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1 Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review - Latrobe wrestlers Luke Pletcher (top) and Ethan Stas at practice on Tuesday, December 4, 2012.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> 1 Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review</em></div>Latrobe wrestlers Luke Pletcher (top) and Ethan Stas at practice on Tuesday, December 4, 2012.
- Erin DiFalco Franklin Regional basketball Submitted photo
Erin DiFalco Franklin Regional basketball Submitted photo

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'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.

By Andrew John
Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, 10:36 p.m.
 

Luke Pletcher

School: Latrobe

Year: Freshman

Sport: Wrestling

Claim to fame: Unseeded Pletcher (12-2) won the Powerade tournament in the 106-pound weight class with a 7-1 decision in the final against top-seeded Devan Brown of Saegertown on Dec. 29.

He finished fifth at the King of the Mountain in the 113-pound weight class with a 5-1 decision over Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy's Ryan Bennett on Dec. 15.

Do you like to wrestle at 106 or 113 pounds?

I like to wrestle at 106. I definitely think I need to stay at that weight since I don't have a big body. 113 is not the right weight for me.

How did you feel about beating the top seed at Powerade?

It was nice I guess. I put my name out there a little more. There was no pressure. I went out there doing what I have trained for.

How did you get into wrestling?

When I was little, I played any sport that was in season. After awhile, I stuck with wrestling since that is what I'm good at.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would probably have to say going to Rio for the Olympics in 2016.

Erin DiFalco

School: Franklin Regional

Year: Senior

Sport: Basketball

Claim to fame: DiFalco, who finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, hit a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left in double overtime to lead Franklin Regional (5-3) to a 53-50 win over Thomas Jefferson at the Laurel Highlands Tournament on Dec. 28.

DiFalco — who's averaging 8.2 points, including 18 4-pointers in eight games — had 18 points. with six 3-pointers, in a 76-46 win over North Hills in the Franklin Regional Tournament on Dec. 8.

“I think we have started off playing pretty well this season,” DiFalco said. “We had a couple rough patches along the way. But we got back to playing as a team, and we are playing well together.”

What are your college plans?

I haven't decided on where I will go next year. I'm deciding between two schools, and I hope to play (basketball) in college. I'm deciding between Thiel and Penn State Altoona. I want to major in engineering because I really like math and science, and I feel it's a really good fit for me.

Is there any particular team or player you look forward to facing every year?

We look forward to playing Plum each year. It's a huge rivalry, and it's usually an exciting game.

What do you think is the strongest part of your game?

I think my 3-point shot. They are my favorite shots to take. I like to see how far away I can get when I take a 3.

If you had the chance to meet anyone, who would it be?

(Warriors guard Stephen) Curry. He has an amazing shot, and I always watched him at Davidson. I thought he was an amazing player.

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