Penn-Trafford notebook: Wrestling team looks to build on postseason losses

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Sunday, February 6, 2022 | 11:01 AM


The Penn-Trafford wrestling team continues to make positive strides despite losing two matches in the Section 1 tournament and bowing out of the WPIAL Class 3A championship in the first round.

The Warriors were beaten by No. 2 Latrobe, 41-15, in the opening round of the team tournament to fall to 5-6.

“We continue to build,” Penn-Trafford coach A.J. Brentzel said. “We’re going to lose a couple good seniors, but we have some guys in the middle school that will compete for starting spots.”

Penn-Trafford managed decision wins by Hayden Coy (126 pounds), Tasso Whipple (160) and Wesley Stull (172). Heavyweight Joe Enick was awarded a win by forfeit.

The best match of the evening came at 120 pounds where Latrobe junior Vinny Kilkeary, ranked No. 1 in the WPIAL, edged No. 2 senior Troy Hohman, 6-4. Kilkeary got a takedown at the buzzer.

Now the Warriors will continue to train for the individual tournaments, which begin Feb. 26.

They had dual meets scheduled against Norwin (Feb. 9) and against the hosts and Connellsville at the North Allegheny Duals on Feb. 15. It’s unknown if the Mt. Pleasant match that was scheduled for Feb. 2 will be made up.

Ochendowski commits to Cornell

Penn-Trafford senior Declan Ochendowski took a trip to Ithaca, N.Y., this weekend to visit Cornell, and he found a new home for the next four years.

Ochendowski received an offer to play football in the Ivy League and plans to attend, but he must be accepted into the school. Cornell doesn’t offer athletic scholarships.

Cornell is located on the south end of Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York.

It was his first NCAA Division I offer. He had offers to play Division II football at IUP and Mercyhurst.

“What sold me was the atmosphere of the campus and attitude of the coaches,” Ochendowski said. “They were all super focused in being successful, which is important to me. I also loved the campus.

“It was beautiful.”

Ochendowski was a two-way starter for Penn-Trafford as a tackle and defensive end. He played a key role in helping Penn-Trafford capture its first WPIAL and PIAA Class 5A championships.

He also was a Tribune-­Review Terrific 25 player. He had 37 tackles and three sacks. A captain, he also was part of an offensive line that dominated games.

Graziano sets WCCA record

Penn-Trafford sophomore Patton Graziano set a Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association meet record Feb. 28 in the 100 backstroke.

Graziano’s winning time was 51.49 seconds.

Graziano also placed second in the 100 freestyle. His time was 48.3 seconds.

Conner Alexander finished second in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:57.03.

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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