Wrestling notebook: Hempfield, Greensburg Salem to battle for Crosstown Cup
By: Paul Schofield
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 | 7:36 PM
Former Hempfield coach Rick Shaheen felt Westmoreland County wrestling needed a jolt back in 1999.
So Shaheen and Greensburg Salem coach Randy Parsley created the “Crosstown Cup” to help bring fans back to the gymnasium to see the rival schools battle.
Because of recent success of both programs and intense rivalry in every sport, wrestlers don't need much motivation for the annual match.
No. 4 Greensburg Salem will host No. 6 Hempfield (5-0) at 7 p.m. Wednesday for this year's contest.
Greensburg Salem is coming off a second-place performance at the North Coast Classic in Independence, Ohio, while Hempfield won all five matches in winning the Hampton Duals over the weekend.
Hempfield leads the Crosstown Cup series 10-8, but Greensburg Salem has won the past two meetings, including last year's nail-bitter, 36-32.
It was a match decided by the opening coin flip, won by Greensburg Salem.
“I don't believe the coin flip will matter much this season,” Hempfield coach Vince DeAugustine said. “Last year, it was cut and dry.
“I know they are really talented. We had a good weekend at Hampton, but one thing that must occur is we have to work on our mental toughness.”
Hempfield returns a solid team, led by WPIAL champion Luke Kemerer, a Pitt commit, and PIAA qualifier Kyle Burkholder. But the Spartans also are helped by three talented freshmen — Ethan Berginc at 106 pounds, Ty Linsenbigler at 136 and heavyweight Isaiah Vance, the grandson of former Hempfield state champion Mike Kirkling.
Berginc and sophomore Justin Cramer at 195 pounds are two wrestlers from Jeannette, which has a co-op with Hempfield. Cramer was a linebacker on Jeannette's Class A state champion football team and probably won't wrestle for a few weeks.
“I'm happy we have the rivalry that we have with Greensburg Salem,” DeAugustine said. “They're usually tough battles.”
Greensburg Salem finished second to Belle Vernon in Ohio. While the Golden Lions didn't have any champions, Parsley said his squad was involved in some tough matches.
“It was probably the best competition we've faced there,” Parsley said. “Jesse (Quatse at 170), Luke (Ewing at 160) and Ian (Ewing at 145) placed second.
“You don't need any motivation for this match. The winner will probably have a good shot at making the playoffs. That's what happened last year.”
Greensburg Salem returns 11 of 14 starters. The other top starters include Dejauhn Hertzog, whose win decided the match in 2016, Joe Williams, John Meyers, Mason Jobe and Will Gongaware.
Jefferson-Morgan senior Gavin Teasdale hasn't been involved in many close matches during his high school career.
The closest he came to losing was during his freshman season in the quarterfinals of the PIAA Class AA quarterfinals when he was nearly pinned but rallied for an overtime win.
Saturday in the finals at the Eastern Area Invitational at Gateway, Franklin Regional junior Colton Camacho almost handed Teasdale (125-0) his first loss. Teasdale managed a 4-3 victory.
Teasdale is attempting to become a four-time undefeated PIAA champion.
Kiski rules Easterns
No. 1 Kiski Area easily captured the Eastern Area Invitational at Gateway on Saturday, outscoring DuBois, 224.5 to 139. Franklin Regional was third with 130.5 points, and Connellsville was fourth with 130.
The Cavaliers had four champions and fifth-place West Allegheny had three.
Claiming titles for Kiski Area were Darren Miller (120), Noah Levett (138), Cam Connor (145) and Logan Pollick (182).
West Allegheny's winners were Jordan Watters (113), Ty McGeary (152) and Rocky McGeary (220).
Norwin sophomore Kurtis Phipps won the 106-pound title.
This and that
Belle Vernon took top honors at the North Coast Classic on Saturday. Brock Godzin, Scott Joll, Zach Hartman and Logan Petrosky all won titles. Logan Seliga placed third. … Laurel Highlands senior Ian Edenfield placed fifth at 220 pounds at the Ironman tournament over the weekend. Edenfield was a PIAA second-place finisher and WPIAL champion. … This weekend's top tournaments include the Beast of the East in Delaware and the King of the Mountain in Lock Haven. … Ligonier Valley's Robby Patrick went 5-0 at the Hampton Duals and became the school's all-time wins leader (115-14), passing his brother Josh (113-20). … The Burrell and Hempfield wrestling match Tuesday will take place at Jeannette.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.