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Kiski Area's Chad Kuhn gives up weight but keeps getting wins

Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Kiski Area's Chad Kuhn (top) battles Franklin Regional's Jake Pickup during their 195 pound bout during their dual meet at Franklin Regional on Jan. 03, 2014. Franklin Regional defeated Kiski Area 38-24.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Kiski Area's Chad Kuhn (top) battles Franklin Regional's Jake Pickup during their 195 pound bout during their dual meet at Franklin Regional on Jan. 03, 2014. Franklin Regional defeated Kiski Area 38-24.
Submitted - Plum wrestler Nathan Turchick
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Plum wrestler Nathan Turchick

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Plum, junior

Claim to fame: Turchick (15-2), who led Plum to a team title, won the 195-pound title at the Steve DeAugustino Holiday Classic at West Mifflin by defeating Elizabeth Forward's Luke Fournier, 9-3, on Dec. 28. Turchick also finished fifth in the Eastern Area Invitational on Dec. 6.

What do you think you need to improve on?

I just keep getting better position so I can be in better shape on the mat. I just need to work on little technical things that could be useful when you go against a good kid.

What has been the most memorable match so far this season?

The most memorable one would probably be against Fox Chapel's Rich Giovenetti at West Mifflin. I have wrestled him six times in the past two years. It was a big win personally since he is a good wrestler. It was a tough match. It gave me more motivation and made my confidence level go up.

What's it like to have your older brother, Stephen, on the team?

It's definitely helpful. When we are going in the practice room, he has weight on me and never takes it easy on me. It's good to wrestle against him, and we have brotherly love.

— Andrew John

Wrestling rankings

Class AAA

Rec. Pvs.

1. Franklin Regional 6-1 1

2. Latrobe 6-0 2

3. North Allegheny 4-0 3

4. Canon-McMillan 9-0 4

5. Kiski Area 10-1 5

6. Connellsville 4-1 6

7. Peters Township 4-0 8

8. Belle Vernon 7-2 7

9. Hempfield 2-1 9

10. Greensburg Salem 3-1 10

Class AA

1. South Fayette 1-0 1

2. Burrell 2-1 2

3. Jefferson-Morgan 7-3 3

4. Bentworth 2-0 4

5. Burgettstown 3-0 5

Class AAA individuals

106: 1. Devin Brown, Franklin Regional (8-0); 2. Alex Lynch, Seneca Valley (8-0); 3. Matt Siszka, Kiski Area (14-4).

113: 1. Spencer Lee, Franklin Regional (18-0); 2. Gage Curry, North Hills (14-0); 3. Ethan McCoy, Latrobe (9-3).

120: 1. Luke Pletcher, Latrobe (16-0); 2. Scotty Stossel, North Allegheny (11-2); 3. Ricky Cavallo, Hempfield (7-3).

126: 1. Dalton Macri, Canon-McMillan (20-1); 2. A.C. Headlee, Waynesburg (18-3); 3. Dom Forys, North Allegheny (17-2).

132: 1. Tyler Smith, Franklin Regional (10-0); 2. Sam Krivus, Hempfield (11-1); 3. Cameron Coy, Penn-Trafford (17-2).

138: 1. Michael Kemerer, Franklin Regional (14-1); 2. Vincenzo Joseph, Central Catholic (17-3); 3. Joey Alessandro, Hempfield (11-3).

145: 1. Solomon Chishko, Canon-McMillan (10-3); 2. Josh Maruca, Franklin Regional (11-4); 3. Zach Mattucci, Greensburg Salem (11-0).

152: 1. Josh Shields, Franklin Regional (13-3); 2. Jake Shaffer, Latrobe (13-4); 3. Derek Verkleeren, Belle Vernon (13-2).

160: 1. Brendan Burnham, Pine-Richland (10-0); 2. Dom Scalise, Latrobe (14-1); 3. Devin Austin, Penn-Trafford (13-5).

170: 1. Noah Wilps, Chartiers Valley (10-1); 2. Devin Fallenstein, Ringgold (12-1); 3. Kyle Coniker, Central Catholic (11-3).

182: 1. Zack Zavatsky, Latrobe (14-0); 2. Kellan Stout, Mt. Lebanon (11-2); 3. Elliot King, North Hills, (13-1).

195: 1. Drew Phipps, Norwin (6-0); 3. Ty Worthing, Kiski Area (19-1); 3. Zach Smith, North Allegheny (14-5).

220: 1. Cole Macek, Montour (6-0); 2. Chad Kuhn, Kiski Area (19-2); 3. Fred Mantsch, Hempfield (12-3).

285: 1. Shane Kuhn, Kiski Area (17-1); 2. Zaynel Zaynullayev, Mt. Lebanon (11-3); 3. Lukas Cervenak, Peters Township (9-3).

Class AA individuals

106: 1. Dallas Bulsak, South Park (9-2); 2. Hunter Neely, Bentworth (9-2); 3. Cole Lambie, Southmoreland (10-5).

113: 1. Brendon Howard, Jefferson-Morgan (14-1); 2. Austin Griffiths, Southmoreland (10-1); 3. Jihad Ratliff, Valley (5-2).

120: 1. George Phillippi, Derry (11-3); 2. Austin McDermitt, Burgettstown (10-1); 3. Josh Kuslock, Chartiers-Houston (9-2).

