Valley's Fields claims 1st title in WPIAL section tournament
Many of the previous 124 wins in Valley senior Terrell Fields' wrestling career led to accolades, including a spot on the medal stand at the PIAA Class AA individual championships in Hershey last season.
His 125th, however, put him at the top of a podium for the first time.
Fields, among the most distinguished grapplers in Valley history, secured his first title Saturday, as he pinned West Shamokin junior Brendon Glover to win Section 3-AA's 182-pound weight class at Avonworth.
The Section 3-AA individual tournament, which included Burrell, Highlands, Kittanning, Riverview and Valley, kicked off the WPIAL postseason. The top five finishers in each weight class advanced to the WPIAL tournament, which begins Friday at Chartiers Valley.
“It's about time,” said Fields, who improved to 125-40 in his career and 27-1 for the season. “This year, we set goals, and I'm looking to take first in every tournament I'm in.”
No stranger to appearances in tournament finals, Fields continually finished a step or two down on the medal stand for most of his career.
As a sophomore, he placed second in the section, WPIAL and PIAA's Class AA Southwest Region behind Dakota DesLauriers, a 2013 Burrell graduate who reached the PIAA finals in 2012 and 2013.
Last season, DesLauriers again stood in Fields' way at the section and WPIAL tournament. Then Blairsville's Scott Thompson, another long-time nemesis, beat Fields in the Southwest Region semifinals.
Thompson is responsible for Fields' only loss this winter, an 11-8 decision in the finals of the Southmoreland Holiday Classic.
“They account for about 50 percent of my losses,” said Fields, who did not wrestle in the Westmoreland County Coaches Association tournament in January for disciplinary reasons. “But they were always good matches, and I know if I was going to beat them, I had to be on my ‘A' game. … I've got three more tournaments and three more shots.”
Fields was one of Valley's three champions in the section tournament. Unbeaten senior 126-pounder Patrick Dewitt improved to 33-0 and became a three-time champion with a 7-0 win over Burrell freshman Anthony Marra. And senior 195-pounder Marcus Davenport defeated Burrell's Robert Scherer 11-6 in the finals.
“At the beginning of the year, we said us three were going to carry the load and take it all the way,” Fields said.
One week removed from a third-place finish in the PIAA Class AA team tournament, Burrell continued to roll from top to bottom. Sophomore Damon Greenwald (138 pounds), senior Steven Edwards (152), senior Derrick Beattie (160), senior Nick Pattock (170) and junior Al Beattie (285) each won titles for the Bucs, who had 10 finalists and 14 qualifiers for the WPIAL tournament.
Burrell first-year coach Josh Shields was named the section's Coach of the Year.
Wise, senior Zach Mazur (170) and senior Mike Brell (285) advanced to the WPIAL tournament for Highlands.
Led by senior Penn State recruit Jason Nolf (145), Kittanning had two champions and 11 WPIAL tournament qualifiers. Nolf became a four-time section winner by pinning Burrell senior Corey Falleroni, and sophomore Jacob Robb (220), a champ at 160 last season, secured his second title with a pin.
Junior Ken McKeag (132), sophomore Raheel Asghar (138) and senior Bill Novakovic (220) moved on for Riverview.