Burrell wrestling comes up short in consolation round at PIAA tournament
By: Paul Schofield
Saturday, February 9, 2019 | 3:27 PM
HERSHEY — If there was one thing Burrell wrestling coach Josh Shields hoped his athletes learned at the PIAA Class AA team tournament it was you have to prepare the right way.
“If you’re working hard and not taking days off, not skipping workouts or cheating reps, then that desire is a little deeper then,” Shields said after the Bucs lost to Chestnut Ridge, 32-29, in the fourth round of consolations Saturday at the Giant Center. “We came up a little short.
“Chestnut Ridge is a tough team, and we’ve had some good battles with them since I became coach. They come to compete, and it looked like some of the matches they wanted it a little more than us.”
Chestnut Ridge took advantage of bonus points in the upper weight classes to build a 21-6 lead. Then, a technical fall by Kia Burkett (106) and two close decision by Nathan Holderbaum (113) and Ross Dull (120) pushed the lead to 32-6.
Holderbaum defeated Nick Salerno, 12-8, reversing a loss in the Bedford finals two weeks ago. Dull got a takedown with five seconds left to edge Trent Valovchik, 10-8.
Burrell, which won three of five matches in the tournament, won the final five bouts, but the deficit was too much to overcome.
Ian Oswalt (126) and A.J. Corrado (138) collected major decisions, Bryan Gaul (132) won a decision and Chestnut Ridge forfeited to Noah Linderman (145) and Dom Holmes (152).
“Chestnut Ridge did a great job not giving up bonus points, and they won the swing matches,” Shields said. “We knew it would be a battle.”
Earlier in the day, Burrell got a supreme effort in the upper weights and cruised by Westmont Hilltop, 38-12, in the third round of consolations.
It was the opposite of what happened in the Chestnut Ridge match, as Burrell raced out to a 19-3 lead.
“We got off to a great start against Westmont Hilltop,” Shields said. “Overall, it wasn’t a bad weekend. I’ve been around when we had much worse weekends.
“We’re getting closer. We improved one position from last year, top six in the state, and it was a good team effort. We had a lot of guys that went to certain weight classes to help the team. It was because they wanted to, and as a coach you’re happy to see that.”
This was Burrell’s 16th consecutive trip to Hershey, and the Bucs improved their overall record to 32-24.
“We will walk out of here with our heads held high,” Shields said. “I hope to bring back a lot for the individual tournament next month.”
The individual portion of the schedule begins Friday with the section and WPIAL individual tournament at Canon-McMillan.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.