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Kittanning's Nolf, Burrell's DesLauriers seek serious challengers at Powerade tournament

Erica Hilliard | Valley News Dispatch - Kittanning's Jason Nolf attempts to pin Valley's Lemar Lopata during the 132lb wrestling match on December 19, 2012.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Erica Hilliard  |  Valley News Dispatch</em></div>Kittanning's Jason Nolf attempts to pin Valley's Lemar Lopata during the 132lb wrestling match on December 19, 2012.
- Kiski Area's #86 Shane Kuhn Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Kiski Area's #86 Shane Kuhn Jason Bridge  |  Valley News Dispatch

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Claim to fame: Kuhn, who is 11-0 and has 78 career wins, finished as the WPIAL Class AAA runner-up last season in the 285-pound class after losing to Canon-McMillan's Cody Klempay, 1-0. Kuhn, who finished last season 37-6 with 29 pins, placed fourth at the PIAA Class AAA tournament. Kuhn claimed titles in his weight class at the Section 1-AAA and Westmoreland County Coaches' Association tournaments.

“The goal is to stay on top of my game,” Kuhn said about his early success on the mat. “I don't really think about it. I just stay focused and not let it get into my head.”

Who do you have the toughest time wrestling against?

I would probably say the hardest wrestler I have faced is Luke Fleck from Franklin Regional. It has always been a close match that goes back and forth through the two years so far.

What's your best move?

I would have to say whatever really works against that particular opponent at that time. What might work on a smaller wrestler might not work on a bigger wrestler.

What do you need to do to claim WPIAL gold and get on the podium in Hershey?

I need to keep working and work harder. I know what I need to work on to get better.

— Andrew John


Class AAA

Rec. Pvs.

1. Canon-McMillan 2-0 1

2. Franklin Regional 6-0 2

3. Kiski Area 8-0 4

4. Connellsville 4-0 5

5. Gbg. Salem 5-1 6

6. Hampton 7-1 3

7. Central Catholic 1-0 7

8. Butler 2-0 8

9. North Allegheny 4-2 10

10. Belle Vernon 5-1 9

Class AA

1. Char-Houston 2-1 1

2. Burrell 4-3 2

3. Yough 10-0 3            

4. Kittanning 0-1 4

5. South Fayette 2-0 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. Zach Voytek, Greensburg Salem; 3. Heath Coles, Norwin; 4. Dom Nania, Hempfield; 5. Austin Bell, Belle Vernon.

170: 1. Cody Wiercioch, Canon-McMillan; 2. Brandon Olszewski, Hampton; 3. Kellan Stout, Mt. Lebanon; 4. Noah Wilps, Chartiers Valley; 5. Brebdan Burnham, Pine-Richland.

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. Alex DiCiantis, North Allegheny; 4. Alen Turcinhodzic, North Hills; 5. Anthony Cable, Greensburg Salem.

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

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; 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. Jake Wentzel, South Park.

138: 1. Steven Edwards, Burrell; 2. Jason Miller, Jefferson-Morgan; 3. Tony Welsh, Beth-Center.

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. Lucas Richardson, Yough.

182: 1. Dustin Conti, Jefferson-Morgan; 2. Justin Overly, Mt. Pleasant; 3. Dylan Clark, Valley.

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

220: 1. Jake Temple, Avella; 2. Christian Williams, Yough; 3. Tyler Cousins, Freedom.

285: 1. Jake Beistel, Southmoreland; 2. Tom Sever, Yough; 3. Allan Beattie, Burrell.

— Paul Schofield

Top high school sports
Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012, 10:10 p.m.

For Kittanning junior Jason Nolf and Burrell senior Dakota DesLauriers, few Christmas gifts are as alluring as an opportunity to showcase their wrestling abilities against elite competition during the holiday season.

Such a present will show up in two days for the WPIAL standouts.

The first — and perhaps only — chance for Nolf and DesLauriers to find out how they measure up against other potential PIAA individual title contenders and nationally ranked out-of-state foes arrives Friday in the form of the Powerade Christmas Tournament at Canon-McMillan High School.

Both are particularly eager for the event this season. DesLauriers, a finalist in 2010 and champion in 2011, considered himself fortunate for the opportunity to compete at all, as he, a 182-pounder, recovered from a bout with mononucleosis less than two weeks ago. And Nolf, a 132-pounder, is a newcomer to this tournament, which is ranked as the third toughest in the country by

“I know it's going to be real tough,” said Nolf, a state champion as a freshman and a third-place finisher last season. “There are going to be like 10 real top-of-the-line kids there, but I'm going there to win.”

Nolf's weight class is crowded with wrestlers who, like the Kittanning junior, appear on Intermat's national rankings. At No. 5, just one spot above Nolf, is Canon-McMillan senior Connor Schram, a Stanford recruit who took second in PIAA Class AAA last season. Forest Park (Va.) senior and Virginia Tech senior Dennis Gustafson is No. 9. And Blair Academy (N.J.) junior P.J. Klee is No. 11.

One win gives Nolf 100 for his career — his record stands at 99-1. But he desires a lot more.

So how would a Powerade title compare to PIAA gold?

“It'd rank pretty high; close to a state title,” Nolf said. “I think it's tougher than states, because at states, I usually have one tough kid.”

A championship certainly would shore up Nolf's college prospects. His list of possible destinations, which floats around 10, includes a few Ivy League schools, service academies and public schools.

“I don't want people knowing (specifics),” Nolf said. “Because other colleges that might give me an offer, I don't want to not include them, because if they see that I'm only interested in these certain few colleges, they won't approach me.”

DesLauriers' wrestling life is less complicated than Nolf's. He signed with Mercyhurst in the fall, which allowed him to avoid recruitment distractions.

“I don't feel a lot of pressure this year,” DesLauriers said. “There is some pressure, but I'm actually a little more relaxed than I was last year.”

While the 182-pound weight class lacks the star power of Nolf's, it's still sufficiently difficult for DesLauriers, a defending PIAA Class AA runner-up who hopes to unveil a more aggressive, offensive style this season.

“It's a nice tournament to gauge yourself and where you're at,” he said. “It's at a nice point in the season. It's not a league tournament or a tournament closer to states, where if you're awful, then you're like, ‘Oh God, what do I do?' Instead, it's like, OK, break yourself down and look at the things you did wrong.”

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

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