A-K Valley wrestling notebook: 10 grapplers have high Hershey hopes

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 | 5:30 PM

The road to an individual state championship begins Thursday in Hershey, and 10 Alle-Kiski Valley wrestlers will face three days of competition to bring home a state title.

In Class AA, Burrell is sending four wrestlers. Juniors Ian Oswalt and AJ Corrado finished fifth at Hershey last season. Ricky Feroce, at 182 pounds, will join them this time. The senior placed third at the PIAA Southwest Regional tournament with a 6-2 decision over Penns Valley’s Andrew Sharer.

Burrell’s 120-pounder, Nick Salerno, also qualified with a fifth-place finish at the regional tournament. Oswalt (132) and Corrado (152) were runner-ups in their bracket at regionals.

In Class AAA, six wrestlers are on their way, and Kiski Area sends four of them. After finishing third last season as a junior, Jack Blumer is looking to take another step.

Teammates Sammy Starr (152), Nick Delp (170) and Brayden Roscosky will join him. Blumer and Starr finished as runner-ups at the WPIAL Class AAA championships last weekend at Canon-McMillan. Roscosky finished third, and Delp was fourth.

For the 1st time

When Knoch’s Guy Deleonardis took fourth place at Canon-McMillan, he became the first in school history to qualify for the state tournament.

The 160-pound senior worked his way through the Class AAA bracket by pinning his first opponent, Trinity’s Drew Cain, in 5 minutes, 28 seconds. Then, Deleonardis pulled off an upset in the quarterfinals with a 4-0 decision over No. 3 seed Brendan Finnerty from Thomas Jefferson.

Deleonardis lost to the eventual champion, Waynesburg’s Luca Augustine, in the semifinals by a 3-0 decision. But he beat Fox Chapel’s Alex Wecht, who had ended Deleonardis’ undefeated season during the Section 3-AAA championship bout, with an 11-2 major decision in the consolation bracket.

In the third-place bout, Finnerty got his revenge with a 5-1 decision.

Hershey for Harmon

As a sophomore last season, Apollo-Ridge’s Logan Harmon, who competes for Armstrong as part of a co-op, came up just short of qualifying.

Harmon changed his fortunes last weekend with a fourth-place finish at the WPIAL Class AAA tournament.

The No. 4 seed logged a first-round pin, then a 6-0 decision over No. 6 seed Noah Tustin from Waynesburg. The 195-pounder pushed the No. 1 seed, Mt. Lebanon’s Luke Stout, to the brink but dropped a 5-2 decision.

He bounced back in the consolation with a 10-7 decision over Butler’s Caleb Hartung but lost the third-place bout to Roscosky, 3-0.

King Pin

At the Class AAA tournament, Blumer became Kiski Area’s all-time career pins leader.

“It’s exciting. I think it’s a pretty big accomplishment,” Blumer said. “Junior year, I saw that I could potentially beat it, and I’ve gotten closer and closer, so I kinda wanted to get it and break it.”

He entered the weekend with 104 career pins and earned a fall in his first three matches to top the record of 106 that was set by Shane Kuhn, who graduated in 2014.

He tied the mark Friday with a pin of Hempfield’s Trevor Verkleeren in 55 seconds. Verkleeren had ended Blumer’s 14-match pin streak in the 160-pound Section 1-AAA championship a week before.

In the semifinals, Blumer pinned Connellsville’s Casper Hinklie in 3:05 to break the record.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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