Connellsville wrestlers aim for spots at state tournament
TribLIVE Sports Videos
As the individual portion of the high school wrestling season continues, each match becomes bigger and more intense. This week, nine Connellsville wrestlers will compete for a coveted trip to the state tournament as they take part in the WPIAL/Southwest Regional Class AAA Championships Thursday through Saturday at Norwin High School.
The top three in each weight class will advance to the state tournament March 7-9 at Giant Center in Hershey. There's a lot on the line for each wrestler this week, but that doesn't change the message that Connellsville coach Tommy Dolde has delivered to his group.
“It's one match at a time, and it's so important,” Dolde said. “Kids get beat that shouldn't get beat because they're not focused. The mental game this week has to be taken to a different level.”
Dolde noted that the WPIAL/Southwest Regional Class AAA Championships is the only regional tournament in the state that comprises just one district (District 7). He also pointed out that there are no easy rides to Hershey.
“All the brackets are tough — just like the WPIAL Tournament always is,” Dolde said. “There are different styles and different match-ups, so it's a good mix of kids, and that's what makes it so tough.”
Tyler Kenney (106 pounds, 23-8, freshman), Ethan Kenney (132, 26-6, senior), Dale Provance (152, 25-7, sophomore) and Dylan Miller (285, 31-4, senior) come into the tournament with some momentum after winning a championship at the Section 2-AAA tournament last week.
Ethan Kenney qualified for states by finishing third at WPIALs last year. He is the second seed in his bracket, the highest among the nine Connellsville competitors.
Ethan Kenney, Dale Provance and Miller each took part in the tournament last year as did Daniel Leonard (113, 19-12, sophomore) and Matt Butler (195, 21-11, sophomore), who will be making their second trip to WPIALs after a solid showing at sectionals.
Tyler Steele (145, 14-8, senior) will be making his second trip to WPIALs. He also qualified as a freshman in 2010. William Bell (138, 7-4, freshman) and Tommy Provance (160, 25-9, freshman) will have their first shot at a state bid this week.
While Tyler Kenney, William Bell and Tommy Provance will be making their first trip to WPIALs, wrestlers like Miller know exactly what lies ahead.
“There's a lot of pressure,” Miller said. “There will be a lot of close matches, so I know I'll have to work hard. It's my last year to go to states, and I think I have a pretty good chance this year. I'm going to face tough kids in the bracket, but I like where I am at right now.”
The three-day WPIAL/Southwest Regional Class AAA Championships begin with preliminary-round matches at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.