Kernan leads way for improving Bethel Park wrestling team

Saturday, January 22, 2022 | 11:01 AM

Bethel Park’s Mason Kernan kept his sensational sophomore season intact at the Allegheny County championships held Jan. 14-15 at Fox Chapel.

Kernan, competing at 120 pounds, captured a county title with a 6-5 win against Pine-Richland’s Dominic Ferraro in the championship bout.

With the victory, Kernan extended his record this season to 22-0, which has included eight pins.

“Mason has won all three tournaments we have been in so far,” Bethel Park coach Tim Crawford said. “He has worked really hard, and it has paid off. He is having a great season.”

Another Bethel Park sophomore, Aiden Bench, finished second at 113 while his older brother Bryson, a senior, took fourth at 138. Bryson went to 19-7 overall with 10 pins and three technical falls to his credit. Aiden improved to 16-3.

Other top sophomores for the Black Hawks include Cordan McDonnell, who finished fifth at 145, and Landon Hartman, who ended up seventh at 189. McDonnell boosted his record to 14-6, and Hartman went to 16-8 via injury defaults.

Two freshmen at Bethel Park, Seth Miller (9-8) and Ethan Higgins (15-9), placed eighth at 106 and 132, respectively. Higgins and Hartman share the team lead in pins on the season with 12 apiece.

In a tune-up for the county tournament, Bethel Park defeated Mt. Lebanon, 42-24, on Jan. 12 to go to 5-0 in Section 4B-3A and 8-2 overall.

Kernan, McDonnell, sophomore A.J. Tomaino (160), freshman Ryan Walsh (172) and junior Logan Pettigrew (285) had pins; sophomore Anthony Zaborowski (215) and Bryson Bench won by decision.

Through Jan. 17, Walsh had generated a 17-2 record with 10 pins.

“Ryan is off to great start,” Crawford said. “He took second at Eastern Area’s and third at the Southmoreland Holiday Classic. He didn’t wrestle at counties due to a prior commitment.

“He is a three-sport athlete and always has something going on. I’m really happy for him. He works really hard in the room and usually has football weight training before school, then has baseball after wrestling practice.”

Kernan and Walsh were ranked in the top five of their respective weight classes in the Trib HSSN WPIAL individual wrestling rankings for the week of Jan. 17.

“Both Ryan and (Kernan) are great kids as well,” Crawford said, “and that’s what I am most proud of.”

The Black Hawks corralled seventh place at the county tournament with 156 team points and seven place-finishers.

North Allegheny took the top spot with 222.5 points, followed by Quaker Valley (209), Plum (198.5) Pine-Richland (195.5) Thomas Jefferson (168.5) and Highlands (162).

Bethel Park, which also placed fourth at the Southmoreland tournament, were scheduled to clash with Peters Township on Jan. 19 with the Section 4-B title up for grabs in Class AAA. Both teams were 4-0.

“The team has been wrestling very well,” Crawford said. “That (was) the biggest match we have been in for a long time.”


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