Kiski Area looking for redemption after section championship loss

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Tuesday, January 28, 2020 | 6:05 PM


For the past three years, the Kiski Area wrestling team has come home from the WPIAL team tournament with gold in hand.

The Cavaliers start their journey toward a fourth straight WPIAL team title on Wednesday when they travel to Hempfield for their first-round matchup against South Fayette. But this journey toward WPIAL gold has already started out a little differently for the Cavaliers.

Last Wednesday, the Cavaliers fell to Hempfield in the Section 1-AAA championship, 34-31. Kiski Area had won the section championship the past four years. But rather than let the loss bring them down, the Cavaliers are using it as motivation.

“That definitely makes us realize that we need to work harder,” senior Nick Delp said. “It stinks that we lost, but it was better to lose now than in the team tournament.”

Heading into the section tournament last week, the Cavaliers were in for a dogfight, going up against some of the top teams in Class AAA. After beating Latrobe, 37-24, they faced off against Hempfield.

During that championship match, the Cavaliers gave up three crucial pins, which ultimately allowed the Spartans to walk away with the victory. It wasn’t the best performance the Cavaliers have turned in this season.

“We just had a couple of guys who didn’t do what they were supposed to,” senior Jack Blumer said. “We had a lot of guys who could’ve wrestled better than what they did, so that’s why I feel pretty confident heading into Wednesday. I feel like those guys are going to go out with a chip on their shoulder and try to win.”

The Cavaliers have revenge on their mind, and they won’t have to wait very long to get it. If the Spartans take down Chartiers Valley, which beat Hampton, 48-27, in a preliminary round match Monday, and the Cavaliers beat South Fayette, the two teams will square off in the quarterfinals at 7:15 p.m.

Kiski Area is looking forward to that matchup.

“We want revenge,” Blumer said. “So I think that’s what our team is going to rely on the most, wanting to beat them (Hempfield).”

In order to come out with a victory Wednesday, the Cavaliers understand they have to focus on the small things. Delp said they can’t give up bonus points, and they just have to take the mat and do their job.

“We’re just trying to work on the little things and focus on the small details,” Delp said. “We’re just trying to get ready for the coming weeks.”

Over the past few years, the Kiski Area wrestling program has established an expectation of coming home with gold and this year is no different. When they take the mat Wednesday to begin that journey, they know it’s on them.

“(The coaches) said it’s on us since they can’t go out there,” Blumer said. “It’s whatever we want to do and obviously, we want to win. So we need to go out on Wednesday and perform.”

First-round matches at Hempfield will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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