Trib HSSN Wrestler of the Week: Norwin’s Kurtis Phipps

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Tuesday, March 3, 2020 | 4:55 PM


Controversy arose last week on Twitter when the WPIAL Class AAA brackets were released for the 126-pound weight class.

Norwin’s Kurtis Phipps, a three-time WPIAL champion and a two-time PIAA runner-up was given the No. 3 seed.

He came in behind Franklin Regional’s Finn Solomon at No. 2 and Waynesburg’s Rocco Welsh, a freshman, at No. 1. Over the weekend at the WPIAL championships, Phipps proved why that outcry was warranted.

He pinned West Mifflin’s Jesse Galioto in 1 minute, 50 seconds. Then, he went on to earn a 8-1 decision over Canon-McMillan’s Jacob Gardner in the quarterfinals.

Phipps met up with Solomon in the semifinals and pinned the Franklin Regional sophomore in 1:40. In the Section 1-AAA 126-pound championship, Solomon had earned a 2-0 sudden victory win over Phipps, so the Norwin senior got a little revenge.

In the championship bout, Phipps earned his fourth WPIAL championship when he took advantage of a second period escape and takedown to earn a 3-1 decision over Welsh. The Raiders freshman’s only point came on a stalling penalty in the third period with 21 seconds left.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Gerrit Nijenhuis, Canon-McMillan: The defending PIAA and WPIAL champion captured his second WPIAL title this weekend in his home gym. The 182-pounder pinned his first three opponents and then earned an 8-2 decision over Peters Township’s Donovan McMillon. He’ll look to defend his PIAA title in Hershey this weekend as the No. 1 seed.

Dylan Chappell, Seneca Valley: The Seneca Valley junior won his second WPIAL title this weekend. He earned first period pins in his first two matches and then defeated North Allegheny’s Dylan Coy, 4-0, in the 120-pound semifinals. After gaining a 9-1 lead in the championship, he pinned Connellsville’s Jace Ross in 2:32.

Luke Stout, Mt. Lebanon: The 195-pounder captured his second WPIAL title this weekend and kept his undefeated senior season alive. He pinned his first two opponents this weekend and then earned a 5-2 decision over Armstrong’s Logan Harmon in the semifinals before beating Bethel Park’s Luke Montgomery.

Alejandro Herrera-Rondon, Seneca Valley: For the second time in his career, Herrera-Rondon won a WPIAL title. He earned two pins and two decision victories. In the championship match, he defeated Latrobe’s Gabe Willochell, 4-2. The victory avenged his loss to Willochell in the championship of the Powerade tournament in December. Herrera-Rondon also sits atop the 132-pound PIAA bracket as he looks to win his third straight state title.

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

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