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Franklin Regional, Burrell capture WPIAL wrestling titles

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By Paul Schofield and Bill West
Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, 8:54 p.m.
 

Those named Josh Shields at the WPIAL team wrestling championships Saturday left Chartiers Valley High School with titles.

Josh Shields, a junior wrestler for Franklin Regional, and Josh Shields, the first-year coach of Burrell, celebrated wins in the Class AAA and Class AA finals, respectively.

Top-ranked Franklin Regional captured its first championship by defeating No. 2 Latrobe, 42-19, and Burrell used victories by Dillan Jeffery (113 pounds) and Jason Roberts (120) in the final two bouts of the match to rally for a 34-28 victory over South Fayette and claim its eighth consecutive title and 10th overall.

The four finalists earned berths into the PIAA team tournament and a trip Thursday to Hershey.

North Allegheny (Class AAA) and Jefferson-Morgan (Class AA) also can earn trips but must win Monday in the PIAA pigtail round. North Allegheny faces Allderdice at Carrick at 7 p.m., and Jefferson-Morgan travels to Fort LeBoeuf.

Franklin Regional (19-1), which lost to Canon-McMillan in the 2013 finals, left no doubt which was the best team in Class AAA.

The Panthers won 10 of 14 matches, including the first four. To counteract some of Latrobe's strength, Franklin Regional coach Eric Mausser bumped up his first five wrestlers, beginning at 138 pounds, where the match started. The move worked perfectly.

“Where we started and when we lost the flip, we said we were going to move up,” Mausser said. “We really didn't want to do it, but after watching what Latrobe did to Canon-McMillan, we wanted to take the match of out their hands.”

Senior Tyler Smith, who moved from 132, started the match with a technical fall against Jake Willochell. Micheal Kemerer (145) and Josh Maruca (152) followed with major decisions, and Shields (160) finished the run with a pin.

“The bump wasn't too bad,” Latrobe coach Tad Harbert said.

“It didn't work out in our favor, but it felt like more competitive matches. The last time we wrestled them, we were just getting pinned and pinned. Starting at 138, it split up that long run. I didn't expect it. I felt better about how we performed. They have six guys who are unbeatable.”

The Panthers got pins by Devin Brown (106) and Shields and major decisions by Spencer Lee (113), Kemerer, Maruca (152) and Brett Zanotto (220).

“Last year we had that bitter taste in our mouth,” Shields said. “We kept that in the back of our minds the whole time we were training.

“We kept looking forward. We always wanted to get this WPIAL championship, but we're still looking forward toward states and Hershey.”

Latrobe (12-2) got a pin by Tyler Mears (285), and Luke Pletcher (120) and Zack Zavatsky (182) had technical falls.

Franklin Regional defeated Latrobe, 46-28, in the Section 1 finals.

In Class AA, the names and faces of Burrell's wrestlers and coaches change, but the result remains the same.

Shields, a 2006 Burrell alumnus, became the fifth coach to lead the team to a WPIAL Class AA title.

Jeffery's 17-2 technical fall at 113 pounds delivered the Bucs (11-3) a 31-28 lead as they entered the match's final bout. Then 120-pounder Jason Roberts clinched the championship with a 7-1 win.

“I drew it up 1,000 times, and that's never how I predicted the match would end,” Shields said. “But what I love about this team and the Burrell tradition in the past has always been that we just find a way to win. … Us Burrell kids, we have something deep that most teams, I don't think they have it, and that's fight.”

Burrell received pins from Steve Edwards (152 pounds) and Al Beattie (285) and a technical fall from Anthony Marra (126).

Grant Fetchet (160), Jack Previte (182) and Zach Walker (220) secured pins for South Fayette (20-1), which lost to Burrell in the finals for a second straight year.

“We lost the close ones, same as last year,” South Fayette coach Rick Chaussard said. “I told them we get a second chance starting Thursday morning in Hershey to try to go down there and make some noise.”

Paul Schofield and Bill West are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Reach Schofield at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib. Reach West at wwest@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.

Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Franklin Regional's John Wohlin hoists the championship trophy while celebrating with his teammates after winning the WPIAL Class AAA team championship Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, at Chartiers Valley. Franklin Regional defeated Latrobe 42-19.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Franklin Regional's John Wohlin hoists the championship trophy while celebrating with his teammates after winning the WPIAL Class AAA team championship Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, at Chartiers Valley. Franklin Regional defeated Latrobe 42-19.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Burrell's Jason Roberts (top) takes South Fayette's Kevin Chaussard to the mat during their 120-pound match during the WPIAL Class AA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Roberts won by a 7-1 decision. Burrell defeated South Fayette, 34-28.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Burrell's Jason Roberts (top) takes South Fayette's Kevin Chaussard to the mat during their 120-pound match during the WPIAL Class AA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Roberts won by a 7-1 decision. Burrell defeated South Fayette, 34-28.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Burrell's Dillan Jeffrey (top) controls South Fayette's Jasper Wolfe in their 113-pound match during the WPIAL Class AA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Jeffrey won by a 17-2 tech fall. Burrell defeated South Fayette, 34-28.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Burrell's Dillan Jeffrey (top) controls South Fayette's Jasper Wolfe in their 113-pound match during the WPIAL Class AA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Jeffrey won by a 17-2 tech fall. Burrell defeated South Fayette, 34-28.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Burrell head coach Josh Shields and J.R. Andrejcik (left) celebrate as they clinched the WPIAL Class AA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Burrell defeated South Fayette, 34-28.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Burrell head coach Josh Shields and  J.R. Andrejcik (left) celebrate as they clinched the WPIAL Class AA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School  on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Burrell defeated South Fayette, 34-28.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Franklin Regional head coach Eric Mausser celebrates with his wrestlers after they won the WPIAL Class AAA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Franklin Regional defeated Latrobe, 42-19.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Franklin Regional head coach Eric Mausser celebrates with his wrestlers after they won the WPIAL Class AAA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Franklin Regional defeated Latrobe, 42-19.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Franklin Regional head coach Eric Mausser celebrates with his wrestlers after they won the WPIAL Class AAA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Franklin Regional defeated Latrobe, 42-19.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Franklin Regional head coach Eric Mausser celebrates with his wrestlers after they won the WPIAL Class AAA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School  on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Franklin Regional defeated Latrobe, 42-19.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Burrell's Jason Roberts is hoisted by his teammates while celebrating their WPIAL Class AA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Burrell defeated South Fayette, 34-28.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Burrell's Jason Roberts is hoisted by his teammates while celebrating their WPIAL Class AA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School  on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Burrell defeated South Fayette, 34-28.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Burrell first-year head coach Josh Shields hoists the WPIAL Class AA team championship trophy after defeating South Fayette, 34-28, at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Burrell first-year head coach Josh Shields hoists the WPIAL Class AA team championship trophy after defeating South Fayette, 34-28, at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Burrell's Jason Roberts jumps into the arms of teammate J.R. Andrejcik after winning the WPIAL Class AA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Burrell defeated South Fayette, 34-28.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Burrell's Jason Roberts jumps into the arms of teammate J.R. Andrejcik after winning the WPIAL Class AA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Burrell defeated South Fayette, 34-28.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Burrell's Anthony Marra (top) battles South Fayette's Scott Rzepecki to the mat during their 126-pound match during the WPIAL Class AA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Marra won by an 18-3 technical fall. Burrell defeated South Fayette, 34-28.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Burrell's Anthony Marra (top) battles South Fayette's Scott Rzepecki to the mat during their 126-pound match during the WPIAL Class AA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Marra won by an 18-3 technical fall. Burrell defeated South Fayette, 34-28.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Burrell's Damon Greenwald (top) looks to score on South Fayette's Shane Ging during a 138-pound match at the WPIAL Class AA team championship Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, at Chartiers Valley. Greenwald won by 4-2 overtime decision. Burrell defeated South Fayette, 34-28.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Burrell's Damon Greenwald (top) looks to score on South Fayette's Shane Ging during a 138-pound match at the WPIAL Class AA team championship Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, at Chartiers Valley. Greenwald won by 4-2 overtime decision. Burrell defeated South Fayette, 34-28.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Franklin Regional Jake Pickup (right) celebrates an escape on Latrobe's Travis Schmeling during the second overtime in their 195-pound match during the WPIAL Class AAA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Pickup won by ultimate tiebreaker 3-2. Franklin Regional defeated Latrobe, 42-19.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Franklin Regional Jake Pickup (right) celebrates an escape on Latrobe's Travis Schmeling during the second overtime in their 195-pound match during the WPIAL Class AAA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Pickup won by ultimate tiebreaker 3-2. Franklin Regional defeated Latrobe, 42-19.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Franklin Regional's Josh Shields (right) looks to score on Latrobe's Luke Shaffer in their 160-pound match during the WPIAL Class AAA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Shields won by fall. Franklin Regional defeated Latrobe, 42-19.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Franklin Regional's Josh Shields (right) looks to score on Latrobe's Luke Shaffer in their 160-pound match during the WPIAL Class AAA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Shields won by fall. Franklin Regional defeated Latrobe, 42-19.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Franklin Regional's Jake Pickup (right) celebrates after scoring on Latrobe's Travis Schmeling to win their 195-pound match in ultimate tiebreaker during the WPIAL Class AAA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Franklin Regional defeated Latrobe, 42-19.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Franklin Regional's Jake Pickup (right) celebrates after scoring on Latrobe's Travis Schmeling to win their 195-pound match in ultimate tiebreaker during the WPIAL Class AAA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School  on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Franklin Regional defeated Latrobe, 42-19.
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