Forfeits doom Belle Vernon against Armstrong in WPIAL wrestling tournament

Monday, January 29, 2018 | 10:28 PM

It's been a weird wrestling season at Belle Vernon.

A team with high hopes and talented wrestlers was beset by injuries, which is a reason why the Leopards' playoff dreams ended Monday in the preliminary round at Franklin Regional.

Armstrong won two of the nine matches wrestled, received five forfeits, and edged Belle Vernon, 39-38. The River Hawks (6-3) advanced to the next round of the tournament and a long trip to Greene County to face Waynesburg on Wednesday.

“How do you lose two matches and lose the match?” Belle Vernon coach Mike Doppelheuer said. “But when you forfeit five matches, we were lucky to be that close. If we're healthy, we're a top-five team.”

The Leopards were missing seniors Brock Godzin (152 pounds), Derek Cesovski (182) and Logan Petrosky (heavyweight), and have no wrestlers in the lightweights (106 to 120).

“Still, when we were only forfeiting three, we had enough to win,” Doppelheuer said. “Now we'll get ready for individuals and, hopefully, our three studs to well in individuals.”

Belle Vernon (4-4) won seven matches including pins by Scott Joll (182), Logan Seliga (126), Ian Maloney (132), Maverick Selvoski (138) and Zach Hartman (160). But the Leopards didn't get the needed bonus points in the other two matches.

Armstrong, which placed fourth in Section 1, got a pin from Ogden Atwood at 220 and a win by Isaac Robb at 170 in the final match of the night.

Robb defeated Hunter Moody, 9-7, in sudden victory, rallying from a 5-0 deficit.

“That was a huge win for Isaac,” Armstrong coach Brandon Newell said. “He did what was needed.

“It might have been an ugly win, but I'll take it.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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