Waynesburg, Burrell receive top seeds for WPIAL wrestling tournament

Thursday, January 27, 2022 | 1:26 PM

Defending WPIAL champions Waynesburg (Class 3A) and Burrell (2A) were seeded No. 1 by the WPIAL wrestling committee Thursday for the upcoming district team tournament, which begins next Wednesday.

Burrell, which has won 15 consecutive Class 2A titles, is followed by No. 2 Burgettstown, No. 3 Quaker Valley, No. 4 Beth-Center, No. 5 Mt. Pleasant, No. 6 Laurel, No. 7 Southmoreland and No. 8 Montour.

The top four seeds receive a bye into the quarterfinals. The semifinals and finals are slated for noon Feb. 5, at Chartiers-Houston.

The Bucs showed Wednesday they aren’t going away anytime soon after defeating Mt. Pleasant in the Section 3 tournament.

Burrell has won 164 consecutive section matches, which included 28 in the section tournament, and 19 consecutive section titles. The only team to defeat the Bucs in a section match since 2000 was Mt. Pleasant, 39-35, in late January of 2003.

“I like our chances moving forward,” Burrell coach Josh Shields said. “There are a lot of tough teams and a lot of good battles. Our kids keep showing up and keep going out there and fighting.

“We don’t mention our WPIAL championships or our section championship streak to the kids. They obviously know, but it’s not something we say that you don’t want to be the team that breaks the streak.”

Shields said each year a new group of seniors step up to the challenge.

“Guys like Cole Clark, Shawn Szymanski have really led this team,” Shields said. “Cole and Shawn are great leaders.”

Southmoreland coach Dan Boring said Burrell impressed him, especially against Mt. Pleasant.

“They were more aggressive than we were in our match,” Boring said. “You have to go out and wrestle your opponent and not the name. They’re tough to beat.”

Southmoreland will face Freedom in opening round at Burgettstown. The winner faces the Blue Devils.

Mt. Pleasant earned a second trip to Beth-Center, where it will face Jefferson-Morgan. If they win, the Vikings get a rematch against Beth-Center, which won the first meeting 43-24 during the regular season.

In the match, the Vikings gave up six pins.

In Class 3A, Waynesburg, which has won the past two WPIAL titles, is followed by No. 2 Latrobe, No. 3 Connellsville, No. 4 Canon-McMillan, No. 5 North Allegheny, No. 6 Kiski Area, No. 7 Butler and No. 8 Franklin Regional.

The top four seeds will host the first two rounds. The semifinals and finals are slated for Feb. 5, beginning at noon at Peters Township.

Latrobe coach Mark Mears said he felt his team sent a little message out with its impressive win against No. 3 Connellsville in the section tournament Wednesday. Mears has high expectations for his Wildcats.

“I believe the stage is set for a great tournament,” Mears said. “I truly believe we’ll have four teams from the WPIAL in Hershey, and I hope we get a chance to wrestle Waynesburg; it should be exciting.”

Mears won three WPIAL Class 2A titles when he coached Mt. Pleasant in 2003, ’05 and ’06.


WPIAL team tournament

Class 3A

First round, quarterfinals

Wednesday’s schedule (6 p.m., 7:15 p.m.)

At Waynesburg: Waynesburg (12-0) vs. Thomas Jefferson (10-6); Norwin (8-3) vs. Franklin Regional (6-1)

At Canon-McMillan: Canon-McMillan (9-3) vs. West Allegheny (8-4); North Allegheny (6-0) vs. Bethel Park (8-4)

At Connellsville: Connellsville (15-1) vs. Peters Township (6-3); Kiski Area (13-3) vs. Pine-Richland (6-2)

At Latrobe: Latrobe (9-0) vs. Penn-Trafford (5-5); Butler (15-3) vs. Armstrong (5-2)

Class 2A

First round, quarterfinals

Wednesday’s schedule (6 p.m., 7:15 p.m.)

At Burrell: Fort Cherry (7-8) vs. Montour (5-2); Winner vs. Burrell (10-4)

At Beth-Center: Mt. Pleasant (10-4) vs. Jefferson-Morgan (9-4); Winner vs. Beth-Center (11-2)

At Quaker Valley: Knoch (5-5) vs. Laurel (7-1); Winner vs. Quaker Valley (14-3)

At Burgettstown: Southmoreland (8-4) vs. Freedom (8-3); Winner vs. Burgettstown (8-0)

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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