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Young South Park wrestlers look to make impact at section championships

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Pete Provenzano

Chartiers-Houston, sr.

Claim to fame: Provenzano (21-8), who missed time this season with the flu, finished fourth in the 160-pound weight class at the Chartiers-Houston tournament. The No. 3-ranked Provenzano, who missed time throughout his career with injuries, has 68 career wins.

What are your college plans?

I plan on going to West Liberty or Wheeling Jesuit to wrestle. They are small schools where I think I can compete at the D-II level. I'm not positive, but I think I want to major in business management. I like to talk a lot, and I think business would be a good major for me.

What did your coaches work with you on the mental side of wrestling?

Last year, I would have times where nerves would get the best of me. They helped my nerves and confidence a lot. They told me to have a lot more fun with it and to not take it so seriously. I would lose close matches and wouldn't be able to sleep nights before tournaments. This year, they told me I'm the big guy and best around.

How do you think you will do in the section tournament?

I hope to win and make states. In prior years, I would get so nervous on who I wrestled and the names of wrestlers. This year, it hasn't gotten to me, and I'm not really worried about it.

— Andrew John

Wrestling rankings

Class AAA

Rec. Pvs.

1. Franklin Regional 23-1 1

2. Latrobe 16-3 2

3. North Allegheny 15-3 3

4. Canon-McMillan 16-2 4

5. Kiski Area 15-3 5

6. Belle Vernon 16-3 6

7. Peters Township 12-3 7

8. Hempfield 9-5 8

9. Greensburg Salem 11-3 9

10. Connellsville 16-7 10

Class AA

1. Burrell 17-4 2

2. South Fayette 20-3 1

3. Jefferson-Morgan 15-4 3

4. Burgettstown 15-3 4

5. Ellwood City 12-6 5

Class AAA individuals

106: 1. Devin Brown, Franklin Regional (25-0); 2. Gage Curry, North Hills (27-0); 3. Kris Distefanis, Hempfield, (17-7).

113: 1. Spencer Lee, Franklin Regional (37-0); 2. Luke Landefeld, North Allegheny (25-7); 3. Chris Eddins, Greensburg Salem (24-7).

120: 1. Luke Pletcher, Latrobe (31-0); 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 (36-3).

132: 1. Tyler Smith, Franklin Regional (26-0); 2. Sam Krivus, Hempfield (21-2); 3. Cameron Coy, Penn-Trafford (23-4).

138: 1. Michael Kemerer, Franklin Regional (33-1); 2. Vincenzo Joseph, Central Catholic (29-3); 3. Joey Alessandro, Hempfield (21-4).

145: 1. Solomon Chishko, Canon-McMillan (15-3); 2. Josh Maruca, Franklin Regional (29-4); 3. Corey Wilding, Upper St. Clair (23-2).

152: 1. Josh Shields, Franklin Regional (30-3); 2. Jake Shaffer, Latrobe (27-8); 3. Derek Verkleeren, Belle Vernon (26-6).

160: 1. Dom Scalise, Latrobe (27-4); 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 (30-0); 2. Kellan Stout, Mt. Lebanon (24-2); 3. Tommy Provance, Connellsville (13-5).

195: 1. Ty Worthing, Kiski Area (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. Zeynul Zaynullayev, Mt. Lebanon (24-3); 3. Tyler Mears, Latrobe (11-5).

Class AA individuals

106: 1. Dallas Bulsak, South Park (16-4); 2. Hunter Neely, Bentworth (24-3); 3. Cole Lambie, Southmoreland (27-6).

113: 1. Brendon Howard, Jefferson-Morgan (27-5); 2. Austin Griffiths, Southmoreland (26-2); 3. Austin McDermitt, Burgettstown (31-2).

120: 1. George Phillippi, Derry (28-4); 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 (31-0); 3. Anthony Marra, Burrell (22-12).

132: 1. Mike Carr, South Fayette (31-0); 2. Teddy Charletta, Yough (20-6); 3. J.R. Andrejcik, Burrell (22-14).

138: 1. Jake Wentzel, South Park (22-1); 2. Jason Miller, Jefferson-Morgan (19-1); 3. Jason Strange, Yough (20-4).

