough, 1:34; Cole Lambie, Southmoreland p. Brian Harr, Derry Area, :30; Vincent Distefanis, Hempfield p. Carson Plamer, Latrobe, 1;58; Jacob Dunlap, Belle Vernon d. Nick Kazousky, Penn-Trafford, 6-0; Carlos Chavez, Ligonier Valley m.d. Sequawon Harris, Valley, 9-1; Matt Siszka, Kiski Area t.f. Dean Edwards, Burrell, 16-0 (4:09).

113: Tyler Seliga, Belle Vernon d. Matt Dean, Hempfield, 3-2; Chris Eddins, Greensburg Salem p. Roman Orange, 3:14; Jihad Ratliff, Valley t.f. Brad Nagy, Kiski Area, 20-4 (4:34); Ethan McCoy, Latrobe p. Dillan Jeffery, Burrell, 1:36; Austin Griffiths, Southmoreland p. Matt Hull, Norwin, 1:51.

120: Luke Pletcher, Latrobe t.f. Mason Luckiewicz, Hempfield, 20-5 (4:45); Cody Charles, Yough p. Jeremy Lawrence, Mt. Pleasant, 2:26; Joe Blumer, Kiski Area m.d. Jason Roberts, Burrell, 8-0; Brendan Hasson, Belle Vernon, p. Calvin Loutitt, Valley, 1:26; Justin Patrick, Kiski School p. Lukas Mangery, Greensburg Salem, 4:33; Gus Solomon, Franklin Regional p. Anthony Wise, Southmoreland, :29; George Phillippi, Derry Area p. Logan Dunn, Norwin, :48.

126: Patrick Dewitt, Valley p. Zach Bixler, Southmoreland, 1:38; Anthony Marra, Burrell m.d. Kris Demorest, Hempfield, 12-0; Dom Giannangeli, Franklin Regional p. Dante Botti, Yough, 5:57, Stone Kepple, Derry Area p. Tyler Hadad, Penn-Trafford, 5:28; Mitchell Hartman, Belle Vernon p. Shawn Prinkey, Mt. Pleasant, 2:45; Joel Cawoski, Latrobe p. Jake Friedolf, Norwin, 1:56; Josh Armstrong, Greensburg Salem d. Max Caldwell, 3-0; Ryan Hardaway, Kiski Area inj default over Jack Pantenella, Kiski School, 5:18.

132: Tyler Smith, Franklin Regional p. Andrew Hernandez, Valley, 1:13; Evan Myers, Southmoreland p. Tyler Rugh, Jeannette, :57; Austin Shaw, Greensburg Salem d. Ethan Stas, Latrobe, 4-0; Cameron Coy, Penn-Trafford t.f. Dalton Clark, Ligonier Valley, 17-2 (2:59); Teddy Charletta, Yough p. Austin Jellison, Derry Area, 1:44; Vaughn Curcio, Kiski Area d. Dylan Lundy, Belle Vernon, 5-0; Sam Krivus, Hempfield p. Mike Borsch, Kiski School, 2:20.

138: Mike Kemerer, Franklin Regional p. Devin Siko, Derry Area; Jake Willoschell, Latrobe d. Graham Schaller, Greensburg Salem, 4-1; Jason Strange, Yough t.f. Jake Virgin, Southmoreland, 18-0 (2:12); Mike Risnear, Penn-Trafford m.d. Jason David, Burrell, 11-0; Cameron Evans, Belle Vernon m.d. Chris O'Sullivan, Valley, 10-2; Joey Alessandro, Hempfield t.f. Tyler Faulk, Kiski Area, 16-1 (4:24).

145: Josh Maruca, Franklin Regional p. J.P. Sommers, Yough, :51; Anthony Ruane, Jeannette d. Kyle Turcosky, Norwin, 3-0; Corey Falleroni, Burrell p. Brenden Hadad, Penn-Trafford, 1:34; Garrett Fitzsimmons, Kiski Area t.f. Nate Hockenberry, Ligonier Valley, 18-0 (4:31); Zach Mattucci, Greensburg Salem p. Drake Westerbeck, Derry Area, 3:42; Ethan Smith, Latrobe p. Aran Brubacher, Southmoreland, 1:48; Jarod Verkleeren, Belle Vernon p. Paul Escribano, Valley, 1:23; Austin Mears, Mt. Pleasant d. Philip Petit, Hempfield Area, 10-8 (OT).

