Burrell freshmen looking to mark their mark in WPIAL Class 2A wrestling

Friday, February 18, 2022 | 9:57 PM

When you wrestle for Burrell, expectations are high.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a senior or a freshman; you’re expected to compete at a certain level.

Three freshmen played a key role in Burrell’s success this season and almost helped the team to another WPIAL Class 2A team title.

Now that trio is set to shine in the WPIAL individual tournaments, which began Friday at Canon-McMillan.

Calio Zanella (25-11), Isaac Lacinski (27-11) and Luke Boylan (20-14) all began the tournament on a good note with pins.

But the trio has work to do after falling in the quarterfinals. They’ll need a couple wins Saturday to secure spots at the Southwest Regional.

“We’re hoping we get them to move on to regionals,” Burrell coach Josh Shields said. “We’d like to get all our guys to advance so they get more matches.

“All the freshmen made progress throughout the season. They came on strong. They were a resilient bunch.”

Zanella pinned Avonworth freshman Mike Tabano and then fell 7-5 to West Greene sophomore Seth Burns in the quarterfinals at 113 pounds.

“I was a little nervous,” Zanella said. “I have to stay focused and keep winning. I just have to continue to work hard. If I do, things will work out.”

Lacinski began with a second-period pin of West Greene senior Dalton Lucey at 138. He dropped a heart-breaking 1-0 decision to Elizabeth Forward sophomore Damon Michaels in the quarterfinals.

“I felt good,” Lacinski said. “My goal is to make it to states. I’ve worked hard in the room, and I just have to stay focused.”

Boylan said working out with senior Cole Clark has sharpened his skills.

He pinned Burgettstown sophomore Josh Ramey and then decked Quaker Valley sophomore Chase Kretzler. He then was pinned by Freedom senior Landon Millward in the quarterfinals.

“I want just want to continue to advance,” Boylan said. “I feel I prepared well for the postseason.”

Advancing to the semifinals from Burrell were Cooper Hornack (120), Shawn Szymanski (145) and Cole Clark (189).

Alive in the consolations are Lucas Gratzmiller (106), Niko Ferra (132), Steve Hasson (152), Damian Barr (160) and Nico Zanella (172).

Valley’s Chuck Perkins (145) advanced to the semifinals at 145 pounds with three pins, including a victory over Beth-Center’s Tyler Debnar in the quarterfinals. He will face Szymanski in the semis.

Valley’s Ryan Long (152) and Jeremy Hughley (172) and Knoch’s Matt Frank (113) won in the round of 16 before falling in the quarterfinals.

Action resumes at 10 a.m. Saturday. The semifinals are at 11:30 a.m. and the finals are at 5 p.m.

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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