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Yough's wrestling team has come a long way

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NATE RUSSO

Belle Vernon, senior

Claim to fame: Russo (15-2) finished third at 126 pounds during the Steve DeAugustino Holiday Classic at West Mifflin. Russo, who has 111 career wins, was able to pin Gateway's A.J. Wilkins in 3:02 to win the 126-pound title at the Eastern Area Invitational at Gateway in early December.

“I feel like I have done pretty good,” Russo said. “I got my 100th win in my first home match of the season. I feel have done pretty good so far this season.”

What has been the most amount of weight that you had to cut before weigh-ins?

I never have to gain any weight this year. I have had to lose 8 pounds this year. During the summer, at one tournament I had to lose 19 pounds.

What's the reason for the continued success at Belle Vernon in recent years?

We have a lot of tough wrestlers on the team. Our wrestling coach has been tough on us, and we have been able to win some tough matches this year.

What keeps you motivated?

I hope to keep on getting better each and every day. I hope to get to a college on a scholarship.

What made you get into wrestling?

When I was little, my brother and I loved watching WWE. We started to wrestle each other and that's how I got myself started in wrestling.

— Andrew John

Wrestling rankings

Class AAA

Rec. Pvs.

1. Canon-McMillan 6-0 1

2. Kiski Area 10-0 3

3. Connellsville 10-1 4

4. Greensburg Salem 6-1 5

5. Hampton 8-1 6

6. Franklin Regional 7-1 2

7. North Allegheny 6-2 9

8. Latrobe 3-1 NR

9. Butler 2-1 9

10. Belle Vernon 6-2 10

Class AA

1. Chartiers-Houston 3-1 1

2. Burrell 6-3 2

3. Yough 11-1 3 4. South Fayette 3-0 5

5. Kittanning 2-2 4

Class AAA individuals

106: 1. Luke Pletcher (12-2), Latrobe; 2. Gage Curry (14-1), North Hills; 3. Brendon Price (14-5), Canon-McMillan; 4. Chris Eddins (14-6), Greensburg Salem; 5. Scotty Stossel (10-4), NA.

113: 1. A.C. Headlee (23-3), Waynesburg; 2. Ricky Cavallo (10-5), Hempfield; 3. James Harrison (11-0), West Mifflin; 4. Mitch Hartman (10-2), Belle Vernon; 5. Kevin Kinyua (10-3), Mt. Lebanon.

120: 1. Sam Krivus (11-3), Hempfield; 2. Dalton Macri (17-4), Canon-McMillan; 3. Dom Forys (13-3), North Allegheny; 4. Vincenzo Joseph (9-5), Central Catholic; 5. Blake Caudill (10-2), Butler.

126: 1. Connor Schram (18-3), Canon-McMillan; 2. Michael Kemerer (13-4), F. Regional; 3. Tyler Walker (15-0), North Hills; 4. Nate Russo (14-2), Belle Vernon; 5. Austin Shaw (17-3), Gbg. Salem.

132: 1. Tyler Smith (14-3), Franklin Regional; 2. Joel Pezze (9-3), Norwin; 3. Drew Walker (13-2), North Hills; 4. Italo Merante (9-2), Peters Township; 5. Corey Wilding (9-4), USC.

138: 1. Josh Maruca (14-4), Franklin Regional; 2. Justin Alexander (21-6), Central Catholic; 3. Ethan Kenney (8-4), Connellsville; 4. Jesse Rodgers (11-2), NA; 5. Jake Shaffer (10-4), Latrobe.

145: 1. Josh Shields (13-4), Franklin Regional; 2. Cole Landowski (16-1), Kiski Area; 3. Kevin Synan (11-4), Hampton; 4. Tyler Steele (5-0), Connellsville; 5. Brandon Heinzelman (18-3), Ringgold.

152: 1. Tyler Reinhart (16-3), Greensburg Salem; 2. Heath Coles (10-2), Norwin; 3. Kyle Skelly (15-2), Kiski Area; 4. Kyle Coniker (13-6), Central Catholic; 5. Tyler Heasley (10-2), Fox Chapel.

160: 1. Zack Zavatsky (12-1), Latrobe; 2. Zach Voytek (19-1), Greensburg Salem; 3. Dom Nania (9-4), Hempfield; 4. Brendan Burnham (7-1), Pine-Richland; 5. Austin Bell (17-2), Belle Vernon.

170: 1. Cody Wiercioch (18-1), Canon-McMillan; 2. Brandon Olszewski (11-1), Hampton; 3. Kellan Stout (11-1), Mt. Lebanon; 4. Noah Wilps (9-4), Chartiers Valley; 5. Ryan Hannon (9-0), Butler.

182: 1. Adam Nickelson (15-0), Belle Vernon; 2. Zach Smith (11-4), North Allegheny; 3. Drew Phipps (13-3), Norwin; 4. Tyler Worthing (14-6), Kiski Area; 5. Raistlen Willett (17-6), Gbg. Salem.

195: 1. Matt McCutcheon (16-0), Kiski Area; 2. Jake Hart (13-1), Hampton; 3. Alex DiCiantis (5-1), NA; 4. Alen Turcinhodzic (12-3), North Hills; 5. Anthony Cable (11-4), Gbg. Salem.

