Share This Page

Walker brothers advance with victories at PIAA wrestling

| Thursday, March 7, 2013, 9:15 p.m.
Norwin's Heath Coles (top) takes down Monsigner Bonner's Joe Dephillipo in their 152-lb match during the opening round at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on March 07, 2013. Coles won by a 10-3 decision. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Canon McMillan's Solomon Chishko (top) attempts to turn Garnet Valley's John Dambro in their 145-lb match during the opening round at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on March 07, 2013. Chishko won by a 17-2 technical fall. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Mt. Lebanon's Kellan Stout (right) is taken down by Penncrest's Joe Gartland in their 170-lb match during the opening round at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on March 07, 2013. Stout lost by 3-1 decision. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Westinghouse's Rodjecko Christian reacts after dropping a 7-6 decision at the buzzer to Liberty's Jake Gunning in their 220-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Kiski Area's Shane Kuhn pins Altoona's Austin Rosenberry at 1:46 of their 285-lb match during the opening round at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on March 07, 2013. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
North Hills' Gage Curry (bottom) battles Central York's Dylan Chatterton during their 106-lb match during the opening round at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on March 07, 2013. Curry lost by fall at 3:26. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Franklin Regional's Tyler Smith tries to turn Middletown's Bryce Killian during their 132-lb match during the opening round at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on March 07, 2013. Smith won by a 4-3 decision. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Belle Vernon Area's Adam Nickelson (right) battles Owen J. Roberts' Gordon Bolig in their 182-lb match during the opening round at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on March 07, 2013. Nickelson lost by 6-4 decision. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
North Hills' Tyler Walker (top) looks to score on Manheim Township's Cortlandt Schuyler during their 126-pound bout during the opening round at the PIAA Class AAA individual wrestling championships Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Giant Center in Hershey. Walker won, 13-7. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Hempfield's Sam Krivus (top) looks to score on Oley Valley's Joey Fick during their 120-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. Krivus won by a 8-0 major decision. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Westinghouse's Rodjecko Christian tangles with Liberty's Jake Gunning in their 220-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. Christian lost by 7-6 decision at the buzzer. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
North Allegheny's Dom Forys (bottom) lifts Pennridge's Scott Parker during their 113-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. Forys lost by a 10-6 decision. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Allderdice's Brian Estep is pinned by Cedar Cliff's Chris Vassar at 3:29 of their 145-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Barry Reeger | Tribune Review
Chartiers Valley's Noah Wilps (right) takes down Bellefonte's Nicholas Shawley in their 170-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. Wilps won by 3-2 decision.
Latrobe's Zack Zavatsky prepares to pin Conestoga's Logan Kerin at 3:52 in their 160-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Waynesburg's A.C. Headlee (top) attempts to pin Twin Valley's Daniel Grant during their 113-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. Headlee won by a 11-9 decision. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Canon-McMillan's Dalton Macri (left) looks to score on Liberty's Grimaldi Gonzalez during their 120-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. Macri won by a 7-0 decision. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Central Catholic's Vincenzo Joseph (top) controls Solanco's Ronnie Perry during their 120-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. Joseph won by a 8-0 decision. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Franklin Regional's Josh Maruca (top) takes down Emmaus' Cole Franklin during their 138-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. Maruca won by a 19-4 major decision. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Latrobe's Luke Pletcher (top) looks to score on Erie McDowell's Charlie Lenox during their 106-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013,at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. Pletcher won by a 12-6 decision. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Franklin Regional's Luke Fleck is pinned by Nazareth's Aaron Bradley at 3:05 of their 285-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013,at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Gateway's A.J. Wilkins (bottom) tries to fight off a pin by Parkland's Ethan Lizak during their 113-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013,at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. Wilkins lost by fall at 3:36. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Canon-McMillan's Cody Wiercioch (top) takes down Big Spring's Cody Seibert in their 170-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. Wiercioch won by fall at 4:28. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Canon-McMillan's Connor Schram (top) looks to score on Dallastown's Rodney Sunday during their 126-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. Schram won by a 11-4 decision. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Connellsville's Ethan Kenney (right) takes down Garden Spot's Nick Cook during their 132-pound match during the opening round at the PIAA Class AAA individual wrestling championships on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Giant Center in Hershey. Kenney won by a 5-4 decision. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Hampton's Kevin Synan (top) battles Neshaminy's Ryan O'Connor in their 145-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. Synan won by a 8-7 decision. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Canon-McMillan's Brendan Price (top) tangles with Solanco's Connor Sheehan during their 106-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. Price won by a 6-4 decision. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Greensburg Salem's Zach Voytek (right) looks to control Northampton's Bobby Fehr in their 160-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. Voytek won by a 5-0 decision.
Franklin Regional's Michael Kemerer (top) tries to turn East Stroud South's Colby Ems during their 126-pound bout during the opening round at the PIAA Class AAA individual wrestling championships Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Giant Center in Hershey. Kemerer won by a 5-1 decision. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Franklin Regional's Josh Shields (right) attempts to take down Erie McDowell's Cody Nolan during their 145-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. Shields won by fall at 2:49. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Greensburg Salem's Tyler Reinhart (bottom) looks to score on Central Mountain's Chad Reese during their 152-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. Reinhart won by a 2-0 decision. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Kiski Area's Matt McCutcheon (top) attempts to pin Bald Eagle Area's Aaron Varner during their 195-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. McCutcheon won by a 8-2 decision. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
North Hills' Drew Walker (bottom) looks to score on Delaware Valley's Jalen Palmer during their 132-pound match during the opening round on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. Walker won by a 4-1 decision. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)

