Burgettstown, Seneca Valley look to challenge favorites Burrell, Waynesburg for WPIAL wrestling titles

Friday, February 12, 2021 | 2:09 PM

The Burrell and Waynesburg wrestling teams will aim to defend their WPIAL titles Saturday afternoon at Canon-McMillan.

No. 1-seeded Burrell (11-1) will look to capture its 15th straight WPIAL title when the Bucs take on No. 2 Burgettstown (13-0) for the second straight season in the Class 2A championship match at noon.

No. 1 Waynesburg (12-0) will face off with No. 2 Seneca Valley (20-1) in the WPIAL Class 3A final at 2:30.

The Bucs have made an appearance in the finals every year since 2003; the last time they didn’t come away with a WPIAL title was in 2006 when Mt. Pleasant pulled out a 32-27 victory. Ever since, Burrell has been a dominant force in WPIAL wrestling.

The Bucs won their 18th straight section title earlier this week and then punched their ticket to the WPIAL championship when they earned a 41-27 victory over No. 5 Quaker Valley in Wednesday’s semifinals.

The Quakers had taken a 27-22 lead after three straight pins and a forfeit. But, the Bucs showed why they’ve won 14 straight WPIAL titles and closed out the match with four straight wins.

“This is always special; it’s always a new group of guys and it’s exciting,” Burrell coach Josh Shields said after the win over Quaker Valley. “But like I said it’s just another year, ya know what I mean. A lot of things have to go your way to get there and we’ve been fortunate this far. If what happened two weekends ago would’ve happened this weekend, we wouldn’t be in this position so I’m glad we have the opportunity to wrestle for another WPIAL championship.”

Two weeks ago, the Bucs had to pull out of the annual Powerade wrestling tournament at the Monroeville Convention Center and didn’t have another match until Feb. 4 against Thomas Jefferson, because of covid-19 concerns.

They competed in the Westmoreland County tournament last weekend and captured their section title Monday. Though they are now in midseason form, Shields is still looking for the Bucs to improve on a few things.

“We’re just looking to be a little more aggressive, stay in better position and you can’t give up the falls in the big matches,” Shields said. “As far as how many dual meets we have left, we could have one, we could have three or four. We gotta avoid the bonus points and do a little better job of scoring bonus points.”

The Blue Devils, who haven’t lost a match this season, are making their third WPIAL championship appearance. They fell to Burrell, 63-9, last season in the WPIAL final after putting together a 14-4 overall record. DJ Slovick and Riley Kemper were the only two wrestlers to earn points against Burrell last season.

On Wednesday, Burgettstown took down No. 3 Beth-Center, 48-11, and picked up two pins in the match to set up a rematch with Burrell.

In Class AAA, Waynesburg is going for its second straight WPIAL title, while Seneca Valley is searching for its first.

Waynesburg has won six WPIAL titles, two in 3A and four in 2A. The Raiders squeaked out a 33-30 win over Seneca Valley last season in the WPIAL championship by winning the final three matches, including 170-pounder Eli Makel pinning Seneca Valley’s Marshall Adamson in the final bout.

Seneca Valley is making its third straight WPIAL championship appearance after losing to Kiski Area in 2019. Seneca Valley beat Peters Township, 60-14, and No. 5 Connellsville, 42-24, on Wednesday to earn a championship berth.

They also sat out Alejandro Herrera-Rondon and Antonio Amelio against Connellsville after the match was already in hand.

Waynesburg took down No. 7 North Allegheny, 51-9, on Wednesday in the semifinals.

The teams squared off earlier this season at the Kiski Area Cavalier Duals, where Waynesburg came out on top 42-12. The defending WPIAL champs picked up four pins during the match.

Watch a live or archived video stream for both championship matches on the TribLive High School Sports Network.

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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