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Avonworth wrestling eyes WPIAL tourney

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Avella, Junior

Claim to fame: Temple (21-1) defeated Montour's Cole Macek, 4-3, to win the 220-pound title at the Burgettstown Tournament on Jan. 19. Temple, who is ranked No. 1 in Class AA and has 83 career wins, placed third at WPIALs and second at regionals last season.

“I started off pretty strong. I'm wrestling better than I expected,” Temple said. “I hope I keep it going.”

How do you keep yourself motivated each time you take the mat?

There is a lot of watching film. I like to watch the matches this year and last year and see how I'm doing. I put all this stuff on my phone like reminders of what I have to do each day. Over the summer, I lost one of my wrestling coaches, and it keeps reminding me to do better and go further.

What's your pre-match routine?

I kind of think of what I did in the previous matches and what worked. I try to keep my mind thinking of what I need to do.

What will it take to get on the podium at WPIALs?

It takes a lot of hard work to get there; I know from experience. I have been working harder this year. I have been drilling with my moves on the mat and constantly working hard and running. I have a lot of coaches that are helping and pushing me to get it done at the end.

— Andrew John

Wrestling rankings

Class AAA

Rec. Pvs.

1. Canon-McMillan 11-0 1

2. Franklin Regional 16-1 4

3. Connellsville 18-2 3

4. Kiski Area 14-1 2

5. North Allegheny 13-2 5

6. Latrobe 7-4 6

7. Greensburg Salem 13-3 7

8. Hampton 11-3 9

9. Peters Township 12-2 10

10. Belle Vernon 9-3 8

Class AA

1. South Fayette 7-0 1

2. Burrell 11-5 2

3. Kittanning 11-4 4

4. Jefferson-Morgan 9-4 NR

5. Chartiers-Houston 8-6 5

Class AAA individuals

106: 1. Luke Pletcher, Latrobe (23-2); 2. Gage Curry, North Hills (26-2); 3. Brendon Price, Canon-McMillan (22-6); 4. Kevin Miller, Norwin (12-5); 5. Mike Heinl, Shaler (17-5).

113: 1. A.C. Headlee, Waynesburg (31-3); 2. Ricky Cavallo, Hempfield (20-5); 3. James Harrison, West Mifflin (21-1); 4. Mitch Hartman, Belle Vernon (16-6); 5. Daniel Leonard, Connellsville (15-10).

120: 1. Sam Krivus, Hempfield (21-3); 2. Dalton Macri, Canon-McMillan (26-5); 3. Dom Forys, NA (24-1); 4. Vincenzo Joseph, Central Catholic (17-7); 5. Blake Caudill, Butler (19-4).

126: 1. Connor Schram, Canon-McMillan (25-3); 2. Michael Kemerer, F. Regional (16-4); 3. Tyler Walker, North Hills (27-0); 4. Tyler Buckiso, Peters Twp. (25-2); 5. Nate Russo, Belle Vernon (21-3).

132: 1. Tyler Smith, Franklin Regional (21-3); 2. Drew Walker, North Hills (25-3); 3. Italo Merante, Peters Township (21-2); 4. Joel Pezze, Norwin (15-5); 5. Jake Ardellitz, Kiski Area (20-9).

138: 1. Josh Maruca, F. Regional (20-5); 2. Jesse Rodgers, NA (24-2); 3. Justin Alexander, Central Catholic (30-6); 4. Ethan Kenney, Connellsville (21-6); 5. Sean LaVella, Hempfield (17-3).

145: 1. Josh Shields, F. Regional (20-4); 2. Cole Landowski, Kiski Area (25-2); 3. Kevin Synan, Hampton (20-5); 4. Chris Nuss, Central Catholic (20-10); 5. Derek Verkleeren, Belle Vernon (19-5).

152: 1. Heath Coles, Norwin (16-3); 2. Tyler Reinhart, Greensburg Salem (27-5); 3. Kyle Skelly, Kiski Area (18-4); 4. Kyle Coniker, Central Catholic (23-6); 5. Devin Austin, Penn-Trafford (24-6).

160: 1. Zack Zavatsky, Latrobe (24-1); 2. Zach Voytek, Greensburg Salem (32-1); 3. Austin Bell, Belle Vernon (24-5); 4. Jonathan Avon, North Hills (21-1); 5. Brendan Burnham, Pine-Richland (22-3).

170: 1. Cody Wiercioch, Canon-McMillan (27-1); Kellan Stout, Mt. Lebo (21-3); 3. Noah Wilps, Char. Valley (15-5); 4. Brandon Olszewski, Hampton (18-4); 5. Damon Drositis, Hopewell (19-1).

182: 1. Adam Nickelson, Belle Vernon (23-1); 2. Alex DiCiantis, North Allegheny (17-2); 3. Drew Phipps, Norwin (21-4); 4. Tyler Worthing, Kiski Area (23-8); 5. Brent Blaharczyk, McGuffey (14-4).

195: 1. Matt McCutcheon, Kiski Area (25-0); 2. Jake Hart, Hampton (23-1); 3. Alen Turcinhodzic, North Hills (23-4); 4. Zach Smith, NA (22-6); 5. Anthony Cable, Greensburg Salem (21-4).

220: 1. Alex Campbell, Canon-McMillan (26-4); 2. Zach DeLuca, Central Catholic (27-7); 3. Cole Macek, Montour (19-2); 4. Noah Shulman, Hampton (22-4); 5. Layne Skundrich, NA (13-2).

