WPIAL Class 2A wrestling preview: Burgettstown takes preseason favorite role

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Wednesday, November 30, 2022 | 4:48 PM


For the first time in 15 years, Burrell isn’t necessarily the wrestling team to beat in WPIAL Class 2A.

That honor goes 2022 third-place finisher Burgettstown.

The Blue Devils are the pick because they return 10 starters, including five PIAA qualifiers, from a squad that finished 15-3.

Two of the five state qualifiers — junior Parker Sentipal (106 pounds) and junior Gaven Suica (126) — earned medals. Sentipal paced fifth and Suica was eighth.

The other state qualifiers were senior Joey Sentipal (132), junior Rudy Brown (138) and junior Joseph Baronick (215).

Don’t count out Burrell or Quaker Valley. Both teams return numerous starters and are quite capable of knocking off Burgettstown if the Blue Devils slip up.

Other WPIAL Class 2A teams to watch

No. 2 – Burrell (12-1) lost to Quaker Valley in the WPIAL semifinals in 2022. The Bucs return 11 starters. They are led by PIAA qualifiers Cooper Hornack (120) and senior Niko Ferra (132). Others Bucs who could have big seasons include sophomore Calio Zanello (113), sophomore Isaac Lacinski 138) and Nico Zanella (172).

No. 3 – Quaker Valley (17-5) captured its first WPIAL title in 2022, defeating Burrell in a close match. The Quakers return nine starters including PIAA eighth-place winners Jack Kazalas (113) and Logan Richey (120). The Quakers must replace four key starters.

No. 4 – Mt. Pleasant (14-6) returns seven starters, including PIAA qualifier Jamison Poklembo. The junior has been in the blood round the past two seasons in Hershey. The Vikings are counting on Joe Longhi (120), Sean Cain (126) and Greg Shaulis (132) to have big seasons. Dylan Pitzer (215) is a freshman to watch.

No. 5 – Highlands (14-2) drops from Class 3A and with nine starters returning, the Golden Rams could become instant contenders. They are led by sophomores Aiden Burford (126) and Brayden White (132).

Keep an eye on

Albert Gallatin, Beth-Center, Derry, Frazier, Hampton, Indiana, Laurel, Montour, Southmoreland and West Greene

What’s new?

Albert Gallatin, Beaver, Belle Vernon, Greensburg Salem, Hampton, Highlands and Indiana dropped from Class 3A to 2A.

Chartiers-Houston asked the WPIAL not to give them a dual meet schedule.

• There are new weight classes. They are: 107, 114, 121, 127, 133, 139, 145, 152, 160, 172, 189, 215 and 285. The difference was adding a pound to the first six weight classes.

Alignment

Section 1: Bentworth, Beth-Center, Burgettstown, Fort Cherry, Jefferson Morgan, McGuffey, Washington and West Greene.

Section 2: Albert Gallatin, Belle Vernon, Elizabeth Forward, Frazier, Mt. Pleasant, Southmoreland and Yough.

Section 3: Avonworth, Carlynton, Keystone Oaks, Montour, Quaker Valley, South Allegheny and South Park.

Section 4: Ambridge, Beaver, Blackhawk, Central Valley, Freedom, Hopewell and South Side Beaver.

Section 5: Ellwood City, Hampton, Highlands, Knoch, Laurel, North Catholic and Summit Academy.

Section 6: Burrell, Derry Area, Greensburg Salem, Indiana, Ligonier Valley, Riverview and Valley.

Important dates

Dec. 2: First competition date

Dec. 25: Two-pound growth allowance

Jan. 30: WPIAL Team Tournament begins

Feb. 4: WPIAL Team Tournament finals

Feb. 6: PIAA Team Tournament preliminary round

Feb. 9-11: PIAA Team Tournament, Hershey

Feb. 18: WPIAL Class 2A section tournaments: Sections 1-2 at Burgettstown; Section 3-4 at Keystone Oaks; Sections 5-6 at Greensburg Salem

Feb. 24-25: WPIAL Class 2A Individual Championships at Chartiers Valley

Feb. 25: WPIAL Class 3A section tournaments: Sections 1-2 at North Allegheny; Sections 3-4 at Norwin; Sections 5-6 at South Fayette

March 3-4: WPIAL Class 3A Individual Championships at Canon-McMillan

March 3-4: PIAA Class 2A Southwest Regional at Altoona

March 9-11: PIAA Individual Championships at Hershey

Important tournaments

Dec. 2-3: Chartiers-Houston Invitational, Houston; Eastern Area Invitational, Gateway; Hickory Invitational, Hickory; Top Hat Tournament, Williamsport

Dec. 9-10: Walsh Jesuit Ironman Tournament, Ohio

Dec. 16-17: King of the Mountain, Lock Haven; Panther Holiday Classic, Mount Aloysius College, Ebensburg

Dec. 27-28: Southmoreland Holiday Classic, Alverton

Dec. 28-29: Steve DeAugustino Holiday Classic, West Mifflin

Dec. 29-30: Powerade Tournament, Canon-McMillan

Jan. 6-7: Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association Tournament, Greensburg Salem; TRICADA, Canon-McMillan; Ed Driscoll MAC Tournament (Jan. 7), Freedom

Jan. 13-14: Burgettstown Invitational, Burgettstown; Mid-Winter Mayhem, IUP

Jan. 20-21: Allegheny County Championship, Fox Chapel

Jan. 27-28: Thomas Chevrolet Tournament, Bedford

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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