South Allegheny's Hitchens focuses on his goal
TribLIVE Sports Videos
When South Allegheny junior Seth Hitchens studied the results from his weight class Friday night at the PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional championships, he noticed a few familiar names surrounding his in the semifinals.
Hitchens, a 220-pounder, is one of three WPIAL wrestlers to reach the semifinals, which begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Cambria County War Memorial in Johnstown.
The South Allegheny junior (35-7) will start his Saturday against No. 1 seed and defending regional champ Jake Temple (37-0) of Avella, who claimed the WPIAL title last week.
“This year, all I've wanted to do is stay focused and make it to states,” said Hitchens, who placed fourth in the WPIAL.
A top-five finish will earn Hitchens a spot in the PIAA championships at Hershey. He's realistic about his chances against Temple, an opponent he last met two seasons ago.
“I assume a lot has changed since then,” he deadpanned.
What Hitchens also understands is he needs just one win Saturday to ensure himself a first-time trip to Hershey. He said he believes the pressure of the setting and scenario won't cause him to unravel if he falls to the consolation bracket.
“Whenever I was a freshman, this was like nothing I'd ever seen before,” said Hitchens, a third-time regional qualifier. “Now I'm getting used to it.”
Gladiators sophomore 113-pounder Noah Stoker and junior 120-pounder Justo Hernandez remain alive in consolation brackets.
And for Yough, senior 170-pounder Lucas Richardson and junior 220-pounder Tom Sever still have shots at third place.
Four WPIAL wrestlers, including Avella's Temple, remained unbeaten on their way to semifinal berths.
Kittanning senior 145-pounder Jason Nolf (38-0), one of the Wildcats' two semifinalists, will try to become the fifth wrestler in PIAA Class AA history to claim four Southwest Region titles.
Senior 126-pounder John Demaske (38-0) is one of Jefferson-Morgan's three semifinalists.
Sophomore 132-pounder Mike Carr (38-0) is one of South Fayette's three semifinalists.
Three weight classes — 138, 152, 220 — include three semifinalists from the WPIAL.
“(District 5 and 6 wrestlers don't regularly wrestle the same caliber of kids out there that we're wrestling back home,” said Highlands' Nolan Wise, a semifinalist at 152, “so you've got to keep that in mind when you're going out there against someone with a really good records.”
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.
- Top-seeded Burrell wrestling sets gold standard
- Hip to flip: WPIAL wrestlers find tumbling skills translate well on mat
- Franklin Regional wrestling states case for No. 1 seed
- Burrell wrestling captures 12th straight section crown
- Moon wrestling fighting through injury bug
- Connellsville wrestling team loses Section 2-AAA final to Belle Vernon, 39-20
- Belle Vernon, Burrell get top seeds for WPIAL team wrestling tournament
- Top-seeded BVA home for WPIAL wrestling playoffs
- Southmoreland wrestlers soaring to new heights
- Freshmen wrestlers help Alle-Kiski Valley teams maintain tradition
- South Allegheny wrestlers chasing Section 3 team title