126: 1. Patrick DeWitt, Valley (6-0); 2. Stone Kepple, Derry (11-3); 3. Mike Carr, South Fayette (1-0).

132: 1. John Demaske, Jefferson-Morgan (14-0); 2. Shane Gentry, South Side Beaver (9-1); 3. J.R. Andrejcik, Burrell (7-5).

138: 1. Jake Wentzel, South Park (11-0); 2. Jason Miller, Jefferson-Morgan (14-1); 3. Shane Ging, South Fayette (3-2).

145: 1. Jason Nolf, Kittanning (17-0); 2. Nick Gavazzi, Charleroi (6-0); 3. Austin Mears, Mt. Pleasant (15-1).

152: 1. Steven Edwards, Burrell (10-3); 2. Greg Bulsak, South Park (10-0); 3. Nolan Wise, Highlands (9-2).

160: 1. Ryan Zalar, Jefferson-Morgan (14-1); 2. Grant Fetchet, South Fayette (1-0); 3. Pete Provenzano, Chartiers-Houston (11-4).

170: 1. Bill Bowlen, Jefferson-Morgan (16-2); 2. Jared Walker, South Fayette (1-0); 3. Nico Brown, Beth-Center (10-2).

182: 1. Fred McKissick, Carlynton (5-0); 2. Terrell Fields, Valley (6-1); 3. Dalton Wildman, West Greene (9-3).

195: 1. Zach Walker, South Fayette (1-0); 2. Brad Grinnen, Ellwood City (11-1); 3. Jacob Robb, Kittanning (17-5).

220: 1. Jake Temple, Avella (8-0); 2. Tom Sever, Yough (10-2); 3. Josh Lind, Mt. Pleasant (12-5).

285: 1. Allan Beattie, (11-3); 2. Jake Beistel, Southmoreland (12-1); 3. Mason Shumaker, Bentworth (10-3).

Pin LEaders

13: Shane Kuhn, Kiski Area

12: Ryan Hardaway, Kiski Area

11: Gage Curry, North Hills; Jake Ardellitz, Kiski

10: Spencer Lee, Franklin Regional

9: Jason Nolf, Kittanning; Dom Forys, N. Alleg.

Coaches can send pin leaders to

— Paul Schofield

Top high school sports
Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, 10:21 p.m.

Though he has excelled since his freshman year as an undersized heavyweight, Kiski Area senior Shane Kuhn, a two-time PIAA placewinner, questioned the Cavalier coaching staff's plan to move his younger brother, 184-pound sophomore Chad Kuhn, up to the 220-pound weight class as the 2013-14 season approached, and Chad had concerns, too.

Both Shane and Chad Kuhn trusted the standard wrestling logic: Giving up weight provides opponents an advantage.

Both now are prime case studies in how to thrive against bulkier opposition.

Like his elder sibling, Chad Kuhn is among the WPIAL's best big boys, and he's succeeding with a lanky 6-foot-2 frame that might cause opponents to wonder why he's not competing in the 182- or 195-pound weight class.

“I think they think I'm just a skinny guy they threw in there to fill in a spot, but that's not the case at all,” said Kuhn, who plans to compete at 220 in the postseason.

The owner of a 19-2 record with seven pins, he will look to claim his first title at the Westmoreland County Coaches' Association Wrestling Tournament, which begins Friday and continues Saturday at Franklin Regional.

“I have way more confidence now as a sophomore,” said Kuhn, who went 1-2 in the tournament as a 160-pounder last season. “I think the practice partners I have definitely help me; I get way more confidence from working with Shane and (sophomore 195-pounder) Tyler (Worthing). … The pace is just way faster. Tyler's explosiveness is like no other. And Shane's strength really helps me, because that's how most of the heavyweights wrestle.”

His freshman season left him with a muddled understanding of his potential. He weighed 160 pounds but wrestled at 160, 170 and 182 and finished the season 7-7.

Kiski Area coach Chuck Tursky watched Shane Kuhn become a PIAA Class AAA placewinner as a 210-pound sophomore in a weight class that allows up to 285 pounds, and the younger brother showed similar logic-defying potential during the preseason. But Shane Kuhn was skeptical.

“At first, we thought it'd be a terrible idea and wouldn't work out, but the coaches thought 220 would fit with his style,” Shane Kuhn said. “It just shows why the coaches make the decisions.”

Chad Kuhn opened the season with a title at Gateway's Eastern Area tournament.

“Going into the first tournament, I was actually really nervous, because I didn't know how it'd go,” Chad Kuhn said. “After that, I was way more confident.”

Shane Kuhn believes additional self-assurance is what his brother needs to achieve even more.

“I remember getting nervous to wrestle guys so big,” Shane Kuhn said. “And that's what he's had problems with in some matches too this year; that's why some of them are so close. He gets nervous and lets these big guys get in his head.”

Intense sessions between the brothers at practice help Chad Kuhn learn to cope with and adjust to his size difference. Shane Kuhn, at 6-3 and about 230 pounds, possesses as much power as any opponent Chad likely will face.

“When we wrestle live, I try my hardest to get points, but it doesn't happen much,” said Chad Kuhn, who has reversed Shane once and has never taken him down.

Said Shane Kuhn: “Last year and in the past, I could just beat up on him. This year, I actually have to put in some effort to make sure I still win.”

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