Penn-Trafford wrestling coach looking forward to revamped schedule

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Sunday, January 10, 2021 | 9:01 AM


In a normal year, high school wrestling teams would have already competed in numerous tournaments.

But this isn’t a normal year, of course, and the current pandemic has disrupted the winter sports season.

High school athletics hit the pause button Dec. 13 when Gov. Tom Wolf halted them with the rise of covid-19 cases across the state.

The ban was lifted on Jan. 4 and teams got back to work.

Penn-Trafford wrestling coach A.J. Brentzel said things were going well until they were put on hold.

“We were getting ready and then got shut down,” Brentzel said. “When we got back in the room, I was pleased with what I saw. These kids are resilient, and this is a new experience for all of us.”

Brentzel is expecting big things from Troy Hohman, Boaz Chishko, Ryan Auel and Lucas Paszek.

The Warriors had their schedule revamped because of the numerous cancellations and postponements.

The season was scheduled to kick off Wednesday with home matches against Woodland Hills and Plum followed by the Mid-Winter Mayhem tournament Friday and Saturday in Monroeville.

The PIAA condensed the dual-meet season, which forced teams to wrestle multiple times a week.

The Warriors travel to Gateway on Jan. 20 to face Franklin Regional and Penn Hills. Penn-Trafford also is in the Kiski Duals on Jan. 23 and the North Allegheny Duals on Jan. 30.

They also have nonsection matches against Norwin (Jan. 18), Burrell (Jan. 25), Mt. Pleasant (Jan. 27), Greensburg Salem (Feb. 10) and Bethel Park (Feb. 23).

“We’re going to be wrestling a lot the next month,” Brentzel said. “That’s my only concern, the amount we’re wrestling.

“It’s going to be a challenge and we’re facing a lot of good teams.”

While Brentzel is hoping for a section title for this team, he’s encouraged about the future.

“We’re building and I expect us to be really good the next few seasons,” he said. “We have a lot of wrestlers in junior high.”

The Warriors’ first big test is at the 28-team Mid-Winter Mayhem, where they will compete against numerous top teams including Malvern Prep, Brookville, Forest Hills, Norwin, Trinity, Freedom, Thomas Jefferson, Ellwood City, Mt. Pleasant and Chestnut Ridge in an individual tournament.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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