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Kittanning's Nolf looks to become just 23rd wrestler to win 4 WPIAL titles

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Cole MAcek

Montour, senior

Claim to fame: Macek (26-0), an Army recruit for football, is ranked second at 195 pounds by the Tribune-Review entering the Class AAA section tournaments this weekend. He captured the 195-pound title at the Allegheny County tournament and also the 220-pound title at the Chartiers-Houston tournament earlier this season. Macek also set a school record for career victories (130).

When you committed to West Point, did you feel a weight was lifted?

I did because deciding on what college to attend is just a stressful time in anyone's life. I was trying to focus on wrestling and achieving my goals while deciding which sport I wanted to participated in. When I finally decided, it was a big relief. The only thing is that I knew I would have to give up either wrestling or football. It's unfortunate to give one up.

What made you decide on Army?

It just came down to which sport I wanted to do in college. When I went on my visit, it was too hard to turn down this opportunity. There are people out there who would die to get into that school. I was at the right place at the right time. It was extremely difficult to pass it up. It was the right fit for me.

How does it feel to hold the school record for wins?

It feels good. I take a lot of pride in that. I have more important things to accomplish for the rest of the season. I want to make that record as difficult as possible, but I have my mind set on other things.

How would it feel to end your wrestling career on the top of the podium at states?

I wouldn't know how to begin to tell you how that would feel. I have been training for four or five months. That is the ultimate goal. Unfortunately in the last two years, I lost one match away from the championship. This time around, I think I'm a different person. I physically lost a couple of pounds, and mentally, I have more drive to achieve that goal of being at the top of the podium.

— Andrew John

Class AAA Rankings

106: 1. Devin Brown, Franklin Regional (26-0); 2. Gage Curry, North Hills (27-0); 3. Alex Lynch, Seneca Valley (30-3).

113: 1. Spencer Lee, Franklin Regional (38-0); 2. Luke Landefeld, North Allegheny (28-7); 3. Chris Eddins, Greensburg Salem (25-7).

120: 1. Luke Pletcher, Latrobe (32-0); 2. Brendan Hasson, Belle Vernon (29-6); 3. Ricky Cavallo, Hempfield (7-5).

126: 1. Sam Krivus, Hempfield (32-2); 2. Dalton Macri, Canon-McMillan (30-2); 3. A.C. Headlee, Waynesburg (29-3).

132: 1. Tyler Smith, Franklin Regional (27-0); 2. Cameron Coy, Penn-Trafford (29-4); 3. Tyler Buckiso, Peters Township (22-3).

138: 1. Michael Kemerer, Franklin Regional (34-1); 2. Vincenzo Joseph, Central Catholic (29-3); 3. Joey Alessandro, Hempfield (31-5).

145: 1. Solomon Chishko, Canon-McMillan (16-3); 2. Josh Maruca, Franklin Regional (31-4); 3. Corey Wilding, Upper St. Clair (28-2).

152: 1. Josh Shields, Franklin Regional (31-4); 2. Jake Shaffer, Latrobe (28-8); 3. Derek Verkleeren, Belle Vernon (26-6).

160: 1. Dom Scalise, Latrobe (29-4); 2. Austin Bell, Belle Vernon (31-5); 3. Jonathan Avon, North Hills (27-3).

170: 1. Noah Wilps, Chartiers Valley (25-1); 2. Devin Fallenstein, Ringgold (23-1); 3. Kyle Coniker, Central Catholic (20-3).

182: 1. Zack Zavatsky, Latrobe (31-0); 2. Kellan Stout, Mt. Lebanon (27-2); 3. Tommy Provance, Connellsville (22-7).

195: 1. Drew Phipps, Norwin (17-0); 2. Cole Macek, Montour (26-0); 3. Zach Smith, North Allegheny (30-6).

220: 1. Tyler Worthing, Kiski Area (25-1); 2. Fred Mantsch, Hempfield (21-5); 3. Layne Skundrich, North Allegheny (16-3).

285: 1. Shane Kuhn, Kiski Area (29-1); 2. Zeynul Zaynullayev, Mt. Lebanon (27-3); 3. Tyler Mears, Latrobe (13-5).

Class AA Rankings

106: 1. Dallas Bulsak, South Park (21-4); 2. Hunter Neely, Bentworth (27-3); 3. Cole Lambie, Southmoreland (29-7).

113: 1. Austin Griffiths, Southmoreland (28-2); 2. Austin McDermitt, Burgettstown (33-2); 3. Brendon Howard, Jefferson-Morgan (28-6).

120: 1. George Phillippi, Derry (31-4); 2. Kody Komara, Freedom (27-5); 3. Jake Rothka, Bentworth (24-9).

126: 1. Patrick Dewitt, Valley (33-0); 2. John Demaske, Jefferson-Morgan (34-0); 3. Anthony Marra, Burrell (25-13).

132: 1. Mike Carr, South Fayette (34-0); 2. Evan Myers, Southmoreland (26-10); 3. Darion Trimmer, Avonworth (27-11).

138: 1. Jake Wentzel, South Park (30-1); 2. Jason Miller, Jefferson-Morgan (21-1); 3. GioVonne Sanders, Jeannette (24-10).

145: 1. Jason Nolf, Kittanning (34-0); 2. Corey Falleroni, Burrell (31-11); 3. Anthony Welsh, Beth-Center (29-3).

