New crop of wrestlers looks to make mark for Chartiers Valley

Sunday, December 3, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Last year, the Chartiers Valley wrestling program had two wrestlers medal at the state tournament. With their departure due to graduation, the Colts will turn to a new group of wrestlers looking to make a name for themselves.

The Colts will look to replace Dylan Evans, the most decorated wrestler in program history. Evans, who now wrestles at Pitt, finished his career with a 139-24 record, which is the most wins in program history. At the 160-pound weight class, Evans capped a 37-4 senior season with a second straight state championship in the PIAA Class 3A championships.

Chartiers Valley will also look to replace the production lost by the graduation of Brady Joling, who finished in fourth place at the PIAA championships in the 121-pound weight class.

Joling, who is now at Davidson, finished his career with a 109-48 record, including a 36-10 record during his senior season. Jolin, who had 53 falls during his high school career, placed fourth in the section and was the WPIAL runner-up.

“I hate to say we are rebuilding, but we kind of are. We graduated two Division I wrestlers who were state medalists last year,” Chartiers Valley coach Bill Evans said. “We have a bunch of young kids that benefited from being around them. They’ve really shown a lot in the preseason. They are wrestling really well, but we just need to get a little more experience.”

The Colts will look to improve a 4-7 overall record which included a 1-4 record in Section 5-3A.

Sophomore Michael Lawrence will jump from the 139-pound weight class to 160 and try to fill Evans’ shoes. In his first season, Lawrence (22-14) finished in fifth place at 139 in the section tournament.

“I feel a lot stronger,” Lawrence said. “I’ve been lifting weights. I’ve been trying to get up in weight. I need to listen to coach Evans and work hard in the room.

“I knew I needed to get stronger and my technique needed to get better. I’m excited to see what I can do this year.”

Senior Tyler Glover (22-9) will return at 215, where he finished fifth in the section tournament last season.

Another returner is junior Logan Connolly (20-14), who didn’t place in the section tournament at 127 last season but placed sixth at 120 during his freshman season. This season, Connolly will look to wrestle at 133.

Evans hopes to see junior Howard Clellan make positive strides at 175 pounds. Clellan finished 8-14 last season at 172.

Sophomore Morgan Silberman wrestled at 133 during his freshman season and finished with a record of 10-14. Silberman will move up to the 145-pound weight class.

The Colts will have a little international flavor sprinkled into their starting lineup this season as about one-third of their roster was born outside the United States.

“As a result of some of the conflicts around the world, our district has become extremely diverse,” Evans said. “Our wrestling team looks a lot like that. They don’t all speak the same language, but they all have ways of communicating with each other.

“In wrestling, they can feel things and see things. Our international kids watch videos on wrestling and they show me what moves they want to do and they just go and try it. They have an opportunity to be a part of something. They get to make friends and be a part of the whole American high school experience.”

Evans is specifically looking forward to what freshman Tilek Sadyrbekov, who’s originally from Kurdistan, and freshman Maksim Rybalko, who’s originally from Russia, can do as they get more acclimated to the American style of wrestling. Sadyrbekov and Rybalko have Greco-Roman wrestling and judo backgrounds.

“They are just trying to learn American wrestling and learning how to wrestle on the mats a little bit. They are picking up things, fast and I think they are going to be impact wrestlers for us,” Evans said. “I think they are going to shock a lot of people pretty quickly. We have to build on their strengths and teach them American-style wrestling.”

The Colts will start their season when they participate in the Dry Tech Duals at Greenville High School on Dec. 9.


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