Noah Wilps creating his own legacy with Colts
Chartiers Valley junior wrestler Noah Wilps isn't trying to escape the shadow of his older siblings.
Instead, he wants to go down the same path.
Wilps' brothers, Matt and Tyler, are two of the most successful wrestlers to come out of Chartiers Valley and are members of the Pitt wrestling team.
If the youngest brother's goals become reality, he also will be a Panther.
“It is something I want to do,” Wilps said. “I grew up watching them wrestle. I want to follow in their footsteps.”
Wilps is on his way to achieving his goal as he has recorded a 15-5 mark this season. He also has found tournament success: He finished seventh at the Powerade Christmas Wrestling Tournament, considered to be one of the top high school tournaments in the country.
At the Allegheny County Wrestling Championships, Wilps took a third-place finish. The 170-pounder recorded wins over Highlands' Zach Mazur, Baldwin's Zach Denois and Plum's Andrew McRandal before falling to Mt. Lebanon's Kellan Stout, 7-1, in the semifinals.
Then, in the wrestle-back bracket, Wilps defeated Obama Academy's De'Andre Caviness before downing Hampton's Brandon Olszewski in the third-place consolation match with a 3-0 decision.
“”There were a lot of good wrestlers there,” Wilps said, “Of course I wanted to win it, but I got third. I did the best I could.
“It is a good tournament, because a lot of the WPIAL wrestlers I will be wrestling against in the section tournament were there and I got an idea of what to expect.”
As a freshman, Wilps recorded a 19-20 record at 152 pounds. He then made the jump to 170 pounds as a sophomore and went 27-13.
“I don't really have a weight I'd say I'm comfortable with,” Wilps said. “Whatever weight I am at is where I will wrestle. I don't want to cut too much weight.”
Wilps' success isn't surprising to Chartiers Valley coach Bill Evans, who said the 170-pounder is the perfect example for young wrestlers to see the results of hard work.
“(Wilps) put the time in over the summer and on the weekends,” Evans said. “He hits the weights hard. He goes down to Pitt and practices on the open mat weekends. He does everything you're supposed to do.
“He has willed himself to be a better wrestler.”
Wilps was a member of the Pennsylvania team at the USA Wrestling Cadet Duals last summer. Wilps wrestled at 160 pounds and defeated Illinois' Zachary Prinz, 3-1, in the finals to help Pennsylvania to a 33-31 victory in the championship.
“It was an awesome experience,” Wilps said. “It was great winning the title, and I noticed throughout the week at camp I felt an improvement.
It definitely was a growing experience.”
Wilps said he has continued to improve his skills on the mat. While he feels his technique is solid, he has been concentrating on outworking his opponents.
Evans is excited to see the results.
“When (Wilps) opens things up and gets more offensive, he is going to be dangerous,” Evans said. “He wins matches now because he is a good wrestler. But I think he will be dominant when he realizes when he is on the move for six minutes, no one can go with him.
“Going into next season, it will be scary how dominant he can be.”
Wilps still has his junior season to worry about, and he has his eyes on his top goal: reaching the PIAA tournament. He made it to the Southwest Regional last season before going 1-2 and falling short of states.
This year, he is determined to take that next step.
“My goal is to go to the state tournament,” Wilps said. “It has been a goal since I was a freshman, and this is the year I think I can do it.”
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-388-5813.