Westmoreland wrestling notebook: Norwin raises funds through workouts

Tuesday, February 9, 2021 | 5:28 PM

Waynesburg (Class AAA) and Burrell (Class AA) were seeded No. 1 in their classifications for the WPIAL wrestling team tournaments which are scheduled to begin Wednesday.

Both are returning champions, and Burrell will be looking for its 15th consecutive title and 17th in school history. Waynesburg has won six titles, two in Class AAA and four in Class AA.

Class AAA includes seven teams, and Class AA includes a six-team bracket.

Waynesburg (10-0) received an opening-round bye and will face the winner of North Allegheny (12-2) and Thomas Jefferson (8-3), which begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Waynesburg received a bye because Section 1 champion Kiski Area opted not to participate in the tournament.

All semifinal-round matches are scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Waynesburg moved its semifinal match to Canon-McMillan to accommodate more fans, according to WPIAL wrestling chairman and Canon-McMillan athletic director Frank Vulcano Jr.

No. 2 Seneca Valley (18-1) will host the other quarterfinal and semifinal rounds in Class AAA. The Raiders face Peters Township (9-2) and the winner will take on either No. 3 Connellsville (6-3) or No. 6. Penn-Trafford (12-7).

Connellsville is making its 43rd consecutive appearance in the WPIAL tournament. The Falcons are the only program to qualify for the WPIAL tournament every year since the first tournament in 1979.

Burrell and No. 2 Burgettstown are Wednesday’s host sites in Class AA. They both received a bye in the quarterfinals.

Burrell (10-1) will face the winner of No. 5 Quaker Valley (12-5) and No. 4 Mt. Pleasant (10-6). Burgettstown (12-0) gets the winner of No. 3 Beth-Center (14-2) and No. 6 Montour (5-2).

The finals are Saturday at Canon-McMillan. Class AA is at noon and Class AAA at 2:30 p.m.

Norwin holds fundraiser

The Norwin wrestling team raised $2,814.50 for a local animal shelter and personal care home within the school district last week.

During one of the team’s practices, the wrestlers performed a number tasks, such as pushups, pull-ups and other exercises, after getting people in the community to sponsor them.

First-year coach Kyle Martin called the project SCRAP — service, competition, relationships, achievement and passion. He said the team collected pledges.

The team ran 24.5 miles, completed 2,950 pushups, 710 pullups and 18,400 jump ropes and ran one group Hillcrest Hill climb.

“I’m really proud of them,” Martin said. “It’s something we’re going to do every year.”

Connellsville comes back strong

Connellsville first-year coach Mike Yancosky said he wondered if there was a black cat following his team this season.

Injuries to wrestlers and a coach, the pandemic and a covid-19 case had the Falcons sidelined more than most teams in the WPIAL.

But things have turned around for the Falcons. The WPIAL wrestling committee decided to put Connellsville in the Section 2-AAA tournament despite the Falcons only wrestling one section match. They responded by winning the title and qualified for the WPIAL team tournament for the 43rd consecutive season.

“We’re grateful that the WPIAL put us in the tournament,” Yancosky said. “I feel badly for West Mifflin, but I feel it was the right choice.”

Connellsville scrambled to find competition after being cleared to return to action Feb. 4. A scheduled tournament at Canon-McMillan was canceled, but the Falcons found a tournament at State College.

The Falcons won all three matches, including two over state-ranked teams — State College (33-32) and Selinsgrove (36-27). They also defeated Hollidaysburg (44-18).

Connellsville then defeated No. 5 Norwin (40-25) and No. 8 Thomas Jefferson (43-27) on Monday in the section tournament.

Vikings wrestler back on mat

Mt. Pleasant’s Brady Poole returned to practice Tuesday after he had to injury default during Monday’s loss to Burrell in the Section 3-AA finals.

Poole suffered an injury to his head during the 126-pound bout against Burrell’s Shawn Szymanski but has been cleared to return to action.

Individual tournaments approaching

The WPIAL individual wrestling tournaments begin Tuesday for Class AA at six sites — Chartiers-Houston (1A), West Greene (1B), Freedom (2A), Montour (2B), Burrell (3A) and Southmoreland (3B).

Wrestlers will compete in a round-robin event, and the top two finishers in each of the 13 weight classes advance to the section final Feb. 19 at Canon-McMillan. Sections 2 and 3 will begin at 3 p.m. and Section 1 at 7.

Each section will advance two wrestlers to the WPIAL championship Feb. 20 at Canon-McMillan, beginning at 2 p.m. The top three wrestlers in each weight class then advance to the Southwest Regional on Feb. 27 at IUP.

Class AAA subsection tournaments will be Feb. 17 for Sections 1 and 4 and Feb. 18 for Sections 2 and 3. The section championships are Feb. 20, and the top two wrestlers from each section advance from there to the WPIAL championships Feb. 27 at Canon-McMillan. The WPIAL will advance three wrestlers to the West Super Regional on March 6 at Altoona.

Class AAA subsection tournaments will be held at Kiski Area (1A), Penn-Trafford (1B), Thomas Jefferson (2A), Hempfield (2B), Seneca Valley (3A), North Allegheny (3B), Canon-McMillan (4A) and Upper St. Clair (4B).

The section tournaments will be at Kiski Area (1), Hempfield (2), North Allegheny (3) and Canon-McMillan (4).

The Class AA Super Regional is March 6 at IUP.

The state finals are March 12 for Class AA and March 13 for Class AAA, both at the Giant Center in Hershey.

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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