Westmoreland County wrestling tournament will have different look

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Tuesday, February 2, 2021 | 6:47 PM


There will be a Westmoreland County Wrestling Tournament this weekend.

But it is not being sponsored by the Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association, and not every team is competing.

The WCCA decided in the fall not to hold the county coaches’ tournament because of safety concerns for staff, wrestlers and coaches during the covid-19 pandemic.

But many of the county wrestling coaches wanted to have a tournament, so Kiski Area athletic director John Peterman said he was willing to host the event during this unusual season.

The teams not participating are Kiski School, Derry and Norwin. Peterman said Derry and Norwin have too many points. The PIAA permits teams to have a maximum of 22 competitions during the season.

There are nine wrestlers returning who won titles in 2020, and five are two-time county champions: Franklin Regional senior Carter Dibert, Burrell senior Ian Oswalt, Kiski Area senior Brayden Roscosky and Hempfield seniors Ty Linsenbigler and Isaiah Vance.

The other reigning champions are Hempfield junior Briar Priest, Latrobe sophomore Nate Roth, Norwin senior John Altieri and Kiski Area senior Sammy Starr.

“I’m looking forward to competing,” Kiski Area junior Enzo Morlacci said after winning at 160-pound title at the Powerade tournament. “I was ready to compete against anyone.”

One wrestler who didn’t compete at the Powerade because of covid concerns was Burrell senior A.J. Corrado. He was the No. 1 seed. Morlacci and Corrado could meet this weekend.

The tournament will be over two days. The coaches will meet Thursday to determine the seeding, and the top four in each weight class — 13 this season — automatically advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals.

The rest of the wrestlers will compete Friday, and the top four will advance to Saturday.

Teams are allowed to enter more than one wrestler in a weight class if there is room, Peterman said.

And some of the potential matchups are intriguing:

At 113 pounds, Latrobe sophomore Vinny Kilkeary, the returning PIAA Class AAA champion at 106 pounds, and undefeated Penn-Trafford junior Troy Hohma could meet.

The 126-pound bracket could feature a battle of state champions between Franklin Regional senior Carter Dibert and Hempfield senior Ethan Berginc face off.

At 132, Priest and Roth could meet for the second time in a week. Priest edged Roth, 6-5, in a dual meet Jan. 26.

Another key battle could be at 215, where Mt. Pleasant junior Dayton Pitzer, a PIAA Class AA champion in 2019, and Belle Vernon junior Cole Weightman, WPIAL Class AAA winner in 2020, could square off. Pitzer won a decision against Weightman at the Mid-Winter Mayhem last month.

Bouts begin 4 p.m. Friday then resume 9 a.m. Saturday with the quarterfinals and semifinals at 10 a.m. The finals will take place after the Parade of Champions at 5 p.m.

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

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