| Sports

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

Burrell's 1st-year starters prepare for PIAA wrestling's grandest stage

Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Burrell's Dillan Jeffrey (top) controls South Fayette's Jasper Wolfe in their 113-pound match during the WPIAL Class AA team championship at Chartiers Valley High School on Feb. 1, 2014, in Bridgeville. Jeffrey won by a 17-2 tech fall. Burrell defeated South Fayette, 34-28.

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Class AAA rankings

106: 1. Devin Brown, Franklin Regional (21-0); 2. Gage Curry, North Hills (27-0); 3. Kris Distefanis, Hempfield, (17-7).

113: 1. Spencer Lee, Franklin Regional (33-0); 2. Luke Landefeld, North Allegheny (22-7); 3. Chris Eddins, Greensburg Salem (23-7).

120: 1. Luke Pletcher, Latrobe (27-0); 2. Brendan Hasson, Belle Vernon (30-6); 3. Ricky Cavallo, Hempfield (8-4).

126: 1. Dalton Macri, Canon-McMillan (29-2); 2. A.C. Headlee, Waynesburg (29-3); 3. Dom Forys, North Allegheny (31-3).

132: 1. Tyler Smith, Franklin Regional (23-0); 2. Sam Krivus, Hempfield (21-2); 3. Cameron Coy, Penn-Trafford (22-4).

138: 1. Michael Kemerer, Franklin Regional (29-1); 2. Vincenzo Joseph, Central Catholic (29-3); 3. Joey Alessandro, Hempfield (20-4).

145: 1. Solomon Chishko, Canon-McMillan (15-3); 2. Josh Maruca, Franklin Regional (26-3); 3. Corey Wilding, Upper St. Clair (23-2).

152: 1. Josh Shields, Franklin Regional (26-3); 2. Jake Shaffer, Latrobe (24-7); 3. Derek Verkleeren, Belle Vernon (26-6).

160: 1. Dom Scalise, Latrobe (23-4); 2. Austin Bell, Belle Vernon (32-5); 3. Jonathan Avon, North Hills (26-2).

170: 1. Noah Wilps, Chartiers Valley (18-1); 2. Devin Fallenstein, Ringgold (20-1); 3. Kyle Coniker, Central Catholic (19-3).

182: 1. Zack Zavatsky, Latrobe (26-0); 2. Kellan Stout, Mt. Lebanon (24-2); 3. Tommy Provance, Connellsville (13-5).

195: 1. Ty Worthing, Kiski (24-1); 2. Drew Phipps, Norwin (6-0); 3. Cole Macek, Montour (21-0).

220: 1. Fred Mantsch, Hempfield (19-5); 2. Chad Kuhn, Kiski Area (27-4); 3. Layne Skundrich, North Allegheny (17-3).

285: 1. Shane Kuhn, Kiski Area (28-1); 2. Zaynul Zaynullayev, Mt. Lebanon (24-3); 3. Tyler Mears, Latrobe (8-4).

Class AA rankings

106: 1. Dallas Bulsak, South Park (15-4); 2. Hunter Neely, Bentworth (23-3); 3. Cole Lambie, Southmoreland (20-6).

113: 1. Brendon Howard, Jefferson-Morgan (27-4); 2. Austin Griffiths, Southmoreland (19-2); 3. Austin McDermitt, Burgettstown (31-2).

120: 1. George Phillippi, Derry (23-4); 2. Kody Komara, Freedom (23-5); 3. Josh Kuslock, Chartiers-Houston (23-6).

126: 1. Patrick DeWitt, Valley (30-0); 2. John Demaske, Jefferson-Morgan (27-0); 3. Anthony Marra, Burrell (18-10).

132: 1. Mike Carr, South Fayette (28-0); 2. Shane Gentry, South Side Beaver (9-1); 3. Teddy Charletta, Yough (15-5).

138: 1. Jake Wentzel, South Park (22-1); 2. Jason Miller, Jefferson-Morgan (17-1); 3. Shane Ging, South Fayette (25-10).

145: 1. Jason Nolf, Kittanning (29-0); 2. Nick Gavazzi, Charleroi (7-0); 3. Corey Falleroni, Burrell (24-8).

152: 1. Greg Bulsak, South Park (22-1); 2. Steven Edwards, Burrell (27-4); 3. Grant Fetchet, South Fayette (28-2).

160: 1. Jared Walker, South Fayette (29-1); 2. Ryan Zalar, Jefferson-Morgan (23-5); 3. Pete Provenzano, Chartiers-Houston (21-8).

170: 1. Bill Bowlen, Jefferson-Morgan (30-3); 2. Nick Pattock, Burrell (22-12); 3. Dalton Rosa, Laurel (15-0).

182: 1. Terrell Fields, Valley (25-1); 2. Dalton Wildman, West Greene (18-3); 3. Brendon Glover, West Shamokin (16-2).