152: Josh Shields, Franklin Regional p. Austin Bixler, Southmoreland, 1:13; Justin Smith, Penn-Trafford d. Dakota Martin, Norwin, 7-2; Jake Ardellitz, Kiski Area p. Devon Hajas, Derry Area, 5:53; Derek Verkleeren, Belle Vernon m.d. Noah Kankoski, Valley, 17-4; Jake Shaffer, Latrobe p. Will Chillinsky, Hempfield, 3:43; Ethan Charlesworth, Mt. Pleasant m.d. Brad Snyder, Jeannette, 16-6; Steve Edwardsm Burrell p. Col McLaughlin, Kiski School, 2:31.

160: Dom Scalise, Latrobe p. Ethan Kadylac, Mt. Pleasant, 1:31; Derrick Beattie, Burrell p. Brandon Wood, Norwin, :25; Brandon Yant, Franklin Regional p. Teegan Hahn, Greensburg Salem, 1:50; Jarrett Dorazio, Derry Area p. Zach Porreca, Jeannette, :51; Dylan Clarke, Valley p. Dereck Croyle, Ligonier Valley, 2:41; Devin Austin, Penn-Trafford t.f. Damiyan Davis, Valley, 15-0 (2:22).

170: Milton Kobaly, Belle Vernon p. Jake Kramer, Norwin, 1:27; Nathan Trottier, Ligonier Valley t.f. Devin Colon, Mt. Pleasant, 17-0 (2:00); Lucas Richardson, Yough t.f. Brennan Coles, Southmoreland, 16-1 (5:56); Nate Painter, Franklin Regional p. Darryl Guest, Jeannette, 1:33; Matt Shirey, Penn-Trafford m.d. Chase Linsenbigler, Hempfield, 13-5; Nick Pattock, Burrell d. Korbin Bundy, Greensburg Salem, 11-4; Justin Short, Latrobe m.d. Derek Baker, Derry Area, 11-0.

182: John Wohlin, Franklin Regional p. Justin Bellas, Ligonier Valley, 1:56; James Burke, Kiski School d. Joey Kelly, Derry Area, 7-5; Lou Maser, Hempfield p. Matt Jackson, Norwin, 1:11; Zach Pasko, Greensburg Salem p. Sage Zider, Mt. Pleasant, 4:16.

195: Robert Sherer, Burrell m.d. Noah Wiencek, Derry Area, 11-1; Marcus Davenport, Valley p. Zach Cline, Jeannette, 2:43; Travis Schmeling, Latrobe p. Deavan Jacobs, Southmoreland, :20.

220: Fred Mantsch, Hempfield p. Deion Ortis-Pasterick, Derry Area, :34; Ray Marsh, Ligonier Valley p. Justin Rose, Franklin Regional, 5:08; Derick Berberick, Greensburg Salem p. Kyler Brosius, Southmoreland, :32; Dylan Davis, Latrobe m.d. Michael Pifer, 9-0; Josh Lind, Mt. Pleasant p. Corey Arabia, Burrell, 1:23; Hunter Ferrara, Belle Vernon wins by DQ over Brad Walker, Norwin; Chad Kuhn, Kiski Area p. Mataro, Garner, Jeannette, 1:15.

295: Shane Kuhn, Kiski Area p. Charlie Mazon, Franklin Regional, :20; Hayden Rice, Norwin p. Joey Riffer, Jeannette, :36; Jacob Beistel, Southmoreland d. Cam Kistler, Hempfield, 5-2; Austin Sluk, Belle Vernon, p. David Stevenson, Derry Area, 4:25; Joey Shafron, Ligonier Valley p. Nick Melocchi, Yough, 2:19.


106: Devin Brown, Franklin Regional t.f. Brady Shaw, Greensburg Salem, 19-4, 5:37; Cole Lambie, Southmoreland p. Austin Mihalichik, Mt. Pleasant, :47; Vincent Distefanis, Hempfield d. Jacob Dunlap, Belle Vernon, 9-3; Matt Siszka, Kiski Area p. Carlos Chavez, Ligonier Valley, 3:23.

113: Spencer Lee, Franklin Regional p. Tyler Seliga, Belle Vernon, :50; Chris Eddins, Greensburg Salem d. Jihad Ratliff, Valley, 9-2; Ethan McCoy, Latrobe p. Cole Wano, Derry Area, 3:55; Austin Griffiths, Southmoreland p. Zach Charles, Yough, 3:35.

120: Luke Pletcher, Latrobe p. Cody Charles, Yough, 5:00; Joey Blumer, Kiski Area d. Brendan Hasson, Belle Vernon, 4-3; Justin Patrick, Kiski School d. Gus Solomon, Franklin Regional, 5-1; George Phillippi, Derry p. Anthony Wise, Southmoreland, :30.

