Gateway opens section slate with 56-21 victory
The Gateway varsity wrestling team got its Section 1A schedule off to a dominating start with a 56-21 victory over McKeesport last week.
With a number of new varsity wrestlers in the lineup, the Gators won 10 of the 14 bouts, including seven by fall and another by technical fall.
Sophomore Alex McCallum earned a pinfall victory in 2:23 of his 220-pound bout, and he captured Gator of the Match honors.
Junior Austin Davidson, who was coming off a medal-winning performance at the season-opening Eastern Area tournament, picked up the technical fall with a 15-0 whitewash of his opponent at 170 pounds.
Sophomore 138-pounder Jalen Key came through with a close 10-8 decision victory, while seniors A.J. Wilkins (126), Tyler Boehm (152), Mike Limbacher (160) and Malik Shuman (182); junior Cody Pawlowski (195); and sophomore Tony DeFazio (145) all recorded wins by fall.
Junior Thaer Shouman didn't have to compete, as he picked up a forfeit victory at 120.
The win for Wilkins was his fourth of the season, and he was able to bounce back from a tough loss in the 126-pound finals at the Eastern Area tournament.
Davidson, Shuman and Pawlowski each picked up their third wins on the young season.
Gateway will match up against section and WPIAL power Kiski Area on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Kiski Area High School.
The Gators got a good look at the Cavaliers at the Eastern Area tournament. Kiski Area won the championship — its fourth Eastern Area team title in a row — and had three individual champs and 10 top-six medalists overall.
The Gators will join a large field of teams at the annual Southmoreland Holiday Classic wrestling tournament Dec. 28 and 29 at Southmoreland High School.
The Southmoreland Classic is one of a couple of big local holiday tournaments and will feature 33 teams from WPIAL Class AA and AAA, as well as District 6 and 10 and the City League.
Jefferson Morgan, who Gateway saw at the Eastern Area tournament, will wrestle at Southmoreland.
Greenville, a school from District 10, will be out to defend its 2011 Southmoreland championship. Greenville, Jefferson Morgan and Forest Hills (District 6) each had two champions at last year's event.
Medals will be awarded up to eighth place, and four Gateway wrestlers earned medals last year.
Wilkins placed third at 113 in 2011, behind champion John Demaske of Jefferson Morgan and runner-up Seth Carr, a senior this year at South Fayette.
Wrestling action begins Dec. 28 with the preliminary matches at about 9:30 a.m. The quarterfinals and four rounds of consolation matches also will be on day one.
The tournament continues on Dec. 29 with the consolation quarterfinals and the semifinals at 9:30 a.m.
Wrestling continues through to the Parade of Champions and championship finals at 4.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at email@example.com.