Rule allows multiple wrestlers to compete at same weight class

Sunday, November 24, 2019 | 5:49 PM

The high school wrestling season kicks off Dec. 6 with a few rule changes.

Teams, with permission from tournament directors, will be allowed to enter two wrestlers in a weight class from the same school if the 16-man bracket isn’t full.

Canon-McMillan athletic director Frank Vulcano said the Chartiers-Houston, Cumberland Valley and King of the Mountain tournaments will allow multiple entries. He said the Powerade, because it has a junior varsity tournament, will not permit it.

“It’s good for the sport,” Vulcano said. “It allows more wrestlers the opportunity to compete.”

The junior high matches will be reduced from 18 bouts to 15. Vulcano said more discussion needs to be held to see if high school will follow suit.

• Other changes are to allow wrestlers who hurt their head or neck five additional minutes to evaluate the injury if appropriate health-care professionals are present.

Wrestlers currently get 1½ minutes of injury time. A second injury to the head or neck area will force the wrestler to default the match.

• Stalling will be called differently this season in an effort to increase offensive wrestling.

The first penalty for stalling will be a warning. The opponent will be awarded one match point on the second and third offenses, and two match points and choice of position on the next restart for the fourth offense. A fifth offense will result in disqualification.

• If shoelaces become untied, the wrestler will be accessed a stalling penalty.

• The referee also will penalize a wrestler for fleeing the mat during a scoring situation.


New coaches ready to go

There are several new coaches in the WPIAL.

They include: Bob Bove at Belle Vernon, Zach Snyder at Mt. Pleasant, Ethan Swope at Shaler, John Fleming at Ellwood City and A.J. Brentzel at Penn-Trafford.

Bove, who previously coached at Ringgold and McGuffey, replaced Mike Doppelheuer, who stepped down after last season.

Snyder, who wrestled at Connellsville and was an assistant at Hempfield last season, replaced Zach Sheridan, who was not retained despite coaching Dayton Pitzer to a state title as a freshman.

Brentzel, who wrestled at Penn-Trafford, takes over for Rich Ginther, who resigned after the season.

Swope replaced Drew D’Agostino, and Fleming takes over for Craig Alberts.


Recruiting updates

Latrobe senior Gabe Willochell signed a national letter of intent to wrestle at Edinboro, and Canon-McMillan senior Gerrit Nijenhuis signed with Purdue.

Pine-Richland junior Cole Spencer, the quarterback for the football team, verbally committed to Penn for wrestling.

Other WPIAL seniors to sign or verbally commit: North Hills’ Sammy Hillegas (Virginia Tech); Frazier’s Thayne Lawrence (Lehigh); Mt. Lebanon’s Luke Stout (Princeton); Norwin’s Kurtis Phipps (Bucknell); Kiski Area’s Jack Blumer (West Virginia); and Kiski Area’s Nick Delp (Bucknell).


Surging to titles

Three WPIAL wrestlers won titles at the The Surge preseason tournament: Waynesburg freshman Rocco Welsh (126), Seneca Valley senior Alejandro Herrera-Rondon (132) and Norwin senior Ryan Weinzen (182).

Placing second were Elizabeth Forward senior Ryan Michaels (120), Connellsville sophomore Jared Keslar (138), Kiski Area’s Blumer (160) and Greensburg Salem senior John Meyers (220).


Back at Waynesburg

Iowa commit Wyatt Henson returned to Waynesburg High after spending a season in a school in Missouri.

Henson and his brother, Jackson, competed for Waynesburg during the 2017-18 season. Their father is former West Virginia coach Sammie Henson.

Wyatt Henson, a junior, was among nearly two dozen transfers the WPIAL reviewed Monday. The WPIAL board said Henson is eligible for the regular season but ineligible for the postseason under a PIAA rule that impacts transfers after the start of 10th grade.

Henson is expected to appeal to the PIAA.

He was 42-13 as a freshman at Waynesburg, placing fifth in the PIAA at 120 pounds and third in the WPIAL. Henson won a Missouri state title at 138 pounds in 2019.

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

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