Mt. Pleasant’s Dayton Pitzer captures 2nd Regional title, continues strong junior year

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Saturday, February 27, 2021 | 10:19 PM


Mt. Pleasant junior Dayton Pitzer continued his hot run Saturday at the PIAA Class 2A Southwest Regional tournament at IUP’s Kovalchick Complex.

The 215-pounder picked up three pins, with his third coming in 2 minutes, 11 seconds in the championship match against Carlynton’s Collin Milko to claim the second regional title of his career.

“Last year was tough not being able to wrestle, but it definitely feels good to be back and have a good season,” Pitzer said. “I feel like I picked up right where I left off in ways like that, and it feels good and great to wrestle.”

Pitzer, who won PIAA and WPIAL titles as a freshman, missed last season after recovering from knee surgery and has continued his domination this season.

He will return to IUP for the super regional next weekend in hopes of punching his ticket to Hershey. Pitzer (36-2) said the extra round next weekend isn’t going to bother him.

“At the end of the day, my goal is to be the best 215-pounder in the state,” Pitzer said. “I don’t think it matters how many tournaments or how many matches I have to wrestle to reach that goal. So I’m just taking it one match at a time.”

Derry’s Ty Cymmerman earned his 150th career win with his first-round pin of Somerset’s Ethan Hemminger, but the Trojans star ran into Blackhawk’s Kenny Duschek in the finals.

The two squared off last weekend in the WPIAL finals, and Duschek stopped Cymmerman’s quest for four straight WPIAL titles. The outcome didn’t change Saturday as Duschek earned a 3-1 decision.

There were four all-WPIAL finals, and 14 WPIAL wrestlers competed for a regional title. Nine won.

Freedom’s Trent Schultheis won the 189-pound bracket after Quaker Valley’s Patrick Cutchember medically withdrew.

The top five wrestlers from each weight class — including 27 from the WPIAL — advanced to the West Class AA Super Regional next Saturday at Kovalchick Complex.

Burrell freshman Cooper Hornack was the first to bring home a title, and Benthworth’s Chris Vargo followed suit shortly after as he continued his impressive freshman season.

The 113-pound WPIAL champion who came in 11-0 tallied two takedowns, an escape and a near fall in the third period to beat Mount Union’s Bryce Beatty, 8-1.

Coming into their finals matchup, Beatty had knocked off the No. 1 and No. 4 seeds, but Vargo controlled the match from start to finish.

“He couldn’t bully me around like he was doing to everyone else,” Vargo said. “I wrestled kind of conservative in the first period and then kind of opened him up in the second, and it just worked out for me.”

For the third time in his high school career, South Park’s Joey Fischer captured a Southwest Regional title.

Fischer, who captured the 126-pound WPIAL title last weekend with a 12-3 major decision over Burgettstown’s Joey Sentipal, beat Forest Hill’s Easton Toth by a 7-2 decision.

The Clarion-bound grappler said although each year is different for him, winning this year was somewhat of a refreshing feeling.

“One big thing for me is I found a new love for the sport,” Fischer said. “I’ve fallen in love with it and became a student of the sport so much more than I was. Before I was just doing it, and now I’m fully invested in it. I just feel new, if that makes sense.”

After using up most of his injury-time allotment in the first period, Frazier freshman Rune Lawrence also shined in his championship match. He pinned Penns Valley’s Malachi DuVall in 5 minutes, 37 seconds to capture his title.

Burrell’s AJ Corrado won his first regional title by pinning Carlynton’s Oleg Melnyk in 3:58. Ian Oswalt lost to Glendale’s Brock McMillen in the finals for the second straight year with a 5-2 decision.

Knoch’s Eli Reese placed third in the 215-pound bracket.

Burrell won the team title with 64 points, followed by Forest Hills (60.5), Chestnut Ridge (56.5) and Mt. Pleasant (55). All told, 27 WPIAL wrestlers advanced to the Super Regional.

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

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