Connellsville senior closes out career with 3rd-place finish in Hershey
By Paul Schofield
Published: Monday, March 11, 2013, 12:21 a.m.
HERSHEY — As Ethan Kenney was hugging his brother Tyler under the stands at the Giant Center on Saturday night, Connellsville wrestling coach Tom Dolde spoke about how much he'll be missed.
The Connellsville senior ended his high school career by placing third at the PIAA Class AAA Championships, his best finish in four seasons. He placed seventh twice.
Kenney (37-4, 158-30) came back from a tough 3-2 loss to Cumberland Valley sophomore Patrick Duggan in the Saturday morning semifinals to defeat Easton senior Robert Rizzolino, 6-3, and Middletown senior Bryce Killian, 3-1, in overtime. Killian had won four consecutive matches before falling to Kenney.
“One good thing, it's better than I've ever done before,” Kenney said. “The only way I would have been more pleased is if it would have been first.
“The last match, I actually was pretty happy with how I continued to wrestle the whole match and finishing better the normal. For once, I didn't go in the defensive mode and I kept moving.”
In his third-place match, Kenney escaped a takedown by using a backward flip. He then recorded a takedown in overtime during a scramble.
“It was all stuff I do in practice,” he said. “It almost comes naturally. I stayed scrambling and came out on top.”
Dolde said Kenney is his own worst critic.
“I hate to see him go,” Dolde said. “He's been great for Connellsville wrestling, representing the school and the community. He's been one of the best kids I've ever had. He placed in Hershey three times and that's a compliment to him for his hard work.
“If I was a college coach I say he's one of the best in the state. As an athlete, as a student and as a human being, he's one of the best I've been around.”
Kenney was a two-time WPIAL champion, a four-time PIAA qualifier and a three-time PIAA placewinner.
Southmoreland sophomore Austin Griffiths also won his final match of the tournament. He finished fifth at 106 pounds in Class AA.
Griffiths (36-6, 74-11) avenged a loss to Forest Hills sophomore Triston Law at the Southwest Regional, winning 1-0.
“In my two losses, I gave up to many big points,” Griffiths said. “It seems I'm pretty good at everything, and then I give up big points.
“I have to get mentally tougher. I have to work on fighting back in matches if I get down.”
Griffiths finished third as a freshman. He knows he's a better wrestler than he's shown.
“When Austin takes guys down and moves his feet, he's as good as anyone,” Southmoreland coach Ryan Shaw said. “He had a tough quarterfinal loss and came back to beat a good wrestler (Tyshawn White), who I thought was the best on his feet in the tournament and controlled him, and then lost to a regional champion.
“He regrouped and came back with a win on Saturday. It's great to finish on top in your final match and it's something to build on for next year.”
Shaw said Griffiths is a very gifted wrestler who needs to become tougher.
“He has to figure out how to wrestle better when he's down in a match,” Shaw said. “He takes too long to regroup. He'll get better.'
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @Schofield_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.
- Defending WPIAL, PIAA champion Krivus hopes to carry Hempfield wrestling
- West Mifflin wrestling team opens up with new look
- Greensburg Salem wrestling to rely on group strengths
- Longtime Kiski Area wrestling coach Chuck Tursky to be honored
- Belle Vernon wrestlers pin Thomas Jefferson
- Connellsville wrestling picks up 1st win of season
- McKeesport wrestlers growing in numbers
- Latrobe wrestling team sets lofty goals
- Burrell routs Kittanning in Shields’ coaching debut
- Moon wrestling program building with Quaker Valley’s cooperative agreement
- Elizabeth Forward wrestler earns redemption at Chartiers-Houston tournament