TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

PIAA champs Smith, Pletcher win WCCA titles

Eric Schmadel | For the Tribune-Review - Franklin Regional's Tyler Smith battles to escape from Hempfield's Sam Krivus during their 132-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Schmadel  |  For the Tribune-Review</em></div>Franklin Regional's Tyler Smith battles to escape from Hempfield's Sam Krivus during their 132-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
Eric Schmadel | For the Tribune-Review - Valley's Patrick Dewitt takes down Kiski Area's Ryan Hardaway during their 126-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Schmadel  |  For the Tribune-Review</em></div>Valley's Patrick Dewitt takes down Kiski Area's Ryan Hardaway during their 126-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
Eric Schmadel | For the Tribune-Review - Franklin Regional's Mike Kemerer works to score on Hempfield's Joey Alessandro during their 138-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Schmadel  |  For the Tribune-Review</em></div>Franklin Regional's Mike Kemerer works to score on Hempfield's Joey Alessandro during their 138-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
Eric Schmadel | For the Tribune-Review - Franklin Regional's Josh Maruca, right, grapples with Belle Vernon's Jarod Verkleeren during their 145-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Schmadel  |  For the Tribune-Review</em></div>Franklin Regional's Josh Maruca, right, grapples with Belle Vernon's Jarod Verkleeren during their 145-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
Eric Schmadel | For the Tribune-Review - Franklin Regional's Josh Shields works to escape from Burrell's Steve Edwards during their 152-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament on January 11, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Schmadel  |  For the Tribune-Review</em></div>Franklin Regional's Josh Shields works to escape from Burrell's Steve Edwards during their 152-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament on January 11, 2014.
Eric Schmadel | For the Tribune-Review - Franklin Regional's Brandon Yant, left, attempts to avoid a takedown from Belle Vernon Area's Austin Bell during their 160-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament on January 11, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Schmadel  |  For the Tribune-Review</em></div>Franklin Regional's Brandon Yant, left, attempts to avoid a takedown from Belle Vernon Area's Austin Bell during their 160-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament on January 11, 2014.
Eric Schmadel | For the Tribune-Review - Kiski Area's Dakota Lange works to escape from Belle Vernon Area's Milton Kobaly during their 170-pound championship bout at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Schmadel  |  For the Tribune-Review</em></div>Kiski Area's Dakota Lange works to escape from Belle Vernon Area's Milton Kobaly during their 170-pound championship bout at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
Eric Schmadel | For the Tribune-Review - Greater Latrobe's Zack Zavatsky works to turn Greensburg Salem's Zach Pasko during their 182-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Schmadel  |  For the Tribune-Review</em></div>Greater Latrobe's Zack Zavatsky works to turn Greensburg Salem's Zach Pasko during their 182-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
Eric Schmadel | For the Tribune-Review - Hempfield Area's Fred Mantsch works to score on Kiski Area's Chad Kuhn during their 220-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament on January 11, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Schmadel  |  For the Tribune-Review</em></div>Hempfield Area's Fred Mantsch works to score on Kiski Area's Chad Kuhn during their 220-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament on January 11, 2014.
Eric Schmadel | For the Tribune-Review - Franklin Regional's Devin Brown controls Hempfield's Vincent Distefanis during their 106-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Schmadel  |  For the Tribune-Review</em></div>Franklin Regional's Devin Brown controls Hempfield's Vincent Distefanis during their 106-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
Eric Schmadel | For the Tribune-Review - Franklin Regional's Spencer Lee attempts to score on Greater Latrobe's Ethan McCoy during their 113-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Schmadel  |  For the Tribune-Review</em></div>Franklin Regional's Spencer Lee attempts to score on Greater Latrobe's Ethan McCoy during their 113-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
Eric Schmadel | For the Tribune-Review - Greater Latrobe's Luke Pletcher struggles to break free from Derry Area's George Phillippi during their 120-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament on January 11, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Schmadel  |  For the Tribune-Review</em></div>Greater Latrobe's Luke Pletcher struggles to break free from Derry Area's George Phillippi during their 120-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament on January 11, 2014.
Eric Schmadel | For the Tribune-Review - Valley's Patrick Dewitt takes down Kiski Area's Ryan Hardaway during their 126-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Schmadel  |  For the Tribune-Review</em></div>Valley's Patrick Dewitt takes down Kiski Area's Ryan Hardaway during their 126-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
Eric Schmadel | For the Tribune-Review - Kiski Area's Tyler Worthing breaks free from Valley's Marcus Davenport during the 195-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Schmadel  |  For the Tribune-Review</em></div>Kiski Area's Tyler Worthing breaks free from Valley's Marcus Davenport during the 195-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
Eric Schmadel | For the Tribune-Review - Kiski Area's Shane Kuhn scores on Burrell's Al Beattie during their 285-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Schmadel  |  For the Tribune-Review</em></div>Kiski Area's Shane Kuhn scores on Burrell's Al Beattie during their 285-pound championship bout at the WCCA wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Top high school sports

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, 3:57 p.m.
 

