Hempfield junior lets wrestling do talking
When Hempfield's Corey Jones found out he had to wrestle a pigtail-round match at the 59th Westmoreland County Coaches Association tournament, he was upset.
But instead of moping about it, Jones went out and proved that he should have been considered for one of the top seeds.
Jones, a 220-pound junior, was the only wrestler to win three matches Friday during the first day of the two-day tournament. Now, he finds himself in today's semifinals, which begin at noon at Franklin Regional, and he's assured of a medal. The top six wrestlers will get medals.
"I was distraught when I found out that I had a pigtail match," said Jones after defeating Blairsville's Luke White, the fourth seed, 3-2, in the quarterfinals. "It was fun. I won't be satisfied with a fifth-place finish.
"I lost a couple matches I shouldn't have early this season, and I beat some of the kids that were seeded higher than me. I know today will be a lot tougher."
Jones, who also pinned Mike Float of Franklin Regional and defeated fifth seed Bradley Orazio of Derry, will face No. 1 seed Tanner Hahn of Greensburg Salem.
"Tanner is one of the best wrestlers in the state," Jones said. "It's a rival match between a Hempfield and Greensburg Salem wrestler. It's should be fun."
Jones is one of six Hempfield wrestlers to reach the semifinals. The Spartans are in fourth place with 75 points.
Kiski Area, with seven wrestlers in the semifinals, is first with 92.5 points, followed by Greensburg Salem with 88.5 and Latrobe with 83.5. Both teams also have seven in the semifinals.
The 103-pound semifinals feature two rematches from earlier season tournaments. Blairsville's Justin Patrick will face Southmoreland's Austin Griffith and Hempfield's Ricky Cavallo tangles with Greensburg Salem's Austin Caldwell.
Patrick defeated Griffith, 8-0, in the finals at the Southmoreland Tournament on Dec. 29, and Cavallo pinned Caldwell in 34 seconds in the semifinals of the Powerade Tournament on the same day.
"Justin dominated the match," Southmoreland coach Mike Wildey said. "Hopefully, Austin wrestles a little better. He can go with anyone in the state, and he can't be the target. He has to keep moving."
Greensburg Salem coach Randy Parsley said Caldwell just has to be better this time around.
"Hopefully, it will be a better match," Parsley said. "He learned something from the match."
Hempfield coach Vince DeAugustine said he expects the match to be a lot tighter, but her hoping for the same result.
"Ricky does a good job focusing on his next match, win or lose," DeAugustine said. "He has to be prepared for a battle."
There were two No. 2 seeds that lost in the quarterfinals. Kyle Skelly of Kiski Area was beaten, 2-1, by Joe Fiasco of Penn-Trafford at 152, and Cody Weinell of Derry fell, 7-6, to Shawn McGowan of Kiski Area at 160.
Greensburg Salem junior Zach Voytek (152) reached a milestone. He won his 100th career match with a pin in the quarterfinals.
The Norwin wrestlers -- Joel Pezze (120), Erik Rayman (138) and Heath Coles (145) -- each reached the semifinals.