Trib HSSN Wrestler of the Week for March 16, 2021: Briar Priest, Hempfield

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 | 10:01 AM

After not placing at WPIALs a year ago, Hempfield 132-pounder Briar Priest made a run he never will forget as he won the first PIAA Class AAA title of his career over the weekend.

He capped his junior season with a 34-5 record — identical to his record last year — and earned a 6-0 decision over Seneca Valley’s Dylan Chappell in the PIAA finals.

As the sixth seed last week at the PIAA Class AAA West Super Regional at Altoona, Priest lost in the final to Chappell after the senior recorded an escape and a takedown in the final 32 seconds to earn a 6-5 decision.

Heading into the state tournament, Priest received the No. 5 seed in his weight class and went on to earn a 12-2 major decision in the quarterfinals over Kelly Kakos from Perkiomen Valley. In the semifinals, Priest took advantage of a second-period escape to knock off top-seeded Nathan Lucier from Coatesville.

Priest dominated his rematch with Chappell in the state finals. He scored all six of his points in the second period, and that was all he needed to stand atop the podium.

Honorable mention

AJ Corrado, Burrell: After placing at states during the first three years of his high school career, Corrado earned his first state title Friday, pinning Midd-West’s Avery Basset in the PIAA final in 6 minutes, 20 seconds. He earned decisions in the quarterfinals and semifinals.

Alejandro Herrera-Rondon, Seneca Valley: The future Oklahoma Sooner won his third PIAA title Saturday with a 3-1 decision over Waynesburg’s Rocco Welsh. He earned a 16-0 technical in the quarterfinals and a 5-2 decision in the semis.

Wyatt Henson, Waynesburg: In a rematch of the PIAA Class AAA West Super Regional final, Henson won his third state title with a 5-3 decision over Norwin’s John Altieri. Henson overcame a 7-1 deficit in his quarterfinal match and earned an 11-9 decision in overtime with a takedown in sudden victory.

Rune Lawrence, Frazier: As a freshman, Lawrence capped his first high school season with a state title. After recording a pin in the quarterfinals, Lawrence earned a 1-0 decision in the semifinals and a 9-7 decision over Penns Valley’s Malachi DuVall in the finals.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at or via Twitter .

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