ShareThis Page

Pitt claims EWL title, Wilps wins 3rd crown

| Saturday, March 9, 2013, 9:54 p.m.

Pitt's reign atop the Eastern Wrestling League will come to an end after this year.

That is only because the Panthers won't be around next season to defend the title they won Saturday.

Pitt exited the league in style, capturing a third consecutive EWL tournament title and crowning four champions.

Matt Wilps received a bit of a scare, needing a late escape and riding points to beat Bloomsburg's Richard Perry, 5-4, at 197 pounds. Wilps, a Chartiers Valley graduate who is ranked third in the country, was named Outstanding Wrestler. He leads a contingent of eight Panthers to the NCAA Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa, from March 21-23.

“I'm just going to try to use this to catapult me to the top of nationals,” Wilps said.

Pitt piled up 125.5 points. Host school Edinboro, which won eight consecutive EWL titles from 2003-10, took second with 117. Pitt trailed Edinboro by a half-point after the 165-pound bout, but Nick Bonaccorsi, a Bethel Park graduate, gave the Panthers the lead for good with a 3-0 win over Bloomsburg's Chris Smith.

Pitt won the next three matches to secure one last EWL title before moving to the ACC.

“We have pretty good depth,” Pitt coach Rande Stottlemyer said. “We don't have any holes for the most part.”

One of the more anticipated matches never materialized because of an injury: Clarion senior James Fleming pulled out of the 157-pound title bout against Bloomsburg's Frank Hickman.

Fleming, ranked No. 4 in the country at 157, had qualified for the NCAA Tournament and did not suffer a blemish to his 30-2 record after taking a medical forfeit.

Clarion did not disclose the injury, but coach Troy Letters clearly did not want Fleming, a West Mifflin graduate, to further hurt himself.

One of the tightest bouts came in a rematch of last year's championship match between Edinboro's A.J. Schopp and Pitt's Shelton Mack.

Schopp prevented Mack, whom he beat 4-3 in overtime in last year's tournament, from escaping in the second period after a scoreless first period. He picked up a point for riding time. Mack started the third period in the neutral position, yielding a point, and his late shot wasn't enough to force overtime.

Local NCAA qualifiers include Pitt's Donnie Tasser (Belle Vernon) and Lock Haven's Fred Garcia (Ringgold).

Scott Brown is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @ ScottBrown_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.

click me