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Burrell senior wrestler Derrick Beattie back after long recovery from injury

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Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch
Burrell's Derrick Beattie, right, and Kiski Area's Dakota Lange drop to the mat during their boutThursday, December 19, 2013, at Kiski Area High School

Corey Falleroni

Burrell, Senior

Claim to fame: Falleroni, who is 8-1 this season, finished in third-place in the 145-pound weight class at the King of the Mountain Tournament at Lock Haven on Dec. 14. Falleroni, who is ranked No. 2 in his weight class, is 56-30 in his career.

“I think I have done well so far,” Falleroni said. “I'm wrestling at my normal weight. I'm cutting a little this year. I feel like I'm stronger than the other kids.”

What are your college plans?

I want to see how the season plays out and make a decision afterward. I went to visit Pitt-Johnstown. I like that campus a lot. I want to major in physical therapy. I have been looking into it recently. It looks fun and interesting.

What has been the most memorable moment in your career so far?

I feel definitely my freshman year when we finished third at states. It was a good way to start my career.

What are your goals?

I think I have been working pretty hard to get the main goal, which is to get the state title. But to get on the podium would be great.

When are you the most comfortable on the mat?

I'm definitely comfortable on my feet more than anywhere else. I'm pretty confident with my shots and my cardio as the match goes on.

— Andrew John

Wrestling rankings

Class AAA

Rec. Pvs.

1. Franklin Regional 5-1 1

2. Latrobe 4-0 2

3. North Allegheny 3-0 3

4. Canon-McMillan 7-0 4

5. Kiski Area 10-0 5

6. Connellsville 3-1 6

7. Belle Vernon 6-2 7

8. Peters Township 4-0 8

9. Hempfield 2-0 9

10. Greensburg Salem 2-1 10

Class AA

1. South Fayette 0-0 1

2. Burrell 2-1 2

3. Jefferson-Morgan 4-3 3

4. Bentworth 2-0 4

5. Burgettstown 1-0 5

Class AAA individuals

106: 1. Devin Brown, Franklin Regional (0-0); 2. Alex Lynch, Seneca Valley (7-1); 3. Matt Siszka, Kiski Area (12-0).

113: 1. Spencer Lee, Franklin Regional (12-0); 2. Gage Curry, North Hills (10-0); 3. Brendan Price, Canon-McMillan (12-2).

120: 1. Luke Pletcher, Latrobe (10-0); 2. Kevin Miller, Norwin (3-1); 3. Brenan Hasson, Belle Vernon (10-2).

126: 1. Dalton Macri, Canon-McMillan (14-1); 2. A. C. Headlee, Waynesburg (12-2); 3. Dom Forys, North Allegheny (12-2).

132: 1. Sam Krivus, Hempfield (7-0); 2. Tyler Smith, Franklin Regional (4-0); 3. Cameron Coy, Penn-Trafford (9-1).

138: 1. Michael Kemerer, Franklin Regional (8-1); 2. Joey Alessandro, Hempfield (6-1); 3. Italo Merante, Peters (7-1).

145: 1. Solomon Chishko, Canon-McMillan (10-3); 2. Vincenzo Joseph, Central Catholic (8-2); 3. Josh Maruca, Franklin Regional (6-3).

152: 1. Josh Shields, Franklin Regional (7-3); 2. Jake Shaffer, Latrobe (6-2); 3. Derek Verkleeren, Belle Vernon (11-0).

160: 1. Brendan Burnham, Pine-Richland (9-0); 2. Dom Scalise, Latrobe (8-1); 3. Devin Austin, Penn-Trafford (9-4).

170: 1. Noah Wilps, Chartiers Valley (6-0); 2. Devin Fallenstein, Ringgold (9-0); 3. Kyle Coniker, Central Catholic (6-2).

182: 1. Kellan Stout, Mt. Lebanon (7-1); 2. Ryan Hannon, Butler (6-0); 3. Hunter Fenk, Plum (10-0).

195: 1. Zack Zavatsky, Latrobe (8-0); 2. Drew Phipps, Norwin (2-0); 3. Zach Smith, North Allegheny (8-3).

220: 1. Cole Macek, Montour (6-0); 2. Chad Kuhn, Kiski Area (14-0); 3. Fred Mantsch, Hempfield (6-1).

285: 1. Shane Kuhn, Kiski Area (13-0); 2. Zach Deluca, Central Catholic (0-0); 3. Zaynel Zaynullayev, Mt. Lebanon (7-1).

Class AA individuals

106: 1. Dallas Bulsak, South Park (8-2); 2. Hunter Neely, Bentworth (5-1); 3. Cole Lambie, Southmoreland (4-2).

113: 1. Austin Griffiths, Southmoreland (7-0); 2. Brendan Howard, Jefferson-Morgan (9-1); 3. Zach Charles, Yough (5-2).

120: 1. George Phillippi, Derry (5-0); 2. Josh Kuslock, Chartiers-Houston (5-0); 3. Austin McDermitt, Burgettstown (4-1).

