| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Hempfield's Cavallo among area standout wrestlers recovering from injuries

Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Hempfield's Ricky Cavallo grapples with Ligonier Valley's Justin Patrick during their 113-pound final bout at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Wrestling Tournament on Jan. 12, 2013, in Murrysville.

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Fred Mantsch

Hempfield, junior

Claim to fame: Mantsch (17-4) claimed the 220-pound title at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Wrestling tournament Saturday at Franklin Regional after defeating Kiski Area's Chad Kuhn, 6-0. Earlier in the year, Mantsch finished second at the Powerade tournament and fifth at the King of the Mountain tournament.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

My sophomore year, I dislocated my kneecap and Coach (Vince DeAugustine) told me to work on my skills and to never back down. He told me don't give up.

What did you learn during that experience?

I talked to coach a lot. He told me to do a lot of summer wrestling. He told me to work and train hard as well as to give 100 percent all the time.

Who has influenced your wrestling career?

Coach D has helped me a lot. I used to go to his club, Little Animals, and then to Steel City. My dad told me to work as hard as I can with Coach D, and now I'm listening to what he has to say. My lifting coach also pushes me to never give up, always train to be the best and to get stronger.

What area do you think you need to improve?

I think in real hard and tough matches, I need to get out my shots faster. I need to train harder and get stronger.

— Andrew John

Wrestling rankings

Class AAA

Rec. Pvs.

1. Franklin Regional 7-1 1

2. Latrobe 7-0 2

3. North Allegheny 7-0 3

4. Canon-McMillan 10-0 4

5. Kiski Area 11-1 5

6. Connellsville 11-3 6

7. Peters Township 7-1 7

8. Belle Vernon 8-2 8

9. Hempfield 3-1 9

10. Greensburg Salem 3-1 10

Class AA

1. South Fayette 2-0 1

2. Burrell 3-1 2

3. Jefferson-Morgan 9-3 3

4. Bentworth 2-1 4

5. Burgettstown 4-0 5

Class AAA individuals

106: 1. Devin Brown, Franklin Regional (10-0); 2. Alex Lynch, Seneca Valley (12-2); 3. Kris Distefanis, Hempfield, (14-6).

113: 1. Spencer Lee, Franklin Regional (22-0); 2. Gage Curry, North Hills (16-0); 3. Ethan McCoy, Latrobe (18-4).

120: 1. Luke Pletcher, Latrobe (20-0); 2. Scotty Stossel, North Allegheny (12-2); 3. Ricky Cavallo, Hempfield (7-3).

126: 1. Dalton Macri, Canon-McMillan (23-2); 2. A. C. Headlee, Waynesburg (23-3); 3. Dom Forys, North Allegheny (18-2).

132: 1. Tyler Smith, Franklin Regional (15-0); 2. Sam Krivus, Hempfield (16-2); 3. Cameron Coy, Penn-Trafford (21-3).

138: 1. Michael Kemerer, Franklin Regional (19-1); 2. Vincenzo Joseph, Central Catholic (17-3); 3. Joey Alessandro, Hempfield (16-3).

145: 1. Solomon Chishko, Canon-McMillan (10-3); 2. Josh Maruca, Franklin Regional (16-3); 3. Jarod Verkleeren, Belle Vernon (4-1).

152: 1. Josh Shields, Franklin Regional (16-3); 2. Jake Shaffer, Latrobe (18-5); 3. Derek Verkleeren, Belle Vernon (18-4).

160: 1. Brendan Burnham, Pine-Richland (11-0); 2. Dom Scalise, Latrobe (17-4); 3. Devin Austin, Penn-Trafford (19-6).

170: 1. Noah Wilps, Chartiers Valley (12-1); 2. Devin Fallenstein, Ringgold (19-1); 3. Kyle Coniker, Central Catholic (12-3).

182: 1. Zack Zavatsky, Latrobe (19-0); 2. Kellan Stout, Mt. Lebanon (15-2); 3. Elliot King, North Hills (16-1).

195: 1. Ty Worthing, Kiski Area (21-1); 2. Drew Phipps, Norwin (6-0); 3. Zach Smith, NA (16-5).

220: 1. Cole Macek, Montour (11-0); 2. Fred Mantsch, Hempfield (17-4); 3. Chad Kuhn, Kiski Area (23-3).

285: 1. Shane Kuhn, Kiski Area (22-1); 2. Zaynel Zaynullayev, Mt. Lebanon (13-3); 3. Benji Kane, Shaler (10-0).

Class AA individuals

106: 1. Dallas Bulsak, South Park (9-2); 2. Hunter Neely, Bentworth (10-2); 3. Cole Lambie, Southmoreland (16-6).

113: 1. Brendon Howard, Jefferson-Morgan (15-2); 2. Austin Griffiths, Southmoreland (15-2); 3. Jihad Ratliff, Valley (13-4).

120: 1. George Phillippi, Derry (20-4); 2. Austin McDermitt, Burgettstown (11-1); 3. Jake Rothka, Bentworth (12-6).

126: 1. Patrick DeWitt, Valley (16-0); 2. Anthony Marra, Burrell (12-6); 3. Stone Kepple, Derry (17-5).

132: 1. John Demaske, Jefferson-Morgan (17-0); 2. Mike Carr, South Fayette (11-0); 3. Shane Gentry, South Side Beaver (9-1).

