Latrobe looks to build on PIAA semifinal loss to top-ranked Bethlehem Catholic

Friday, February 11, 2022 | 11:04 PM

HERSHEY – Latrobe wrestling coach Mark Mears has been building something special for the past two seasons since he took over the program.

Getting to the PIAA Class 3A team wrestling championship and wrestling in the Giant Center was one of the goals.

The veteran coach knew his team didn’t match up well against No. 1-ranked Bethlehem Catholic, but he wanted his wrestlers to experience what it will take to reach the level of the Golden Hawks.

Bethlehem Catholic ended Latrobe’s run in the semifinals with a convincing 46-12 victory Friday night. The loss sends the Wildcats to the consolation semifinals at 11 a.m. Saturday against either Williamsport or Mifflin County.

Latrobe was the third consecutive WPIAL team Bethlehem Catholic beat to reach the finals. The Golden Hawks opened by defeating Canon-McMillan, 51-12, on Thursday and Connellsville, 50-8, in the quarterfinals Friday.

Earlier in the day, Latrobe gutted out a 34-24 victory against Central Dauphin in the quarters.

It was a win that featured two of the top 106-pounders locking horns with Wildcats freshman Luke Willochell, ranked No. 7 in the state, earning a 3-0 win over Liam Flanagan, who is ranked No. 9.

In the semifinals, Bethlehem Catholic won the first seven matches, building a 23-0 lead before Corey Boerio got the Wildcats on the board with a pin at 215. Vinny Kilkeary recorded a pin for the Wildcats at 120.

“It wasn’t like we backed down,” Mears said. “We lost some close matches, but they just have too many studs.”

Mears said getting to the semifinals was the goal. He’s already looking ahead to next season.

“What we have coming back, there is no reason why we can’t be in the finals against them,” Mears said. “We just have to go back to the room and work hard all summer.

“If things work out, we should be pretty strong. This is what I’ve been building towards.”

The Wildcats used wins by Willochell and Leo Joseph (113) to secure the win against Central Dauphin. They also got pins from Kilkeary (126), Jack Pletcher (152) and Boerio (215).

“Now we have to come back Saturday and get a win to place in the state,” Mears said. “That’s our goal. Then we’ll worry about next year.”

Latrobe’s Nate Roth, who missed both matches Friday after re-injuring his shoulder the day before, said he’ll miss the individual postseason, which starts Feb. 26.

Friday’s summaries

Bethlehem Catholic 46, Latrobe 12

106: Nathan Desmond (BC) p. Luke Willochell, 2:31.

113: Cole Campbell (BC) d. Leo Joseph, 7-3

120: Vinny Kilkeary (L) p. Charlie Parvis, 2:59.

126: Marco Frinzi (BC) won forfeit.

*132: Kollin Rath (BC) t.f. Jacob Braun, 18-2 (4:31).

138: Tyler Kasak (BC) p. Lucas Braun, :13.

145: Charlie Scanlan (BC) d. Gabe Golden, 7-0.

152: Andrew Harmon (BC) d. Jack Pletcher, 1-0.

160: Landon Muth (BC) d. Wyatt Schmucker, 7-5.

172: Luke Thomas (BC) d. Sam Snyder, 7-5.

189: James DeLuise (BC) t.f. Tyler Lynch, 15-0 (3:02).

215: Corey Boerio (L) p. Nico Spezza, 1:27.

285: Elijah Thompson (BC) d. Wyatt Held, 2-1.

Latrobe 34, Central Dauphin 24

106: Luke Willochell (L) d. Liam Flanagan, 3-0.

113: Leo Joseph (L) d. C.J. Ferree, 7-0.

*120: Dallas Schorr (CD) d. Lucio Angelicchio, 4-1.

126: Vinny Kilkeary (L) p. Nathan Fletcher, 2:55.

132: Matt Repos (CD) p. Jacob Braun, 1:46.

138: Michael Beers (CD) m.d. Lucas Braun, 12-0.

145: Gabe Golden (L) m.d. Jerimiah Craig, 11-3.

152: Jack Pletcher (L) p. Arthur Rudd, 1:13.

160: Ryan Garvick (CD) t.f. Wyatt Schmucker, 15-0 (4:00).

172: Sam Snyder (L) d. Drew Weldon, 4-1.

189: Tyler Lynch (L) d. Eli Poyer, 3-1 (SV).

215: Corey Boerio (L) p. Carson Cassel, 1:35.

285: Ben Stewart (CD) p. Wyatt Held, 1:33.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at or via Twitter .


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