Powerade wrestling tournament notebook: Waynesburg, Seneca Valley earn top five spots heading into quarters

Friday, December 27, 2019 | 7:45 PM

Heading into the quarterfinals of the 2019 Powerade wrestling tournament at Canon-McMillan on Friday, just two WPIAL teams found themselves within the top five teams of one of the toughest competitions in the country. The hosts found themselves just outside of the top five looking in.

Both Seneca Valley and Waynesburg have established themselves amongst the best in the WPIAL throughout the early weeks of the season by competing in tournaments like the Beast of the East and the Ironman Classic. At Powerade, they had the opportunity to prove it on their home turf.

“It’s always very important to wrestle those tournaments because the competition is great and it gets our guys battle tested and ready to wrestle at this tournament,” Waynesburg coach Joe Throckmorton said. “There are a lot of local Pennsylvania teams here too, so I like the mix-up as well.”

Over the early parts of the wrestling season, Waynesburg has quickly climbed the ranks of the Trib HSSN WPIAL Class AAA rankings and claimed the No. 1 spot earlier this week. They are also ranked No. 3 in the state.

The Indians continued that climb when 106-pound No. 1 seed Mac Church, Iowa commit Wyatt Henson (138), Luca Augustine (160), Nate Jones (113) and Rocco Welsh (126) all earned spots in the quarterfinals, which they had told themselves they were capable of.

“Some of our guys that have competed in the other tournaments are like, ‘Hey, I’ve wrestled against the best of the best and I need to get to this point,’” Throckmorton said. “So it’s probably cool to meet those expectations, but we’re still working hard and getting better every day.”

Just like Waynesburg, Seneca Valley has tested itself against tough competition this season and it shows. The Raiders had 132-pound No. 1 seed Alejandro Herrera-Rondon, Chanz Shearer (138) and Antonio Amelio (145) all set to make quarterfinal appearances.

The 138-pound junior might’ve been the surprise of the group, but he showed that seeds don’t matter in a tournament like Powerade as he beat No. 3 seed Kenny Kiser from Sagertown with a pin at the 3:48 mark.

“He’s just proving the fact that who cares about the seed, just go out and wrestle the other kid,” Seneca Valley coach Kevin Wildrick said. “Anything can happen and he’s a dangerous wrestler when he’s on and he’s have a great tournament so far.”

Quarterfinal matches were finished Friday night after press time.

42 WPIAL wrestlers head to quarters

Heading into the final session of Friday night, 42 WPIAL wrestlers were still competing for a Powerade title. Waynesburg sent the most with five wrestlers, while Hempfield sent four and Seneca Valley, Canon-McMillan and Kiski Area all sent three.

Of the 14 weight classes, two had at least five WPIAL wrestlers in the quarters, three had four, four had three, and there were two weight classes that included just one WPIAL wrestler remaining.

Mt. Lebanon’s Mac Stout found himself all alone in the 170-pound bracket heading into Friday night’s round and Quaker Valley’s Conner Redinger was the lone standing WPIAL competitor in 152.

“I just gotta go out there and wrestle,” Redinger said of being the only WPIAL guy left in his weight class. “I don’t know if I can take that as a compliment. I honestly wish a bunch of WPIAL wrestlers were out there scrapping around.”

The 138-pound weight class might’ve been the most exciting throughout the day as Waynesburg’s Wyatt Henson, Seneca Valley’s Chanz Shearer, North Hills’ Sam Hillegas, Connellsville’s Jared Keslar and Freedom’s Kenny Duschek were all still in the hunt.

The 195 bracket was another compelling one as Mt. Lebanon’s Luke Stout, Kiski Area’s Brayden Roscosky, Ellwood City’s Austin Walley, Hampton’s Justin Hart and Trinity’s Cole Whitmer were still looking for a title.

WPIAL wrestlers entering 100-win club

Hampton’s Tyler Kocak entered the 100-win club Friday when he pinned Jason Conner from Arlington Martin (Texas) in the first 39 seconds of their Round of 32 match in the 170-pound bracket.

West Allegheny’s Jordan Watters was another WPIAL wrestler who earned his 100th career win at Powerade. He hit the century mark when he pinned South Park’s Noah Pritchard in 2:22.

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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