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South Fayette wrestling in midst of historic season

Jason Bridge | Tribune-Review - South Fayette’s Mike Fetchet, bottom, works to control his opponent in their 170-pound bout during the Allegheny County Wrestling finals at Fox Chapel High School on Saturday, January 12, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Jason Bridge  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>South Fayette’s Mike Fetchet, bottom, works to control his opponent in their 170-pound bout during the Allegheny County Wrestling finals at Fox Chapel High School on Saturday, January 12, 2013.
Jason Bridge | Tribune-Review - South Fayette’s Seth Carr, back, works to control his opponent in their 113-pound bout during the Allegheny County Wrestling finals at Fox Chapel High School on Saturday, January 12, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Jason Bridge  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>South Fayette’s Seth Carr, back, works to control his opponent in their 113-pound bout during the Allegheny County Wrestling finals at Fox Chapel High School on Saturday, January 12, 2013.
- Central Catholic wrestler Zach DeLuca Submitted
Central Catholic wrestler Zach DeLuca Submitted

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Central Catholic, JR.

Claim to fame: DeLuca defeated Montour's Cole Macek, 3-1, to win the 220-pound title at the Allegheny County wrestling tournament Jan. 12. DeLuca recently dropped down to the 220-pound weight class after starting at heavyweight.

“I thought I did good during the tournament,” DeLuca said. “I thought I could have done more during the final match. I need to work on my shots.”

Which weight class do you feel more comfortable?

I feel better at 220. I was at 230 at the beginning of the season. I was having success (at the higher weight class). But as the season has continued, I have been having trouble maintaining my weight with all the practicing that I have done. I thought since I was around 220, I might as well wrestle at that weight class.

Who are your toughest opponents?

I haven't gotten a chance yet to wrestle (Canon-McMillan's) Alex Campbell. During that (finals) match, Macek was pretty tough. Also, (Solanco's) Thomas Haines, who has won states two times. Hopefully, I get a shot at him.

How do you think the team will do in the playoffs?

If we put in all the same effort and if we are all on the same page, we will go pretty far with it.

— Andrew John

Wrestling rankings

Class AAA

Rec. Pvs.

1. Canon-McMillan 8-0 1

2. Kiski Area 13-0 2

3. Connellsville 16-2 3

4. Franklin Regional 9-1 6

5. North Allegheny 11-2 7

6. Latrobe 7-2 8

7. Greensburg Salem 12-2 4

8. Belle Vernon 8-2 9

9. Hampton 10-2 5

10. Peters Township 8-0 NR

Class AA

1. South Fayette 5-0 3

2. Burrell 7-4 2

3. Yough 14-1 4 4. Kittanning 9-3 5

5. Chartiers-Houston 4-3 1

Class AAA individuals

106: 1. Luke Pletcher, Latrobe (20-2); 2. Gage Curry, North Hills (24-2); 3. Brendon Price, Canon-McMillan (16-6); 4. Kevin Miller, Norwin (12-5); 5. Mike Heinl, Shaler (17-5).

113: 1. A.C. Headlee, Waynesburg (29-3); 2. Ricky Cavallo, Hempfield (18-5); 3. James Harrison, West Mifflin (21-2); 4. Mitch Hartman, Belle Vernon (15-5); 5. Kevin Kinyua, Mt. Lebo (18-7).

120: 1. Sam Krivus, Hempfield (18-3); 2. Dalton Macri, Canon-McMillan (21-5); 3. Dom Forys, N. Allegheny (24-1); 4. Vincenzo Joseph, Central Catholic (11-5); 5. Blake Caudill, Butler (17-3).

126: 1. Connor Schram, Canon-McMillan (22-3); 2. Michael Kemerer, F. Regional (13-4); 3. Tyler Walker, N. Hills (25-0); 4. Nate Russo, Belle Vernon (20-2); 5. Tyler Buckiso, Peters (19-2).