195: 1. Jacob Robb, Kittanning (29-5); 2. Marcus Davenport, Valley (24-3); 3. Zach Walker, South Fayette (13-1).

220: 1. Jake Temple, Avella (21-0); 2. Josh Lind, Mt. Pleasant (23-9); 3. Tom Sever, Yough (19-5).

285: 1. Allan Beattie, (25-5); 2. Jake Beistel, Southmoreland (20-2); 3. Ian Wolfe, Jefferson-Morgan (23-6).

Pin Leaders

22: Shane Kuhn, Kiski Area; Robert West, Trinity.

21: Gage Curry, North Hills.

20: Mike Sinclair, Ellwood City.

19: Spencer Lee, Franklin Regional.

18: Terrell Fields, Valley; Shane Ging, South Fayette; Grant Fetchet, South Fayette.

— Paul Schofield

Top high school sports
Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, 9:48 p.m.

As talk of the team aiming to place in the top three or four in PIAA Class AA bounced around the Burrell wrestling practice room this past November, freshman 106-pounder Dean Edwards tried not to let the magnitude of the long-term goal bother him.

Three months later, on the eve of the PIAA Class AA team championships in Hershey, Edwards still finds himself grappling with the tall task in front of the Bucs.

“I have a little bit of butterflies just knowing what we have a chance to do out there and what past teams have done,” Edwards said. “We're trying to be one of the most decorated teams to ever walk in this wrestling room, and it's just crazy to think about.”

For the bulk of Burrell's starting lineup, a trip to Hershey's Giant Center for the team championships is nothing new. The Bucs, eight-time defending WPIAL champions, are regulars in the PIAA tournament, so each of Burrell's returning starters or key backups possesses at least some knowledge of how large and noisy the crowd grows inside the cavernous 10,500-seat venue. But for the new members of Burrell's lineup, the Giant Center — and opposition that awaits — might come across as startling if not downright daunting.

“I'm usually pretty nervous when I walk out on the mat, but as soon as the whistle blows, it all kind of goes away,” said Edwards, who's been to the Giant Center a few times to watch his older brother Derek, a member of Burrell's 2008 state title team.

Burrell (11-3) begins the team tournament at 2 p.m. Thursday against District 3 runner-up Hamburg (18-3). The team championships conclude Saturday night.

Edwards is one of three freshmen who played a key role in Burrell's 32-28 victory over South Fayette in the WPIAL finals.

While 113-pounder Dillan Jeffery and 126-pounder Anthony Marra delivered technical falls, Edwards, who is 4-9 in dual meets this season, did his part by limiting the extent of his loss to South Fayette junior Andrew John, who improved to 25-9 with a close 6-5 win.

“I listened to my match on MSA (Sports Network) afterward, and they were talking about how (South Fayette) needed six points out of (John), and they were expecting to get six,” Edwards said. “They compared our records, and they weren't even close — not even in the same ballpark. After listening to that, I couldn't help but smile.”

Burrell's hopes of medaling in the PIAA tournament hinge on the ability of Edwards and others like sophomores Alex Moses, Jason David and Robert Scherer to either pull off upsets or lose close.

“I've preached the message to these guys all year: Guys like (seniors) Steve Edwards, Corey Falleroni, Nick Pattock, they can't win us a team medal,” coach Josh Shields said. “Can they help? Certainly. But the most they can do is get us six points. It's going to take guys with less credentialed backgrounds giving us 100 percent effort to achieve our team goal, and that's to come home with a medal this weekend.

“We have a really good group of freshmen and sophomores. When I look at those guys and envision three, four years down the road, I see a class that has as much potential as our seniors now. They have the potential to be just as good if not better than the seniors that are leading this team now, and that's great to see. They've got the first part down — the toughness, the heart, the desire. It's up to me to fine-tune their skills and get them to the next level.”

Burrell's youngsters proved their mettle in the WPIAL finals. Edwards' and Jeffery's bouts were two of the final three in the match. And at 195 pounds, Scherer, a first-year starter, secured at 5-0 decision that slowed South Fayette's comeback effort.

“I feel like no matter how big the crowd is, I'm going to pull my job off, which is to do whatever I can for my team,” Jeffery said.

Added Scherer: “I'm hoping to win all of my matches (in Hershey). … I think I step up to the occasion.”

Scherer never has visited the Giant Center, though he has been inside neighboring Hersheypark Arena. Jeffery has been inside the Giant Center once. Among the first-year starters, Marra, the brother of 2013 graduate Phil Marra, is the seasoned vet of Giant Center visits.

“I feel completely confident going into this — no butterflies because I feel like I'll do great out there,” Marra said. “I always said when I was up in the stands that I can't wait to be down on that floor.”

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Wrestling

  1. Southmoreland wrestling team takes old-school approach