The 59th annual Westmoreland County Coaches Association features a three-time champion, a two-time champion and 11 others who have won at least one title. The 18-team tournament begins Friday at Franklin Regional High School and concludes Saturday night.
Kiski Area's Matt McCutcheon is a three-time champ who returns at 195 pounds. Only nine wrestlers have won four WCCA titles. Burrell's Dakota DesLauriers is entered at 182 after winning at 171 and 182 the past two years.
Franklin Regional has four returning WCCA champions: Michael Kemerer at 113, Tyler Smith at 120, Josh Maruca at 126 and Josh Shields at 132. All four have moved up two weight classes.
Greensburg Salem has three returning champions: Zach Voytek, Anthony Cable and Tyler Reinhart. Voytek won at 152 and is now at 160. Cable moved to 195 after winning at 170 last year. Reinhart won at 103 in 2010, but hasn't made a return trip to the finals. He is now at 152.
McCutcheon is one of two Kiski Area returning champs. The other is Shane Kuhn, the defending champ at 285.
The other three returning champs are: Hempfield's Ricky Cavallo, Latrobe's Zack Zavatsky and Belle Vernon's Nate Russo. Cavallo won at 106 last year and is now at 113. Zavatsky is the defending champ at 160. Russo won at 103 in 2011, placed third at 113 last year and is now at 126.
Defending team champion Latrobe will be hard pressed to defend its title. Franklin Regional, Kiski Area and Greensburg Salem are considered the co-favorites.
A champion will fall
The 12th annual Allegheny County tournament, Friday and Saturday at Fox Chapel High School, features 39 teams and five returning champions. But at least one will fall short of winning another gold medal, as two returning champions are entered in the same weight class.
North Allegheny's Dom Forys is a two-time champion who claimed titles at 103 and 113 the past two years. Forys has moved up to the 120-pound weight class, which also features Central Catholic's Vincenzo Joseph, last year's 103-pound champion.
The other three returning champions are: Elizabeth Forward's Lukas Etzel, North Allegheny's Alex DeCiantis and Hampton's Noah Shulman. Etzel is the defending champion at 126. DeCiantis has moved to 195 after winning at 170 last year. Shulman is the defending champion at 285.
Hampton is the defending champion and co-favorite in the team race, along with North Allegheny.
Fighting for four
Chartiers-Houston senior Tanner Sutton has a chance to become the first four-time champion in the short history of the Tri-County tournament, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Ringgold High School.
The Tri-County tournament made its debut in 2009 with the goal of featuring high school wrestlers from the 19 schools located in Washington, Greene and Fayette counties. Sutton became the first three-time champion last year by winning the 145-pound title.
Canon-McMillan's duo of Connor Schram and Cody Wiercioch are two-time Tri-County champions. Both won in 2010 and 2011, but the Big Macs did not enter last year's tournament. The Big Macs, ranked No. 1 in the WPIAL in Class AAA, are favored in the team race.
Movin' on up
McGuffey coach Mark Caffrey has moved up to No. 11 on the WPIAL's all-time coaching wins list. The Highlanders have a 5-4 record, making Caffrey's career record 312-66-0. Caffrey can move up two more spots before the season ends. He needs four wins to pass Bob Siar (315-108-6) and six wins to pass Rob Waller (317-100-0).
Big weekend in Buzz Hill
Chartiers-Houston participated in the Buzz Hill Wrestling tournament in Florida over the weekend and finished fourth in the 33-team field. The Buccaneers had four place-winners.
Garrett Vulcano claimed the 195-pound title with a 3-2 win against Alex Turlinski of Northside Christian High School. Sutton and Derek Hall placed second at 145 and 160. Josh Kraushaar finished fifth at 220.
A yearly occurrence
Freedom's Boe Bonzo and South Side Beaver's Nathan Reckner became the 10th and 11th wrestlers in the 45th year of the Midwestern Athletic Conference tournament to win four titles. Both claimed their fourth title last Saturday night at South Side Beaver.
Reckner won the 120-pound title and was named Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament after pinning West Allegheny's Ryan Cunningham at 1:46 of the title match. Bonzo pinned Beaver's Curt Struwe in the 152-pound final.