VND high school notebook: Worthing building another profile in rugby
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Tyler Worthing said his wrestling coaches harbor fears.
Fears that he could suffer an injury while playing rugby. Fears that he's getting a little too close to his new sport, that — near-fall points don't count here — he's “falling in love” with the rough-and-tumble game.
“Too late, I already have,” said Worthing, a Kiski Area junior-to-be who took Kiski Valley's rugby program by storm this season.
All of the sudden, Worthing, one of Kiski Area's top returning wrestlers, could be carving a different path to college athletics.
While he said wrestling remains his main sport — “I still have goals in wrestling; I never really left wrestling mode,” — rugby is fast becoming 1B.
Worthing had some head-turning games in leading Kiski Valley to the Division II state playoffs. The Titans, just a second-year program, made the semifinals before losing to eventual-champion West Allegheny.
They also were the first team to post a win at the recent National Rugby 7s Tournament in Philadelphia.
A natural battering-ram at the prop position, Worthing had a number of multi-try games. Tries are touchdowns in rugby. He scored five of them in one game during the competition in Philadelphia.
Coaches from some of the country's top Division I rugby programs either lined up to watch him or inquired about him later. UCLA, Penn State, Michigan, Navy, Ohio State and Kutztown were among them.
“It was the first time they saw me,” Worthing said. “Some of them said they would put me at the top of their list.”
His skills are raw and approach brash. Worthing's style is harum-scarum at times, but effective. He gives hits and takes them with equal fervor and has quiet speed.
“It's still weird that I like rugby so much,” said Worthing, who finished 33-3 wrestling at 220 pounds last season and won a WPIAL Class AAA title. “I'm still a wrestler. It's about your attitude. I feel like no one can stop me. No one gets past me (in rugby). In 7s, if a guy is on a breakaway, the game's so fast-paced, you just let him go. Not me. I can't ever let that happen.”
Naturally, Worthing also has been recruited — by Kiski Area coaches — to play football too. That decision remains in limbo for now.
“Every time I see the coaches they ask me when I'm playing,” he said. “It would be fun, but between wrestling and rugby, I don't know if I'd have the time.”
Worthing, along with teammates Ty Travaglia, Dean Urbanski and Luke Poydence were picked for the PA state all-star team.
He's scheduled to wrestle in the Disney Duals later this month at Walt Disney World.
Two local girls were named to the All-WPIAL lacrosse teams, which came out last week. Fox Chapel's Megan McCrady was picked in Division I, while Knoch's Kayla Smith earned the honor in Division II.
Knoch's Emily Zilka was an All-Division II, Section 3 selection, along with Smith. McCracy made all-section as well, in Division I, Section 2.
It might have been a glimpse into the future of Gannon University golf. A pair of A-K golfers teamed up and nearly won the Westmoreland County Better Ball Championship last week at Hannastown Golf Club. Leechburg standout Matt Barto, a Gannon recruit, and current Gannon freshman Bill Clark (Valley), fired a 5-under-par 65 to tie David and Ronald DeNunzio for second place.
“There may be quite a bit of best-ball stuff during practices at Gannon, just for fun,” said Barto, who was Leechburg's valedictorian at graduation.
Central Catholic senior-to-be Johnny Petrishen, from Lower Burrell, added three additional scholarship offers to his growing list with Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan and Buffalo chiming in. That gives the receiver/safety 20 Division I offers. He attended Pitt's prospect camp. ... Riverview is getting closer to hiring a boys basketball coach. The coach could be named at Monday's meeting.
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Locke struggles again early, Pirates lose again in Milwaukee
- Bubble players get last chance to impress Steelers
- Steelers accomplish mission to get younger, faster on defense
- Asking price for Penguins franchise said to be at a record $750M
- American to halt 2 direct routes from Pittsburgh International
- Pa. business interests decry EPA ozone proposal as economic albatross
- Western Pennsylvania schools’ denial of access to roofers prompts suit
- Hempfield officials to review site plan for Excela Health Orthoplex
- Statewide high school football notebook: Longtime Berwick coach set to begin final season
- 4-year-old transplant recipient Angelo Giorno from Derry on life support, family says
- Police: Woman faked Mt. Pleasant robbery