Franklin Regional’s Camacho looks for fourth Westmoreland County title

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Tuesday, January 1, 2019 | 7:12 PM


Will the No. 13 be a lucky number for Franklin Regional senior Colton Camacho?

That’s what he is hoping.

Camacho is in line to be the latest four-time Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association wrestling champion. This is the 66th annual tournament, which begins 5 p.m. Friday at Norwin, and only 12 wrestlers have won four titles.

The others are: Greensburg Salem’s Vertus Jones (1992-95), Vince Pellis (1992-95), Greg Jones (1997-2000) and Donnie Jones (2002-05); Franklin Regional’s Nico Megaludis (2008-11), Josh Maruca (2012-15) and Josh Shields (2012-15); Latrobe’s Tom Bell (1961-64); Mt. Pleasant’s Bill Domasky (1983-86); Hempfield’s Jim Brasco (1988-91); Derry’s Travis Shaffer (2008-11); and Kiski Area’s Matt McCutcheon (2010-13).

Camacho won the 113-pouund title in 2016, 120 in ‘07 and 132 in ‘18.

He will be ranked No. 1 at 126 when the tournament begins. The finals are scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday and the semifinals at 11 a.m.

Camacho is the returning WPIAL Class AAA champion and PIAA runner-up at 132.

He placed second to Kiski Area senior Darren Miller at the Eastern Area Invitational at Gateway at 132 pounds and placed third at the 2018 Powerade Tournament at 126.

“I have things I’m working on,” Camacho said before the season. “One of my goals this season is to be a county champion again.”

And Camacho knows there is a target on his back, so he’s looking forward to the strong competition at the county meet. Camacho is committed to wrestle at Pitt.

Miller is looking to become a three-time champion. There are 41 three-time champions.

The Kiski senior won the 106 title in 2017 and the 120 crown in ‘18.

Others returning 2018 champions are: Norwin junior Kurtis Phipps (106), Hempfield senior Kyle Burkholder (113), Derry senior Dom DeLuca (220) and Valley senior heavyweight Dave Schuffert.

Freshman focus

A couple freshmen to keep on an eye at the WCCA tournament are Franklin Regional’s Finn Solomon (113), Mt. Pleasant’s Dayton Pitzer (182) and Greensburg Salem’s Billy McChesney (285).

Solomon placed high at the King of the Mountain and Powerade tournaments. He is the brother of Gus Solomon, who won in 2015.

Pitzer (16-0) has won two tournaments: Penn Cambria and Southmoreland.

And McChesney opened the season with a title at the North Coast Classic in Ohio.

Mt. Pleasant has three other freshmen — Luke Geibig (106), Noah Gnibus (113) and Noah Teeter (120) — who could make noise at the tournament.

On the mend

Frazier junior and returning PIAA Class AA champion Thayne Lawrence and Beth-Center senior Dom Fundy are recovering from injuries.

Lawrence, ranked No. 1 at 160, injured his shoulder at the Super 32 Preseason tournament and competed at the Ironman tournament and the Southmoreland tournament. He pulled out of the Southmoreland tournament after getting injured in the second round.

His coaches are hopeful he will return for the Tri-State County Athletic Director tournament this weekend.

Connellsville senior Colin Franks is recovering from a preseason injury, and coach Jesse Swink hopes he returns later this month.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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