Quaker Valley wrestlers learn from Powerade experience, set sights on WPIAL repeat

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Sunday, January 8, 2023 | 11:01 AM


A select group of Quaker Valley athletes did some big-time wrestling over the holiday break.

Freshman Bruce Anderchak (107), junior Isaac Maccaglia (114) and seniors Brandon Krul (127) and Logan Richey (145) participated in the varsity division of the nationally acclaimed Powerade Tournament on Dec. 29-30 at Canon-McMillan.

Following the 56th annual tournament and heading into the new year, Krul and Richey led the Quakers in the win column with 13-2 and 13-4 records.

Anderchak was 11-4 overall while Maccaglia stood at 9-6.

Richey finished 3-2 in five rounds of competition, pinning Saegertown’s Greg Kiser in 5:37 and Trinity’s Brock Carrigan in 43 seconds and blanking Thomas Jefferson’s Gabe Galioto, 3-0.

“The 2022-2023 season is going great,” Richey said. “I’ve had to jump over a lot of hurdles and work to catch up to everyone since I was out for six months due to knee surgery. Getting back into the swing of things has been great and I’m having a lot of fun this year.

“Powerade didn’t go as I imagined, but it was a good learning experience to see where I’m at with the rest of the country and to better prepare me for the postseason. This year, I want to be in the top three in the state.”

Krul, Anderchak and Maccaglia all posted 1-2 records in the two-day tournament.

Krul defeated Delbarton’s John Hager, 6-2, in the second round, Anderchak won a 10-6 decision over Trinity’s Mickey Horne in the first round, and Maccaglia pinned Hickory’s Tyler Boyle in 42 seconds also in the first round.

“We have a lot of guys that need to step up this year,” Richey said. “We have the potential to be the best (Class 2A) team in the WPIAL, and we are getting better and better every day.”

Other leading grapplers for QV who did not compete at Powerade include junior Jack Kazalas, 11-1 at 121 pounds, and senior Michael Carmody, 9-3 at 133.

“I missed weight for the Powerade tournament,” Kazalas said. ”My personal goals for this season are to capture my first WPIAL and Southwestern regional titles and to just climb the podium at Hershey and place higher.

“I want to hit my 100th career win this year, as well.”

Krul led the squad in falls with eight, followed by Carmody, Kazalas, Maccaglia, Richey and Jack Diemert, a 160-pound sophomore, all with five falls. Diemert won seven of his first nine matches this season.

“Not many big surprises so far,” QV coach Austin Heinl said prior to the Powerade event. “Logan Richey is wrestling pretty well after bumping up five or six weight classes from 120 last season.

“Our freshmen and newer wrestlers are showing some progress. Freshmen Bruce Anderchak, Xander Vescio and Kris Brown and seniors Hunter Doherty and Ben Carlson have stepped up and scored wins for the team in the early part of the season and I see them getting better as the year goes on.”

The Quakers have restocked their team with five freshmen — Anderchak, Vescio, Brown, Logan Benedict and Eoin Parnell — and five sophomores — Diemert, Grant Castaldo, Wyatt Hamm, Sebastian Juarez-Safran and Marcus Richey.

Wrestlers from a record 70 schools competed in the Powerade tournament. The top teams from the WPIAL included Trinity, Connellsville, Waynesburg, Canon-McMillan, Latrobe, Hempfield, Franklin Regional, Norwin, Quaker Valley, Frazier and Burrell.

Wrestlers from the WPIAL and state were challenged by a who’s who of top programs in the country.

Last January, QV reeled in a victory that was noticed around Western Pennsylvania as well as the state.

The Quakers, seeded No. 3 in Class 2A, edged 15-time defending champion Burrell, 30-28, to earn their first WPIAL team championship in school history.

Quaker Valley is ranked third this season behind Burgettstown and Burrell.

“My expectations for QV as a team are to repeat as a WPIAL titlist and take a shot at a PIAA state medal,” Kazalas said. “I feel like we can do both with our lineup even though we lost some key guys last year.

“We’ve got some pretty good freshmen, and everyone progressed tremendously over the summer.”

The Quakers were 2-0 in section action and 8-4 overall at the start of the new year. One of the team highlights was a second-place showing at the Moon Duals. QV posted a 4-1 record.

The Quakers went 2-3 at the Kiski Duals, defeating Yough, 60-9, and Kiski Area, 36-32, while losing to wrestling powerhouses Waynesburg, 45-25, North Allegheny, 52-14, and Fort LeBoeuf, 45-22.

The majority of the QV team competed in the junior varsity division at the Powerade tournament.

Quaker Valley held its senior night ceremony in early December. The Quakers crushed Avonworth, 56-18, in their first match of the season.

Five seniors were honored that night: Carlson, Carmody, Doherty, Krul and Richey. Four of the five were victorious; Doherty (172) did not compete.

Carlson pinned Harrison Holloway in 1:15 at 189; Carmody defeated Luke Maddalena, 22-6, at 139; Krul won by forfeit at 133; and Richey rolled by Luke Hollywood, 16-1, at 152.

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