ShareThis Page

Connellsville's Kenney collects 2nd WPIAL crown

| Monday, March 4, 2013, 12:11 a.m.
Connellsville's Ethan Kenney (right) attempts to pin Franklin Regional's Tyler Smith in their 132-pound championship bout in the finals of the Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at Norwin High School on March 02, 2013. Kenney defeated Smith by a 14-12 decision. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review

Before Ethan Kenney took the mat for the 132-pound final Saturday at the WPIAL/PIAA Class AAA wrestling championships at Norwin, he told his coach, Tom Dolde, that he was leaving everything on the mat.

That's exactly what the Connellsville senior did.

Kenney surprised No. 1 seed Tyler Smith of Franklin Regional with a quick five-point move and then held on for a thrilling 14-12 victory to capture his second WPIAL title. His first came at 103 pounds in 2010.

Earlier in the day, Kenney (30-6, 151-32) rolled to an easy 10-5 win over North Hills senior Drew Walker.

“All in all, I had a good weekend,” Kenney said. “The finals match, I stopped wrestling near the third period and let him come back and ended up letting it be closer than it should have been. I guess I wrestled well.

“The big move allowed me to hold on. Too many times in my career I'd hit a big move and let a guy come back. I was close to doing the same thing; this time I was lucky enough to hold him off.”

Kenney is a four-time PIAA qualifier. He finished seventh at 132 in 2012 and seventh at 103 in '10.

Dolde said the goal is to place higher on the podium.

“Ethan's had a good attitude this season,” Dolde said. “He hasn't had trouble making weight. He dropped to 132 pounds in early January.

“He builds leads and then gets defensive. We'll address that at practice.”

Kenney will open the state tournament against Garden Spot senior Nick Cook (35-6), the fourth-place finisher from the Southcentral Regional.

“We won't worry about the brackets and his opponent until Monday,” Dolde said.

Kenney said winning his second WPIAL title means a lot.

“It showed my work and training in the wrestling room has paid off,” Kenney said. “Not to sound cocky, I already have a WPIAL title; I want a state title.”

Kenney's brother Tyler, a sophomore, ended up one victory from wrestling for third place.

Tyler Kenney lost to Norwin sophomore Kevin Miller in the consolation semifinal.

Freshmen William Bell and Tommy Provance, along with sophomore Matt Butler, gained valuable experience. Dolde said they each picked up either two or three wins.

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

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.