PIAA wrestling notebook: Jefferson-Morgan’s Teasdale on cusp of history
By: Paul Schofield
Friday, March 9, 2018 | 11:36 PM
HERSHEY — Jefferson Morgan senior Gavin Teasdale is one victory away from making PIAA wrestling history.
But Teasdale said he's not thinking too much about the title bout. His concentration is on dinner after the match.
“Definitely wings will be part of the dinner,” Teasdale said. “To me, I treat this tournament just like any other tournament and another match.”
He may think that, but the thousands of wrestling fans who will attend the PIAA Class AA finals at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Giant Center want to witness history.
Teasdale cruised into the Class AA finals for the fourth consecutive year and finds himself one win from becoming the 13th four-time PIAA champion.
If he defeats Saucon Valley junior Joshua Jones, he will join an elite group that includes WPIAL greats Jim Conklin of Waynesburg, Ty Moore of North Allegheny, Jeremy Hunter of McGuffey, Jimmy Gulibon of Derry and Cary Kolat of Jefferson-Morgan.
“I'm ready, my conditioning is ready, my speed is ready and my strength is ready,” said Teasdale (40-2), who will face Saucon Valley's Joshua Jones (36-2) at 126 pounds. “All that needs to be ready is my mind. I just have to go out and wrestle to my ability and let it go.”
The WPIAL had eight Class AA wrestlers reach the semifinals and four advanced, including Teasdale.
Also advancing were Frazier sophomore Thayne Lawrence at 152, Derry junior Dom DeLuca at 220 and South Side Beaver senior heavyweight Bishop McCoy.
Falling in the semifinals were Quaker Valley freshman Connor Redinger at 106, Southmoreland senior Tyler Griffiths at 145, Burrell senior Corey Christie at 152 and Freedom junior Bryson Miller at 195.
LEVETT APPROACHES SCHOOL RECORD
Noah Levett has a chance to both beat and join Matt McCutcheon on Saturday.
With two wins Saturday, Levett would become just the second wrestler in Kiski Area history to win a PIAA Class AAA individual championship, matching McCutcheon's 2012 title. That also would give him 159 career victories, surpassing McCutcheon's school record of 158.
“You think of Kiski wrestling, you think of Matt McCutcheon,” said Levett, who is 157-32 going into Saturday morning's 138-pound semifinal match against Bethlehem Catholic's Ryan Anderson. “He's a great guy, he's a good wrestler, and he's always looking to help people. He's just an all-around Division I athlete; he's awesome.”
To get to the final, Levett will need to get past Anderson in a rematch of an Anderson victory from the PIAA team championship match in February. Levett beat Anderson in the team tournament last season.
“Last time we wrestled, I just let him do his offense and I didn't really do much of mine,” Levett said. “I'm just going to do my offense and do my thing.
“I feel like honestly me and him should be the two in the finals. It's just my personal preference. But you're going to have to beat him sooner or later if I want to be a state champ.”
WPIAL WRESTLERS RULING CLASS AAA
Every year there is a debate on what districts are the best for wrestling in the state.
And every year the WPIAL proves why it's the toughest region.
There are 20 WPIAL wrestlers who advanced to Saturday's PIAA Class AAA semifinals at the Giant Center, including three — Hopewell junior Jacob Ealy, West Allegheny junior Ty McGeary and Mt. Lebanon sophomore Luke Stout — who placed fourth at the WPIAL tournament and PIAA Southwest Regional last week.
District 3 (Harrisburg area) was second with 11 in the semis and District 1 (Philadelphia area) was third with seven. District 11 and District 6 each have five.
The semifinals begin at 9 a.m., and every semifinalist is guaranteed a spot on the podium.
Heading that list is returning champion Sam Hillegas of North Hills, who won the 113-pound title in 2017. Hillegas is the top seed at 126.
There are three semifinal matches that will pit WPIAL wrestlers:
At 126 pounds, Hillegas faces Ealy; at 160, Stout faces Belle Vernon senior Zach Hartman; and at 182, Thomas Jefferson junior Max Shaw battles Albert Gallatin senior Tim Wallace.
The others to advance were Norwin sophomore Kurtis Phipps and Seneca Valley freshman Alejandro Herrera-Rondon at 106; Shaler junior Ryan Sullivan and Hempfield junior Kyle Burkholder at 113; Canon-McMillan senior Logan Macri at 120; Hillegas and Latrobe sophomore Gabe Willochell at 126; Franklin Regional junior Colton Camacho at 132; Kiski Area senior Noah Levett at 138; McGeary at 152; Canon-McMillan sophomore Gerrit Nijenhuis, Stout and Hartman at 160; Belle Vernon junior Scott Joll at 170; Wallace and Shaw at 182; Connellsville senior Nate Ansell at 195; Laurel Highlands senior Ian Edenfield at 220; and Kiski Area senior heavyweight Isaac Reid.
The WPIAL will return home with 33 placewinners.