High school wrestling notebook: Seven wrestlers looking for 3rd section title in Class AAA

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 | 6:37 PM

As the WPIAL Class AA wrestlers head to Indiana this weekend, the Class AAA wrestlers begin their journey toward Hershey.

The Class AAA section tournaments will be held Saturday at four sites — Kiski Area (Section 1), Connellsville (2), Fox Chapel (3) and Chartiers Valley (4).

There are three returning PIAA champions beginning their quest for state gold: Seneca Valley sophomore Alejandro Herrera-Rondon, Shaler senior Ryan Sullivan and North Hills junior Sam Hillegas, who is a two-time champion.

Sullivan and Hillegas are defending WPIAL/Southwest Regional champions, along with Norwin junior Kurtis Phipps, Franklin Regional senior Colton Camacho, Kiski Area senior Cam Connor, Kiski Area junior Jack Blumer and Belle Vernon senior Scott Joll. Phipps and Hillegas are two-time WPIAL champions.

Seven wrestlers — Hempfield senior Kyle Burkholder, Kiski Area senior Darren Miller, Camacho, Hillegas, Sullivan, Peters Township junior Bryce Wilkes and Canon-McMillan junior Gerrit Nijenhuis — will attempt to become three-time section champions.

Miller said he was disappointed with the way things ended in 2018, so he’s eager for a bounce back this season. He’s a two-time section champion and opened the season by defeating PIAA 2018 runner-up Camacho at the Eastern Invitational tournament.

The win against Camacho (31-2) let people around the WPIAL know he was ready for a big senior season. He wrestled at 132 pounds most of the season, but he’s dropping to 126 for the individual tournament.

Miller (35-1) is seeded No. 1 at 126 and Camacho No. 2.

His only loss was to Hillegas in the finals at Powerade at 132.

“I’m looking forward to making a run in the tournament,” Miller said. “Beating Colton was one step. I’m confident in my abilities.”

Camacho said after his loss to Miller that he needs to continue to work hard and learn from his losses.

“Darren was a lot stronger that I expected,” Camacho said. “Anytime you wrestle someone good, you learn from this experience. I know I have to continue to work hard.”

Camacho has won 21 consecutive matches.

Wrestlers seeking their second titles include:

Section 1: Phipps, Latrobe junior Gabe Willochell, Kiski Area junior Nick Delp and Conner.

Section 2: Connellsville sophomore Mason Prinkey, Belle Vernon senior Logan Seliga, Connellsville senior Dylan Ross, Thomas Jefferson senior Alex Weber and Mt. Lebanon junior Jackson Gray and Joll.

Section 3: Herrera-Rondon, Seneca Valley junior Drew Vlasnik, Pine-Richland sophomore Cole Spencer, Mars junior Jake Richardson and Armstrong senior Ogden Atwood.

Section 4: Canon-McMillan junior Jimmy Baxter, Waynesburg sophomore Luca Augustine, West Allegheny senior Ty McGeary, Canon-McMillan junior Giomar Ramos, Canon-McMillan senior Kenny Hayman and Waynesburg senior Trey Howard.

The top 5 wrestlers in each weight class from the four sections advance to the WPIAL/Southwest Regional tournament March 1 and 2 at Canon-McMillan.

A twist

When Derry senior Kace Sabedra reached the 100-win milestone at the WPIAL Class AA championships Saturday, his mother, Molly, added a twist to his celebration.

She passed out pretzels coated with white and milk chocolate with the saying “Wrestle, Wrestle, twist ‘em like a pretzel. Congratulations on your 100th win.”

Sabedra wasn’t the only Derry wrestler reach 100 wins. Senior Trey Weinell did, as well.

Senior Jason Baker is six wins away, and senior Dom DeLuca is two wins from 150.

WPIAL Junior High winners

Canon-McMillan took home the team title at the 2019 WPIAL Junior High championship Saturday at Norwin, but the Latrobe Black team had the most individual champions with four.

The two-day event had 55 schools and more than 620 wrestlers competing for the 18 titles.

Canon-McMillan finished with 277.5 points and 13 medalists including two champions – Andrew Binni (82 pounds) and Matt Furman (157).

The Latrobe Black team was second with 235.5 points and eight placewinners. But the Wildcats had four champions – Vincent Kilkeary (87), Nate Roth (112), Corey Boerio (167) and Tyler Lynch (187).

Connellsville edged Seneca Valley, 209-208, for third place and North Allegheny finished fifth with 180 points.

The little Falcons had four finalists, but only one champion – Gabe Ruggieri (107). Connellsville had nine placewinners.

The other champions were: Beth-Center’s Tyler Berish (132); Burrell’s Damian Barr (147); Charleroi’s Chris Vargo (92); Frazier’s Rune Lawrence (140); McKeesport’s Dale Moerhring (252); North Allegheny’s Nick Gorman (97) and Nathan Monteparte (117); North Hills’ Giavonie Schipani (77); Trinity’s Ty Banco (212); and Waynesburg’s Max Church (102) and Rocco Welsh (124).

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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