Franklin Regional wrestler Dibert ready to defend state title

Saturday, December 7, 2019 | 9:40 PM

Franklin Regional junior Carter Dibert knows winning another PIAA wrestling title won’t be easy, but he’s ready to tackle the challenge.

He got off to a good start Saturday at the Eastern Area Wrestling Invitational at Gateway by easily winning the 126-pound weight class. He won the state title at 106.

Dibert defeated Gateway’s Evan Whiteside by a 17-1 technical fall in the finals. Dibert also had two pins, a technical fall and an 11-2 major decision win against West Allegheny’s Nico Taddy.

“Carter is a special wrestler,” Franklin Regional coach Matt Lebe said. “He does all the right things, and he’s always looking to improve. He wrestles like he prepares.”

Dibert surprised many by defeating Seneca Valley’s Dylan Chappell, 7-2, in the finals. Chappell edged Dibert, 3-1, in overtime in last year’s WPIAL finals.

Dibert said he knows opponents will be coming after him. He just plans on preparing the same way as he did last year.

“I don’t see it as pressure,” Dibert said. “I just plan on continuing and defend my state title.

“I’ve work a lot at Young Guns and with my teammates. I plan on opening up more and not wrestle as cautious.”

Dibert came into this weekend’s tournament looking to work on different things and he accomplished his goal.

“This was a great tournament,” Dibert said. “I did was pretty solid overall. I was pretty good on my feet, pretty good on top. I just have to improve on bottom and peak in March.”

Franklin Regional also had two other finalists. Freshman Nathan Stone won at 138 pounds, defeating Bethel Park’s Parker Loera, 2-0. Senior Mason Spears dropped a hard-fought 4-1 decision to Connellsville sophomore Jared Keslar.

Cavalier power

Kiski Area won the team title with 274 points and crowned three champions.

The winners were seniors Dom Giordano (126 pounds), Jack Blumer (160) and Jack Hilts (220). The Cavaliers had five finalists, but sophomore Enzo Morlacci (152) and senior Nick Delp (170) came up short.

Kiski Area had 13 placewinners.

“It was a good tournament for the team,” Blumer said. “It showed us some of our weaknesses that we have to work on. I think we’re going to have another good team.”

Kiski Area coach Chris Heater said he was pleased tournament officials allowed extra wrestlers to fill out brackets. Kiski actually had a head-to-head matchup.

“I just told the wrestlers to go out and compete,” Heater said. “I think it’s a great rule change. We’re prompting the sport, and that’s a good thing. It gives young kids an opportunity to experience that it takes to compete on the varsity level.”

Stout brothers

Mt. Lebanon’s Stout brothers had big match-ups in the finals.

Sophomore Mac Stout rallied to defeat Delp, 12-5. The victory earned him the Outstanding Wrestler Award. Delp placed eighth in the state last season at 160.

“I knew I had a chance to face Nick,” Mac Stout said. “We‘re practice partners at Quest, so we know each other’s moves. It was a good win to start the season.”

Mac Stout failed to qualify for the states last season.

Senior Luke Stout fought off an early rush from Bethel Park’s Luke Montgomery and pulled away with an 11-4 win. Luke Stout is ranked second in the state and Montgomery third by PAPower Wrestling.

Other winners

The other champions were: Penn-Trafford’s Troy Hohman (106), Plum’s Vince Citrano (113), Altoona’s Matt Sarbo (132), Connellsville’s Jared Keslar (145), DuBois’ Ed Scott (152), Connellsville’s Dakota Rodgers (182) and McKeesport heavyweight D.J. Moehring, who had an 18-second pin in the finals.

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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