It was painful for West Allegheny wrestling coach Mike Johnson to fill out his lineup sheet for the Class AAA Section 4 tournament, which will take place Saturday at Moon Area High School.
"We have three kids sidelined by injuries who would have wrestled in the section tournament," Johnson said. "It's a shame because all three would have done well."
Shea Beaumont (15-7 at 285), Tim Bish (21-11 at 152) and Kyle Scott (5-3 at 132).
"Shea has been battling an ankle injury," Johnson said. "He's a very good baseball player, so he wanted to heal up for baseball season. Kyle has been in and out of the lineup all year with an injury.
"Tim suffered a broken elbow in our last match of the season. It happened early in the third period, but he kept on wrestling and won the bout. The next day, the doctors informed us he had a fracture of the elbow. How much worse can it get?"
Despite the obvious disappointment, Johnson is optimistic about the Indians chances at the Section 4 tournament.
"I really haven't seen many of the teams in our other sub-section, so I don't know what to expect," Johnson said. "We're hoping to qualify at least a half dozen kids for the WPIAL tournament."
Montour will also be shorthanded at the section tournament. The Spartans will be without two starters.
"Austin Ganley (11-7 at 285) has a torn labrum," Montour coach Jason Bombardier said. "He could have wrestled with the injury, but he's got a scholarship to [Washington & Jefferson College] and the coach wanted him to have shoulder surgery right away."
Bombardier will also be without David Lyons (16-8 at 170).
"David decided not to go to sections," Bombardier said. "David is a very good baseball player and he wanted to get ready for baseball season."
Hopewell coach Jason Martsolf had several changes to his lineup, due to wrestle-offs.
"We had a few kids move down a weight class," Martsolf said. "Three of the kids who lost in wrestle-offs had the option of moving up to the next weight class, but all three decided against it."
Hopewell and Ambridge spent the past two seasons in Section 3. The two moved when the WPIAL re-aligned its sections.
"The section we're in is a little weaker than the one we were in last year," Martsolf said. "Canon-McMillan is obviously a powerhouse, but Section 3 has a stronger group of teams."
Hopewell's top entries are Damon Sims Jr. (19-1 at 285), Michael Tempalski (19-3 at 195), Damon Drositis (26-1 at 170) and Filippo Crivelli (28-3 at 132).
West Allegheny's top entries are Nate Hall (30-1 at 145), Josh Bahr (27-4 at 160), Kasey Teyssier (23-8 at 285) and Ryan Cunningham (20-7 at 113).
Montour's top entries are Cole Macek (26-2 at 220), Sal Desimone (19-5 at 106) and Tyler Kim (19-9 at 132).
Canon-McMillan is obviously the team to beat in the section. The Big Macs lineup features six returning section champions, including a pair of three-time champs, Connor Schram (34-3 at 126) and Cody Wiercioch (34-1 at 170). Both are two-time WPIAL champions and three-time PIAA finalists.
Solomon Chishko is a two-time section and WPIAL champ for the Big Macs, but the junior hasn't wrestled a match yet. Chishko returns to the lineup at 145 pounds after spending the season on the injured list with an elbow injury.
Dalton Macri (35-5 at 120), Alex Campbell (29-6 at 220) and William Pihiou (11-11 at 152) are also returning section champs for Canon-McMillan. Macri and Campbell won their titles last season. Pihiou won his title in 2010, but hasn't been back to the finals since.
First Published February 21, 2013 5:00 AM