Charleroi hosting Sec. 2 wrestling tourney

| Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Wrestlers from Charleroi, Yough and Bentworth will be vying to reach the WPIAL championships next week Saturday when the AA Sectional Tournament is held at Charleroi High.

The top five wrestlers in each weight class advance to the WPIAL AA championships next week at Chartiers Valley.

The AA sectionals are being held at three schools with Section 2 at Charleroi, Section 1 at Chartiers-Houston and Section 3 at Avonworth.

Yough has three wrestlers among the top seeds in AA, including 132-pound Teddy Charletta (20-6), who is seeded second and Jason Strange (138 pounds, 20-4) and Tom Sever (220, 26-5), who are both seeded third in AA.

The Cougars have several other wrestlers in the field, including John Fedorek (106, 8-17), Zack Charles (113, 17-13), Dante Botti (126, 12-11), John-Paul Sommers (145, 11-16), Damiyan Davis (160, 5-13), Lucas Richardson (170, 20-11), Clay Waldron (182, 22-10), Jerry Koza (195, 18-7) and Nick Melocchi (285, 5-12).

Another wrestler, Cody Charles (120, 14-14), is out with a concussion and won't participate.

First-year Yough coach Bill Zollner said he expects several of his wrestlers to compete for a section title and advance to the AA championships.

“I would say that Charletta, Strange, Waldron, Richardson, Koza and Sever could all get to the AA championships,” Zollner said. “Last year, we didn't have any section champions, but Charletta, Richardson and Sever advanced and Koza and Sever advanced in 2012.”

Bentworth's top hope is Hunter Neely (106, 25-3), who is seeded second in his weight class in AA.

Other Bearcats who are scheduled to compete include Chad Gurdish (113, 11-12), Jake Rothka (120, 22-8), Matt Vickless (126, 24-5), Ty Mitchell (132, 21-9), George Liberatore (138, 12-11), Brandon Wood (145, 0-14), Ryan Wilson (152, 3-18), Ethan Tush (160, 15-10), Paul Mizia (170, 12-8), Dillon Jolly (182, 13-8) and Mason Shumaker (285, 22-7).

Bentworth coach Mike Shrader said he expects several of his wrestlers to at least qualify for the AA championships.

“We always do pretty well in this tournament because our wrestlers know how to wrestle in this kind of format,” said Shrader.

Shrader said that Neely, Rothka, Vickless, Liberatore, Tush and Shumaker all advanced to the championships a year ago. In addition, he expects Mitchell and Mizia to get there as well.

Charleroi has several wrestlers in the field, including Charles Riskey (106, 6-8), Jeremy Jones (113, 10-10), Tanner Large (120, 3-9), Marcus Posson (126, 2-8) and Tyler Large (132, 1-11) in the field. Unfortunately, two-time WPIAL champ and Pitt recruit Nick Gavazzi will not as his senior season was cut short by a shoulder injury.

California, which does not have a wrestling team, will also be represented by James Campbell (132, 4-7).

Other schools participating in the Section 2 Tournament at Charleroi include Washington, Beth-Center, West Greene, Mont Pleasant, Jefferson-Morgan, Southmoreland, Derry, Jeannette and Mapletown.

Wrestling starts at 10 a.m.

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or

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