126: Patrick Dewitt, Valley m.d. Anthony Marra, Burrell, 9-1; Dom Giannangeli, Franklin Regional d. Stone Kepple, Derry, 3-1; Mitchell Hartman, Belle Vernon d. Joel Cawoski, Latrobe, 3-2; Ryan Hardaway, Kiski Area p. Josh Armstrong, Greensburg Salem, 1:59.

132: Tyler Smith, Franklin Regional t.f. Josh Ridgway, 23-7, 4:28; Austin Shaw, Greensburg Salem d. Evan Myers, Southmoreland, 6-2; Cameron Coy, Penn-Trafford m.d. Teddy Charletta, Yough, 14-1; Sam Krivus, Hempfield m.d. Vaughn Curcio, Kiski Area, 21-7.

138: Mike Kemerer, Franklin Regional p. Dan Croyle, Ligonier Valley, 3:00; Jason Strange, Yough d. Jake Wiilochell, Derry, 3-0; Mike Risnear, Penn-Trafford p. Cameron Evans, Belle Vernon, 1:25; Joey Alessandro, Hempfield t.f. Giovonne Sanders, Jeannette, 16-1, 4:42.

145: Josh Maruca, Franklin Regional p. Anthony Ruane, Jeannette, 1:37; Corey Falleroni, Burrell t.f. Garrett Fitzsimmons, Kiski Area, 15-0 (4:02); Ethan Smith, Latrobe d. Zach Mattucci, Greensburg Saelm, 9-4; Jarod Verkleeren, Belle Vernon d. Austin Mears, Mt. Pleasant, 10-4.

152: Josh Shields, Franklin Regional p. Justin Smith, Penn-Trafford, 3:34; Derek Verkleeren, Belle Vernon m.d. Jake Ardellitz, Kiski Area, 9-1; Jake Shaffer, Latrobe d. Ethan Charlesworth, Mt. Pleasant, 11-4; Steven Edwards, Burrell p. Troy Brown, Greensburg Salem, 3:33.

160: Dom Scalise, Latrobe m.d. Derrick Beattie, Burrell, 12-2; Brandon Yant, Franklin Regional m.d. Vinny Romano, Kiski Area, 11-3; Austin Bell, Belle Vernon p. Jarrett Dorazio, Derry, 1:58; Devin Austin, Penn-Trafford p. Dylan Clarke, Valley, 2:53.

170: Milton Kaboly, Belle Vernon p. Nathan Trottier, Ligonier Valley, 2:51; Lucas Richardson, Yough d. Nate Painter, Franklin Regional, 3-2; Dakota Lange, Kiski Area d. Matt Shirey, Penn-Trafford, 4-1; Justin Short, Latrobe d. Nick Pattock, Burrell, 6-0.

182: Zack Zavatsky, Latrobe p. John Wohlin, Franklin Regional, 3;46; Clay Waldron, Yough p. James Burke, Kiski School, 3:42; Alex Delp, Kiski Area d. Lou Maser, Hempfield, 3-0; Zach Pasko, Greensburg Salem d. Jack McGillick, Penn-Trafford, 5-1.

195: Tyler Worthing, Kiski Area p. Robert Shearer, Burrell, 1:14; Jake Pickup, Franklin Regional p. Billy Korber, Belle Vernon, 4:55; Marcus Davenport, Valley p. Jerry Koza, Yough, 1:44; Matt McGillick, Penn-Trafford d. Travis Schmeling, Latrobe, 3-2 (RO).

220: Fred Mantsch, Hempfield p. Ray Marsh, Ligonier Valley, 3:14; Derick Berberick, Greensburg Salem d. Dylan Davis, Latrobe, 3-2 (RO); Josh Lind, Mt. Pleasant p. Tom Sever, Yough, 4:22; Chad Kuhn, Kiski Area d. Hunter Ferrara, Belle Vernon, 7-5.

285: Shane Kuhn, Kiski Area p. Jacob Smith, Penn-Trafford, :24; Hayden Rice, Norwin d. Grant Slezak, Greensburg Salem, 3-1 (TB); Jake Beistel, Southmorealnd d, Austin Sluk, Belle Vernon, 3-1; Al Beattie, Burrell p. Joey Shafron, Ligonier Valley, :19.

Team standings: 1. Franklin Regional, 105; 2. Kiski Area, 86; 3. Latrobe, 83.5; 4. Belle Vernon, 70; 5. Hempfield, 48; 6. Greensburg Salem, 46; 7. Penn-Trafford, 445.5; 8. Burrell, 44.5; 9. Southmoreland, 39; 10. Yough, 36; 11. Valley, 30.5; 12. Derry, 23; 13. Mt. Pleasant, 20; 14. Ligonier Valley, 14.5; 15. Kiski School, 13l 16. Norwin, 9; 17. Jeannette, 6.

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