Burrell wrestlers stay alive in 2 PIAA consolation matches
HERSHEY — Coach Josh Shields and his Burrell wrestling team are too young to remember “Stayin' Alive,” the Bee Gees' hit song from the late 1970s.
But it could be the song the Bucs are singing after winning two consolation matches Friday in the PIAA Class AA team championship at Giant Center.
After a disappointing loss in Thursday's opening round, Burrell roared back with a win against District 4 Western Wayne (55-10) and then exacted some revenge on District 5 champion Chestnut Ridge, 31-26, in the second round of consolations.
Chestnut Ridge knocked Burrell out of the PIAA tournament last year and defeated the Bucs, 31-29, at the Brookville Duals last month.
Burrell (14-4), the eight-time defending WPIAL Class AA champion, advances to the third round of consolations Saturday and will face District 6 champion Huntingdon.
To reach its goal of placing in the top four in the state, Burrell must win two more matches.
“We're all-in now,” Shields said. “It would be nice to win three more matches now that we made the final day.
“That's a team (Chestnut Ridge) that beat us by a half-point at the Bedford tournament. There was a little revenge in there. They're a tough team, coached well.”
Against Western Wayne, Burrell won 11 of 14 matches. Alex Moses (182 pounds) and Robert Scherer (195) got the Bucs off to a quick 12-0 start.
Burrell also got pins from Allan Beattie (285), Dean Edwards (106), Jason David (145) and Steven Edwards (160).
That set up the Chestnut Ridge match. Scherer and Beattie opened with wins for a 6-0 lead.
Shields said Scherer and Jason Roberts (120) were the key victories.
“We had a lot of guys step up,” Shields said. “Our 120-pounder (Roberts) lost to that kid 15-2 at Bedford, and he came back and beat him. We bumped our 195-pounder (Scherer) to 220, and he got a win for us.”
Anthony Marra (126) won a decision, and John Andrejcik (132) won by technical fall to stretch the Burrell lead to 17-7.
Chestnut Ridge cut the lead to 17-16, but Corey Falleroni (152) got a win, Edwards a technical fall and Derrick Beattie (170) won to clinch the win.
“We have a very good Huntingdon team the next round. Every team here is solid,” Shields said. “We told the kids to keep grinding. We can place to four. We're two matches away.”
Shields said the first-round disappointment is behind them.
“The guys needed a wake-up call,” Shields said. “You hate to see that happen. We're over it, and now we're on to Saturday. We're one day further than we made it last year.”