Hempfield wrestling serves notice, outguns Greensburg Salem

Wednesday, December 15, 2021 | 9:40 PM

Here’s a message to the wrestling teams in the WPIAL: Don’t sleep on Hempfield.

Despite graduating three PIAA placewinners, the Spartans return a strong nucleus that will surprise teams.

Hempfield opened WPIAL Class 3A Section 2B action Wednesday by rolling over rival Greensburg Salem, 50-10, and retained the Crosstown Cup trophy in doing so. Hempfield is 15-8 in the series for the cup.

The Spartans are fresh off an impressive weekend at the Rick Link Invitational at Union Local High School in Belmont, Ohio, where they finished third overall and had five champions — Eli Carr (138), Brian Priest (145), Lucas Kapusta (152), Daniel Beck (172) and Elijah Binakonsky (215). Ethan Lebin (132) was a finalist, but did not wrestle in the finals because of a prior commitment.

“I felt we competed pretty well against Greensburg Salem,” Hempfield coach Vince DeAugustine said. “We carried a little bit of momentum from the tournament this past weekend.

“I was impressed with the four guys who didn’t wrestle last year — Tanner (Trageser), Eli, Daniel and Connor (Chillinsky). I thought they wrestled really hard (tonight). I was pleasantly surprised with them. We obviously have the four studs in the middle that did a good job.”

Chillinsky started things for the Spartans with a first-period pin of Peyton Chismar at 160. Beck made it 9-0 Spartans with a hard-fought 6-4 win against Dwight Sarver.

The McChesney brothers — Christian (189) and Bill (285) — gave the Golden Lions (0-1) a spark. Christian McChesney won 11-0 against Coby Stepanik and Bill McChesney pinned Dalton Bozich-Gockel.

In between the McChesneys was Hempfield junior Elijah Binakonsky, who defeated Caleb Chismar, 6-2, at 215.

“We were outgunned by a lot,” Greensburg Salem coach Randy Parsley said. “There were two other matches I thought we could win and we didn’t. On a good night, we might win five. But they were going to win with Eli, Briar, Lucas and Ethan.

”We started three freshmen and had a couple wrestlers who have never wrestled before. We have to go back to the drawing board and work on things. Hempfield is going to surprise some people.”

Hempfield (1-0) won the final seven bouts wrestled.

Trageser got things going with an 8-4 win against Nicholas Reinhart at 106.

Owen Caracciolio (113) and Logan Williams (126) received forfeits before Lebin, Carr and Priest recorded pins and Kapusta finished the match with a 17-2 technical fall over Trevor Swartz at 152.

Priest, who signed with Pitt, is a returning PIAA Class 3A champion.

“I’m glad some of those kids came back this year,” DeAugustine said. “They fit into our lineup pretty well.

“We have McKeesport and Penn-Trafford next week and then we head to Powerade. We’re looking to peak at the right time.”

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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