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Wrestling Notebook: Wonsettler impressive in tournament

Paul Schofield
| Monday, Jan. 1, 2001

C.J. Wonsettler, a junior wrestler at Bentworth High School, looked impressive last week in winning the 275-pound weight class with four pins at the first Southmoreland Holiday Classic.

While winning the title is not a surprise, his early return to the Bentworth lineup is.

Wonsettler sustained a fracture to his left ankle and foot during a football game against Geibel on Oct. 13.

The returning PIAA Class AA placewinner at 171 pounds did not know if the injury would effect his wrestling season.

'I healed fairly quickly,' Wonsettler said. 'I was not expected to return until the middle of January. Being injured is nothing new for me. I am known for my scars. Ten times I've had stitches.'

Wonsettler has sustained various injuries, from being struck by an automobile to jumping into a wall. He said about the only thing he hasn't injured on his body was his head.

Wonsettler, who improved his record to 6-0, is not sure if he'll remain at the 275-pound weight class or try to lose weight and get to the 189-pound weight class. He weighed in at Southmoreland at 208.

'It is up to my dad (Bentworth coach Chuck Wonsettler),' he said. 'We still have a month to decide. We'll discuss our options later this month.'

Wonsettler said a lot will depend on what type of shape he gets himself into the next few weeks. Right now, he said he is in horrible shape.

'One thing I did improve while I recovered from the leg injury was my strength,' Wonsettler said. 'I lifted a lot.'

If Wonsettler decides to stay in the 275-pound class, he must contend with returning PIAA and WPIAL champion Ric San Doval and WPIAL runner-up Zach Majocha.

BRICKER GETS SHOT
When Mark Caffrey resigned as wrestling coach at McGuffey early last month, the job was given to assistant coach Jeff Bricker on an interim basis.

That is OK for Bricker, but he would like to have 'interim' erased next season.

A 1992 graduate of Derry Area High School, Bricker hopes to seize the opportunity this year.

'I have learned a lot being an assistant coach,' Bricker said. 'I had two great teachers - Mark, and Pat Pecora (Pitt-Johnstown coach). Mark was very successful here. He had good rules and values.

'I am here to do the best I can. What ever the school decides at the end of the year, I'll accept. I'd like to stay. McGuffey gets great support from the community, and the kids are great. This is a great situation.'

Bricker says whatever happens, he wants to continue to coach.

'Wrestling gave me a great opportunity,' Bricker said. 'I'd like to give something back to the sport.'

LOOKING STRONG
Steve Stolitca of Mt. Pleasant Area had an impressive Powerade Tournament at Trinity High School.

The 171-pound senior placed third and served notice that he could be a force in February and March during the WPIAL Class AAA and PIAA individual tournaments.

Stolitca, who started for the Vikings as a freshman and sophomore, decided to take his junior season off so he could concentrate on getting stronger for football season.

'The year off may be beneficial,' he said. 'I have gotten stronger, and it has helped me a lot. It will be quite an accomplishment if I qualify for the PIAA tournament.'

Mt. Pleasant first-year coach Mark Mears is happy Stolitca decided to return to wrestling. He expects big things from his senior this season.

Stolitca would like to make a good showing at the Westmoreland County Coaches' Association tournament on Jan. 12 and 13.

THIS AND THAT
Expect Lanfer Simpson, a senior heavyweight, to be in the Waynesburg starting lineup this week. Simpson has been resting a bruised thigh. ... PIAA champions Jeff Breese of McGuffey and Ron Doppelheuer of Connellsville are finding their competition tough this season. Both have been in numerous close matches this season. They are finding out that defending a PIAA championship is tougher than winning one. ... The Mt. Pleasant Invitational, a nine-team tournament, will be held Saturday. ... Connellsville and North Allegheny are competing in the Easton-Philipsburg, N.J., tournament Saturday. ... Dennis Mazzoni of Derry and Nate Picarsic of Penn-Trafford claimed titles at the West Mifflin Christmas Tournament. Plum was the team champion, edging out Shaler.

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