Young Kiski Area wrestling team takes 3rd at WCCA tournament

Saturday, January 8, 2022 | 9:28 PM

Considering how young the Kiski Area wrestling team is, coach Chris Heater walked away from the 69th annual Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association tournament pleased with his team’s performance.

Kiski Area finished third with 159.5 points, trailing powerful Latrobe (252) and Hempfield (188). Latrobe’s win, its first since 2012, gives the Wildcats 13 team titles to equal the Cavaliers for the top spot.

Greensburg Salem has 12 team titles.

Kiski Area had one champion: senior Enzo Morlacci, who defeated Penn-Trafford’s Wes Stull, 10-6, in the finals.

Ryan Klingensmith was attempting to win his second title, but Hempfield sophomore Eli Carr denied him with a second-period pin at 132 pounds.

“I thought we did well,” Heater said. “We still have some new guys in the lineup, younger guys that are adjusting to the varsity level and toughness of the schedule.

“As a group, we wrestled pretty well. I was hoping to get a little bit more from some of them. Stone (Joseph) would have been in the finals until he got hurt. He was winning 4-0.”

Joseph had to settle for sixth place because of the injury

The Cavaliers had two third-place finishers — Ethan Connor (145) and Mark Gray (152) — along with four fifth-place finishers — Antonio Giordano (126), Carter Dilts (215), Clayton Cramer (106) and Logan Bechtold (138).

“There was good balance with the teams here,” Heater said. “I felt Latrobe would be pretty good. I thought we’d see more out of them at Powerade, but they showed that here, and they wrestled well. I was surprised that he didn’t mention us as one of the top teams here, and I’m glad we got third.”

Burrell ended up in eighth place with 90 team points.

The Bucs had three third-place finishers — Calio Zanella (113), Cole Clark (189) and Cooper Hornack (120) – and two fifth-place finishers in Nico Ferra (132) and Nico Zanella (172). Isaac Lacinski (145) placed sixth.

Valley finished 15th overall with 27 points. Chuck Perkins (145) placed fourth for the Vikings.

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


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