Champion Lee leads Franklin Regional wrestlers at Super 32 Challenge
By Doug Gulasy
Published: Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
For the past year, all Spencer Lee could think about was his loss to Nick Suriano of New Jersey in the championship round of the 2012 Super 32 Challenge.
So when he got his chance to wrestle against Suriano again in the championships this year, he made the most of the opportunity.
Lee, a Franklin Regional freshman, beat Suriano, 3-1, in the 113-pound championship bout late last month at the 2013 Super 32 Challenge in Greensboro, N.C.
The Super 32 is one of the top preseason wrestling tournaments in the country.
“I wasn't nervous before the match,” Lee said. “I was excited because I've been wanting this match for over a year. When I finally got to the finals and that match, I was so ready for the match. I was so excited to wrestle.”
The tournament annually brings together some of the top wrestlers in the country, and this season was no exception.
“The No. 1, No. 2, No. 4 and No. 7 kids in the country were in that (113-pound) bracket, and there was more than that,” Lee said. “There was about eight or nine top-20 kids in the country in that bracket, and there were 138 total in the bracket. The competition is unreal.”
Four Franklin Regional wrestlers competed at the Super 32. Freshman Gus Solomon and juniors Michael Kemerer and Josh Maruca competed at 113, 132 and 138 pounds, respectively.
“You see how you pair up with some tough kids,” Franklin Regional coach Eric Mausser said. “You have a lot of tough kids in this area, but you're kind of familiar with each other. When you go down there, you wrestle some good guys you're not familiar with. So you find some things you need to work on and some things you do pretty well, too.”
After Lee, Kemerer was Franklin Regional's top finisher at the Super 32. He placed second in the 132-pound bracket, his second straight runner-up finish after winning the title as a freshman.
Kemerer lost, 2-1, in double overtime to Hempfield's Sam Krivus in the 132-pound final.
“It's not the first time we've wrestled, and we're probably going to wrestle a bunch of other times,” Kemerer said. “I'd rather lose now than in March. It definitely motivated me before the season that I've got some work to do before the middle of the season comes around.”
Both Solomon and Maruca finished 4-2 in their respective brackets but didn't place in the top eight.
“It's the beginning of the year, and our goals are always (aimed) toward the end of the year for March,” Mausser said. “This was a good starting point for them to see what they need to work on and get better. All the guys that came back came back with things they wanted to work on, which was nice. It gives them a little bit of that hunger to work for their goals for March and winning the state championships.”
In addition to the Super 32, Kemerer said he competed in preseason tournaments in Orlando, Fla., and Fargo, N.D., as well as several wrestling camps. He also placed second at 132 pounds in the Who's No. 1 meet last weekend at Lehigh University.
Lee, who moved to the area over the summer from Saegertown, competed in the Cadet World Championships in August in Serbia.
While Franklin Regional's wrestlers fared well at the Super 32, so did the WPIAL as a whole. Besides Lee and Krivus, Kittanning's Jason Nolf and Latrobe's Luke Pletcher and Zack Zavatsky also won titles. Kemerer was joined by three other WPIAL wrestlers as runners-up in various weight classes.
“We represented ourselves well out there wrestling against pretty much the rest of the country,” Kemerer said.
Franklin Regional will now begin preparing for the 2013-14 season after finishing second in the WPIAL and third in the PIAA last season. The first official day of practice for winter sports is set for Nov. 18.
“I'm just excited to wrestle my high school season, to be with the team and competing all over the state and even the country a little bit,” Lee said. “I just can't wait.”
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5830, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @dgulasy_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.
- Nolf’s lone career loss serves as catalyst for continued excellence
- Norwin’s Phipps places 4th at PIAA Class AAA finals
- Franklin Regional wrestler backs up his words with 1st state title
- Valley’s Fields penalized for prematch handslap, leading to loss
- Valley, Burrell advance 3 wrestlers each at state wrestling tournament
- Kiski Area’s Kuhn draws unbeaten 3-time champ in PIAA Class AAA semifinals
- Redbank Valley wrestler edges familiar foe in PIAAs
- Kittanning’s Nolf 1 win away from 3rd PIAA title
- Belle Vernon Area’s Hasson advances; teammates eliminated
- Penn-Trafford’s Coy breaks through for WPIAL title
- Junior high wrestling event hits Hempfield