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Greensburg Salem's all-time wins leader, Zach Voytek, seeking elusive WPIAL, PIAA title

Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review - Greensburg Salem's Zach Voytek controls Norwin's Jon Twele during a match in North Huntingdon on January 9, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review</em></div>Greensburg Salem's Zach Voytek controls Norwin's Jon Twele during a match in North Huntingdon on January 9, 2013.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review - Greensburg Salem's Zach Voytek works to escape from Kiski School's Dom Scalise during their 160-pound final bout at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Wrestling Tournament on January 12, 2013 in Murrysville.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Eric Schmadel  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Greensburg Salem's Zach Voytek works to escape from Kiski School's Dom Scalise during their 160-pound final bout at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Wrestling Tournament on January 12, 2013 in Murrysville.

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Penn-Trafford, soph.

Claim to fame: Austin (29-6), who is ranked fifth at 152 pounds in Class AAA, placed third at the WCCA tournament after pinning Belle Vernon's Josh Godzin in 36 seconds. He also took third at the Eastern Area Tournament, placed fifth at King of the Mountain and was seventh at the Powerade Christmas Tournament.

“I feel so far I have had a pretty good year,” Austin said. “But this part of the year is the most important part of the season and has really important stuff.”

How do you think you will fare in the section tournament this weekend?

The top four in the WPIAL are in our section. Everyone out there knows you need to go out there and wrestle your best because every match will be tough and is going to be a battle.

Who is your favorite wrestler of all-time and why?

(Penn State coach and NCAA great) Cael Sanderson because he went undefeated and for the things he did in his career.

Does your weight normally come in around 152 or do you have to some cutting?

I'm pretty good when it comes time for weigh-in. My normal weight comes in around 154, so right around weigh-ins I don't need to cut too much weight.

What is your normal pre-match routine?

I just go through in my head what I'm about to go through and what might happen to make sure that I'm prepared for each and every thing that might come up in a match.

— Andrew John

Class AAA Rankings

106: 1. Luke Pletcher, Latrobe (30-2); 2. Gage Curry, North Hills (28-2); 3. Brendon Price, Canon-McMillan (31-6); 4. Kevin Miller, Norwin (21-7); 5. Mike Heinl, Shaler (22-5).

113: 1. A.C. Headlee, Waynesburg (32-3); 2. Dom Forys, North Allegheny (33-2); 3. James Harrison, West Mifflin (25-1); 4. Phil Mary, Peters Twp. (25-5); 5. Mitch Hartman, Belle Vernon (23-7).

120: 1. Sam Krivus, Hempfield (29-3); 2. Dalton Macri, Canon-McMillan (35-5); 3. Vincenzo Joseph, Central Catholic (16-7); 4. Brenden Hasson, Belle Vernon (30-3); 5. Conner Medlang, F. Reg., (6-2).

126: 1. Connor Schram, Canon-McMillan (34-3); 2. Michael Kemerer, F. Regional (29-4); 3. Tyler Walker, N. Hills (28-1); 4. Tyler Buckiso, Peters Twp. (29-2); 5. Nate Russo, Belle Vernon (28-4).

132: 1. Tyler Smith, Franklin Regional (35-3); 2. Ethan Kenney, Connellsville (23-6); 3. Drew Walker, North Hills (25-4); 4. Italo Merante, Peters Twp. (25-2); 5. Joel Pezze, Norwin (25-6).

138: 1. Josh Maruca, F. Regional (33-6); 2. Jesse Rodgers, NA (30-4); 3. Justin Alexander, Central Catholic (33-8); 4. Sean LaVella, Hempfield (24-4); 5. Jake Shaffer, Latrobe (26-7).

145: 1. Josh Shields, F. Regional (34-4); 2. Cole Landowski, Kiski Area (29-2); 3. Kevin Synan, Hampton (30-5); 4. Derek Verkleeren, Belle Vernon (21-6); 5. Nate Hall, West Allegheny (30-1).

152: 1. Heath Coles, Norwin (27-3); 2. Tyler Reinhart, Greensburg Salem (31-5); 3. Kyle Skelly, Kiski Area (22-4); 4. Kyle Coniker, Central Catholic (27-6); 5. Devin Austin, Penn-Trafford (29-6).

160: 1. Zack Zavatsky, Latrobe (31-1); 2. Zach Voytek, G. Salem (35-1); 3. Jonathan Avon, North Hills (23-1); 4. Austin Bell, Belle Vernon (31-6); 5. Sammy Minor, Canon-McMillan (29-6).

170: 1. Cody Wiercioch, Canon-McMillan (34-1); Kellan Stout, Mt. Lebanon (27-3); 3. Noah Wilps, Chartiers Valley (25-6); 4. Tyler Worthing, Kiski Area (26-9); 5. Damon Drositis, Hopewell (26-1).

182: 1. Adam Nickelson, Belle Vernon (31-1); 2. Alex DiCiantis, North Allegheny (28-2); 3. Drew Phipps, Norwin (30-5); 4. Brent Blaharczyk, McGuffey (21-4); 5. Zack Weaver, Butler (28-7).

195: 1. Matt McCutcheon, Kiski Area (29-0); 2. Jake Hart, Hampton (33-1); 3. Alen Turcinhodzic, North Hills (26-4); 4. Zach Smith, NA (29-7); 5. Anthony Cable, Greensburg Salem (24-4).

220: 1. Alex Campbell, Canon-McMillan (29-6); 2. Zach DeLuca, Central Catholic (31-7); 3. Cole Macek, Montour (26-2); 4. Noah Shulman, Hampton (23-4); 5. Brett Zanotto, F. Reg. (18-9).

