Bethel Park wrestlers look forward to individual postseason

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Saturday, February 19, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Bethel Park’s wrestlers were hoping to make some noise in the postseason.

Loud noise, if possible.

“Individually, we’re looking forward for the postseason,” coach Tim Crawford said. “Our season has been going very well. We are happy to have made the WPIAL team tournament. We rebounded to beat Peters Township after losing to them a week before to finish third in our very tough section that featured the first and fourth seeds in the WPIAL tournament.

“We’re hoping to get eight or nine to the WPIAL (individual) tournament.”

With one match remaining, the Black Hawks were 13-6 overall and 4-1 in section action, defeating Ringgold, Central Catholic, Upper St. Clair and Mt. Lebanon.

Five Bethel Park wrestlers had attained 20 or more wins at that point; two others had 19 apiece.

Mason Kernan’s magnificent sophomore campaign continued as he approached the schedule’s home stretch.

An Allegheny County champion, Kernan was a perfect 32-0 at 120 pounds and ranked third in his weight class in the Trib HSSN Class 3A individual wrestling rankings.

“Mason is 32-0 but in a very tough weight class,” Crawford said. “We are hoping for him to wrestle into the top four of the WPIAL tournament, then anything can happen at states.”

Ryan Walsh, a freshman whiz and three-sport athlete, also has been remarkable on the mat this season, winning 26 of 29 matches at 172. He’s complemented in the upper weights by sophomore Landon Hartman, who was 22-12 at 189. Hartman leads the squad in pins.

“I can’t say enough about Ryan and Landon having so much success at 172 and 189,” Crawford said. “It’s odd for younger wrestlers to have such success at the upper weights.”

Two other top competitors for the Black Hawks are the Bench siblings, aka the “Bruise Brothers,” senior Bryson and sophomore Aidan, who clicked for a combined 44-17 record.

The 138-pound Bryson was 23-12 overall; Aidan, who placed second at the county tournament, was 21-5 at 113.

“Bryson is another one having a solid year,” Crawford said, “and is going to continue his career at Belmont Abbey outside of Charlotte, N.C., next season.

“Aiden is having a great sophomore year. He is one of nine talented sophomores we have on our team.”

The two grapplers on the verge of the 20-win mark late in the season were Cordan McDonnell (19-9), a 145-pound sophomore, and Ethan Higgins (19-13), a 132-pound freshman.

Others in the team’s starting lineup include freshmen Seth Miller (106), Aden Stout (126) and Deheyaa Danyan (152); sophomores A.J. Tomaino (160) and Anthony Zaborowski (215); and junior Logan Pettigrew (285).

Sophomore Rocco Del Greco also has wrestled at 132 pounds and Jacob Brown, another sophomore, at 285.

Brown (OL), Pettigrew (OL), Tomaino (TE), McDowell (WR) and Del Greco (WR) were members of the Bethel Park football squad in the fall.

“This team is very young so the future looks good,” Crawford said. “We have one senior and one junior in the starting lineup. The rest are freshmen and sophomores so we should improve over the next couple of years. Our goal is to compete for a section and WPIAL title soon.”

Bethel Park recently took third place at the Pine-Richland Duals with a 4-1 record.

The Black Hawks opened the meet with a tough 37-36 loss to Highlands then bounced back with wins against Seneca Valley (42-24), Hampton (63-12), Moon (63-3) and Hempfield (48-27).

“We lost on criteria to Highlands in our first match of the day,” Crawford said. “Highlands took second place and we didn’t get the opportunity to wrestle Pine-Richland, who won it. We had some common opponents that we scored better than (Pine-Richland did), but it was a very nice tournament.”

Crawford is assisted by Justin Coda, who previously coached at the junior high level for two years.

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