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N.A. wrestler looks to become 3-time champ at Allegheny tourney

| Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 11:02 p.m.

North Allegheny's Dom Forys qualified for the PIAA Class AAA wrestling championships in each of his first two seasons of varsity competition, taking home a PIAA bronze medal at 106 pounds as a sophomore this past March.

On the road to a return trip to Hershey, Fox Chapel is the next stop.

Forys heads into the Allegheny County Wrestling Championship tournament as the only two-time champion entered in the event held Friday and Saturday at Fox Chapel.

“He built some confidence placing third in the state,” North Allegheny coach Jamie Kyriazis said.

“But he's not sitting back enjoying that — his ultimate goal is to win a state title, and all these things along the way are kind of stepping stones. There's a big challenge ahead for him this weekend.”

Forys is the top seed in the 120-pound bracket, which is the only one that features two returning county champions. Vincenzo Joseph of Central Catholic won the ACWC championship at 106 pounds last season.

“I guess he's grown this year,” said Forys, the reigning 113-pound county champion. “I'm excited to hopefully wrestle him. We've never wrestled before, other than in practice. ... It would definitely be a good match — but we've got to get there first. He's the (No. 2) seed, so I wouldn't see him until the final, so I've got to take it one match at a time.”

Forys joins senior Alex DeCiantis (182 pounds) as a top-seeded returning county champion from North Allegheny. The Tigers' Scotty Stossel is also a No. 1 seed, at 106 pounds.

The only other school with three No. 1 seeds is reigning team champion Hampton — Kevin Synan (145 pounds), Jake Hart (195) and defending 285-pound champion Noah Shulman.

Lukas Etzel of Elizabeth Forward won last season's county title at 126 pounds but this season is seeded behind North Hills' Tyler Walker and Shaler's Jordan McGonigle in that bracket.

“I look forward to (it),” Forys said. “It's a big tournament on our schedule, and it's just nice knowing that you'll face some tough competition.”

Central Catholic and North Hills also have two No. 1 seeds. In addition to Walker, the Indians' Jonathan Avon is atop the 160-pound bracket. Justin Alexander and Zach Deluca are Vikings' top seeds at 138 and 220 pounds, respectively.

Reigning PIAA Class AA 126-pound runner-up Nick Zanetta of Keystone Oaks is a featured attraction at 132 pounds. He joins West Mifflin's Jimmy Harrison (113 pounds), Allderdice's Brian Estep (152) and South Fayette's Mike Fechet (170) as other No. 1 seeds.

“It's definitely important, but it's not like a high-pressure kind of tournament,” Kyriazis said. “It's a well-run, fun tournament, but they get a lot of matches in.”

The weigh-ins are scheduled for 8 a.m. each day, with competition getting under way 10 a.m. Friday. The semifinals begin 11 a.m. Saturday, and the title matches are at 6 p.m. Thirty-eight schools will compete.

“We'll have a nice mix of schools participating,” said Fox Chapel coach Ron Frank, whose school has been hosting the tournament since 2002. “This will be the only wrestling event in Allegheny County where you'll see private schools up against public schools. We'll have new wrestlers going up against WPIAL champions. It's a delight for those who love high school wrestling, and it's always a great event.”

Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.

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