Alle-Kiski Valley notebook: West Virginia right fit for Kiski Area’s Blumer

Monday, September 9, 2019 | 7:16 PM

Kiski Area wrestling standout Jack Blumer did his due diligence in seeking out a school to continue his athletic and academic careers once his time with the Cavaliers concludes.

He finalized that search Sunday evening by giving a verbal commitment to West Virginia and making the announcement on Twitter.

“I feel like West Virginia is a really good fit for me, and coach (Tim) Flynn is the guy to go to to help me be my best,” said Blumer, who also was recruited by Bucknell, Pitt and Penn.

Blumer said an official visit to West Virginia in August all but sealed the deal.

Now, he will continue to move forward in his training for his senior year.

“I am really ready to let it loose this season,” he said.

Blumer is No. 29 on PA Power Wrestling’s 2020 rankings. He will test himself against some of the top competition in the country at the Super 32 Challenge, beginning Oct. 12 in Greensboro, N.C.

“Jack has worked hard to put himself in position for this opportunity,” Kiski Area coach Chris Heater said. “Going to the next level, it’s all about having a comfort level, and Jack has found that with West Virginia. He’s happy to have to chance to kind of help rebuild the program.”

West Virginia finished 4-14 overall and 3-6 in the Big 12 last season.

Wrestling at 160 pounds, Blumer won a second consecutive WPIAL Class AAA championship last season and finished third at the PIAA championships.

His first state medal capped a junior season in which he compiled a 46-4 record, and his 34 pins set a school single-season record.

Blumer, who has a 111-25 record, also was a major factor in the Cavaliers’ march to a third straight WPIAL team title.

“Making that decision now, I think it kind of lets him enjoy his senior year without the pressure of that weighing on him,” Heater said. “I think that made a big difference for Cam (Connor) and Darren (Miller) last year. They both made the state finals, and they were really relaxed all season with having their decisions behind them.”

Miller is a freshman on the wrestling team at Bucknell, and Connor is wrestling at Penn.

Blumer’s senior teammate, Nick Delp, verbally committed to Bucknell in July.

Home sweet home

The Leechburg boys soccer team was supposed to play its inaugural home game last week against Mt. Pleasant at Northmoreland Park.

But cleanup from Labor Day celebrations forced the Blue Devils to switch the Sept. 3 contest to an away game.

Two other road contests followed: at Shady Side Academy last Thursday and at St. Joseph on Saturday.

Leechburg, after four games away from home, finally gets to host one. The Blue Devils, 1-3 overall and 0-2 in Section 2-AA, will host Valley (0-2, 0-2) in a section matchup Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Darek Baustert leads the team with three goals, and Jake Mull has two. Jake Schuffert also has gotten himself on the scoreboard, while Owen McDermott has made 46 saves in net.

WPIAL section singles

The drive to the WPIAL girls tennis singles championship tournaments begins Wednesday with section playoffs.

Each school enters two players into their respective section competitions, and the top four from each tournament advance to the WPIAL singles events Sept. 19-20.

Fox Chapel and Plum will head to Shady Side Academy for an 11 a.m. start in Section 3-AAA, and Kiski Area will compete in the Section 1-AAA tournament at Franklin Regional beginning at 11:15 a.m.

Valley will host for Section 3-AA and welcome Burrell, Highlands, Knoch and Springdale at 10:30 a.m.

Knoch juniors Laura Greb and Brooke Bauer finished first and second, respectively, in the Section 3-AA tournament last year, and both medalled at WPIALs and qualified for states.

Kiski Area senior Eric Stariha hopes to make a push to WPIALs after making it to the quarterfinals in Section 1-AAA last fall.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at or via Twitter .

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