Robb relatives a major reason for Kittanning's wrestling success
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Perhaps boys with the surname Robb elsewhere in this country prefer to play basketball or swim or skate on a rink during the winter months.
In Kittanning, Robbs wrestle. And they do it well.
Two are among the grapplers with the most wins for the Wildcats this season, and a third likely would be there if not for a shoulder and chest injury that might keep him out for the entire season. Senior Nate's misfortune saddens the trio and the rest of the team, but there's solace in the fact that freshman Jacob and sophomore Logan, a cousin to brothers Jacob and Nate, have prospered.
“I think they've almost exceeded my expectations,” coach Brandon Newill said of the two younger Robbs. “But it's hard for me to say something like that, because we haven't had sections yet, and we haven't had WPIALs yet. I'm always looking forward to what's the goal. … I can say that they've definitely done a good job up to this point.”
Nate set the standard for his younger relatives as a freshman, when, as a 103-pounder, he won 31 matches and placed fifth in the WPIAL Class AA tournament to qualify for the PIAA Southwest regional round.
Because of injuries, Nate's potentially even brighter future never came to fruition. As a sophomore, he tore ligaments in his right shoulder midway through the season. As a junior, he went 29-8 before a season-ending knee injury in the semifinals of the WPIAL's 120-pound weight class.
Ligament damage in his right shoulder and upper chest have prevented Nate, slated to be a 126-pounder, from wrestling even one match this season; doctors identified the injuries just before the start of the schedule. The senior continues to hold on to hope for a late-season recovery — doctors deemed it possible — so he partakes in the team's cardio exercises.
“It's been my life for the past 11 years, and I couldn't see myself doing anything else,” Nate said. “I don't know where I'd be without wrestling. It's really shaped my outlook and who I am as an individual.”
Jacob, a lanky 170-pounder, appears to have taken the torch from Nate. However, his true tests await in February, when the individual postseason begins.
“I want to make it to regionals and try to place in the top eight,” said Jacob, who, prior to Tuesday night's match at Pine-Richland, had a record of 12-7, the third-most wins on the team.
Jacob's wrestling style, once more reliant on scrambling, has become more comparable to Nate's, which involved leg manipulation that allowed him to thrive when on top.
“I think if I just had good hips (at the junior high level), I'd be able to scramble out of positions and get on top and turn people,” Jacob said. “It's a huge step up (to varsity). … I think everybody is stronger, and they're more technical.”
Physicality is the forte for Logan, a 220-pounder with a 10-8 record in his first year as a varsity wrestler.
As a sixth grader, Logan briefly chose not to wrestle and tried basketball instead. But he quickly learned how deep his roots sank into wrestling's soil.
“I just tried it, and I fouled out pretty much every game,” Logan said. “I regret that a lot.
“I really wasn't that good as a wrestler until about eighth grade. I don't know what happened, but stuff started kicking in.”
Logan called it stuff. Others might go with genes.
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.
- Connellsville wrestlers hope to meet program’s standard of excellence
- Mt. Pleasant coach stockpiles strong group of wrestlers