Mt. Pleasant wrestler Jamison Poklembo has a full trophy case, but something’s missing

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Wednesday, November 29, 2023 | 9:02 PM


Mt. Pleasant senior Jamison Poklembo has succeeded at almost every level of wrestling.

He was a WPIAL champion at 132 pounds as a freshman, finished second at 133 as a junior and third at 138 as a sophomore.

He’s qualified for the PIAA individual championships three consecutive years, but he’s never earned a medal in Hershey and that bothers him.

He has one more chance to rectify that.

“I can’t get past the blood round,” Poklembo said. “It seems like I always come up short.”

Poklembo isn’t the only wrestler to struggle in Hershey or in the blood round, the consolation semifinal round where winners clinch a spot on the podium.

His coach, Tommy Dolde, never qualified for the state tournament. Dolde would lose in the WPIAL semifinals to either Chris or Phil Mary of Chartiers-Houston and then fall in the blood round. Dolde still earned a scholarship to West Virginia.

“It’s just frustrating not placing at states,” Poklembo said. “It’s not a good feeling. I think it’s in my head.”

Poklembo has an impressive 110-35 career record. His 39 wins last year were a career high.

But those marks mean little to Poklembo.

“I’d like to wrestle in Division I in college,” Poklembo said. “But if I can’t win a medal in Hershey … I could wrestle Division II and III, but I want to wrestle against the best.”

He plans on majoring in business in college even if he doesn’t wrestle.

So Poklembo continues to work hard on his skills. He spent the past summer doing basic training for the Army Reserves. He said the training helped him focus and become disciplined.

“It was good for me,” Poklembo said. “I learned a lot and it definitely helped me. I’m always going to work hard. I have to continue to push myself.”

Poklembo hopes to lead the Vikings to a section title and back into the WPIAL playoffs.

He said beating Frazier will be tough because the Vikings have holes to fill. Poklembo trains at All-American Wrestling Club, where he works out with some of Frazier’s top wrestlers. He said he knows how tough they are.

So Poklembo has a lot he wants to accomplish his senior season. He’d like to become a Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association champion. He’d also like to add another WPIAL title and maybe his first PIAA Southwest Region title.

But his biggest goal is winning a state medal. And he knows which one he’d prefer.

“That’s No. 1, winning a PIAA title,” Poklembo said.

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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