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Welsh, Novak pull upsets at WPIAL wrestling

Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - South Fayette's Zach Walker prepares to pin Southmoreland's Dakota Datz at 2:49 during their 195-lb match during the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>   Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>South Fayette's Zach Walker prepares to pin Southmoreland's Dakota Datz  at 2:49 during their 195-lb match during the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Mt. Pleasant's Mike Novak (right) escapes from South Fayette's Mike Carr in overtime to win by a 4-3 decision during their 120-pound match during the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Mt. Pleasant's Mike Novak (right) escapes from South Fayette's Mike Carr in overtime to win by a 4-3 decision during their 120-pound match during the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Yough's Lucas Richardson celebrates after defeating Avella's Zack Simonelli by an escape overtime during their 182-pound match during the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013. Richardson won by a 4-3 decision.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Yough's Lucas Richardson celebrates after defeating Avella's Zack Simonelli  by an escape overtime during their 182-pound match during the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013.  Richardson won by a 4-3 decision.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Burrell's Alan Beattie (top) pins Derry Area's Adam Beich at 2:50 during their 285-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Burrell's Alan Beattie (top) pins Derry Area's Adam Beich at 2:50 during their 285-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Kittanning's Jason Nolf (right) pins Burgettstown's Stephen Kotouch at 5:59 during their 132-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Kittanning's Jason Nolf (right) pins Burgettstown's Stephen Kotouch at 5:59 during their 132-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Kittanning's Zac Croyle pins Ellwood City's Bard Grinnen at 1:48 during their 195-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Kittanning's  Zac Croyle pins Ellwood City's Bard Grinnen at 1:48 during their 195-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Derry Area's George Phillippi (top) attempts to shed Avonworth's Isaac Eames during their 113-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013. Phillippi won by fall at 1:11.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Derry Area's George Phillippi (top) attempts to shed Avonworth's Isaac Eames during their 113-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013. Phillippi won by fall at 1:11.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Southmoreland's Austin Griffiths (top) pins Burrell's Jason Roberts in 26 seconds during their 106-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Southmoreland's Austin Griffiths (top) pins Burrell's Jason Roberts in 26 seconds during their 106-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Valley's Josiah Hughes (right) attempts to pin Chartiers-Houston's Richie McGinnis during their 120-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013. Hughes won by a 4-2 decision.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Valley's Josiah Hughes (right) attempts to pin Chartiers-Houston's Richie McGinnis during their 120-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013. Hughes won by a 4-2 decision.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Beth-Center's Anthony Welsh (top) tilts Burrell's Steve Edwards for points during their 138-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013. Welsh won by a 6-4 decision.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Beth-Center's Anthony Welsh (top) tilts Burrell's Steve Edwards for points during their 138-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013. Welsh won by a 6-4 decision.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Burrell's Dakota DesLauriers (right) pins South Fayette's Brad Haney in 45 seconds during their 182-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA individual championships Feb. 22, 2013, at Chartiers Valley.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Burrell's Dakota DesLauriers (right) pins South Fayette's Brad Haney in 45 seconds during their 182-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA individual  championships Feb. 22, 2013, at Chartiers Valley.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Charleroi's Nick Gavazzi (top) pins Laurel's Harley Peterson at 3:52 during their 138-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Charleroi's Nick Gavazzi (top) pins Laurel's Harley Peterson at 3:52 during their 138-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Valley's Patrick Dewitt (top) pins Yough's Teddy Charletta at 3:45 during their 126-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Valley's Patrick Dewitt (top) pins Yough's Teddy Charletta at 3:45 during their 126-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 22, 2013.

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Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, 10:12 p.m.
 

It's rare that highly seeded wrestlers get upset during the first night of the WPIAL Class AA Championships.

Someone forgot to tell Beth-Center freshman Anthony Welsh. He upset Burrell junior Steve Edwards, the second seed, 6-4, in the 138-pound quarterfinals Friday at Chartiers Valley.

Welsh wasn't the only wrestler to pull off a surprise. Mt. Pleasant freshman Mike Novak edged South Fayette freshman Mike Carr, 4-3, in overtime at 126, and Yough junior Lucas Richardson used an escape in the ultimate overtime to squeeze by Avella senior Zack Simonelli, 4-3, at 182.

Action resumes with the semifinals at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, and the finals are set for 7 p.m. All wrestlers who reached the semifinals earned a trip to Johnstown for the PIAA Southwest Regional.

“I kind of knew I was going to meet him in the quarterfinals,” Welsh said. “I trained for him all week. I hit a dump early and then got a two-point near-fall. I was confident I could beat him, and the first takedown was huge.”

But nerves got to the freshman in the third period, and he started to lose confidence.

“I was getting tired,” Welsh said.

But despite giving up two takedowns, he held on for the win. He'll face Jefferson-Morgan junior Jason Miller in the semifinals.

Novak and Carr were locked in a heated a battle. Novak got the upper hand with a first-period takedown, but Carr rallied to tie the score, 3-3, sending the match to overtime.

In the second overtime, Novak was able flip forward to escape Carr's grasp. Carr had a chance to tie the match again, but Novak didn't allow him to escape.

“I knew I had to wrestle tough,” Novak said. “The first takedown really helped out. I've been working on top, and it helped me. I thought I had back points in the third period.”

Novak gets a rematch with Valley senior Josiah Hughes, who beat Novak by two points in the Westmoreland County Coaches' Association tournament in January.

Richardson needed an escape in sudden-death overtime to get by Simonelli, a wrestler he defeated, 7-1, in a dual match.

“I spoiled his senior night,” Richardson said. “He came out with revenge, but I was able to pull out the win. He came to wrestle.”

Richardson, who wrestled at 170 all season, moved up to 182 so senior Gary Fallecker could drop to 170.

Burrell, the WPIAL champion, advanced only three wrestlers to the semifinals: Phil Marra (145), Dakota DesLauriers (182) and Allan Beattie (285).

Jefferson-Morgan has the most in the semifinals (6). South Fayette and Mt. Pleasant advanced five each and West Greene four.

The eight returning champions — Valley's Pat DeWitt (106 in 2012), Kittanning's Jason Nolf (113), South Side Beaver's Nate Reckner (120), Charleroi's Nick Gavazzi (138), Chartiers-Houston's Tanner Sutton (145), South Fayette's Jared Walker (152), Jefferson-Morgan's Dustin Conti (170) and DesLauriers — all advanced.

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

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