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Connellsville making 35th straight WPIAL tourney appearance

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Eli Holt

Mt. Pleasant, Senior

Claim to fame: Holt (21-9), who has 55 career wins, finished fifth after pinning Valley's Dylan Clark at 3:57 at the WCCA tournament in early January. The No. 2-ranked 195-pounder in Class AA, who is a two-time all-conference linebacker, also finished third at the Southmoreland Tournament and second at the Penn-Cambria Tournament.

“He's a good wrestler and very athletic,” coach Mike Long said. “He's very consistent, and whenever we send him out to the mat I expect a win out of him.”

What are your college plans?

I'm still undecided. I hope to go to college for football. I'm looking at St. Vincent, W&J and Waynesburg.

What made you decide to play football instead of wrestling?

I like both sports. But I like it more than wrestling. I like the contact in football, and it's more of a team sport than wrestling.

What are your goals for the rest of the season?

I definitely plan on qualifying for states and placing high at the WPIAL and regional tournaments.

Who has been your toughest opponent?

Last year, I went back and forth with Lucas Richardson from Yough. I lost the first match and won the second match last year. This year, we are in different weight classes.

— 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, 11:12 p.m.
 

There is one thing you can count on when the WPIAL team wrestling tournament is held in the winter: Connellsville will be in the bracket.

Since the WPIAL began the team tournament in 1979, Connellsville has qualified all 35 times. It also has been in the WPIAL finals 13 times and has seven titles.

Connellsville (18-2) is seeded fourth in the Class AAA tournament, which began Monday with four preliminary-round matches.

The Falcons earned a home match in the first and quarterfinal rounds by winning the Section 2 tournament last week. Connellsville will wrestle Hempfield (10-3) at 6 p.m. Wednesday. A win puts them in the quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. against the winner of the Kiski Area-McGuffey match.

“It's an honor to be the only team to qualify for the tournament every year,” Connellsville coach Tommy Dolde said. “There is something to be said of consistency. When you run a program, you don't compromise your ideals. Tradition never graduates.

“We've run the same program since my dad (Tom) began the program. The Junior Olympic and junior high programs have run the same, and nothing changes at the high school level. The Junior Olympic program continues to pump out outstanding talent.”

Connellsville's rotating lineup consists of three freshmen, eight sophomores and five seniors, and there are 17 sophomores.

The seniors are Ethan Kenney (138 pounds), a two-time PIAA placewinner and a WPIAL champion as a freshman, John Berardinelli (113), Tyler Steele (145), Shawn Dewitt (152) and Dylan Miller (220).

“We're still a year away,” Dolde said. “We have some talented kids who can't break into the lineup.”

Connellsville will be tested by a tough Hempfield squad. The Spartans wrestled Monday and defeated Hopewell, 46-28. The Spartans won the final six matches to rally for the win.

“Connellsville always has a solid lineup,” Hempfield coach Vince DeAugustine said. “I've never seen a weak Connellsville team. It's always good to wrestle them, they always battled you. Nothing comes easy.”

DeAugustine said keeping the match close in the upper weights Monday was the key. Anthony Lavella (160 pounds) trailed 7-1 in his match and came back with a pin.

“That was a big win,” DeAugustine said. “I knew starting at 145 we'd fall behind. We're definitely stronger in the lightweights.”

Ricky Cavallo (113), Sam Krivus (120), Joey Allessandro (132), Sean Lavella (138), Jesse Giallonardo (145) and Dom Nania (170) have been the Spartans' big guns.

Canon-McMillan, the returning WPIAL and PIAA champion, is seeded No. 1. Franklin Regional is No. 2 and North Allegheny is third. Canon-McMillan has won eight WPIAL titles, including the past three.

Franklin Regional earned its first section title by defeating Kiski Area last week. The Cavaliers will play host to North Hills. Belle Vernon and Latrobe also will tangle at Franklin Regional.

Greensburg Salem will head to North Allegheny to face Butler, while the Tigers will host Mt. Lebanon.

In Class AA, Burrell (No. 1), Chartiers-Houston (No. 4), Jefferson-Morgan (No. 3) and South Fayette (No. 2) will host matches. Burrell has won eight WPIAL titles, including the past six.

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com.

 

 

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