South Fayette wins PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional team title
TribLIVE Sports Videos
A heads-up for the South Fayette School District: Expand the high school trophy case, because the pieces for a mat-loving, hardware-winning Green Machine are in place.
With one champion, two finalists and an unprecedented finish atop the team standings, South Fayette wrestling broke ground in a big way Saturday at the PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional championships at the Cambria County War Memorial in Johnstown.
The Lions, revived as a program for the 2008-09 season, accumulated 88 points to edge Burrell, which had 83. And they advanced five members to the PIAA championships, which begin Thursday at Giant Center in Hershey. The top five place-winners in each weight class earned berths.
“It's crazy, and it's been phenomenal,” said senior Mike Fetchet, who placed second at 170 pounds. “In our school, no one will deny it's basketball and football on top. Wrestling is on the back burner. But we're getting up there.”
Senior 113-pounder Seth Carr, a WPIAL runner-up, secured the program's second regional title with a 4-3 win over Ligonier Valley's Justin Patrick, a returning champion. He followed in the footsteps of his older brother, Nick, who claimed a championship in 2011.
“I saw a lot of these guys at the Bedford tournament, so I knew who I had to beat,” Carr said, referencing the late January event.
Sophomore Jared Walker (160 pounds), a two-time WPIAL champion, reached the finals, where he ran into the weight class' reigning king, Forest Hills' Cody Law. Law, a PIAA runner-up last season, controlled the match on the way to a 17-8 victory.
And Fetchet engaged in another nail-biter with undefeated Jefferson-Morgan senior Dustin Conti, a defending regional champion who won a WPIAL title matchup between the two last week, 7-6, in the tiebreaker portion of overtime.
The rematch, though less eventful in terms of offense, brought about the same result: Conti prevailed, 4-3, in the tiebreaker phase.
“It's plain and simple between us: Whoever gets that key takedown is going to win,” Fetchet said. “I almost had him, but I just didn't finish my shots, and against a kid like that, it'll come back to bite you.”
South Fayette coach Rick Chaussard had few qualms with the Lions' performance, as two other wrestlers, freshman Mike Carr (120) and junior Grant Fetchet (152), qualified for the PIAA championships. Carr placed fourth, while Fetchet took fifth.
“It kind of picks up where we left off in the (PIAA) team tournament,” Chaussard said. “We actually think we're better in (individual) tournaments than in duals because some of the guys we had in our lineup were so inexperienced.”
Lack of varsity time presented no problem for South Park freshman Greg Bulsak (126), who became the Eagles' first regional champion since 1989 when he topped Jefferson-Morgan junior, 4-1, in the finals.
Chartiers-Houston's Tanner Sutton (145) and Garrett Vulcano (195) both ensured that the Bucs' stretch of seasons without a regional champion ended; the team last had a champion in 2000. Sutton won, 3-1, in the finals over Conemaugh Township's Tanner Cahill, while Vulcano pinned Kittanning's Zac Croyle in the second period of their championship bout.
Burrell's Dakota DesLauriers and Kittanning's Jason Nolf secured their third regional titles.
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.
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.
- Rossi: Pirates plan to carry Hurdle deep into playoffs
- Pittsburgh rises up for a 2nd year of Pirates magic
- Despres is relishing his regular role on Penguins’ blue line
- Indiana County infant hit by bullet will be blind
- Penguins notebook: Malkin picture muddy
- Steelers’ Tomlin does not like his coaching style to be characterized
- Knife-wielding man attacks 2 in Sheetz lot in Greensburg
- NK grocery store robbed
- State trooper fatally shot during training exercise
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin bringing officials to practice
- Judge OKs alternative for 2 turnpike corruption case defendants