Pair of Quaker Valley wrestlers hit 40-win mark, make states

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Sunday, March 17, 2024 | 11:01 AM


One is a senior and the all-time leader in wins at Quaker Valley; the other is a sophomore star who displayed his mettle all season.

Jack Kazalas and Bruce Anderchak both advanced to the PIAA Class 2A wrestling tournament at Giant Center in Hershey and both finished the year reaching the 40-win plateau.

Kazalas, with a career record of 151-26, placed second at 133 pounds at the Southwest 2A regional March 1-2 at Altoona.

“I thought I wrestled pretty well but definitely did not get to my offense in the finals match,” Kazalas said. “I’m just thankful for my coaches and teammates always pushing me to get better, and with that, the wins would come.”

Kazalas then competed in the PIAA tournament, where he won twice before dropping a tough 1-0 decision March 8 to Bishop McCort’s Camden Baum in the semifinals.

Kazalas defeated Blue Ridge senior Jackson Maby, 4-1, and Grove City sophomore Hudson Hohman, 5-2, in the first two rounds. He finished in sixth place.

Kazalas offered a prediction prior to the PIAA tournament. He is the QV’s first four-time state qualifier in wrestling.

“I’m just going out there to wrestle my best and trust my training,” he said. “My goals for the rest of the season are to get better each week and ultimately be on the podium in Hershey.”

Kazalas finished with a 45-5 record after posting 28-8, 40-8 and 38-5 marks in his first three seasons.

“I was pretty happy to be back on the (PIAA) podium again,” he said. “I want to thank my coaches and Quaker Valley wrestling for an awesome career.”

Anderchak, meanwhile, placed sixth at 107 pounds at the Southwest Regional.

Anderchak advanced to the PIAA quarterfinals, where he lost a hard-fought 2-1 decision to Phillipsburgh-Osceola’s Caleb Hummel in the consolation round.

Anderchak posted a 40-8 record. He was 31-13 as a freshman and owns a 71-21 career mark in his first two seasons with the Quakers.

“This year I feel I have grown into the 107-pound weight class nicely,” Anderchak said. “My wrestling has come a long way from last year thanks to our coaching staff and great partners.

“I really want to wrestle in college, so I am trying to stay consistent with my effort and attitude. I want to develop the right habits in and out of the wrestling room to help me achieve that long-term goal.”

Anderchak earned first-place finishes this season at the Governor Mifflin Holiday Classic, MAC tournament, Allegheny County Tournament and in the section tournament.

Earlier this season, Anderchak won 20 matches in a row before suffering a 3-0 defeat to Tanner Guenot of District 6 Bald Eagle Area in the PIAA team tournament pigtail round.

Anderchak was 31-2 following his match with Guenot.

Three other competitors for the Quakers at this year’s regional event were sophomore Matthew Danna (139) and juniors Jack Diemert (145) and Marcus Richey (152).

Danna ended his first season at QV with a 38-11 record. Diemert’s record was 30-15, which hiked his career mark to 75-45. Richey finished 35-12.

Quaker Valley tied for 15th place with Bellefonte, McGuffey and Northern Bedford in the regional team standings.

Prior to regionals, Kazalas took first place in his weight division at the district finals while Anderchak finished as a runner-up.

Danna, Diemert and Richey placed sixth, seventh and eighth.

Kazalas and Richey led the team in falls this season with 24 apiece.

For his career, Kazalas won three section titles, finished first twice and second once in the district playoffs, placed third three times and second once at regionals, and qualified for four state tournaments where he was a two-time medalist.

Kazalas, who registered five technical falls this season, racked up 68 career pins.

The Quakers won their sixth consecutive section championship with a 6-0 record and finished 13-3 overall.

QV defeated Avonworth (64-12), Keystone Oaks (54-17), Montour (36-27), South Park (60-15), South Allegheny (72-3) and Carlynton (53-21) in Section 3-2A

“The season went extremely well for us this year,” Anderchak said. “I feel throughout the season all of our guys made tremendous improvements that led to our section championship and a spot in the PIAA 2A team bracket. We advanced 10 wrestlers into the WPIAL individual tournament. This is huge and shows how committed our coaches are to every wrestler on the team.

“I want to thank all the coaches that have spent so much time with me, all my training partners and my parents for supporting my love of wrestling. I’m excited to see the strides we make from now until next year as we hope to become WPIAL team champions in 2025.”

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