Mt. Pleasant wrestlers plan to reload, compete for section title

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Wednesday, November 30, 2022 | 6:25 PM


Mt. Pleasant wrestling team missed its goal last season of winning a WPIAL Class 2A title.

But fourth-year coach Zach Snyder said reaching the final four in the WPIAL was something the 2022-23 squad can build on.

With the change in section alignments moving Mt. Pleasant to Section 2, the Vikings’ goal for this season is to win the section title. The last time the Vikings were section champions was in 2005.

The new section has Albert Gallatin, Belle Vernon, Elizabeth Forward, Frazier, Southmoreland and Yough.

“That’s the No. 1 goal,” Snyder said. “Last year, we wanted to be WPIAL champions. I’ll settle for another trip to the final four and a berth in the PIAA Team Tournament. That was a lot of fun last year.”

The Vikings (14-6) have holes to fill. They must replace three-time PIAA and WPIAL Class 2A champion Dayton Pitzer, now wrestling at Pitt, along with Noah Gnibus, Luke Geibig, Connor Johnson, Lucas Shaulis, Lucas Eicher, Aaron Stasko and Joseph Semelka.

Johnson and Gnibus were PIAA qualifiers.

But Snyder said he’s counting on junior Jamison Poklembo (138), junior Joe Longhi (106), senior Sean Cain (120) and junior Greg Shaulis (132) to be the leaders. Poklembo is a two-time PIAA qualifier.

“I’m looking for big things from these guys,” Snyder said. “They have experience, and I’d be disappointed if Jamison doesn’t earn a medal in the state tournament this season. He’s been in the blood round the past two seasons.”

Others who should contribute are senior William Shipley (113), junior Duncan Blose (126), sophomore Kolton Turek (160) and Ty Hornick (160).

“Those four learned a lot last season,” Snyder said. “I’m expecting them to be more successful.”

Some newcomers who Snyder has high hopes for are freshman heavyweight Dylan Pitzer, Dayton’s younger brother, freshman Cale Ulery (107) and freshman Landon Honick (133). Seniors Mason Snyder (172), Charles Blanchard (189) and Jake Kraus (215) will complete the lineup.

“We’re in a new section, and I feel we have a good chance at winning it,” Snyder said. “Southmoreland and Frazier are good, and I don’t know much about Albert Gallatin and Belle Vernon, which are dropping from Class 3A.

“I hope we can make a trip to Hershey as a team. I also hope we bring home more than one medal this season. I believe we have some guys who can do that.”

One starter missing the season with a shoulder injury is junior Brady Poole. Snyder said that Poole would have had a good season.

The Vikings open the season Dec. 7 at home against Albert Gallatin. He said he learned a lot about his team during the first week of official practice. The Vikings also will compete in the Hampton Duals on Dec. 10.

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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