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Local notebook: No downtime for Kittanning's Nolf in offseason

| Monday, July 30, 2012, 7:56 p.m.
(Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Kittanning's Jason Nolf attempts to pin Palmerton's Josh Evans in their 113-lb. bout during the opening round of the PIAA Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. on March 8, 2012. Nolf won by a 18-1 technical fall at 5:47.

For all the traveling he's done this summer, standout Kittanning wrestler Jason Nolf might as well go by the nickname “Jet-setting Jay.”

Nolf, an incoming junior, has been on a tour de force at national tournaments, a sign that he's no less hungry for success since losing the first match of his high school career in March.

His crowning accomplishment of the offseason came during the weekend before July 4, when Nolf earned the Outstanding Wrestler honor at the Disney Duals, a team tournament that included more than 70 squads from around the country. He finished with a 12-0 record in the 125-pound weight class a member of the Young Guns Black club.

Nolf also had an undefeated record when he traveled with the Young Guns Black team to Virginia Beach for the National High School Coaches Association Duals tournament over Memorial Day weekend. He won all 10 matches as a 125-pounder.

Just last weekend, a bulkier Nolf wrestled in the 140-pound weight class and came away with another handful of victories at the Grand River Rumble in Battle Creek, Mich.

And this week, he's in Iowa to train at one of Rob Waller's All-American wrestling club camps.

Nolf's father, Mike, said he's not sure what weight class the incoming junior will join this winter. Nolf, the owner of an 86-1 record in high school competition, is ranked No. 7 among 113-pounders nationwide by Intermat, but he will not compete at such a low weight next year, his father said.

More mat news

The Powerade Christmas Wrestling Tournament, widely considered one of the sport's premier showcases, will have some local flavor this year.

Kittanning is one of 14 new additions to the 46-team field. The Wildcats will attend the Powerade tournament, which begins Dec. 28, instead of the Southmoreland Holiday Classic.

Nolf, Kittanning's odds-on favorite to contend for a Powerade title, will be one of 55 wrestlers in the tournament who reached the Pennsylvania state championships last season.

Equal opportunity

Armstrong School District's board of directors approved a cooperative arrangement Monday evening that will allow Ford City students to join Kittanning's boys soccer team.

Ford City Principal Mike Cominos said inquiries from new students who would have attended Elderton spurred the co-op.

“We've had no boys soccer team (at Ford City) since about 2001 because we've really had no interest,” Cominos said. “While we feel we don't have enough (players) for an entire team, we looked at the numbers between Kittanning and West Shamokin (high schools) and tried to find the best fit.”

Cominos said an agreement with Kittanning made the most sense and that Principal James Rummel agreed, so long as the Kittanning team retains its Class AA status in the WPIAL.

“It's the most favorable (co-op) for transportation purposes,” Cominos said. “And in a few years, there's a strong possibility with the new high school that these students are going to be together anyway.”

The arrangement is pending formal approval by the WPIAL and PIAA.

A co-op between Kittanning and Ford City for boys soccer comes just a couple months after the district re-established a girls soccer program that will represent Kittanning but will draw players from all three of the district's high schools.

Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at wwest@tribweb.com or 724-543-1321. Tim Karan contributed to this story.

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