All-time greats highlight Trib HSSN Wrestling Team of the 2000s in Class AA

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Monday, January 4, 2021 | 7:12 PM


Over the past week, Trib HSSN has polled fans to pick the Trib HSSN Wrestling Team of the 2000s. Today, staff writer Paul Schofield makes his selections.

I’ve seen a lot of great wrestlers since I started covering the sport in 1980. When making my selections for the Trib HSSN Wrestling Team of the 2000s, I paid special attention to multiple-time champions and placewinners as well as the eye test.

I tried to make the ballots fan friendly, and special thanks goes out to everyone who participated in the polling on Twitter. Every wrestler was slotted into a weight class he competed and won in during his high school career.

In each weight class, the fan balloting winner is followed by my pick and a short explanation. Some were no-brainers. Others are more debatable.

Here is the Class AA team. The Class AAA will follow tomorrow.

106 pounds

Fan winner: Joe Makara, Burrell (47.3%). He edged Shady Side Academy’s Frank Martellotti (28.4) and Jeannette’s Larry Hall (24.3).

Trib pick: Makara. A two-time PIAA champion and four-time WPIAL champ.

113 pounds

Fan winner: Troy Dolan, Derry (61.7%). He beat out Keystone Oaks’ Anthony Zanetta (20.4) and South Park’s Joey Fischer (17.9). Zanetta was a two-time PIAA champion.

Trib pick: Dolan. A three-time PIAA champion and a four-time WPIAL champ.

119 pounds

Fan winner: Jimmy Gulibon, Derry (68.9%). He topped Burrell’s Travis McKillop (27.4) and South Side’s Nathan Reckner (3.7). McKillop was a three-time WPIAL champion and three-time PIAA placewinner.

Trib pick: Gulibon. He was a four-time WPIAL and PIAA champ, and he did it in Class AA (two years) and Class AAA (two years).

126 pounds

Fan winner: Gavin Teasdale, Jefferson-Morgan (67.1%). He topped Burrell’s Dave Makara (24.9) and Shady Side Academy’s Geoff Alexander (8.5). Makara was a three-time WPIAL champion and Alexander a four-timer. This was a loaded weight class.

Trib pick: Teasdale. He was a four-time PIAA champion, twice at 126, and a four-time WPIAL champion.

132 pounds

Fan winner: Jason Nolf, Kittanning (76.4%). He topped Burrell’s Jordan Shields (22.2) and Freedom’s Damian Rose (1.7). Shields was a four-time WPIAL champ and a state champ. Rose was a state champion.

Trib pick: Nolf, of course. He finished with a 176-1 record, was a four-time WPIAL champ and three-time PIAA champ.

138 pounds

Fan winner: Micky Phillippi, Derry (78.3%). He beat out Burrell’s Shane Welsh (16.8) and Hopewell’s Jacob Ealy (4.7). Welsh was a three-time WPIAL champ and three-time PIAA placewinner. Ealy was a PIAA champion and very dominant. I expected more votes for him.

Trib pick: Phillippi. He garnered the highest percentage in the Class AA poll. He was a four-time WPIAL and three-time PIAA champion.

140 pounds

Fan winner: Travis Shaffer, Derry (47.3%). He edged Burrell’s Jared Shields (29.5) and Mt. Pleasant’s Donnie Ament (23.2).

Trib pick: Ament. This was a tough decision. While both were PIAA champions, it came down to Ament being a two-time third-place finisher at the state meet. Shaffer finished fourth once and fifth twice. Ament also led the WPIAL in career wins at one time with 178.

145 pounds

Fan winner: Jason Makara, Burrell (45.2). He edged South Fayette’s Mike Carr (38.1) and Nick Carr (16.7).

Trib pick: Mike Carr. He was a two-time PIAA champ. Nick Carr was a PIAA champion and Makara a three-time WPIAL champion. Makara’s best PIAA finish was seventh.

152 pounds

Fan winner: Dane Johnson, Shady Side Academy (50%). He edged Burrell’s Steven Edwards (41.7). South Allegheny’s Phil Sorrentino was third (8.3). All were state champions.

Trib pick: Johnson. He was a four-time WPIAL and three-time PIAA champion who finished with a 182-11 record.

160 pounds

Fan winner: Matt Lebe, Jeannette (42%). He edged Frazier’s Thayne Lawrence (36.2) and South Park’s Jake Wentzel (21.8).

Trib pick: Lawrence. He was a four-time WPIAL champion and two-time PIAA champion and three-time finalist. Lebe, who wrestled from 1998-2001, was a three-time WPIAL and Southwest Regional champion and finished first, second and third in the state.

171 pounds

Fan winner: A.J. Graves, Jeannette (35.9%). He edged Freedom’s Kurt Brenner (35) and Shade Side Academy’s Matt Cunningham (29.1).

Trib pick: Brenner. He was a three-time PIAA champion, all at 171. Cunningham was a four-time WPIAL champion and PIAA champion, and Graves was a two-time WPIAL champion and a two-time PIAA finalist, winning in 2005.

182 pounds

Fan winner: Dayton Pitzer, Mt. Pleasant (40.5%). He eked past South Park’s Greg Bulsak (37.2) and Burrell’s Dakota DesLauriers (22.3).

Trib pick: Bulsak. He was a two-time PIAA champ. Pitzer, who won as a freshman, might have been my pick, but he missed his sophomore season with an injury. DesLauriers was also a PIAA champ.

195 pounds

Fan winner: Roman San Doval, Shady Side Academy (44.6%). He edged a pair of Southmoreland wrestlers: Shane Datz (40.5) and Jordan Kitta (14.9).

Trib pick: San Doval. He was a PIAA champion and a two-time WPIAL champ.

220 pounds

Fan winner: Jake Temple, Avella (48.9%). He beat out Burgettstown’s Dan Conley (31.4) and Carlynton’s Jordon Roussos (19.7).

Trib pick: Temple. He was a two-time WPIAL champ and a PIAA champ. Conley and Roussos were also PIAA champs.

285 pounds

Fan winner: Allan Beattie, Burrell (44.7%). He edged Southmoreland’s Jake Beistel (34.6) and Shady Side Academy’s Ric San Doval (20.9).

Trib pick: San Doval. He was a two-time PIAA champ and two-time WPIAL champion.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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