Local wrestlers dominate PIAA quarterfinals
HERSHEY — The 6,106 fans who attended the PIAA Class AAA wrestling championships at Giant Center on Friday witnessed WPIAL domination.
Of the 28 quarterfinalists from District 7 (WPIAL), 23 advanced to the semifinals, which will be at 9 a.m. Saturday. Thirty-one of the 42 WPIAL wrestlers who reached the state championships will return with PIAA top-eight medals.
Two of those wrestlers are Central Catholic's junior Zach DeLuca (220 pounds) and sophomore Vincenzo Joseph (120).
Joseph (24-8) spotted McDowell's Paul Deitz an early lead and rallied for a 6-2 decision. The win puts him in a rematch against Canon-McMillan's Dalton Marci (43-6). The two met in the Southwest Regional semifinals and Joseph won, 10-2.
Hempfield sophomore Sam Krivus (38-3), the WPIAL champion, also reached the semifinals at 120 pounds with a 15-0 victory over Nazareth's Tyler Tarsi.
“Getting three guys in the semifinals shows how deep the WPIAL is, not just at our weight, but every weight, too,” Joseph said.
Deluca (40-7) advanced with a 5-3 victory against Bethlehem Liberty junior Jake Gunning and faces freshman Jordan Wood (45-1) of Boyertown.
Canon-McMillan and Franklin Regional each advanced four wrestlers to the semifinals, and Latrobe, Greensburg Salem and Kiski Area had two apiece.
“It seemed like when I wrestled in the 1990s that District 11 (Northampton, Easton and Nazareth) is what you wanted to be like,” Latrobe coach Tad Harbert said. “Now, we have the best wrestlers in the state and you saw that.”
Chartiers Valley senior Noah Wilps won a thriller in his match at 170. He used an escape with 18 seconds left in the ultimate tiebreaker to defeat West York junior Kyle Narber, 5-4. Wilps (32-8) will face Penncrest senior Joe Gartland (31-6) in the semifinals.
Cody Wiercioch (170) and Connor Schram (126) of Canon-McMillan and Kiski Area senior Matt McCutcheon (195) stayed in contention to win another state title.
Wiercioch (39-1) will face Colton Peppelman (43-6) of Central Dauphin. Schram (42-3) won, 20-5, against Chase Zemenak of Nazareth and will meet Wyoming Valley West senior Kyle Krasavage (40-0). McCutcheon (36-1) pinned Council Rock South senior P.J. Steinmetz in overtime. He'll meet Allentown Dieruff junior Jovon Reyes (35-2).
Hampton senior Jake Hart (42-1), who defeated McCutcheon last week for the Southwest Regional title, will meet DuBois senior Landon Hanna in the semifinals.
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com.