Burrell’s unseeded Christie earns berth in WCCA wrestling semifinals

Friday, January 3, 2020 | 8:40 PM

Burrell wrestling coach Josh Shields missed the opening night of the 67th annual Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association wrestling tournament Friday because he and his wife Kylie welcomed the birth of their new son, Laker James, late in the afternoon.

Laker weighed in at 8 pounds, 15 ounces and 22 inches long.

What he missed was junior Colby Christie, who isn’t a starter and wasn’t seeded, reach the Saturday’s semifinals at Kiski Area.

Christie (3-2) advanced by defeating No. 4 seed Frankie Gill of Norwin, 6-2, at 160 pounds and then downed No. 5 seed Josh Thoma of Southmoreland, 8-4.

He knows he will face a tough challenge in the semifinals. Waiting for him is Kiski Area’s top-seeded senior Jack Blumer. The semifinals are scheduled for 11 a.m.

“I know I’ll have a tough match with Jack, but that’s what I’ve been working toward,” Christie said. “I figure I’m in better shape than most wrestlers. Facing the best makes you better.

“I just have to continue to work hard in the room and get better. I’m not surprised that I won.”

Former Burrell coach and now assistant Chris Como said Christie took advantage of his opportunity to compete in the tournament because of the new rule allowing teams to enter more than one wrestler in a weight class.

Teammate Noah Linderman also reached semifinals at 160.

Linderman, seeded No. 3, was one of seven Burrell wrestlers to reach the semifinals, which is fourth in the team standings with 76 points behind Latrobe (100), Kiski Area (99) and Hempfield (98).

The other Burrell semifinalists are A.J. Corrado (152), Ian Oswalt (132), Mickey Scherer (220), Nick Salerno (120) and Ricky Feroce (195).

Kiski Area had eight wrestlers advance to the semifinals. They are Antonio Giordano (106), Dom Giordano (120), Enzo Morlacci (145), Sammy Starr (152), Blumer (160), Nick Delp (172), Jared Curcio (182) and Brayden Roscosky (195).

Valley didn’t have any wrestlers to reach the semifinals but has four remaining in the consolation round.

Kiski Area, Latrobe and Greensburg Salem each have won 12 team titles. Kiski Area has won the past four under coach Chris Heater.

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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