126: 1. Mike Novak, Mt. Pleasant (8-3); 2. Stone Kepple, Derry (5-0); 3. Ben Hritsko, Chartiers-Houston (3-2).

132: 1. Shane Gentry, South Side Beaver (5-0); 2. J.R. Andrejcik, Burrell (3-0); 3. John Demaske, Jefferson-Morgan (10-0).

138: 1. Jake Wentzel, South Park (10-0); 2. Jason Miller, Jefferson-Morgan (10-1); 3. Shane Ging, South Fayette (3-2).

145: 1. Jason Nolf, Kittanning (12-0); 2. Corey Falleroni, Burrell (8-1); 3. Austin Mears, Mt. Pleasant (11-1).

152: 1. Steven Edwards, Burrell (3-0); 2. Greg Bulsak, South Park (9-0); 3. Ethan Charlesworth, Mt. Pleasant (7-4).

160: 1. Ryan Zalar, Jefferson-Morgan (10-1); 2. Pete Provenzano, Chartiers-Houston (5-2); 3. Jarrett Dorazio, Derry (5-0).

170: 1. Nico Brown, Beth-Center (4-1); 2. Bill Bowlen, Jefferson-Morgan (11-2); 3. Derek Hull, Chartiers-Houston (5-1).

182: 1. Fred McKissick, Carlynton (4-0); 2. Dalton Wildman, West Greene (3-1); 3. Brendon Glover, West Shamokin (6-1).

195: 1. Brad Grinnen, Ellwood City (5-1); 2. Jacob Robb, Kittanning (13-3); 3. Dale Rybacki, Carlynton (7-1).

220: 1. Jake Temple, Avella (4-0); 2. Tom Sever, Yough (4-1); 3. Seth Hutchins, S. Allegheny (6-0).

285: 1. Allan Beattie, (8-1); 2. Jake Beistel, Southmoreland (8-1); 3. Trevin Bedillion, West Greene (3-1).

Pin Leaders

9: Ryan Hardaway, Kiski; Shane Kuhn, Kiski.

8: Jake Ardellitz, Kiski Area

7: Chad Kuhn, Kiski Area; Jason Nolf, Kittanning

Coaches can send pin leaders to

— Paul Schofield

Top high school sports
Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 6:00 p.m.

Away from football and wrestling competition for more than a year, Burrell senior Derrick Beattie developed a Zen-like mentality in order to deal with the frustration that accompanied his long recovery from the torn labrum and damaged rotator cuff in his left shoulder.

“I learned patience, fortitude and to just do things day by day,” said Beattie, who suffered the injury in August 2012. “You're going to have good days and bad days, but you just have to stay a good person, a nice person, and just take pride in what you do.”

Back to full strength and competing in sports for the first time since that unfortunate fall season, Beattie, a senior 160/170-pounder for the Bucs, is ready to unleash the energy and aspirations that accumulated while he stood to the side and waited.

“I know the whole process took a long time, but now that I'm back, it feels like it was in the blink of an eye,” he said. “The feeling now that I'm through all of that and out there competing, it's really something else.”

In order to put himself in the best position as a wrestler, Beattie chose to forgo football, the sport that initially caused his shoulder injury. The fact that the Bucs could have used him to fill the void at running back and linebacker left by 2013 graduate Cole Bush kept Beattie undecided on whether to skip football until about a week before training camp.

“I didn't want to make a quick decision, so I thought about it all summer,” Beattie said. “In wrestling, you can somewhat control a match — injuries happen, though. But in football, if I'm playing running back and middle linebacker, people are flying at me, and if I'm not ready for that, I'll get injured then.

“I just wasn't feeling 100 percent like myself at that time. I was feeling somewhere around 85 percent, 90 percent in terms of when there'd be contact with my shoulder. I was more worried about my health, because I want to be good after high school.”

He gets one season to convince colleges that he's a WPIAL championship-caliber wrestler. Beattie came close as a sophomore, when he went 34-15 and placed third in WPIAL Class AA as a 170-pounder.

Those around Beattie believe the senior retained his abilities during his recovery, which also included a brief setback this summer when Beattie suffered a minor tear of the LCL in his right knee.

“I think he's going to surprise a lot of people,” coach Josh Shields said.

“It's like he didn't even take a year off,” said senior 152-pounder Steven Edwards, who has been training with Beattie in the practice room.

The King of the Mountain Tournament Dec. 13-14 provided Beattie his first major test. Beattie won two matches — one by pin and another 8-4 — but ran into Cumberland Valley senior T.C. Warner, the No. 1 seed and a 2013 PIAA Class AAA finalist, in the quarterfinals. Warner won with a first-period pin, and Beattie finished one consolation-round win short of placing.

The Powerade Christmas Wrestling Tournament, which begins Friday at Canon-McMillan, is the next opportunity for Beattie to measure himself against many of the state's best.

“I've got to learn, and I've got to learn fast,” Beattie said. “I've got to shake off the rust.”

Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.

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