132: 1. Tyler Smith, Franklin Regional (18-3); 2. Drew Walker, North Hills (23-3); 3. Italo Merante, Peters (15-2); 4. Joel Pezze, Norwin (15-5); 5. Jake Ardellitz, Kiski Area (19-8).

138: 1. Josh Maruca, F. Regional (19-4); 2. Jesse Rodgers, NA (22-2); 3. Justin Alexander, Central Catholic (23-6); 4. Ethan Kenney, Connellsville (19-6); 5. Sean LaVella, Hempfield (15-3).

145: 1. Josh Shields, F. Regional (19-4); 2. Cole Landowski, Kiski Area (23-2); 3. Kevin Synan, Hampton (17-4); 4. Chris Nuss, Central Catholic (14-8); 5. Derek Verkleeren, Belle Vernon (17-5).

152: 1. Heath Coles, Norwin (16-3); 2. Tyler Reinhart, Gbg. Salem (26-4); 3. Kyle Skelly, Kiski Area (17-3); 4. Kyle Coniker, Central Catholic (15-6); 5. Devin Austin, Penn-Trafford (24-6).

160: 1. Zack Zavatsky, Latrobe (22-1); 2. Zach Voytek, Gbg. Salem (30-1); 3. Austin Bell, Belle Vernon (22-5); 4. Jonathan Avon, North Hills (19-1); 5. Brendan Burnham, Pine-Richland (13-1).

170: 1. Cody Wiercioch, Canon-McMillan (24-1); Kellan Stout, Mt. Lebanon (19-3); 3. Noah Wilps, Chartiers Valley (10-4); 4. Brandon Olszewski, Hampton (17-2); 5. Damon Drositis, Hopewell (16-1).

182: 1. Adam Nickelson, Belle Vernon (21-1); 2. Alex DiCiantis, North Allegheny (16-1); 3. Drew Phipps, Norwin (21-4); 4. Robert West, Trinity (19-1); 5. Tyler Worthing, Kiski Area (21-8).

195: 1. Matt McCutcheon, Kiski Area (23-0); 2. Jake Hart, Hampton (19-1); 3. Alen Turcinhodzic, North Hills (22-4); 4. Zach Smith, N. Allegheny (20-6); 5. Anthony Cable, Gbg. Salem (21-4).

220: 1. Alex Campbell, Canon-McMillan (23-4); 2. Zach DeLuca, Central Catholic (19-7); 3. Cole Macek, Montour (18-2); 4. Noah Shulman, Hampton (18-4); 5. Layne Skundrich, NA (12-1).

285: 1. Shane Kuhn, Kiski Area (25-0); 2. Damon Sims Jr., Hopewell (14-1); 3. Angelo Broglia, Canon-McMillan (22-6); 4. Tyler Lever, Fox Chapel (13-3); 5. Tyler Mears, Latrobe (18-7).

Class AA individuals

106: 1. Austin Griffiths, Southmoreland (17-2); 2. Brendon Howard, Jefferson-Morgan (21-2); 3. Austin McDermitt, Burgettstown (16-3).

113: 1. George Phillippi, Derry (23-3); 2. Cody Charles, Yough (16-5); 3. Zach Swarrow, Beth-Center (11-2).

120: 1. Nathan Reckner, South Side Beaver (22-1); 2. Seth Carr, South Fayette (16-2); 3. Rich McGinnis, Chartiers-Houston (17-9).

126: 1. Patrick DeWitt, Valley (20-6); 2. Vince Vahaly, Bentworth (10-2); 3. Greg Bulsak, South Park (18-6).

132: 1. Jason Nolf, Kittanning (27-0); 2. Nick Zanetta, Keystone Oaks (16-1); 3. Shane Gentry, South Side Beaver (22-1).

138: 1. Nick Gavazzi, Charleroi (15-0); 2. Steven Edwards, Burrell (15-5); 3. Jason Miller, Jefferson-Morgan (22-3).

145: 1. Tanner Sutton, C-H (21-5); 2. Phil Marra, Burrell (9-4); 3. Matt Johnston, West Greene (21-2).

