Two wrestlers trying to join fathers as county champions

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Friday, January 4, 2019 | 9:54 PM


There haven’t been many father/son wrestlers to win a Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association title in the 66 years of the tournament.

There could be two who achieve that goal, as well as one grandfather/grandson, Saturday at Norwin.

County officials (coaches and referees) could come up with only six father/sons to achieve that goal: Chris/Clem Guarlotti, Jim/Jimmy Gulibon, Rick/Eric Svec; Tim/Scott Morgan; Troy/Troy Dolan; and Rick/Nathan Pennesi.

“I’m sure there are more,” Greensburg Salem coach Randy Parsley said.

If Mt. Pleasant freshman Noah Gnibus and Hempfield sophomore Ty Linsenbigler win titles, they would join that list. Colin Gnibus and Rich Linsenbigler won county titles in 1989.

Hempfield sophomore Isaiah Vance hopes to join his grandfather, Mike Kirkling, as county champions.

“I knew my dad had won. I just didn’t know when,” Noah Gnibus said after defeating Derry’s Kace Sabedra, 5-1, in the quarterfinals. “I’m looking to win a title. It’s going to be tough. There are a lot of good wrestlers in the tournament. I just want to do my best.”

Gnibus, seeded fifth, will face No. 1 seed Kyle Burkholder, a senior from Hempfield, in the semifinals at 113. The semifinals are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

Linsenbigler said he knew his dad was a county champion.

“I didn’t know it was 30 years ago,” Linsenbigler said after advancing with two pins. “If I can do it this year, it would be pretty awesome.”

Linsenbigler will face Derry senior Jason Baker in semifinals. He lost to Kiski Area’s Noah Levett, 11-1, in the finals a year ago and wants to reverse that loss.

“Winning a title has been the goal since last year,” he said. “I got majored, but I feel I’m wrestling a lot better, scoring a lot of points.”

Vance had two of the quickest pins on opening night. He had an 8-second pin in round one and an 18-second fall in the quarterfinals.

He will face Greensburg Salem freshman Bill McChesney in the semifinals. McChesney had a pin in his match.

Hempfield leads the team scoring with 101.5 points and has eight wrestlers in the semifinals. Kiski Area, which is seeking its fourth-consecutive title and 12th overall, is second with 93 points. The Cavaliers have seven in the semifinals.

Norwin is third with 85.5 points and also has seven wrestlers in the semifinals.

Hempfield also advanced Briar Priest (106), Trevor Verkleeren (145), Julian Chillinsky (170), Justin Cramer (195) and Dillon Ferretti (220). Ferretti rallied from a 7-4 deficit in the third period to pin Burrell’s Mason Slahtovsky.

Kiski Area’s wrestlers to advance were Dom Giordano (126), Darren Miller (132), Enzo Morlacci (145), Cam Connor (152), Jack Blumer (160), Nick Delp (170) and Brayden Roscosky (195).

Only one wrestler in the top three was upset: Greensburg Salem’s Dajauhn Hertzog, seeded No. 3 at 138, lost to No. 6 Mason Spears of Franklin Regional, 5-2, in overtime.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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