It's a rarity when state champions match up during the regular season in wrestling.

But four state champions squared off in two finals at the 61st Annual Westmoreland County Coaches' Association tournament Saturday at Franklin Regional.

In fact, it was the second meeting between the champions already this season. And like the previous matchups, the results were the same with Franklin Regional senior Tyler Smith and Latrobe sophomore Luke Pletcher coming out on top.

Smith, the returning PIAA Class AAA 132-pound champion, rallied to defeat Hempfield junior Sam Krivus (16-2), the reigning PIAA Class AAA 120-pound winner, 3-2 for the 132-pound title. Smith (15-0) used a second-period takedown and good rising skills to pull out the win for his third WCCA title. He defeated Krivus, 7-0, in the Powerade finals two weeks ago.

In another showdown of defending PIAA champions, Pletcher (20-0) defeated Derry's George Phillippi, 4-2, to win the 120-pound title. Pletcher used a first-period takedown and a second-period reversal to beat the aggressive Phillippi (19-3).

“This is nice to win the county title, but I say beating Sam was more important,” Smith said. “Down the road the ultimate goal is to win another state title.

“I didn't wrestle my best, but he made some good adjustments. He's a tough competitor.”

Krivus said he felt better mentally and physically than he was in the first meeting.

“I wrestled a lot better. I got the first takedown and was able to set the pace early,” Krivus said. “I kind of got caught with a funky takedown in a scramble. He rides tough, and I have to work on getting out.”

The two may meet at least three or four more times this season, including in the Section 1 tournament late this month.

Pletcher said getting the first takedown was the key to beating Phillippi.

“These types of matches get you ready for the state competition,” Pletcher said. “Mickey is tough to keep down, but I knew if I stuck to my game plan I'd have opportunities.”

Four other wrestlers also became three-time champions: Franklin Regional juniors Josh Maruca (145) Josh Shields (152), Latrobe senior Zack Zavatsky (182) and Kiski Area senior Shane Kuhn (285).

Maruca (16-3) pinned Belle Vernon freshman Jarod Verkleeren (4-1) at 5:47, Shields (16-3) toppled Burrell senior Steve Edwards (14-2) 6-4, Zavatsky (19-0) won by technical fall 18-3 (4:29) against Greensburg Salem senior Zach Pasko (12-7), and Kuhn (22-1) dominated Burrell junior Allan Beattie at 285, winning 5-1.

Franklin Regional junior Michael Kemerer (19-1) won his second county title with a 6-2 win against Hempfield senior Joey Alessandro (16-3) at 138 pounds.

First-time winners included Valley senior Patrick Dewitt (16-0), Belle Vernon sophomores Austin Bell (21-4) and Milton Kobaly (16-4), Kiski Area sophomore Tyler Worthing (21-1), Hempfield junior Fred Mantsch (17-4), and Franklin Regional junior Devin Brown and freshman Spencer Lee.

Dewitt won the 120-pound title by defeating Kiski Area senior Ryan Hardaway, 6-4. Bell took the 160-pound crown defeating Franklin Regional senior Brandon Yant (14-5), 9-2, and Kobaly used an escape with 1 second left to edge Kiski Area junior Dakota Lange (17-8) 2-1 at 170.

Worthing overpowered Valley senior Marcus Davenport (15-2), 10-5, in winning at 195, and Mantsch took 220 by blanking Kiski Area sophomore Chad Kuhn, 6-0.

Brown (10-0) earned his 100th career win with a pin at 1:03 at 106, and Lee (22-0) held on to defeat Latrobe sophomore Ethan McCoy, 9-5, at 113.

Franklin Regional won its second consecutive team title with 290 12 points. Kiski Area edged Latrobe for second 187 to 186 12, and Belle Vernon took fourth with 152.

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

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Inside the Steelers: Rookie linebacker Chickillo continues to excel
  2. Police: Escaped Armstrong County inmate armed, dangerous homicide suspect
  3. Pirates bolster bullpen by trading for former closer Soria
  4. Bubble soccer bounces its way into Western Pa. sports venues
  5. Since 1969, Pine resident Fitzgerald’s garden has flourished
  6. Fashion FYI: RAW: Pittsburgh showcase features over 40 artists
  7. Stocks bounce back from big losses to close relatively flat
  8. Starkey: Garoppolo baffles Steelers
  9. Confirm Judge Restrepo
  10. Pirates notebook: Blanton introduced; Worley designated for assignment
  11. Passing the illegals buck