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Southmoreland wrestler winning for good cause

Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review - Southmoreland heavyweight wrestler Jake Beistel photographed on December 13, 2012 in Alverton.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Eric Schmadel  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Southmoreland heavyweight wrestler Jake Beistel photographed on December 13, 2012 in Alverton.
- Freedom wrestler Boe Bonzo. Submitted
Freedom wrestler Boe Bonzo. Submitted
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review - Southmoreland heavyweight wrestler Jake Beistel warms up with assistant coach Steve Santia at practice on December 13, 2012 in Alverton.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Eric Schmadel  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Southmoreland heavyweight wrestler Jake Beistel warms up with assistant coach Steve Santia at practice on December 13, 2012 in Alverton.

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Heath Coles

Norwin, senior

Claim to fame: Coles, who is 4-1 and has 94 career wins, is the reigning WPIAL Class AAA champion at 145 pounds after defeating Canon-McMillan's Dario Dobbin, 3-1, last year. Coles, who finished 2011-12 with a record of 38-7, was fourth at the PIAA tournament. Coles is still undecided about where he will attend college next year, but he would like to wrestle and major in physical and special education. “It's great to have a kid like him in the wrestling room, and the other wrestlers on the team look up to him,” Norwin coach Todd Schuchert said.

How did you spend your offseason to get better on the mat?

I went to tournaments in Florida and North Dakota. I was able to practice a lot on my wrestling technique. I was able to do freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling.

How can you get yourself on the podium in Hershey?

I have to keep wrestling my style and keep doing what I was taught in the past years. I hope it pays off and I get to Hershey and on a podium.

What has been your favorite moment during your high school career?

My favorite moment would have to be beating Latrobe's Ty Lydic in the WPIAL semifinals in a rideout.

— Andrew John

Wrestling rankings

Class AAA

Rec. Pvs.

1. Canon-McMillan 1-0 1

2. Franklin Regional 2-0 2

3. Hampton 6-0 3

4. Kiski Area 6-0 4

5. Connellsville 3-0 7

6. Greensburg Salem 4-1 5

7. Central Catholic 1-0 8

8. Butler 1-0 9

9. Belle Vernon 5-1 NR

10. North Allegheny 3-2 6

Class AA

1. Chartiers-Houston 1-0 1

2. Burrell 2-2 2

3. Yough 9-0 NR

4. Kittanning 0-1 3

5. South Fayette 1-0 5

Class AAA individuals

106: 1. Gage Curry, North Hills; 2. Brendon Price, Canon-McMillan; 3. Mitch Hartman, Belle Vernon; 4. Chris Eddins, Greensburg Salem; 5. Gage Nicolella, McGuffey.

113: 1. Luke Pletcher, Latrobe; 2. A.C. Headlee, Waynesburg; 3. Ricky Cavallo, Hempfield; 4. James Harrison, West Mifflin; 5. Sam White, Mt. Lebanon.

120: 1. Sam Krivus, Hempfield; 2. Dalton Macri, Canon-McMillan; 3. Dom Forys, North Allegheny; 4. Vincenzo Joseph, Central Catholic; 5. Blake Caudill, Butler.

126: 1. Michael Kemerer, Franklin Regional; 2. Tyler Walker, North Hills; 3. Nathan Russo, Belle Vernon; 4. Lukas Etzel, Elizabeth Forward; 5. Casey McGowan, Penn-Trafford.

132: 1. Connor Schram, Canon-McMillan; 2. Tyler Smith, Franklin Regional; 3. Joel Pezze, Norwin; 4. Drew Walker, North Hills; 5. Ron Seibert, Central Catholic.

138: 1. Josh Maruca, Franklin Regional; 2. Ethan Kenney, Connellsville; 3. Italo Merante, Peters Township; 4. Justin Alexander, Central Catholic; 5. Jake Shaffer, Latrobe.

145: 1. Josh Shields, Franklin Regional; 2. Cole Landowski, Kiski Area; 3. Derek Verkleeren, Belle Vernon; 4. Chris Nuss, Central Catholic; 5. Kevin Synan, Hampton.

152: 1. Tyler Reinhart, Greensburg Salem; 2. Kyle Skelly, Kiski Area; 3. Kyle Coniker, Central Catholic; 4. Dale Provance, Connellsville; 5. Zach Kocak, Hampton.

160: 1. Zack Zavatsky, Latrobe; 2. Heath Coles, Norwin; 3. Dom Nania, Hempfield; 4. Austin Bell, Belle Vernon; 5. Jonathan Avon, North Hills.

170: 1. Cody Wiercioch, Canon-McMillan; 2. Zach Voytek, Greensburg Salem; 3. Brandon Olszewski, Hampton; 4. Kellan Stout, Mt. Lebanon; 5. Noah Wilps, Chartiers Valley.

182: 1. Adam Nickelson, Belle Vernon; 2. Zach Smith, North Allegheny; 3. Drew Phipps, Norwin; 4. Ryan Hannon, Butler; 5. Pat Barcaskey, Moon.

195: 1. Matt McCutcheon, Kiski Area; 2. Jake Hart, Hampton; 3. Alen Turcinhodzic, North Hills; 4. Anthony Cable, Greensburg Salem; 5. Dom McWreath, Trinity.