285: 1. Shane Kuhn, Kiski Area (27-0); 2. Damon Sims Jr., Hopewell (17-1); 3. Angelo Broglia, Canon-McMillan (25-6); 4. Tyler Lever, Fox Chapel (16-4); 5. Tyler Mears, Latrobe (20-7).

Class AA individuals

106: 1. Austin Griffiths, Southmoreland (18-2); 2. Brendon Howard, Jefferson-Morgan (23-1); 3. Austin McDermitt, Burgettstown (20-4).

113: 1. George Phillippi, Derry (24-3); 2. Seth Carr, S. Fayette (22-2); 3. Zach Swarrow, Beth-Center (11-2).

120: 1. Nathan Reckner, South Side Beaver (23-1); 2. Rich McGinnis, Chartiers-Houston (21-11); 3. Mike Carr, South Fayette (15-6).

126: 1. Patrick DeWitt, Valley (21-6); 2. Vince Vahaly, Bentworth (12-2); 3. Greg Bulsak, South Park (22-6).

132: 1. Jason Nolf, Kittanning (28-0); 2. Nick Zanetta, Keystone Oaks (17-1); 3. Shane Gentry, South Side Beaver (23-1).

138: 1. Nick Gavazzi, Charleroi (19-0); 2. Steven Edwards, Burrell (20-5); 3. Jason Miller, J-M (24-3).

145: 1. Tanner Sutton, Chartiers-Houston (29-5); 2. Phil Marra, Burrell (11-4); 3. Matt Johnston, West Greene (22-3).

152: 1. Boe Bonzo, Freedom (17-3); 2. Grant Fetchet, S. Fayette (22-5); 3. Corey Falleroni, Burrell (15-3).

160: 1. J.J. Walker, S. Fayette (20-3); 2. Nico Brown, Beth-Center (14-6); 3. Bill Bowlen, J-M (18-5).

170: 1. Mike Fetchet, South Fayette (24-1); 2. Dalton Rosta, Laurel (15-1); 3. Connor Payne, South Side Beaver (22-5).

182: 1. Dakota DesLauriers, Burrell (15-0); 2. Dustin Conti, Jefferson-Morgan (20-0); 3. Terrell Fields, Valley (22-3).

195: 1. Garrett Vulcano, C-H (30-2); 2. Eli Holt, Mt. Pleasant (21-9); 3. Christian Williams, Yough (19-6).

220: 1. Jake Temple, Avella (21-1); 2. Tom Sever, Yough (21-6); 3. Tyler Cousins, Freedom (18-7).

285: 1. Jake Beistel, Southmoreland (19-2); 2. Allan Beattie, Burrell (21-6); 3. Trevin Bedillion, West Greene (14-8).

— Paul Schofield

Top high school sports
Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, 11:10 p.m.

Darion Trimmer is one of the central figures of an up-and-coming Avonworth wrestling team that enters the WPIAL Class AA team tournament Wednesday on the strength of a bevy of freshmen and sophomores.

He exhibited some of the Antelopes' youthful enthusiasm when asked what he sees for the future of the program.

“I feel like our team will become team state champions,” Trimmer said. “And that a lot of us will go to states (as individuals), I feel, when we are all seniors and juniors.”

That's a heady prediction — particularly eyebrow-raising for a program that had won a total of eight section dual matches over the previous 10 seasons combined.

But things are changing at Avonworth. The Antelopes tied for the Class AA Section 3-A title and qualified for the WPIAL team tournament.

Avonworth opens against Bentworth 6 p.m. at Chartiers-Houston.

Avonworth wrestling is light years ahead of where it was just a few years ago — the school district was reportedly considering dropping the program before Tim Giel took over as athletic director in 2010.

The future, it seems, is even brighter. Ten of the Antelopes' starters are either freshmen or sophomores.

“We're doing a little better than expected,” said Giel, the longtime coach at Shady Side Academy. “When we first took over the program a couple years ago, we had one or two kids I knew were part of a good group of eighth graders coming up the next year.

“So we had five freshmen last year, and those kids are sophomores this year and now five freshmen this year.

“We're a little ahead of where I thought they'd be at this point. The kids are working hard. I can't say enough about how hard they're working in the room.”

Trimmer joins fellow sophomore Wes Bartholomew as the lone returning WPIAL individual championship qualifiers from last season.

Bartholomew went at 132 pounds and is up to 138 this season.

Trimmer placed fourth at 120 last season.

Giel described Bartholomew as “one of those kids who just finds a way to win.” Trimmer, Giel said, is more of a student of the sport, a tactician.

“Trimmer and Bartholomew are kind of the leaders on the team as sophomores,” Giel said. “They have the most experience and obviously have the best records as well.

“They've done some remarkable things this year. They're the ones that, when I need the rest of the team to step up, I tell them to look at them.”

The Antelopes' other sophomore returnees are 195-pounder Brandon Wasko and Cam Kozak, who competes in the 145- and 152-pound weight classes.

In his first season on the team, sophomore Ka'Dale Coles advanced to the third round of the Allegheny County tournament's heavyweight bracket.

Among Avonworth's strong crop of freshmen is Darion's brother, Anthony Trimmer, at 126 pounds.

Tyler Wisniewski (106) and Isaac Eames (113) are other Antelopes freshmen who are making their mark in a lighter weight class.

At 220, Cody Crawford advanced to the third round of the county tournament.

It all adds up to plenty of hope for winning for a program that not too long ago was mired in losing.

“(Recent) practices have been unbelievably spirited,” Giel said. “They're going after it, and they're working hard. They're starting to believe.”

Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.




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