Penn-Trafford’s Logan Matrisch leads mighty group of freshmen at WCCA tournament

By:
Friday, January 6, 2023 | 10:48 PM


It seems like every year, something unexpected happens during the opening night of the Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association wrestling tournament.

The 2023 version, the 70th in tournament history, featured some outstanding freshmen looking to make a name for themselves.

The group was headlined Friday by Penn-Trafford’s Logan Matrisch. He entered the tournament unseeded with a 6-6 record and had dropped four consecutive matches.

But that didn’t matter during the opening day of the county tournament after he took out No. 4 seed Kashton Bish of Southmoreland, 7-3, and No. 5 Duncan Blose of Mt. Pleasant, 8-0, to advance to the 133-pound semifinals at 11:30 a.m. Saturday against No. 1 Ethan Lebin of Hempfield.

Matrisch would love to follow his uncle, Joe, and his grandfather, Rick, as county champions.

“That’s the goal,” Matrisch said. “I want to join them. My record isn’t that great because I’m coming off a concussion. But I believed I could win (tonight). I have a great practice partner in Hayden Coy, who pushes me to be better every day at practice.”

Penn-Trafford coach Travis McKillop said Matrisch is a hard worker and that he wasn’t surprised that he’s in the semifinals.

“He wants to be good,” McKillop said. “He has a bright future.”

The other freshmen to advance to the semifinals were Cam Baker (107) and Julian Bertucci (114) of Burrell, Nico Kapusta (107) and Nate Caracciolo (114) of Hempfield, Dylan Barrett (107) of Penn-Trafford, Jack White (127) of Norwin, Elijah Brown (152) of Belle Vernon and Cooper Roscosky (189) of Kiski Area.

Baker and Bertucci helped Burrell to fourth place behind Franklin Regional, Latrobe and Hempfield.

Baker, seeded No. 1, posted two pins, and Bertucci had a pin and a major decision win.

“We have quite a few freshmen in our lineup,” Burrell assistant coach Steve Ansani said. “But Cam and Julian are looking for big careers. They’ll definitely help us this season.

“This is such a strong tournament that this is a place to showcase your talent. It’s a tough tournament, and it will help them become better wrestlers.”

Burrell coach Josh Shields missed the tournament because he is away on business.

Mt. Pleasant’s Dylan Pitzer, another outstanding freshman, reached the quarterfinals before falling to Greensburg Salem senior Christian McChesney, 6-1.

Despite the loss, Mt. Pleasant coach Zach Snyder said it will be a learning moment for his freshman.

“He wrestles a different style, and he’s still learning,” Snyder said. “He’ll face some good competition here that will only make him a better wrestler. He’s young, and he’s growing.”

All the returning and past champions advanced to the semifinals. The finals are slated for 6 p.m.

They were Latrobe’s Luke Willochell (114), Leo Joseph (121) and Vinny Kilkeary (127), Hempfield’s Ethan Lebin (133) and Eli Carr (139), Burrell’s Cooper Hornack (133), Kiski Area’s Ryan Klingensmith (121) and Franklin Regional’s Juliano Marion (189).

Latrobe and Franklin Regional had eight wrestlers in the semifinals, Hempfield, Burrell and Penn-Trafford seven, Kiski Area five and Valley one.

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.

More High School Sports

Aliquippa casts PIAA competitive-balance rule as ‘irrational, unconstitutional’ in final day of testimony
Ligonier Valley, Latrobe, Jeannette coaches eager for East/West All-Star game
Steelers QB Russell Wilson to speak at Rising Stars underclassmen basketball practice
Fox Chapel junior signs with Riverhounds
High school scores, summaries and schedules for May 16, 2024