WPIAL wrestling notebook: Waynesburg takes over top spot in rankings

Tuesday, December 24, 2019 | 12:23 PM

It was quite a week in the WPIAL and for the Waynesburg wrestling program.

The WPIAL reversed its original decision to ban Waynesburg junior Wyatt Henson from postseason competition and then No. 4 Seneca Valley and No. 5 Canon-McMillan each defeated No. 1 Hempfield and No. 2 Kiski Area in a super dual on Friday at Kiski Area.

With those results, No. 3 Waynesburg took over the No. 1 spot in the Tribune-Review WPIAL team wrestling rankings followed by Seneca Valley and Canon-McMillan. Hempfield fell to No. 4 and Kiski Area to No. 5.

Henson wrestled at Waynesburg after he and his brother, Jackson, transferred for the 2017-18 season from Morgantown, W.Va. Wyatt Henson then transferred to a school in Missouri for his sophomore season, where he won a state title.

Now he transferred back to Waynesburg. Before the decision was reversed, based on WPIAL rules, Henson was allowed to compete during the regular season but not the postseason.

Waynesburg finished 12th at the Beast of the East tournament and returned with four placewinners: Henson third at 138, Max Church fifth at 106, Luca Augustine fifth at 160 and Cole Homet eighth at 132.

Henson attended Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis last school year and won Missouri’s big-school title at 138 pounds. He committed to Iowa in October.

As a freshman in 2017-18, Henson went 43-12 overall, placing third in WPIAL Class AAA and fifth in the PIAA at 120 pounds. His father is former West Virginia wrestling coach Sammie Henson, a three-time world and Olympic medalist.

State champs sidelined

Two WPIAL Class AA wrestlers who are returning PIAA champions — Frazier senior Thayne Lawrence and Mt. Pleasant sophomore Dayton Pitzer – have been sidelined with injuries.

Lawrence was injured at the Ironman tournament and then missed his team’s dual against Elizabeth Forward. Lawrence, who committed to Lehigh, is a two-time PIAA champion. In previous seasons, Lawrence has dealt with a shoulder injury.

Pitzer hasn’t wrestled yet his season. He’s been rehabbing a leg injury.

Mt. Pleasant first-year coach Zach Snyder said Pitzer is hoping to make a return sometime this season.

Snyder said the hope was for the Powerade tournament, but Pitzer’s name doesn’t appear on the pre-seeding sheet.

Strong tournaments

While the Powerade tournament is considered the elite tournament in Western Pennsylvania over the holidays, the Southmoreland tournament and Steve DeAugustino Holiday Classic in West Mifflin have their share of strong teams.

Teams at Southmoreland include Albert Gallatin, Bethel Park, Beth-Center, Burgettstown, Butler, Chartiers-Houston, Fort Cherry, Greensburg Salem, Jefferson-Morgan, McGuffey, Moon, Southmoreland, South Side, Upper St. Clair, Valley and West Greene.

WPIAL and City League teams at West Mifflin include Allderdice, Ambridge, Baldwin, Beaver, Brashear, Carrick, Central Catholic, Central Valley, Fox Chapel, Gateway, Highlands, Keystone Oaks, Laurel, McKeesport, Montour, New Castle, Obama Academy, Penn Hills, Pine-Richland, Plum, Ringgold, Riverview, Shaler, South Allegheny, Washington, West Mifflin, Westinghouse, Woodland Hills and Yough.

Both tournaments will include numerous teams from outside the WPIAL and state as well.

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

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