High School Wrestling
WPIAL Wrestling Primer: What to Watch for at Regionals and WPIALs this Weekend
It’ll be a busy Saturday in the Keystone State as the postseason wrestling tournaments forge on. On the Class-2A side of things, the Southeast Regionals will take place at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. On the Class-3A side, the WPIAL Championships will unfold at Canon-McMillan High School, both on Saturday, Feb. 27.
Brackets and Participant Field
Find the PIAA 2A Southwest Regional Tournament bracket here. (via PA-Wrestling.com).
Find the complete list of all the 2021 PIAA Regional Qualifiers for both 2A and 3A here (via PA-Wrestling.com).
Find the PIAA 3A WPIAL Championships bracket here. (via FloWrestling Arena).
Six Things to Watch for This Weekend
- Burrell (2A) and Waynesburg (3A) have been the two most dominant teams in their respective divisions this season. While both squads will likely perform well again this weekend, just as they have all year, don’t forget about Burgettstown and Mt. Pleasant. The ladder two are both teams to keep an eye on. Burgettstown advanced five wrestlers to this weekend’s Southwest Regional. The Mt. Pleasant Vikings can do some damage as well with freshman Jamison Poklembo (132) and junior Dayton Pitzer (215), both of whom were atop the podium at the WPIAL Tournament last week.
- Expect Latrobe’s Vinny Kilkeary to look dominant and ultimately take home the WPIAL crown. Since the 2020 postseason, Kilkeary has been wrestling at an exceptionally high level. After placing second in both the section and the region last season, Kilkeary peaked at the right time, winning his first PIAA title as a freshman. The 113-pound class is Kilkeary’s to lose. Troy Hohman (Penn-Trafford) and Joey Simon (Waynesburg) will look to challenge the reigning state champ. Kilkeary and Hohman are familiar foes. They also train together at Young Guns Wrestling Club.
- The 145-pound weight class will feature one of the best budding rivalries of the season between No. 2 John Alteri (Norwin) and No. 3 Tyler Linsenbigler (Hempfield). These two wrestled an electric 8-6 match at the subsection tournament earlier this month. The duo met again in the section finals two days later. That second match was a more lopsided, a 10-1 contest. The Hempfield Spartan, Linsenbigler, was the victor on both occasions. But, the two are on a collision course for sure. The winner of Alteri and Linsenbigler will likely battle future Iowa Hawkeye, Wyatt Henson, of Waynesburg in the finals. The future Hawk is the expected WPIAL 3A champ.
- The 152-pound weight class likely has two of the best pound-for-pound wresters in the WPIAL in Seneca Valley’s Alejandro Herrera-Rondon and Waynesburg’s Rocco Welsh. Herrera-Rondon, a future Oklahoma Sooner, has the head-to-head advantage over Welsh in previous matchups. I expect Herrera-Rondon to win it all, but it could be a good match if these two meet.
- Look for Hempfield heavyweight Isiah Vance to rebound. The future Army-West Point product fell to Greensburg Salem’s Will McChesney in the section finals last week. Vance will look to avenge his loss. I look for Vance, the Powerade 54 champ, to make some noise in Hershey.
- Regardless of your fandom, pay attention to the 120, 126, 138, 152, and 160 weight classes. These are what I personally presume to be the deepest, strongest, or most compelling classes. If you want good wrestling, tune in to these brackets in particular.
As has been the case all year, look fore some quality wrestlers to not make the next rounds. Due to the COVID-19 rules and regulations, fewer wrestlers advance to the next rounds. As has been the case all year, strong wrestlers that would usually advance will be left at home.
Watch the action through: http://www.westmorelandsports.com/sports/Wrestling.