Kiski Area's Matt McCutcheon becomes 10th to win 4 WCCA crowns
There were only nine wrestlers in the 60-year history of the Westmoreland County Coaches Association tournament to win four titles.
Now there is a 10th.
Kiski Area senior Matt McCutcheon joined the elite group Saturday night at Franklin Regional.
McCutcheon (22-0), who will wrestle at Penn State next season, breezed to his title when he pinned Penn-Trafford's Jack McGillick in 48 seconds in the 192-pound final.
“This is quite an accomplishment,” McCutcheon said. “It was a little easier this year, but I've had some battles here in the past.
“I'm wrestling at a different level now. I've concentrated more on wrestling after giving up baseball. I'm training more, and I trained at Penn State and got my butt whipped. It was a learning experience.”
Burrell senior Dakota DesLauriers also made history. He became only the 32nd three-time winner. He defeated Belle Vernon senior Adam Nickelson, 8-3, at 182. He used a late escape in the second period to grab a 3-2 lead. He added an escape and two takedowns in the third period.
“It was a fight (Saturday) and I'm a little sore, but it was worth it,” DesLauriers said. “I'm definitely excited to win my third county title.”
Franklin Regional won its first county team title with 193 points and it did it minus three starters, including returning champion Michael Kemerer. Kemerer's backup, Dom Giannangeli, filled in nicely by finishing second to Belle Vernon's Nate Russo, via a 5-0 decision at 126.
It was Russo's second county title. The first came in 2011.
Franklin Regional was led by Tyler Smith (132), Josh Maruca (138) and Josh Shields (145), each who won their second titles with impressive wins.
“This shows we are a true team,” Smith said. “We just don't have four or five guys; we had a lot of guys contribute. We were confident we could win this. Everyone in the room works hard.”
Smith won by technical fall over Burrell's J.R. Andrejcik, 21-5; Maruca rolled over Burrell's Steven Edwards, 15-3; and Shields handed Kiski Area senior Cole Landowski his second loss of the season, winning 7-2. Landowski lost to Maruca two weeks ago.
Hempfield had two champions. Ricky Cavallo won his second title with a 7-3 victory over Ligonier Valley's Justin Patrick at 113, and Sam Krivus won the 130 title with an 18-5 major decision over Belle Vernon's Brenden Hasson.
Latrobe freshman Luke Pletcher continued his impressive season when knocked off Southmoreland sophomore Austin Griffiths, 15-3, at 106. Griffiths is ranked No. 1 in the state in Class AA. Pletcher, who is one of the top-ranked wrestlers in the state in Class AAA, was just slicker than Griffiths.
He was joined on the winner's stand by junior Zack Zavatsky, who won his second county title with his 100th career win, pinning Nate Painter of Franklin Regional in the 170-pound final.
Others to win their second titles were Greensburg Salem's Zach Voytek (160) and Anthony Cable (220), and Kiski Area's Shane Kuhn (285). Voytek edged Kiski School's Dom Scalise, 6-3; Cable pinned Franklin Regional's Brett Zanotto; and Kuhn pinned Burrell's Allan Beattie.
In one of the best matches of the night, Norwin's Heath Coles edged Greensburg Salem's Tyler Reinhart, 4-3, in overtime.
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.