High school wrestling notebook: Norwin on the rise

By:
Tuesday, January 24, 2023 | 5:14 PM


The future looks bright for the Norwin wrestling program.

What third-year coach Kyle Martin has done is amazing.

The Knights headed into Wednesday’s match at 14-1 and looking to clinch the top spot in Section 3 (3A). Norwin clinched at least a tie for its first section title in school history with a victory at Franklin Regional.

Norwin officials checked with former coaches and are confident this is Norwin’s first section title.

Norwin defeated Franklin Regional, 42-25, with four starters missing from the lineup.

“We have good depth, and my coaches have done a great job preparing them for their opportunities,” Martin said. “We had guys step up big time for us. It’s a great achievement to finally win a section title.”

Jackson Huss and Nick Puskar collected decisions that helped Norwin open a 24-6 lead. Heavyweight Josiah Pastories collected a clinching pin for the Knights.

“All the matches were big,” Martin said. “It was a total team effort.”

The Knights don’t have any superstar wrestlers, just a well-balanced squad. Their top wrestler is Nathan Campbell (15-6), who is sidelined with an ankle injury.

Junior 189 pounder Aiden Pham is 22-7, and senior Gabe Conboy is 16-6. The Knights only have four seniors.

What also excites Norwin fans is the middle school team, which recently finished second behind Connellsville at the Bellefonte Junior High tournament.

Setting the tournament

The WPIAL wrestling committee, chaired by Canon-McMillan athletic director Frank Vulcano Jr., will be busy Thursday trying to set up this year’s tournament for Class 3A and Class 2A.

If things go as planned Wednesday and no upsets occur, look for the following seedings:

In Class 3A, Waynesburg will be seeded No. 1 followed by Canon-McMillan at 2. Then it gets hairy. Does once-beaten Butler get seeded in the top four, or does the WPIAL give the nod to the traditional powers like Connellsville and Latrobe?

The other question is where does West Allegheny get seeded, and does the committee give Plum some love?

If Hempfield upsets Connellsville in Section 4 and Penn-Trafford knocks off Norwin in Section 3, that could create a mess.

In Class 2A, look for the top four teams to be: 1. Burgettstown, 2. Burrell, 3. Quaker Valley and 4. Highlands. The other question is where does newcomer Frazier get seeded? The Commodores captured the school’s first section title.

This and that

Butler saw its perfect season end as it lost to Clearfield, 33-31, at the Clearfield Duals. The Golden Tornado finished third. … Burrell suffered its first losses for the season at the Brookville Ultimate Duals. The Bucs defeated District 10 Reynolds but fell to Fort LeBoeuf (District 10), Brookville (D9) and Chestnut Ridge (D5). … Six Class 2A teams from the WPIAL — Beth-Center, Burrell, Frazier, Chartiers-Houston, Ligonier Valley and West Greene — will compete in the Bedford Tournament on Friday and Saturday. … Burgettstown and Mt. Pleasant are among the 13 teams in the Sharon Duals on Saturday.

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 pschofield@triblive.com.

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