Latrobe wrestling team gets unexpected help
Latrobe wrestling coach Tad Harbert doesn't know how much longer he'll have junior Logan Carns this season.
The quarterback of the football team is scheduled to have surgery to repair the left shoulder on his non-throwing arm.
But Carns was one of at least four Latrobe wrestlers to come up with big wins to defeat rival Greensburg Salem, 39-27, Wednesday in a WPIAL Class AAA Section-B first-place showdown.
Carns held on to defeat Greensburg Salem junior Raistlen Willett, 6-5, in the 182-pound match that eventually decided the outcome.
Latrobe (5-1, 5-0) will now wrestle Franklin Regional, and Greensburg Salem (7-2, 4-1) will face Kiski Area next Wednesday in the Section 1 tournament at Kiski Area.
“We got good performances from kids you really wouldn't expect,” Harbert said. “The heroes were Joey Russo (113 pounds), Ethan Stas (132), Jake Shaffer (138), Dylan Davis (220), and Logan's win was massively huge.
“We got timely victories, and the bonus points were huge, too. Jake Shaffer's win was the big turnaround. He lost to (Zach) Mattucci at counties.”
Latrobe started quickly, building leads of 18-0 and 27-6. The match started at 285 pounds, and Tyler Mears with a pin and freshman sensation Luke Pletcher (106) won by injury default. Russo and Eric Mills (120) picked up decisions.
Greensburg Salem sophomore Austin Shaw stopped the Latrobe run with a pin at 126, but Stas (decision) and Jake Shaffer (pin) pushed the lead to 27-6.
That's when Greensburg Salem charged back. Zach Sistek (145) won in overtime, and senior Tyler Reinhart (152) and Zach Voytek (160) posted consecutive falls to trim the lead to 27-21.
“As bad as we wrestled, with three matches left and I thought we would win the match,” Greensburg Salem coach Randy Parsley said. “I thought we were better at 220 and 182, but we didn't listen. Latrobe wrestled better.
“I was hoping to get a Voytek and (Zack) Zavatsky match. If we would have, we could have won.”
Zavatsky bumped up to 170 pounds and pinned Greensburg Salem freshman Daniel Walters.
There were anxious moments in the match when Zavatsky was called for an illegal slam. But Walters continued to wrestle after taking some recovery time.
“We bumped Zack up because we wanted a split at 160 and 170,” Harbert said. “It probably was Logan's biggest win of the season. He has a great cross-faced cradle.
“It won't be easy at Kiski Area. Section 1 is just a typical grind. We look forward to it. We're not young anymore. I knew had talent. I didn't know if we could beat a team like Greensburg Salem.”
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.