145: 1. Jason Nolf, Kittanning (31-0); 2. Corey Falleroni, Burrell (29-9); 3. Anthony Welsh, Beth-Center (25-3).

152: 1. Greg Bulsak, South Park (22-1); 2. Steven Edwards, Burrell (34-4); 3. Grant Fetchet, South Fayette (31-2).

160: 1. Jared Walker, South Fayette (32-1); 2. Ryan Zalar, Jefferson-Morgan (24-5); 3. Pete Provenzano, Chartiers-Houston (21-8).

170: 1. Bill Bowlen, Jefferson-Morgan (32-3); 2. Nick Pattock, Burrell (26-14); 3. Dalton Rosa, Laurel (17-0).

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 (31-5); 2. Marcus Davenport, Valley (24-3); 3. Zach Walker, South Fayette (24-3).

220: 1. Jake Temple, Avella (21-0); 2. Josh Lind, Mt. Pleasant (24-9); 3. Tom Sever, Yough (26-5).

285: 1. Allan Beattie, Burrell (31-5); 2. Jake Beistel, Southmoreland (27-2); 3. Ian Wolfe, Jefferson-Morgan (25-7).

Pin Leaders

22: Spencer Lee, Franklin Regional; Shane Kuhn, Kiski Area; Robert West, Trinity.

21: Gage Curry, North Hills.

20: Mike Sinclair, Ellwood City.

19: Grant Fetchet, South Fayette.

— Paul Schofield

Top high school sports
Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, 10:09 p.m.

After a 0-6 Class AA Section 1A team season that fell short of expectations, South Park is among the WPIAL teams eager to hit the reset button.

The WPIAL individual wrestling section championships for Class AA will be Saturday, with the Section 1 and 2 tournaments starting at 10 a.m. at Chartiers Houston and Charleroi, respectively, and the Section 3 tournament will start at 11 a.m. at Avonworth.

“We get to this part of the season, and you feel like you're part of everything,” South Park coach Walt Karrenbauer said. “I've gotten more rejuvenated over the last couple of weeks looking at this part of the year because it is about the guys that have worked really hard, and they can start to show, ‘I'm one of the best and I'm there.' ”

With the focus now shifting to individual talents, plenty of attention will be paid to South Park and its three No. 1-ranked wrestlers: 152-pound sophomore Greg Bulsak (22-1), 138-pound sophomore Jake Wentzel (22-1), and 106-pound freshman Dallas Bulsak (16-4), Greg's cousin.

In last season's section championships, Greg Bulsak claimed the 126-pound title before doing the same at the WPIAL and regional level to reach the state tournament. Wentzel was the runner-up for the 132-pound section title and went on to place fifth at the WPIAL championships, fourth regionally and eighth at the state tournament.

Now with just nine members and only one upperclassman on the team — junior Nikolas Derenzo, who has missed most of the season with a concussion — the talented sophomores have acted like grizzled veterans this year.

“We lead by example,” Wentzel said. “We try to work hard just like everybody before us has. Greg (Bulsak) and I have been wrestling with each other since we were 5. We push each other pretty well.”

In preparation for Saturday's tournament, South Park has increased the intensity of its practices, replacing time that typically was spent on instruction with an extra portion of live wrestling.

“It's been pretty nice working hard, getting ready for the postseason,” Wentzel said. “All of us are working 110 percent.”

Much work also was done over the summer, long before the season started.

Greg Bulsak jumped weight classes in the offseason from 126 to 152 — and not entirely because of a growth spurt.

“Greg wrestled quite a bit and spent a lot of tme in the weight room,” Karrenabuer said. “He wasn't just a kid that gained weight and is wrestling that weight. He built his body up to that weight and carries it very well.”

Greg Bulsak has been leading by example as a de facto elder statesman this year, an example his cousin, Dallas, should have no problem following.

“Dallas is in the same position that Greg and (Wentzel) were last year,” Karrenbauer said. “People know who he is, just through the junior circuit.”

Although he thinks the top-ranked freshman's expectations for himself are pretty high, Karrenbauer hasn't pushed the issue leading up to the biggest tournament of his young career.

“I don't really press them on it,” Karrenbauer said. “It's just something that I choose not to do because I want their goals to be theirs and not mine.”

Gary Horvath is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at




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