No letdown for Latrobe wrestling team in decisive win over rival Derry

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Monday, December 20, 2021 | 9:34 PM


The Latrobe wrestling team could have easily had a letdown Monday in a nonsection match against Derry after a solid performance at the King of the Mountain tournament over the weekend.

The Wildcats finished fourth at Central Mountain and left feeling good about themselves.

But the leadership on the team wouldn’t let the Wildcats look past the neighboring Trojans.

Latrobe (2-0) flexed its muscle and showed Derry why it was ranked No. 2 in the TribHSSN Live Class 3A rankings. The Wildcats recorded seven pins and had two forfeit wins and rolled over the inexperienced Trojans, 63-3.

“I think because we were wrestling Derry, it made it easier for the team to be up,” Latrobe coach Mark Mears said. “We talked to them on Sunday and told them get through the match Monday and then we’ll have time off before Powerade (Dec. 29-30).

“I thought we wrestled well, and it carried over from our weekend performance. I feel the wrestlers saw how good we can be.”

Latrobe raced out to a 27-0 lead thanks to pins from Corey Boerio (215 pounds), Wyatt Held (285) and Luke Willochell (106).

Derry’s lone win came at 120 pounds when Brett Klim blanked Austin Laidacker, 4-0.

“We have a pretty inexperienced team,” Derry first-year coach Troy Dolan said. “Our guys are working hard; we just need to get mat experience. We’ll be OK in our section.”

Derry is 4-3 overall and 1-0 in Class 2A, Section 3A. Dolan said they still have a few wrestlers out of the lineup.

“Latrobe is very good, and Mark is doing a nice job,” Dolan said. “They have it going right now.”

The Wildcats won the final seven bouts with 2020 PIAA champion Vinny Kilkeary leading the way with a pin at 126.

Jacob Braun (132), Lucas Braun (145) and Wyatt Schmucker (172) collected pins, Jack Pletcher (152) won by a technical fall, and Tyler Bowers rallied from a 3-0 deficit to edge Charlie Banks, 6-4, in overtime at 138.

“Our goals are obtainable,” Mears said. “We’d like to finish top 15 at Powerade and finish ahead of the other WPIAL schools like we did at King of the Mountain.

“We won’t be at 100 percent until Jan. 1. We just want to keep on building.”

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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