WPIAL rematches set for PIAA Class AAA lightweight wrestling finals

Saturday, March 13, 2021 | 1:05 PM

HERSHEY — Franklin Regional and Waynesburg each advanced two wrestlers to the finals at Saturday’s PIAA Class AAA championships at the Giant Center.

Six WPIAL wrestlers will compete in the lightweight (106 to 138 pounds) finals, including all-WPIAL matchups at 132 and 138 pounds.

It will be the third consecutive weekend that Seneca Valley senior Dylan Chappell and Hempfield junior Briar Priest will meet at 132. Chappell has won the two previous battles.

The other rematch features Franklin Regional junior Finn Solomon and Waynesburg junior Cole Homet at 138. The two have split their previous bouts, with Solomon winning the West Super Region, 12-1, March 6 at Altoona.

“I’ve wrestled twice now and I think this can be different,” Priest said after his 1-0 victory against Coatesville senior Nathan Lucier on Saturday. “It’s a new day. I was a tough battle. I didn’t think it would be that close, but none of us scored.”

Priest said he was able to secure hand control to keep Lucier from scoring the final two minutes.

Chappell reached the finals by securing a late takedown in a 2-1 win against Bellefonte’s Jude Swisher in the semifinals.

Solomon won two matches and hasn’t allowed a point, winning 3-0 against Kennett’s Trent Kochersperger and 6-0 against DuBois senior Chandler Ho in the semifinals.

Solomon reached the finals for the second time in his career. He lost to Seneca Valley senior Alejandro Herrera-Rondon in the 113-pound final in 2019. He did not qualify for states in 2020.

“Losing in 2020 motivated me to work harder so I could get back here,” Solomon said. “I knew I could be here, even last year. I’m just wrestling and having fun and not worrying about winning or losing because there is always next year.”

Solomon said he’s pleased with how he’s performed.

“I’m excited to wrestle him again,” Solomon said of Homet. “It’s a drudge match, we’re 1-1.”

Solomon’s teammate, Carter Dibert reached the finals for the second time. He won the 106-pound title in 2019.

Dibert opened the tournament with a 5-2 win against Nate Shippey of Interboro and followed that with a 12-0 win against Downingtown West’s Dom Findora.

He’ll face Bethlehem Catholic sophomore Tyler Kasak in the finals.

“I’m looking forward to wrestling him,” Dibert said. “I know he’s really good. It feels great to be in the finals again.”

Waynesburg sophomore Mac Church is the other WPIAL finalist. He won a 1-0 battle against Dover’s Mason Leiphart in the 120 semifinals.

He’ll face Chambersburg’s Karl Shindledecker in the finals. Church edged Shindledecker, 4-3, in the West Super Region final.

Being denied their second PIAA titles were 2020 winners Vinny Kilkeary of Latrobe at 113 and Ethan Berginc of Hempfield ay 126.

Kilkeary dropped a controversial 3-2 decision to Delaware Valley’s Zach Jacaruso in the semifinals. Kilkeary wasn’t able to get a winning takedown in the final period and couldn’t get the officials to call Jacaruso for stalling. Jacaruso got a takedown in the second period.

Berginc fell in his first match of the day, 5-4, to Findora. He stayed alive for third place by defeating Shippey, 5-1.

Others in the consolations include Seneca Valley’s Ty Chappell (106), Penn-Trafford’s Troy Hohman (113), Connellsville’s Chad Ozias (120), Waynesburg’s Colton Stoneking (132) and Chartiers Valley’s Dylan Evans (138).

Evans opened with a 3-1 overtime win against No. 1 ranked Kyle Hauserman of Council Rock North, but lost in the semifinals to Homet, 5-1.

The lightweight finals are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.

The upper weights started wrestling at 12:30 p.m. Their finals are at 8.

Listen to the PIAA finals and consolation matches on the TribLive High School Sports Network.

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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