Franklin Regional notebook: Dibert, Solomon have state title aspirations

Sunday, March 7, 2021 | 9:01 AM

Franklin Regional senior Carter Dibert captured his second Class AAA WPIAL/PIAA Southwest Regional title on Feb. 27, but the Arizona State recruit wants another PIAA title.

Junior Finn Solomon was denied his WPIAL title, but he too wants the bigger prize.

Dibert used an escape, takedown and a three-point near fall in the second period to build a 6-0 lead in the 126-pound final and held off a late charge from Hempfield senior Ethan Berginc for an 8-5 win in a battle of past PIAA champions.

“Ethan is a tough opponent,” Dibert said. “It’s always a tough match against him. He’s a brawler and he keeps coming. You have to wrestle hard all six minutes.”

Dibert spent a few minutes after the match talking to coach Matt Lebe about what needs to be better the next time.

“I have to keep improving,” Dibert said. “It’s something I’ve been working on. I feel good that I won for a second time.”

Solomon dropped a hard-fought 4-2 decision to Waynesburg junior Cole Homet in a feisty match that ended with the two wrestlers exchanging words.

There was a good chance that Dibert and Berginc, and Homet and Solomon, were headed for another collision this season.

“I’m actually looking forward to facing different wrestlers,” Dibert said. “The next few weeks should be a lot of fun and very competitive.”

Yurko helps Panthers end slide

Franklin Regional hockey ended a three-game losing streak thanks to a hat trick by Ben Yurko.

The Panthers used that hat trick on March 1 to defeat Armstrong, 6-3, to maintain a one-point lead for second place over Penn-Trafford in the PIHL Class AA Southeast Division.

Franklin Regional’s previous victory was Feb. 1 against Penn-Trafford, 4-3.

During the losing streak, which included a 17-day layoff, the Panthers fell to first-place Hempfield (4-3), Thomas Jefferson (9-2) and Latrobe (9-4). Hempfield scored two goals in the last 10 minutes to rally for the win.

The Panthers grabbed a 2-1 lead after one period against the River Hawks on goals by Matty Knizner and Luke Pavrich. They stretched their lead to 4-1 in the second period on goals by Jake Rettger and Yurko.

The River Hawks made it 4-3 in the first 47 seconds of the third period, but Yurko, who also had two assists, tallied twice to cap the win.

Chase Williams, Lance Quinnell and Zachary Zeto each had two assists.

Franklin Regional was set to play host to Hempfield on March 9 before finishing the season with road affairs at Plum (March 15) and Mars (March 29).

Williams leads the team with 10 goals and 13 assists. Zeto had seven goals and 11 assists and Zach Abdallah has four goals and nine assists. Yurko now has four goals.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at


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