152: 1. Boe Bonzo, Freedom (14-2); 2. Grant Fetchet, S. Fayette (17-3); 3. Corey Falleroni, Burrell (14-2).

160: 1. J.J. Walker, South Fayette (17-3); 2. Nico Brown, Beth-Center (14-6); 3. Bill Bowlen, Jefferson-Morgan (16-5).

170: 1. Mike Fetchet, SF (18-0); 2. Dalton Rosta, Laurel (15-1); 3. Connor Payne, S.S. Beaver (21-5).

182: 1. Dakota DesLauriers, Burrell (12-0); 2. Dustin Conti, J-M (18-0); 3. Terrell Fields, Valley (20-3).

195: 1. Garrett Vulcano, Chartiers-Houston (22-2); 2. Eli Holt, Mt. Pleasant (17-6); 3. Cody Jacobs, West Greene (18-3).

220: 1. Jake Temple, Avella (20-1); 2. Tom Sever, Yough (20-5); 3. Tyler Cousins, Freedom (15-5).

285: 1. Jake Beistel, Southmoreland (19-2); 2. Allan Beattie, Burrell (18-5); 3. Christian Williams, Yough (18-4).

— Paul Schofield

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Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, 10:46 p.m.

Led by a fine mix of experienced returnees and precocious freshmen, South Fayette is having a wrestling season like no other in the program's history.

The list of Lions' superlatives and “firsts” so far this season is lengthy. But they're hoping to add a few more high-profile accomplishments in the coming seven weeks.

“It's actually pretty exciting how we've been doing and what we've been able to do so far,” senior 113-pounder Seth Carr said. “But what's even better is that we should do well in the tournaments we have coming up.”

At Wednesday's Section 1-AA team championship tournament, host South Fayette is hoping to add to its regular-season Section 1A title it earned by winning all five dual matches.

That's a program first, according to second-year coach Rick Chaussard. It was earned via a victory last week over previously-No. 1-ranked Chartiers-Houston, something else South Fayette hadn't done before.

“That,” said Chaussard, “was a very big confidence boost for them.”

The victory over the Bucs came a few days after the Lions had their best showing at the Allegheny County tournament. South Fayette placed fourth overall and was the only Class AA team among the top 20. Led by Mike Fetchet's 170-pound title, the Lions boasted 10 placewinners — tied with winner North Allegheny for the most in the tournament.

The performance added to top-three finishes at the other two tournaments South Fayette entered this season — Chartiers Valley (second) and West Mifflin (third).

“We brought home hardware from all of them,” Chaussard said. “The guys liked that.”

The hardware haul, the Lions hope, will continue for the team and individuals.

Should they qualify for WPIALs, the Lions hope to build on last season's effort. According to Chaussard, in what was only South Fayette's second WPIAL team tournament appearance, the Lions won their first match at the event in school history.

“We're taking it a match at a time,” Chaussard said, “but there is a little buzz around the school among the kids and faculty and throughout the area.”

There's even more buzz surrounding several individual South Fayette wrestlers and their chances for WPIAL medals and qualifying for the state tournament.

Fetchet, Carr and sophomore J.J. Walker headline that group after each was a PIAA qualifier last season. Fetchet, a Columbia University recruit, placed fifth at 160.

Carr, who also is being recruited by Division I colleges, came within a match of a PIAA medal last season and has the potential to break through next month in Hershey.

Chaussard said Walker was “a pleasant surprise” as a 152-pound PIAA qualifier last season as freshman. This season, no fewer than three South Fayette freshmen have proved they have the ability to place at higher-level individual tournaments: Mike Carr (120 pounds), Jasper Wolfe (106) and Shane Ging (132).

In addition to the Carrs, two other sets of siblings are key contributors: juniors Grant Fetchet (152) and Zach Walker (195) join Mike and J.J., respectively.

Seniors Brad Haney (182) and Brandon Keck (145) also placed at the county tournament and could contend this postseason.

“We're very pleased with the depth we've shown with all our wrestlers,” Chaussard said.

Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.

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