In 2021, wrestling looks different. The Westmoreland County Wrestling Tournament, which got underway Friday, Feb. 5, at 4 p.m. at Kiski Area High School, in Leechburg, Pennsylvania, was no exception: The event is not being sponsored by the Westmoreland County Coaches Association, and not every team is competing.
The WCCA initially decided earlier in the fall not to hold the county tournament because of safety concerns for staff, wrestlers, and coaches during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, that decision was short-lived, as many of the county wrestling coaches still wanted to have a tournament, so Kiski Area athletic director John Peterman agreed to host the event during this most unusual of seasons, according to the Tribune-Review.
The tournament will be over two days. The coaches met Thursday, Feb. 4 to determine the seeding. The top four seeds in each weight class — 13 weight classes this season — automatically advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals.
All other wrestlers competed Friday, with the top four advancing through to to Saturday. Full brackets and results can be found on FloWrestling via its Arena tab.
The teams not participating are Kiski School, Derry and Norwin. According to Peterman, Derry and Norwin have too many points. The PIAA permits teams to have a maximum of 22 competitions during the season.
Day One of the tournament is officially in the books. Head to Flo to see how Friday’s action unfolded.
Looking ahead, here are some of the top competitors and potential scenarios to be on the lookout for during Day Two of competition of Saturday:
- There are nine wrestlers returning who won titles in 2020, and five are two-time county champions: Franklin Regional senior Carter Dibert, Burrell senior Ian Oswalt, Kiski Area senior Brayden Roscosky and Hempfield seniors Ty Linsenbigler and Isaiah Vance.
- The other reigning champions to take the mat are Hempfield junior Briar Priest, Latrobe sophomore Nate Roth, Norwin senior John Altieri and Kiski Area senior Sammy Starr.
- At 113 pounds, Latrobe sophomore Vinny Kilkeary, the returning PIAA Class AAA champion at 106 pounds, and reigning Powerade 54 113-pound champ, could face undefeated Penn-Trafford junior Troy Hohma.
- The 126-pound bracket could deliver a battle of state champions and WPIAL standouts between Franklin Regional senior Carter Dibert and Hempfield senior Ethan Berginc.
- At 132, Priest and Roth could meet for the second time in a week for a rematch. Priest edged Roth, 6-5, in a dual meet Jan. 26
- Another key battle could be at 215, where Mt. Pleasant junior Dayton Pitzer, a PIAA Class AA champion in 2019, and Belle Vernon junior Cole Weightman, WPIAL Class AAA winner in 2020, could face one another. Pitzer won a decision against Weightman at the Mid-Winter Mayhem last month. The Mt. Pleasant product was also a Powerade 54 runner-up last weekend, falling 11-4 to the nation’s No. 1, Nick Feldman of Malvern Prep. Feldman, only a junior, is a future Ohio State Buckeye.
Saturday, Feb. 6, action will resume 9 a.m. with the quarterfinals. The semifinals will directly follow at 10 a.m. The finals will take place after the Parade of Champions at 5 p.m. The Westmoreland Sports Network will continue to live stream every bout of the tournament Four mats will be used and each mat will have its own video stream.