Davidson takes second place at Southmoreland
TribLIVE Sports Videos
At last year's Southmoreland Holiday Classic wrestling tournament, Gateway's Austin Davidson went 2-2 and bowed out in the second round of consolations.
The junior 170-pounder returned to Southmoreland on Friday and Saturday, and this time, he was determined to make an impact.
Davidson brought home Gateway's lone medal in tournament action, as he came within one victory of capturing the 170-pound title.
Butler junior Ryan Hannon, the fourth seed, topped the No. 1 seed on the way to a 5-1 triumph over Davidson in the finals.
“Austin wrestled very well,” Gateway head coach R.J. Santilli said. “The whole tournament he stuck to what he's good at. He made other wrestlers wrestle his type of match. He was on the offensive the whole tournament and really took it to his opponents.”
Davidson went into the tournament as the No. 10 seed, and he beat the second, third and seventh seeds to get to the finals.
He now is 8-4 on the season. He won six of seven matches since going 2-3 at the season-opening Eastern Area tournament at Gateway.
Davidson beat South Side Area senior Connor Payne, the No. 2 seed, 5-2, in the quarterfinals and won a close 7-6 decision over third-seeded Bobby Thompson, a senior from Blairsville, in the semifinals.
Payne is a four-year starter who finished fourth at last year's WPIAL Class AA tournament. He entered the Southmoreland tournament with more than 90 career varsity wins.
“Austin has practiced hard every day of the year,” Santilli said. “He's improved quite a bit every day.”
Senior A.J. Wilkins, who placed third at 113 pounds at last year's Southmoreland Tournament, was under the weather Friday and Saturday and didn't compete at this year's event.
Santilli said he's not sure how long Wilkins will be out of the lineup, but he hopes he will be able to return to action next week.
Seven other Gators wrestlers won at least one match at the Southmoreland Tournament.
Freshman Justin Smith went 2-2 at 113 pounds. He opened his tournament with a pinfall in 1:45 over Knoch freshman Zach Wilson.
After a second-round loss in the championship bracket, Smith pinned Mt. Pleasant freshman Jeremy Lawrence in the first round of consolations.
Santilli said there were some other good moments at the Southmoreland Tournament, but, he said, a number of his wrestlers could have performed better.
Gateway was scheduled to return to Section 1 action Wednesday night at Penn Hills. It was a match that was to be contested past the deadline for this week's edition.
The Gators step away from section competition Friday with a home match against Plum. The first bout is slated for 7 p.m., and Gateway wrestling alumni will be honored during the evening at the Furrie Sports Complex.
Gateway and Plum last wrestled in 2011, and the Mustangs won, 39-28.
“Any time two neighboring schools compete in any sport, it's a good thing,” Santilli said. “There are bragging rights, and people remember that for years. I wrestled for Gateway years ago, and I remember every match against Plum and who I wrestled. Even though we're not section rivals anymore, we're still rivals because we are neighboring schools. You want to win matches like these, because they mean a little bit more.”
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
- Port Authority police discuss bus crash with county prosecutors
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin bringing officials to practice
- Rossi: Pirates plan to carry Hurdle deep into playoffs
- Steelers’ Tomlin does not like his coaching style to be characterized
- 35,000 walrus come ashore in northwest Alaska
- Penguins notebook: Malkin picture muddy
- Pets rescued from Westmoreland house fire
- September ranks with driest ever in Western Pa.
- Melocchi pleads guilty in leading McKeesport gambling ring
- Flags lowered to mourn Pa. state trooper shot dead during gun training
- Threat leads to evacuation of Sandy Hook school