220: 1. Alex Campbell (16-4), Canon-McMillan; 2. Cole Macek (6-0), Montour; 3. Noah Shulman (12-4), Hampton; 4. James Keys (9-3), West Mifflin; 5. Zach DeLuca (17-7), Central Catholic.

285: 1. Shane Kuhn (17-0), Kiski Area; 2. Damon Sims Jr. (2-0), Hopewell; 3. Tyler Mears (10-5), Latrobe; 4. Angelo Broglia (18-5), Canon-McMillan; 5. Tyler Lever (11-2), Fox Chapel.

Class AA individuals

106: 1. Austin Griffith (9-1), Southmoreland; 2. Austin McDermitt (11-1), Burgettstown; 3. Brendon Howard (15-1), Jefferson-Morgan.

113: 1. Cody Charles (14-1), Yough; 2. George Phillipi (14-2), Derry; 3. Jake Rothka (9-2), Bentworth.

120: 1. Nathan Reckner (15-1), South Side Beaver (15-1); 2. Seth Carr (10-1), South Fayette; 3. Rich McGinnis (13-6), Chartiers-Houston.

126: 1. Patrick DeWitt (12-1), Valley; 2. Vince Vahaly (5-1), Bentworth; 3. Greg Bulsak (12-4), South Park.

132: 1. Jason Nolf (18-0), Kittanning; 2. Nick Zanetta (10-1), Keystone Oaks; 3. Shane Gentry (15-1), South Side Beaver.

138: 1. Nick Gavazzi (11-0), Charleroi; 2. Steven Edwards (11-4), Burrell; 3. Jason Miller (16-2), J-M.

145: 1. Tanner Sutton (15-4), Chartiers-Houston; 2. Phil Marra (9-4), Burrell; 3. Matt Johnston (12-1), West Greene.

152: 1. Boe Bonzo (12-2), Freedom; 2. Grant Fetchet (11-1), SF; 3. Corey Falleroni (14-2), Burrell.

160: 1. J.J. Walker (6-1), South Fayette; 2. Derek Hull (12-5), Chartiers-Houston; 3. Nico Brown (9-4), Beth-Center.

170: 1. Mike Fetchet (11-0), South Fayette; 2. Dalton Rosa (11-0), Laurel; 3. Connor Payne (15-2), South Side Beaver.

182: 1. Dakota DesLauriers (8-0), Burrell; 2. Dustin Conti (12-0), Jefferson-Morgan; 3. Terrell Fields (10-1), Valley.

195: 1. Garrett Vulcano (16-2), C-H; 2. Eli Holt (13-4), Mt. Pleasant; 3. Cody Jacobs (10-2), West Greene.

220: 1. Jake Temple (11-1), Avella; 2. Tom Sever (15-2), Yough; 3. Tyler Cousins (8-3), Freedom.

285: 1. Jake Beistel (10-1), Southmoreland; 2. Allan Beattie (14-4), Burrell; 3. Christian Williams (13-2), Yough.

— Paul Schofield

Top high school sports
Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, 10:52 p.m.
 

When Jeremy Zufall took over as coach at Yough High School nine seasons ago, there were only seven wrestlers on the roster.

Fast forward to today, and things have certainly changed at Yough. The Cougars have started to become a contender in WPIAL Class AA.

Yough, ranked No. 3, had a chance to make a statement Monday against No. 2 Burrell, the reigning WPIAL champion. Yough came up just short, falling 35-28.

The Cougars opened the 2012-13 season with 11 consecutive victories, but Burrell proved to be their first challenge of the season.

Despite the loss, Zufall said he was pleased with the effort against Burrell, a program rich in tradition. Zufall wants his program to strive to be like a Burrell.

“This was a measuring point, and we came up short,” Zufall said. “The loss was a learning experience for the wrestlers. We lost close matches, and we have to learn from our mistakes.

“We felt the close matches on paper would be the difference. Burrell won all them. The 126-pound match was the difference.”

That's where Teddy Charletta dropped a heartbreaking 10-8 overtime decision to Damon Greenwald.

Yough battles Section 2 rival Derry on Wednesday, and a victory would give it a sub-section title.

Zufall wants another section banner to match the 2010 team.

Yough (11-1) won six matches, including pins by Gary Fallacker (195 pounds) and Tom Sever (220), against Burrell. The Cougars also got wins from Alex Schork (106), Cody Charles (113), Mike Anderson (160) and Lucas Richardson (170).

“We have one of the largest rosters (30 wrestlers) in Class AA,” Zufall said. “The junior high program has some good wrestlers coming, and the Junior Olympic program is getting stronger.

“We're starting to develop kids at younger levels, like Burrell. We're doing the right stuff.”

Burrell coach Bud Sines, in his second season, noticed the effort of the Yough wrestlers, and he knows it takes a team effort to become a good program.

“Burrell is a wrestling community,” Sines said. “The kids grow up wanting to be wrestlers. We have kids coming up all the time.”

Sines said he knew his team was in for a battle against Yough.

“There aren't many teams in the WPIAL (Class AA) that can matchup with us,” Zufall said. “Burrell and South Fayette are about the only ones. We're good. We have to keep getting better. The loss might not be so bad.

“The program is like night and day since I got here. We have clubs in the district, and we're going to be good for 10 to 15 years or so. We have five JO state placewinners coming up, so the future looks bright.”

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com.

 

 

 
 


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