ShareThis Page

Burrell wrestling team's success byproduct of talent, experience and tradition

| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 11:52 p.m.
Burrell's Steven Edwards (left) grapples with J.R. Andrejcik during wrestling practice on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. Both are probable starters for the defending WPIAL Class AA champion Bucs. Bill West | Valley News Dispatch
Kittanning's Nate Robb (right) works on positioning during wrestling practice on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. Bill West | Leader Times

As he watched Burrell's under-the-radar lineup grind its way to a sixth straight WPIAL Class AA team wrestling title a season ago, coach Bud Sines became a believer in the Bucs' mystique.

Sines, now in his second season as Burrell's coach, is certain the program's winning tradition will continue this winter.

“I'm confident that we're not going to disappoint,” Sines said. “When the kids here put on the Burrell singlet, they believe in (the mystique).”

Four seniors — only two of whom started the entire season — graduated for the Bucs. Among the returning grapplers for Burrell, ranked No. 2 in Class AA by the Tribune-Review News Service, are three PIAA tournament qualifiers including Mercyhurst recruit and 2012 state runner-up Dakota DesLauriers, who went 45-1 as a 182-pound junior.

Junior Steven Edwards made PIAAs a season ago as a 132-pounder. Senior Phil Marra also made it to Hershey as a 138-pounder. Junior Derrick Beattie (170 pounds a season ago) is back after reaching the PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional.


Graduation stripped Riverview of nine wrestlers and left the Raiders with an underclassman-laden roster.

Riverview will try to return to the Section 3-AA team tournament for a third straight year. The Raiders reached the fifth-place match after placing third in Subsection A each of the last two seasons but lost and consequently missed the WPIAL tournament.

After qualifying for the WPIALs at 113 and 145 pounds, respectively, a season ago, juniors Megan Moroney and Tyler Murphy will try to win medals this year.


Coach Steve Ansani has heard about the strong lineups Burrell and Kittanning will field, and he wants people to realize that Valley also has an abundance of talent and experience.

All but two starters are back for Valley, which placed second behind Burrell in Section 3-AA and had six PIAA Southwest Regional qualifiers, five of whom return.

“I don't mind flying under the radar,” Ansani said.

Juniors Terrell Fields and Pat Dewitt lead the way. Fields placed second at 182 pounds in the WPIAL and the PIAA Southwest region, and Dewitt won the WPIAL title at 103. Senior Josiah Hughes (113 pounds last season), junior Marcus Davenport (152) and junior Dylan Clark (160) aim to build on regional-round appearances.


Kittanning wrestling coach Brandon Newill found the distance between his Wildcats' potential and their on-mat performance maddening at times a season ago.

Not only is Newill intent on closing the gap this winter, he intends to help Kittanning, ranked No. 3 in Class AA by the Tribune-Review News Service, break new ground with group that includes 10 returning starters, five of whom were five PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional qualifiers and one of whom, Jason Nolf, placed third in the state.

“We're always looking to live up to our potential, but more than that, we're trying to push our potential,” Newill said. “We're trying to do better than we should. Absolutely, last year, we did not achieve what I think we could have.”

Kittanning lost to Section 3-AA Subsection B foes Burrell and Valley in dual meets. Later, in the WPIAL team quarterfinals, the Wildcats again fell to Burrell.

Kittanning will get its shot at redemption against Burrell and Valley. The Wildcats open their Section 3-AA schedule Wednesday with a home match against the Bucs, and the following week they'll travel to meet the Vikings.

Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 724-543-1303.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.