ShareThis Page

After finishing 1st in sub-section, Derry set to host Section 2-AA tournament

| Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, 10:15 p.m.

When the high school wrestling season began in December, Derry coach Mike Weinell had no idea what to expect from his team.

Since the days when four-time PIAA champion Jimmy Gulibon (2009-12) and PIAA champion Travis Shaffer (2008-11) roamed the mats, Derry has been in a rebuilding mode.

Finishing first in WPIAL Class AA Section 2B was a surprise for Weinell, and now Derry (10-1) will host the Section 2-AA team tournament Wednesday.

The other teams hosting are: Latrobe (Section 1-AAA), Peters Township (2-AAA), Plum (3-AAA), Montour (4-AAA), Burgettstown (1-AA) and Burrell (3-AA).

The top four teams in each section already have qualified for the WPIAL team tournament, which begins Monday with opening-round matches. Fifth-place matches in each section will determine the other playoff qualifiers.

Derry, which suffered its lone loss to Class AAA No. 2-ranked Latrobe, will wrestle Bentworth, the second-place team from Section 2A. Yough, which finished second to Derry, will face Section 2A champ Jefferson-Morgan. Both matches are set for 6 p.m. The winners will meet at 7:30 p.m., while the two losers will meet for third place.

“We had a full lineup to start the season, but we were inexperienced,” Weinell said. “I'm definitely pleased how we wrestled.

“George (Phillippi) and Stone (Kepple) both did a nice job, and Joe (Kelly) and Jarrett (Dorazio) wrestled well. Getting Cole Wano back on the team was a big help.”

Weinell said Wano (9-4) took a few seasons off, but said the sophomore is back having fun again.

Phillippi (20-4), the returning PIAA Class AA 113-pound champ, is having another solid season. He's ranked No. 1 in the WPIAL by Trib Total Media at 120 pounds and in the state by Off The Mat.

Kepple is 19-5 at 126 pounds. Kelly is 11-7 at 182, and Dorazio is 15-7 at 160.

“We match up well against Bentworth (4-1), and hopefully we can pull it out,” Weinell said. “Their best wrestlers match up against ours. I'd like to make the section finals, and I believe we can if we wrestle well.”

Yough's first-round matchup is a lot tougher. The Cougars (6-1) will face No. 3-ranked Jefferson-Morgan (10-2), which features a strong lineup led by Brendan Howard (18-3) at 113, John Demaske (21-0) at 132, Jason Miller (17-1) at 138, Ryan Zalar (17-1) at 160, Bill Bowlen (21-3) at 170 and Ian Wolfe (18-4) at 285.

The Cougars' top wrestlers include Cody Charles (10-8) at 120, Teddy Charletta (12-4) at 132, Lucas Richardson (12-8) at 170, Clay Waldron (13-8) at 182 and Tom Sever (16-4) at 220.

Top teams at Latrobe

Wednesday's Section 1-AAA tournament will feature the top two ranked teams in the WPIAL, along with two more in the top 10.

Latrobe (8-0), ranked No. 2, will host No. 5 Kiski Area (13-1) at 6, while No. 1 Franklin Regional (8-1) tangles with No. 8 Hempfield (4-1).

All four likely are to be seeded high for next week's WPIAL tournament.

“Our section might be the best in the entire state,” Hempfield coach Vince DeAugustine said.

Latrobe coach Tad Harbert said he's glad his team is at home.

“Kiski Area is very talented and I know it will be ready,” Harbert said. “It should be exciting.”

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

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.