A-K Valley wrestling notebook: Apollo-Ridge’s Harmon finds home with Armstrong

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Thursday, February 28, 2019 | 6:43 PM


Logan Harmon had no wrestling home last season, but he is finding a comfortable spot this season and is seeking a vacation in Hershey.

Harmon, an Apollo-Ridge sophomore who wrestles for Armstrong as part of a cooperative agreement between the schools, enters this weekend’s WPIAL Class AAA tournament at Canon-McMillan as the fifth-seeded wrestler at 195 pounds, with a strong chance to earn a top-four finish and a berth in next weekend’s PIAA Class AAA tournament.

“Coming in as a first-year high school wrestler, I’d like to be at least top four and make it to states,” Harmon said.

After approaching a few schools about co-op opportunities without success last year, Harmon landed one with Armstrong in the fall. He knew the River Hawks’ standout 220-pounder Ogden Atwood from wrestling together at the Mat Factory in Lower Burrell, and the two are practice partners at Armstrong.

“He’s a great partner for me, and coach (Brandon) Newill’s great,” Harmon said. “We work hard over there.”

A junior high state runner-up last season, Harmon took some time to get into full wrestling shape — he missed several football games with a concussion, returning for Apollo-Ridge’s season finale — but is rounding into form. He placed second at the Section 3-AAA tournament last weekend, dropping a 3-2 decision in the final to Hampton’s Justin Hart.

“High school is much more faster-paced, with a lot more work than junior high level,” said Harmon, who is 20-4 with 11 pins. “There’s a lot more competition. The guys that are (at Armstrong) are great. They take care of me, and we just get our work done.”

Top of the class

Kiski Area has the most wrestlers competing in the WPIAL championships of any Class AAA team, with 12, and three of them go into the tournament atop their weight brackets.

Seniors Darren Miller (126 pounds) and Cam Connor (152) and junior Jack Blumer (160) earned No. 1 seeds from the WPIAL. Connor (42-2) and Blumer (37-3) are defending champions, and Miller (38-1) is seeking his first title.

Five other Kiski Area wrestlers got top-eight seeds. Junior Nick Delp (38-4) was slotted second at 170 pounds behind Canon-McMillan’s Gerrit Nijenhuis. Sophomore Brayden Roscosky (34-6) is third at 195. Senior Hunter Dilts (11-6) is seventh at 182 and sophomore Sammy Starr (26-17) and freshman Enzo Morlacci (28-11) are eighth at 132 and 145, respectively.

Plum freshman Vince Citrano (27-4) also got a top-eight seed, sliding in at fifth at 106 pounds.

100 per-Trent

Burrell junior Trent Valovchik hit a career milestone at the PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional, earning his 100th victory.

Valovchik hit the century mark with a 4-3 decision over Everett’s Evan Brennan in the 126-pound consolation bracket, an escape late in the second period providing the winning point. He has a career record of 100-45.

Return for Oz

Ian Oswalt became Burrell’s first PIAA Southwest Regional champion since 2015 last weekend with a 17-3 major decision over Amonn Ohl of Saint Joseph’s Academy in the 120-pound final.

The last Burrell wrestler to win a regional title was Al Beattie in 2015. Beattie, a three-time regional champion, went on to win the PIAA title at heavyweight that season. Oswalt, a sophomore, will go into next weekend’s PIAA tournament as one of the favorites to win the championship.

Noah’s arc

Senior Noah Hutcherson became the 25th wrestler in Valley history to qualify for the PIAA championships after he placed fourth at 170 pounds at last weekend’s Southwest Regional. He has a chance to become the 11th Viking to earn a medal at the state tournament. David Schuffert placed seventh at the PIAA championships last season.

Hutcherson said last week he came a long way in his four years at Valley. In his third trip to the regional tournament, he placed for the first time, winning three of five matches.

“I was kind of crazy my freshman year,” said Hutcherson, 25-7 on the season and 109-39 in his career. “I started gaining more skills from coach Dane (Johnson) and (assistant) Billy (Enciso).”

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Doug at 412-388-5830, dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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