220: 1. Alex Campbell, Canon-McMIllan; 2. Cole Macek, Montour; 3. James Keys, West Mifflin; 4. Dylan Miller, Connellsville; 5. Calvin Sittig, Ambridge.

285: 1. Shane Kuhn, Kiski Area; 2. Damon Sims, Hopewell; 3. Luke Fleck, Franklin Regional; 4. Zach Deluca, Central Catholic; 5. Noah Shulman, Hampton.

Class AA individuals

106: 1. Austin Griffith, Southmoreland; 2. Austin McDermitt, Burgettstown; 3. Brendon Howard, Jefferson-Morgan.

113: 1. Cody Charles, Yough; 2. George Phillipi, Derry Area; 3. Jake Rothka, Bentworth.

120: 1. Seth Carr, South Fayette; 2. Zach Swarrow, Beth-Center; 3. Matt Vickless, Bentworth.

126: 1. Nathan Reckner, South Side Beaver; 2. Vince Vahaly, Bentworth; 3. Rich McGinnis, Chartiers-Houston.

132: 1. Jason Nolf, Kittanning; 2. Shane Gentry, South Side Beaver; 3. Wade Blackmon, West Greene.

138: 1. Steven Edwards, Burrell; 2. Jake Wentzel, South Park; 3. Christian Emminger, Kittanning.

145: 1. Nick Gavazzi, Charleroi; 2. Phil Marra, Burrell; 3. Jason Stay, Beth-Center.

152: 1. Tanner Sutton, Chartiers-Houston; 2. Boe Bonzo, Freedom; 3. Grant Fetchet, South Fayette.

160: 1. Derek Hull, Chartiers-Houston; 2. Nico Brown, Beth-Center; 3. Bill Bowlen, Jefferson-Morgan.

170: 1. Mike Fetchet, South Fayette; 2. Brendon Glover, West Shamokin; 3. Dalton Rosa, Laurel.

182: 1. Dustin Conti, Jefferson-Morgan; 2. Justin Overly, Mt. Pleasant; 3. Lucas Richardson, Yough.

195: 1. Garrett Vulcano, Chartiers-Houston; 2. Cody Jacobs, West Greene; 3. Jake Fordyce, Bentworth.

220: 1. Jake Temple, Avella; 2. Tom Sever, Yough; 3. Tyler Cousins, Freedom.

285: 1. Jake Beistel, Southmoreland; 2. Christian Williams, Yough; 3. David Grafton, Kittanning.

— Paul Schofield

Top high school sports
Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Southmoreland freshman Jake Beistel isn't a typical teenager.

He likes doing things for people, sometimes cleaning up his community or an old theater.

So when Beistel asked his coach, Ryan Shaw, if he could solicit people in the community to sponsor him this wrestling season so he could raise money for charity, Shaw said go for it.

It's not the first time Beistel has done something like this. In 2011, when he was in eighth grade, he wanted to do something in memory of Latrobe student Zach Colucci, who died in an accident in 2011.

So, with the help of his parents Stacey and Kurt, he raised $500 during his wrestling season and gave it, in Colucci's name, to the autism program in the Greater Latrobe School District.

Beistel and Colucci were friends and competitors through wrestling.

This year, Beistel will raise money to help the autism program at Southmoreland. Instead of having his parents foot the bill, Beistel got permission from the school to seek sponsors this season for his project.

Sponsors can either pay a flat amount or sponsor him per win, per pin or per match. Beistel is already 5-0 this season and won the heavyweight title at the Chartiers-Houston Tournament on Dec. 8. He was 48-3 in 2011-12.

“I wanted to give back to the community and local kids,” Beistel said. “I had a choice. I could have raised money for veterans or for the school's autism program.

“My grandfather, who was a veteran of Vietnam, said any real veteran would want me to do it for the kids.”

So, at the end of the season, all money Beistel raises will go to the district's elementary autism programs.

Because of budget cuts and program cuts, Beistel hopes the funds help.

“I was really impressed with his ability to step out on his own in helping kids in the district,” Southmoreland High School principal Daniel Krofcheck said. “This was unprompted. He's a stand-up kid, a good athlete and a good guy.”

He already has sponsorship from the Southmoreland coaching staff and a few others from the school and community.

He selected the autism program because his younger brother, Caden, is in the buddy program in the elementary school. He helps his assigned student with homework and other things.

Beistel hopes to raise more than $1,000, and is already a quarter of the way to his goal. Larry Newcomer, the president of Pennsylvania Youth Wrestling, has pledged to contribute $50 per win.

“As a coach, you know Jake is doing the right thing in the community,” Shaw said. “He's a role model, not only to his teammates, but to others in the school. That's tough for a freshman, but other students want to help.

“The entire school is rallying behind his project. He is a 15-year-old kid not thinking of himself, but wanting to help others.”

Leah Govi, an autistic support teacher at the elementary school, and Kelly Most, an autistic support teacher at the primary center, will handle the donations. Checks must be made out to the SES Activity Fund. Anyone interested in sponsoring Beistel should contact the high school at 724-887-2037.

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at

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