138: 1. Jake Wentzel, South Park (16-0); 2. Jason Miller, Jefferson-Morgan (14-1); 3. Shane Ging, South Fayette (12-5).

145: 1. Jason Nolf, Kittanning (18-0); 2. Nick Gavazzi, Charleroi (6-0); 3. Corey Falleroni, Burrell (13-4).

152: 1. Steven Edwards, Burrell (13-3); 2. Greg Bulsak, South Park (14-1); 3. Nolan Wise, Highlands (9-2).

160: 1. Grant Fetchet, South Fayette (12-0); 2. Ryan Zalar, Jefferson-Morgan (14-1); 3. Pete Provenzano, Chartiers-Houston (11-4).

170: 1. Jared Walker, South Fayette (12-0); 2. Bill Bowlen, Jefferson-Morgan (18-3); 3. Nico Brown, Beth-Center (11-3).

182: 1. Fred McKissick, Carlynton (6-0); 2. Terrell Fields, Valley (11-1); 3. Dalton Wildman, West Greene (11-3).

195: 1. Marcus Davenport, Valley (14-3); 2. Zach Walker, South Fayette (11-1); 3. Jacob Robb, Kittanning (23-5).

220: 1. Jake Temple, Avella (8-0); 2. Josh Lind, Mt. Pleasant (15-8); 3. Tom Sever, Yough (13-4).

285: 1. Allan Beattie, Burrell (13-4); 2. Jake Beistel, Southmoreland (17-2); 3. Ian Wolfe, Jefferson-Morgan (18-4).

Pin leaders

17: Shane Kuhn, Kiski Area

15: Jason Nolf, Kittanning

14: A.C. Headlee, Waynesburg; Zach Mattucci, Greensburg Salem

13: Ryan Hardaway, Kiski Area; George Phillippi, Derry; Spencer Lee, Franklin Regional; Gage Curry, North Hills; Jake Ardellitz, Kiski Area; Mike Sinclair, Ellwood City

— Paul Schofield

Top high school sports
Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, 10:15 p.m.

Hempfield junior Ricky Cavallo was in line to join five other wrestlers Saturday as three-time Westmoreland County Coaches Association champions.

That would have given him a chance to possibly become only the tournament's 11th four-time champion next year.

But a concussion suffered during the Powerade Tournament on Dec. 27 at Canon-McMillan prevented that and forced him to miss the WCCA tournament.

The five wrestlers who became three-time champions were Franklin Regional senior Tyler Smith (132) and juniors Josh Maruca (145), Josh Shields (152); Latrobe senior Zack Zavatsky (182); and Kiski Area senior Shane Kuhn (285).

“When I won as a freshman, I knew I had a shot at becoming a four-time champion,” Cavallo said. “I won't be able to achieve that goal, but I still have a chance at winning three.

“I was really hoping I could wrestle in the counties. When I got dumped on my head at the Powerade, I knew I had a concussion. I saw a flash of light.”

Cavallo said he was diagnosed with a mild concussion. He passed the ImPACT test but said “I was sensitive to light, and they wouldn't (clear) me.”

Cavallo was cleared Tuesday to resume wrestling.

“I felt bad for Ricky,” Hempfield coach Vince DeAugustine said. “But with a concussion, Ricky had to go through a five-step process. He's had so many injuries during his career. Hopefully, this is it for this season.”

Cavallo said he would have competed at 120 pounds. He wanted the opportunity to compete against Latrobe sophomore Luke Pletcher — ranked No. 1 in the country by InterMat wrestling — Derry sophomore George Phillippi, who is ranked No. 8, and Kiski School senior Justin Patrick.

“Ricky didn't want to shy away from anyone,” DeAugustine said. “These were opportunities for him to compete against some of the best.”

Cavallo said he was told to relax and let his brain recover.

He wasn't the only wrestler missing from the tournament because of injuries, a coach's decision or other reasons.

As good as the 2014 tournament was, it could have been better.

Out with injuries were Kiski School senior Zach Kelly, Norwin's Kevin Miller and Drew Phipps, Mt. Pleasant's Mike Novak, Burrell's J.R. Andrejcik and Latrobe's Tyler Mears. Valley senior Terrell Field also was absent from the tournament, and two of the top 220-pound wrestlers in the county — Franklin Regional's Brett Zanotto and Latrobe's Logan Carns — did not participate.

“We hope to have Kevin and Drew back for the Section 1-AAA tournament,” Norwin coach Todd Schuchert said. “Both have been battling nagging injuries.”

Mears is expected to return to practice this week, and teammate Dom Scalise, who injured his shoulder Friday and was forced to pull out, said he hopes he'll be back this week.

“I wanted to wrestle, but my coach (Tad Harbert) and dad said no,” Scalise said.

Injuries are part of this tough sport. There are a lot of good wrestlers nursing injuries.

North Allegheny senior Jesse Rodgers hasn't returned since injuring his knee at the Ironman Tournament in December, Canon-McMillan senior Solomon Chishko is just returning to the mat after tweaking his knee at Ironman and Charleroi senior Nick Gavazzi said his season maybe over after he injured his shoulder. He pulled out of the Tri-County tournament over the weekend.

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Wrestling

  1. Panthers wrestlers out to gain match experience
  2. Gateway wrestlers look to navigate tough section
  3. Academics priority for Burrell wrestler Scherer
  4. Valley wrestling pins hopes on new coach
  5. Southmoreland wrestling team takes old-school approach