ShareThis Page

Kiski Area wrestler tries to become 10th to win 4 WCCA titles

| Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 11:20 p.m.
Kiski Area's Matt McCutcheon restrains Franklin Regional's Brett Zanotto during the 220-pound wrestling match at Kiski Area High School on Wednesday, January 2, 2012. Erica Hilliard | Valley News Dispatch

It's the oldest county wrestling tournament in the state.

It's rich in tradition where brothers have won numerous titles, cousins have battled each other, and generations of family members have squared off.

The annual Westmoreland County Coaches Association tournament celebrates its 60th season beginning Friday at Franklin Regional, and by Saturday night, new chapters will be written. The finals are slated to begin at 7 p.m.

Kiski Area senior Matt McCutcheon, who has signed a letter of intent to wrestle at Penn State, is favored to win his fourth title, which would make him only the 10th wrestler to achieve that honor.

The last wrestlers to win four times were Franklin Regional's Nico Megaludis (Penn State) and Derry's Travis Shaffer (Pitt), both in 2011.

“Matt has been wrestling really well,” Kiski Area coach Chuck Tursky said. “He's been unbeatable and like a machine.”

McCutcheon is 17-0 at 195 pounds. He's ranked No. 1 by the Tribune-Review. Burrell senior Dakota DesLauriers (182 pounds) is seeking his third county title, but it won't be easy.

He will face stiff competition from Belle Vernon senior Adam Nickelson, Norwin senior Drew Phipps and Kiski Area freshman Tyler Worthing, all ranked in Class AAA. DesLauriers (9-0) is ranked No. 1 in Class AA.

“I'm looking forward to the challenge,” DesLauriers said. “The county tournament is one of the toughest tournaments in the state. There are so many great wrestlers in the county, and it would be an honor to be a three-time champion.”

DesLauriers would become the 32nd three-time winner.

Twelve others are looking for their second titles. Among the past winners are Franklin Regional's Michael Kemerer, Tyler Smith, Josh Maruca and Josh Shields; Greensburg Salem seniors Tyler Reinhart, Zach Voytek and Tanner Hahn, and junior Anthony Cable; Latrobe junior Zack Zavatsky; Kiski Area's Shane Kuhn; Hempfield's Ricky Cavallo; and Belle Vernon's Nate Russo.

“There are going to be some great matches,” said Hempfield coach Vince DeAugustine, who was a three-time champion. “This year is no different: 103, 120, 145, 182 and 285 are among the toughest weight classes.”

DeAugustine said that every year someone new steps up at the highly anticipated event.

Luke Pletcher (106) of Latrobe, George Phillipi (113) of Derry, Worthing (182) from Kiski Area and Jake Beistel (285) of Southmoreland are some of the freshmen to watch.

Pletcher and Southmoreland sophomore Austin Griffiths are ranked No. 1 in the state in their classes — Pletcher (AAA) and Griffiths (AA).

Latrobe is the two-time defending team champion. Wrestling will get under way at 5 p.m. Friday with first-round and quarterfinal matches.

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

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.