Southmoreland, Mt. Pleasant wrestlers ready for Class AA sectionals
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The team portion of the wrestling season has come and gone, and now it's time for individual athletes to step up and shine.
For Class AA wrestlers, the road to individual glory begins Saturday with the WPIAL sectional tournaments.
The wrestlers at Southmoreland and Mt. Pleasant will be competing in the 2-AA Sectionals at Charleroi. The top five finishers from each weight class will advance to the WPIAL Class AA Championships on Feb. 21-22 at Chartiers Valley.
“Now we can see individually where each wrestler is at,” Mt. Pleasant coach Mike Long said. “We've still got some work to do in the room. They have to be ready for better competition, so they have to work hard, be mentally tough and have a good work ethic.”
For the Vikings, it was indeed a tough season in terms of team competition, as forfeits cost the team in a number of matches. However, Mt. Pleasant will be able to send eight wrestlers to sectionals.
“I would think that out of the eight, probably four or five will advance,” Long said.
Four of Mt. Pleasant's wrestlers have had success at the sectional tournament in the past.
• Sophomore Mike Novak won the 120-pound section title last season and finished fourth at WPIALs. He'll wrestle at 126 this season.
• Junior Ethan Charlesworth will wrestle at 152 pounds after winning the section title at that weight last season. He went on to take fifth at WPIALs.
• Junior Austin Mears will wrestle at 145 pounds after finishing second at sectionals and fourth at WPIALs in the same weight class a year ago.
• Sophomore Josh Lind will be at 220, where he finished fourth at sectionals and fourth at WPIALs last season.
“It's individuals, so it's how well each wrestler does, not how well a team does with forfeits,” Long said.
While the Vikings struggled in team competition. Southmoreland earned a trip to the WPIAL Class AA team playoffs. In addition to the postseason and some late-season tournaments, the Scotties have seen plenty of competition in recent weeks.
“This year, we really didn't have a break,” Southmoreland coach Ryan Shaw said. “Last year, we had a big lull, and we hammered on them (in practice) because we didn't have a lot of competition. In the past week, our guys have been on the mat eight times. I think the guys are beat up a little bit, so we just want to get healthy, and we'll have a more relaxed atmosphere in the room. We just want to sharpen the skills.”
Shaw is hoping to have 12 wrestlers competing at sectionals.
“Realistically, if we are sending 12, I think we can get half (into the next round),” Shaw said.
Three Southmoreland wrestlers have had success at this level in the past.
• Junior Austin Griffiths won the section title, was the WPIAL runner-up and took fifth at states at 106 last season. He'll be wrestling at 113 this year.
• Sophomore Jacob Beistel also won the section title and was a WPIAL runner-up. He wrestled at heavyweight last year, and will do so again this season.
• Sophomore Evan Myers finished fourth at sectionals and took sixth at WPIALs last season at 120. He'll be competing at 132 this season.
After a trip to the WPIAL playoffs, Shaw is hoping his wrestlers can add more success to an already fruitful season.
“We kind of got wrapped up in the team playoffs and that was exciting for the kids,” Shaw said. “Now, we have to focus on individuals and what they are doing well and help them get better on their weak areas. It's a challenge and it's exciting.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
- Few knew of cyber attack on White House computer network
- Veteran LB Harrison: Steelers must play to way defense is set up
- Hackers’ new Dyre malware infects W.Pa. computers, vexes FBI cyber agents
- Fleury, Penguins too much for Kings
- Elsa from ‘Frozen’ popular for kids in Halloween parades at Armstrong schools
- Smicksburg businesses get jump on Christmas
- 5 Cal U football players arrested for assault; Saturday’s game canceled
- Pirates likely to seek pitcher, catcher when free agency starts
- Apollo fills solicitor job with Leechburg-based attorney
- Police: Man wanted in fatal ambush of Pennsylvania trooper finally captured
- Steelers notebook: Fully healthy, rookie WR Bryant progressing fast