285: 1. Shane Kuhn, Kiski Area (31-0); 2. Damon Sims Jr., Hopewell (19-1); 3. Luke Fleck, F. Reg. (15-1); 4. Angelo Broglia, Canon-McMillan (30-8); 5. Dylan Miller, Connellsville (26-4).

Class AA Rankings

106: 1. Austin Griffiths, Southmoreland (26-2); 2. Brendon Howard, Jefferson-Morgan (32-4); 3. Austin McDermitt, Burgettstown (29-4).

113: 1. George Phillippi, Derry (32-3); 2. Seth Carr, South Fayette (29-3); 3. Zach Swarrow, Beth-Center (16-5).

120: 1. Nathan Reckner, South Side Beaver (26-2); 2. Josiah Hughes, Valley (27-8); 3. Mike Novak, Mt. Pleasant (33-9).

126: 1. Patrick DeWitt, Valley (29-7); 2. John Demaske, Jefferson-Morgan (19-2); 3. Vince Vahaly, Bentworth (26-4).

132: 1. Jason Nolf, Kittanning (35-0); 2. Nick Zanetta, Keystone Oaks (26-2); 3. Shane Gentry, South Side Beaver (32-1).

138: 1. Nick Gavazzi, Charleroi (29-0); 2. Steven Edwards, Burrell (30-5); 3. Jason Miller, Jefferson-Morgan (33-7).

145: 1. Tanner Sutton, C-H (35-6); 2. Phil Marra, Burrell (22-6); 3. Ryan Zalar, J-M (18-7).

152: 1. Boe Bonzo, Freedom (20-3); 2. Taylor Jack, Kitt. (29-8); 3. Grant Fetchet, S. Fayette (29-7).

160: 1. Connor Payne, South Side Beaver (30-6); 2. Bill Bowlen, Jefferson-Morgan (27-8); 3. Jared Walker, South Fayette (24-6).

170: 1. Dustin Conti, Jefferson-Morgan (31-0); 2. Mike Fetchet, South Fayette (33-1); 3. Dalton Wildman, West Greene (26-6).

182: 1. Dakota DesLauriers, Burrell (26-0); 2. Terrell Fields, Valley (30-4); 3. Justin Overly, Mt. Pleasant (31-8).

195: 1. Garrett Vulcano, Chartiers-Houston (36-2); 2. Zac Croyle, Kittanning (21-9); 3. Zach Walker, South Fayette (28-4).

220: 1. Jake Temple, Avella (31-1); 2. Cody Jacobs, West Greene (28-4); 3. Tom Sever, Yough (27-8).

285: 1. Jake Beistel, Southmoreland (28-2); 2. Allan Beattie, Burrell (29-8); 3. Rob Wolak, South Park (18-6).

— Paul Schofield

Top high school sports
Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Greensburg Salem senior wrestler Zach Voytek wasn't bothered by the news that two-time PIAA champion Chance Marsteller, a junior from Kennard-Dale, decided to drop to his weight class.

While others have or considered moving out of 160 pounds to avoid Marsteller, Voytek will stay put.

And his goal hasn't changed — he wants to win a WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA gold medal.

“I set that goal as a freshman,” Voytek said. “I want that state title. It won't be easy, but I'm ready.”

Voytek has been Mr. Dependable for the Golden Lions. He missed only one match in four years — Feb. 12 against Blackhawk when he had bronchitis.

“I was upset that I had to miss my last dual meet,” Voytek said, “But I wanted to make sure I was healthy for the individual tournaments.”

The Class AAA individual tournaments begin Saturday with four section tournaments, and Greensburg Salem will be at Gateway where Voytek will attempt to win his second section title.

Voytek has achieved a lot during his career, but he's never won a WPIAL or PIAA title. He placed seventh in the state and second in the WPIAL in 2012. He's a two-time PIAA qualifier.

His biggest accomplishment came Feb. 6 when he became the school's all-time leader in victories, breaking the mark of 154 held by Donnie Jones.

“It's awesome and I'm happy that I got it and I'll be up there with the Joneses (Donnie, Greg and Vertus),” Voytek said. “They still have done something I haven't — win a state title. Hopefully, I get it.”

Greensburg Salem coach Randy Parsley said he knew early on that Voytek would have a great career.

“When I saw him in seventh grade, I knew he'd be tough,” Parsley said. “I didn't know if he'd win 155 matches.

“Zach doesn't lose to someone he's expected to defeat. All of his losses have come against good kids.”

Voytek is 35-1 this season, his lone loss being 2-0 to Latrobe junior Zack Zavatsky at the Powerade Tournament.

During his career, Voytek has won two Westmoreland County Coaches' Association titles (2012 and 2013), while finishing second in 2011 and third in 2010. He placed second in the WPIAL in 2012 and third in 2011.

“I like this time of the year,” Voytek said, “The coaches have mentally and physically prepared us. We're in top condition, so now it's up to us. There is no one to blame now.”

Parsley said Voytek had numerous colleges looking at him, but he decided to stay close to home and attend Seton Hill.

“It was the perfect fit for me,” Voytek said. “Coach (Brian) Tucker has a lot enthusiasm and is energetic. They also have the program (LECOM, medical field) that I want to study.”

Greensburg Salem and the rest of the Section 1 teams will compete at Gateway on Saturday. The other sites are Baldwin (Section 2), Fox Chapel (Section 3) and Moon (Section 4). Wrestling begins at 9:30 a.m.

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at

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