Kittanning teammates Nopf, Croyle reach regional semis
By Bill West
Published: Friday, March 1, 2013, 11:48 p.m.
To sit back and watch while other wrestlers grappled to keep their seasons alive struck Kittanning senior Zac Croyle as “different.”
Croyle, however, can get used to the perks that come with qualifying for the semifinals in a two-day tournament.
The 195-pounder is one win away from the finals in the PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional championships at the Cambria County War Memorial in Johnstown. A third-place finisher in the WPIAL a week ago, he will wrestle Chestnut Ridge senior Dan Albright on Saturday in the semifinals.
“I'm not really there a lot,” Croyle said of his upcoming round.
Croyle, who went 0-2 at the regional tournament as a junior, started hot and didn't slow in his second visit to Johnstown. He topped Somerset's Jacob Nickelson, 9-3, in the first round and then defeated No. 2 seed and District 6 champion James Stodart of Moshannon Valley, 8-4, in the quarterfinals.
“I thought I'd beat him by one or two points,” said Croyle, who lost, 8-6, in overtime to Stodart in mid-January. “I wrestled smarter, not harder. … Before, I didn't know who he was, and I just went after him to pin him.”
Coach Brandon Newill agreed with Croyle about the approach to the rematch.
“That guy was really pressing him, so rather than go force to force, he used one of his strengths, which is his speed,” Newill said. “He's got to keep that up in the semifinals.”
No stranger to the semifinals, junior 132-pounder Jason Nolf returns after winning regional titles the past two seasons. The No. 1 seed in his weight class, Nolf received a bye and then defeated South Park freshman Jake Wentzel, 12-4, in the quarterfinals.
Nolf will meet Southern Huntingdon senior Brennon Shields on Saturday.
Senior 152-pounder Taylor Jack hoped to join his teammates as a semifinalist, but another Taylor stood in his way.
Conemaugh Township's Taylor Cahill defeated Jack, 6-5, in the quarterfinals.
Jack, who won his first-round bout, 6-0, recovered with a 5-1 win over Beaver's Kurt Struwe in their consolation bout. The match was scoreless after two periods, but Jack escaped from bottom early in the third and then went to work on offense.
“I needed more points,” Jack said. “It's (unacceptable) to win, 1-0.
“I planned on getting past Day 1.”
Jack will begin Saturday with a consolation bout against South Fayette's Grant Fetchet, whom he beat, 2-0, in overtime in the WPIAL semifinals.
With a top-five finish, Jack will qualify for the PIAA championships beginning Thursday at Giant Center in Hershey.
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com 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.
- Kiski Area’s Kuhn draws unbeaten 3-time champ in PIAA Class AAA semifinals
- Norwin’s Phipps earns spot in PIAA semifinals
- 10 local wrestlers advance to PIAA Class AA semifinals
- Valley’s Fields penalized for prematch handslap, leading to loss
- PIAA Class AAA 126-pound semifinal stocked with WPIAL grapplers
- Bethel Park’s Dunn continues hot streak at PIAA tournament
- Eyeing gold, not chocolate, in Hershey
- Latrobe’s Davis scores upset, 4 Wildcats advance to PIAA quarterfinals
- Redbank Valley wrestler edges familiar foe in PIAAs
- Norwin’s Phipps advances to PIAA quarterfinals
- Penn-Trafford’s Coy breaks through for WPIAL title