HERSHEY — When the Walker brothers are training in the wrestling room, North Hills assistant coach Vertus Jones sometimes has to separate them.

“They are so focused on competing, they try to take each other's head off,” Jones said.

But on the mat the twins feed off each other. If one wins, the other usually follows.

That's what happened Thursday during the opening round of the PIAA Class AAA Championship at Giant Center.

Even though both entered the state tournament as third-place finishers from the WPIAL and faced higher placed opponents, neither had a problem winning his match.

Tyler Walker (36-2) whipped Manheim Township junior Cortlandt Schuyler, 13-7, at 126 pounds, and, moments later, Drew Walker (33-5) defeated Delaware Valley junior Jalen Palmer, 4-1, at 132. Schuyler was the Southcentral Regional champion, and Palmer was the Northeast Regional runner-up.

The twins will be in the quarterfinals that begin at 1:30 p.m.

“Tyler starts the momentum off,” Drew Walker said. “If he loses, I'll be in a bad mood. It was good that he won. Tyler just told me to follow him because he was here last year.”

Drew Walker used two takedowns to beat Palmer. He'll face Cumberland Valley sophomore Patrick Duggan.

Tyler Walker was all over Schuyler, scoring multiple ways.

“I just got the win and did my best.” Tyler Walker said. “It was stressful watching Drew. This is my last year, so I just want to do my best.”

Tyler Walker said after watching teammate Gage Curry get beat (106), he focused on winning for him.

“I was upset after watching Gage (Curry) get beat,” Tyler Walker said.

Curry and Alen Turcinhodzic both dropped opening-round matches but stayed alive with wins in the consolation rounds.

Both Walkers said Jones has been a big help. Jones is a former state champion from Greensburg Salem and an NCAA runner-up at West Virginia.

“He knows what it feels like,” Tyler Walker said. “He's been through this. He tells us how to get through it.”

Jones said the Walkers are prepared to succeed.

“The way we train and prepare, and I think, more importantly, their will to compete, they have a competitive edge,” Jones said. “That's what gave them the mental confidence to come up here and compete against the best in the state.

“It's only one round, and they still have some work to do. We just want to get a rhythm and get that first match under our belt. They settle down and get a little confidence. We want them to achieve competitive greatness.”

The WPIAL had a good first day as 29 of the 42 in the tournament advanced with victories.

Canon-McMillan and Franklin Regional each had four wrestlers advance to the quarterfinals. Among those to win from the WPIAL were previous PIAA champions Cody Wiercioch (170) and Connor Schram (126) of Canon-McMillan and Matt McCutcheon (182) of Kiski Area. Wiercioch is going after his third state title.

Seven teams (Latrobe, North Hills, North Allegheny, Central Catholic, Hampton, Greensburg Salem and Kiski Area) each advanced two wrestlers.

Allderdice senior Brian Estep (138) and Westinghouse senior Rodjecko Christian (220) each dropped opening-round matches, but both stayed alive with wins in the consolation round.

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.