High school wrestling notebook: Dolde to get 1st taste of Hempfield-Greensburg Salem rivalry
By: Likitha Janga
Tuesday, January 15, 2019 | 6:39 PM
When Tommy Dolde coached wrestling at Connellsville, the Falcons really didn’t have a rivalry match.
Mt. Pleasant was the Falcons’ rival for a few years when Rob Waller coached the Vikings in the late 1970s, and Uniontown was another rival in the early ’80s.
Connellsville then left Fayette County and competed with Greensburg Salem, Hempfield, Latrobe, Kiski Area and Canon-McMillan.
Now the head coach at Hempfield, Dolde gets his first taste of the Spartans’ rivalry with Greensburg Salem, an annual affair, at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Hempfield. It will be a WPIAL Class AAA, Section 1B battle for first place.
Wrestling is one of many sports (football, basketball, track, cross country, tennis, baseball and softball, etc.) where the the neighborhing schools face off.
It’s also the annual match in the “Crosstown Cup” series which was started 20 years ago. Hempfield leads the series, 11-8, and reclaimed the trophy with a 42-21 victory last season to end Greensburg Salem’s two-year reign. The Greensburg Salem and Hempfield rivalry, though, has lasted longer than the past 20 years.
“I got the feeling in the practice room on Monday that this match means a lot to the wrestlers,” Dolde said. “Practice was definitely a little more intense.
“When I was at Connellsville, we always had good matches with Greensburg Salem. Randy (Parsley) does a great job, and they are well coached.”
Hempfield will get an early advantage because Greensburg Salem will be forfeiting the 106- and 113-pound matches.
But Dolde told his wrestlers it’s important to out-wrestle Greensburg Salem in the remaining 12 matches. He said doesn’t like some of the matchups.
“There are going to be some great matches,” Parsley said. “For us to pull out a victory, we’ll need to win the close matches and pull off a couple upsets. I don’t know if our kids are affected by the rivalry like when Patrick (Hutchinson) and Brian (Sticca) and I wrestled.”
Hutchinson and Sticca are Greensburg Salem assistants.
This is the final section match of the season for teams in the WPIAL. The section team tournaments are Jan. 23 for Class AAA and Class AA.
The top two teams in each section’s sub-section meet, as do the third-place finishers from each sub-section, with the top five advancing to the WPIAL team tournament, which begins Jan. 28 with Class AAA preliminary-round matches.
No. 2 Hempfield (10-1, 4-0) and No. 9 Greensburg Salem (6-1, 4-0) is one of the featured first-place showdowns on Wednesday night.
In Class AAA, Connellsville faces Thomas Jefferson in Section 2A, Peters Township battles Mt. Lebanon in Section 2B, Hampton meets North Allegheny in Section 3B, Canon-McMillan and South Fayette square off in Section 4A and Waynesburg goes against Trinity in Section 4B.
In Class AA, McGuffey faces Beth-Center in Section 1B, and Valley meets Burrell in Section 3A.
Lawrence returns with a bang
Frazier junior Thayne Lawrence returned to the Commodores’ lineup last week and picked up six wins, including four in winning the Burgettstown tournament.
Lawrence (10-3), wrestling this season at 160 pounds, is the defending WPIAL and PIAA Class AA champion at 152. He is 78-11 in his career.
He was injured during the Ironman tournament to open the season, where he went 4-3 and finished sixth. One of the losses was by forfeit.
Stout eyes third county title
Mt. Lebanon junior Luke Stout will be looking to become a three-time Allegheny County tournament champion this weekend. Action begins 11:45 a.m. Friday and concludes on Saturday, with the finals at 6 p.m.
Stout is seeded No. 1 at 182 pounds. He won at 152 in 2017 and 160 in 2018.
He is one of 10 returning county champions, including two WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA champions — Shaler senior Ryan Sullivan (120) and North Hills junior Sam Hillegas (132).
Also returning are Quaker Valley sophomore Connor Redinger (132) and senior John Rocco Kazalas (145), Hampton junior Tyler Kocak (145) and sophomore Justin Hart (195), Thomas Jefferson senior Alex Weber (152), Pine-Richland sophomore Cole Spencer (152) and Upper St. Clair senior Jake Slinger (285).
Penn Hills senior Justin Perkins, a 126-pound champion in 2017, is seeded seventh at 132.
There are three weight classes — 132, 145 and 152 — were returning champions could meet.
A possible bout at 195 will be a rematch of the 182 final. Hart, seeded No. 2, could face No. 1 seed Thomas Jefferson senior Max Shaw. Hart defeated Shaw, 6-3.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at [email protected] or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.
ljanga is a Tribune-Review freelancer. You can contact ljanga at [email protected].