152: 1. Steven Edwards, Burrell (36-4); 2. Grant Fetchet, South Fayette (34-2); 3. Greg Bulsak, South Park (29-2).

160: 1. Jared Walker, South Fayette (34-1); 2. Ryan Zalar, Jefferson-Morgan (27-5); 3. Pete Provenzano, Chartiers-Houston (22-9).

170: 1. Bill Bowlen, Jefferson-Morgan (35-3); 2. Nick Pattock, Burrell (28-15); 3. Dalton Rosa, Laurel (21-2).

182: 1. Terrell Fields, Valley (27-1); 2. Dalton Wildman, West Greene (22-3); 3. Brendon Glover, West Shamokin (26-3).

195: 1. Marcus Davenport, Valley (27-3); 2. Brad Grinnen, Ellwood City, (28-2); 3. Anthony Patterson, Jefferson-Morgan (15-7).

220: 1. Jake Temple, Avella (33-0); 2. Jacob Robb, Kittanning (33-5); 3. Tom Sever, Yough (28-5).

285: 1. Allan Beattie, (36-5); 2. Jake Beistel, Southmoreland (29-2); 3. Ian Wolfe, Jefferson-Morgan (26-8).

Pin Leaders

24: Robert West, Trinity.

23: Gage Curry, North Hills; Shane Kuhn, Kiski.

22: Spencer Lee, FR; Jason Nolf, Kittanning.

21: Steven Edwards, Burrell.

20: Mike Sinclair, Ellwood City.

— Paul Schofield

Top high school sports
By Paul Schofield and Bill West
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, 9:27 p.m.

When Kittanning senior Jason Nolf walks into Chartiers Valley High School's gymnasium for the first evening of the WPIAL Class AA individual wrestling championships Friday, conceivably every other grappler in the building will know of him and his reputation for dominance.

Long gone are the days when Nolf, a 145-pounder with a 166-1 career record, existed in relative obscurity — not that the Penn State recruit cares about the attention he receives now or the lack of notoriety he had early in his freshman season.

Piling up the wins and PIAA titles is all that's ever mattered to the quiet, self-assured Nolf.

Don't expect much extroversion or emotion at the WPIAL tournament from Nolf, who intends to become the 23rd wrestler in WPIAL history to claim four championships. Matches begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday, and the tournament will continue through Saturday.

“They're just another step, like I pretty much always say — just another step to states,” said Nolf, a two-time PIAA champion who is 34-0 with 22 pins this season.

As a freshman in 2011, Nolf encountered people who questioned how he stacked up against WPIAL Class AA's best 103-pounders.

“I remember people asking me about (South Allegheny senior) Russ Losteter and if I thought I could beat him,” Nolf said. “And I was just like, ‘Yeah.' ”

Nolf pinned Losteter in the third period of the WPIAL finals to claim his first title and went on to complete an undefeated freshman season. Those early achievements served as the foundation for a resume that has earned him the No. 1 spot in Flowrestling's national rankings for 145-pounders and the No. 2 spot in Intermat's rankings this season.

Seven other wrestlers aim to add to their WPIAL title collection this weekend, including South Fayette junior 160-pounder Jared Walker (34-1), who is favored to win his third. His previous championships were at 160 in 2013 and 152 in 2012.

Looking for their second titles are: Burgettstown junior Austin McDermitt (113), Derry sophomore George Phillippi (120), Valley senior Patrick Dewitt (126), South Park sophomore Greg Bulsak (152), Avella senior Jake Temple (220) and Burrell junior Allan Beattie (285).

McDermitt (33-2) is in a weight class that also includes Southmoreland junior Austin Griffiths (28-2) and Jefferson-Morgan junior Brendan Howard (28-6). McDermitt, who won the 106 pound title in 2013, and Griffiths are returning PIAA placewinners.

Last season, Phillippi (31-4) won the 113 title; Bulsak (29-2), at 126; Temple (33-0), at 220; and Beattie (36-5), at 285.

Dewitt (33-0) grabbed his gold medal as a 106-pounder in 2012. To claim his second championship, he'll possibly have to go through Jefferson-Morgan senior 126-pounder John Demaske (31-0) — no other weight class includes two unbeaten wrestlers.

South Fayette sophomore Mike Carr (31-0 at 132) is Class AA's only other undefeated wrestler.

The Class AAA section tournaments will be held Saturday at Gateway (1), Baldwin (2), Fox Chapel (3) and Moon (4), and a few notable wrestlers have moved weight classes.

Hempfield junior Sam Krivus (32-2), the returning WPIAL and PIAA 120-pound champion, had been competing at 132 but dropped to 126 pounds, joining Canon-McMillan senior Dalton Macri (30-2), Waynesburg junior A.C. Headlee (29-3) and North Allegheny senior Dom Forys, making it four returning PIAA placewinners at one weight.

Krivus defeated Macri, 3-1, in the PIAA finals in 2013, and Headlee and Forys split meetings at 113 pounds in 2013.

Kiski Area sophomore Tyler Worthing (25-1) moved out of the crowded 195-pound weight class to 220 pounds. Worthing will let returning WPIAL 182-pound champion, Norwin sophomore Drew Phipps (17-0), battle it out with Montour senior Cole Macek (26-0) and North Allegheny junior Zach Smith (30-6). Phipps has missed much of the season with an ankle injury.

Bill West and Paul Schofield are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Reach them at and or via Twitter @BWest_Trib and @Schofield_Trib.



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