Share This Page

Welsh, Novak pull upsets at WPIAL wrestling

| Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, 10:12 p.m.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. (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. 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. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review

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.

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.