Patrick Cutchember becomes 4th Quaker Valley wrestler to win WPIAL title

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Sunday, February 28, 2021 | 9:01 AM


In the short history of Quaker Valley’s wrestling program, only three wrestlers had the opportunity to have a WPIAL gold medal placed around their neck before this season. On Feb. 20, after trips to the finals the past two years, 189-pound junior Patrick Cutchember joined the ranks as he captured his first WPIAL championship.

After defeating Freedom’s Trent Schultheis, who was going after his fourth WPIAL title, in the Section 2 finals, Cutchember pinned Washington’s Mike Ewing in 24 seconds in the first round of the WPIAL tournament on Saturday.

In his championship match, Cutchember handed Burgettstown’s Shane Kemper his first loss of the season with a 6-0 decision. He took advantage of a takedown in the first period, a reversal in the second and another takedown in the third to earn his six points.

“It feels great, and I’ve been in the WPIAL finals the past three years and I was finally able to get it done in the finals,” Cutchember said. “It’s kinda like a little chip off my shoulder.”

As a freshman, Cutchember lost to Thayne Lawrence, who was another four-time WPIAL champion. Then, after bumping up two weight classes to 182 pounds, Cutchember fell to Ellwood City’s Austin Walley, who went on to win the PIAA title.

Cutchember didn’t have a cakewalk this year, having to go through both Schultheis and Kemper, who combined for 46 wins and just five losses this season.

“I really enjoyed being able to do that because I like facing good competition,” Cutchember said. “I don’t want to win something and not feel like I didn’t face good enough competition or test myself. So, it was really nice to have to go through Kemper and Schultheis and really have to prove myself to win it.”

Last season, Cutchember’s older brother Donovan became the third wrestler in Quaker Valley wrestling history to earn a WPIAL title when he defeated Burrell’s Mikey Scherer in the WPIAL finals. As older brothers do, Patrick said Donovan teased him a little about the fact that they could’ve both gone home with a WPIAL title.

So, Patrick pushed himself this year as well to bring one home for his older brother.

“He kind of made fun of me last year for winning a WPIAL title and me not winning one,” Cutchember said. “So, I had to go out and get one for him. It was really nice because all the former WPIAL champions said their little congratulations to me, which means a lot because I want to contribute to help this program compete.”

In his first two seasons, Cutchember went a combined 70-17. He won a total of 45 matches via pin and only 11 by decision. This season, with an overall record of 24-4, Cutchember said he’s been wrestling a lot looser on the mat.

In the past, Cutchember was a more defensive wrestler, but he’s gotten more aggressive. He’s implemented more shots into his strategy and has just let things fly.

“I really started picking it up on my feet, starting getting after it, started shooting a lot more,” Cutchember said. “I wrestled a lot more defensively the first two years, and this year I just started opening it up a little bit and that’s helped me score more points.”

Cutchember isn’t done yet, and he’s already earned high regards for his performance this season. After winning the WPIAL tournament, he was named the No. 1 seed for the PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional at IUP’s Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex on Feb 27.

Cutchember was set to wrestle Tommy Hicks from Tyrone Area in the first round of the Southwest Regional. With the covid-19 pandemic still ongoing, wrestlers will have to go through an extended postseason as well.

After regionals on Feb. 27, they’ll compete in a Super Regional tournament on March 6 in order to limit the number of wrestlers that will head to the state tournament on March 12-13.

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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