A-K Valley notebook: Burrell wrestling returning to King of the Mountain

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017 | 7:24 PM


Burrell didn't compete in any wrestling tournaments during opening weekend, but the Bucs will get a strong test this weekend as they make their annual pilgrimage to the King of the Mountain tournament.

Hosted by Central Mountain High School in Mill Hall, the King of the Mountain brings together some of the top Class AA and AAA teams in the state.

Burrell coach Josh Shields prefers to wrestle in difficult tournaments like the King of the Mountain. The Bucs, winners of 11 consecutive WPIAL Class AA titles, placed 28th last season, with graduated senior Anthony Marra's sixth-place finish at 182 pounds the team's lone medal.

Wrestling Classic returns

The 44th annual Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic, scheduled for March 25 at Pitt's Fitzgerald Field House, is bringing in competitors from one of the sport's top states.

A team of all-star wrestlers from Iowa will battle a WPIAL all-star team in one of the classic's two scheduled matches for that day. That match will be followed by one pitting PIAA champions against a Team USA all-star squad.

Iowa and Pennsylvania hold distinction as two of the top wrestling states in the country. This will mark the second time — and first since 1985 — Iowa will send a team to the classic.

Kiski Area graduate Joey Blumer, now a freshman at Penn State, wrestled in last season's Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic and scored a technical fall to help the WPIAL All-Star team beat its competitor from Georgia. Kiski Area's Chris Heater and Burrell's Josh Shields coached in that match.

On the trail

Fox Chapel quarterback Nick Gizzo picked up his first scholarship offer earlier this week from the brand-new program at Lawrence Tech (Mich.).

Lawrence Tech, which reinstituted its athletic programs in 2011, last fielded a football team 70 years ago. The Blue Devils will play as an independent in 2018 and plan to join the NAIA's Mid-States Football Association the following season.

A dual-threat quarterback, Gizzo guided Fox Chapel to a WPIAL Class 5A playoff berth this fall. He passed for 896 yards and five TDs and rushed for 1,278 yards and 19 scores.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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