High school wrestling notebook: Hempfield sending 5 to state tournament
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 | 7:44 PM
It was quite a weekend for the Hempfield wrestling team at the WPIAL/PIAA Class AAA Southwest Regional tournament.
The Spartans had five wrestlers advance to the PIAA tournament, which begins Thursday at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Senior Kyle Burkholder, junior Dillon Ferretti, and sophomores Ethan Berginc, Ty Linsenbigler and Isaiah Vance advanced by finishing in the top four of their weight class.
Freshman Briar Priest and junior Justin Cramer lost one-point decisions in the consolation blood round and fell just short of qualifying.
Burkholder finished second at 113 pounds, falling to returning PIAA champion Alejandro Herrera-Rondon of Seneca Valley, and Linsenbigler dropped a 4-3 decision to Penn-Trafford senior Nick Coy in the 138-pound final.
“Hopefully, we’ll meet again at states,” Linsenbigler said after Saturday’s final. “He capitalized on my shot when I stumbled and got the takedown.”
It was the second consecutive week Coy won by a point. He also won in the Section 1 final.
“Ty is a tough competitor,” Coy said. “We’ve trained together in the past and we’re friends.”
Ferretti (220) and Vance (285) each finished third after falling in the semifinals. Ferretti fell to Norwin junior Ryan Weinzen in the semifinals, but bounced back to defeat Greensburg Salem junior Trent Patrick for third.
Vance lost a 3-2 decision to Mt. Lebanon senior Nathan Hoaglund in the semifinals, but pinned Kiski Area freshman Stone Joseph and then edged South Fayette senior Quentin Franklin, 1-0, for third place.
Berginc put himself in good position by defeating Waynesburg freshman Cole Homet in the quarterfinals, but he dropped his semifinal match to Belle Vernon senior Logan Seliga in the semifinals. After defeating Kiski Area junior Dom Giordano, Berginc dropped the third-place match to Homet.
“It was a good weekend,” Hempfield coach Tommy Dolde said. “And we were close to having a couple more qualify. I’m looking forward to see how we compete.”
Burkholder finished third at 113 in 2018 and qualified in 2017 but did not place. Linsenbigler and Vance qualified for states in 2018, but did not place.
This is the first trip of Berginc and Ferretti.
Weinzen gets hot
Kurtis Phipps draws most of the attention when people talk about Norwin wrestling and rightfully so; he’s a three-time WPIAL champion.
But there is another Knight having a special season — junior Ryan Weinzen (32-4).
Weinzen won the 220-pound WPIAL title last weekend by defeating the top seed, Armstrong senior Ogden Atwood, 2-1, in the finals. Weinzen got a takedown with 46 seconds left to secure the win.
Weinzen missed most of his sophomore season with an injury after compiling a 22-14 mark as a freshman.
Two of his losses are to top-ranked wrestlers in the nation: Parkersburg South (W.Va.)’s Braxton Amos at Powerade and Derry senior Dom DeLuca at the Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association tournament.
Colorado boy takes a stand
Colorado Springs wrestler Brendan Johnston, a senior at The Christian Academy, declined to wrestle two girls at the Colorado high school state tournament and ended his dream of being either a state champion or placewinner.
Johnston cited personal reasons and religious beliefs for his decision to forfeit to Jaslynn Gallegos of Skyview High School and Angel Rios of Valley.
Johnston told the Washington Post: “There is something that I really do find problematic about the idea of wrestling with a girl, and part of that does come from my (Christian) faith and belief. And part of that does come from how I was raised to treat women as well as maybe from different experiences and things.”
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .