Chartiers Valley wrestling coach Bill Evans has a unique outlook on two losses suffered by Colts junior Noah Wilps over the weekend at the PIAA tournament in Hershey.
"It's the best thing that could have happened to Noah," Evans said. "He may not agree now, but he will when he gets to college."
Wilps placed sixth in the Class AAA 170-pound weight class, but finished up with three consecutive losses.
"I'm so happy for Noah," Evans said. "When you look at where he came from start to finish, it's all about hard work. It was just hard work all year long. There's no secret formula."
Wilps opened the tournament with a pair of one-point victories, including one that went to the ultimate tiebreaker, which earned him a spot in the semifinals.
"If you could take 10 seconds back in your life, that would be it," said Evans, referring to Wilps' loss to Penncrest's Joe Gartland in the semifinals.
Wilps held a 5-4 lead with the bout coming to a close when disaster struck. Gartland caught Wilps in a body-lock and took him to his back with 10 seconds left. The five-point move gave Garland an 8-4 victory.
"His weakness got exposed in the semifinals and again in the consolation semifinals," said Evans, referring to Wilps' 7-1 loss to Tom Sleigh of DuBois. "In both losses, he got caught with a body-lock."
Evans feels the two losses will benefit Wilps in the future.
"If Noah won those two bouts, he never would have known that a body-lock was his weakness," Evans said. "Now we can work on it and make him a better wrestler for college."
Wilps finished the season with a 32-11 record.
"I could have done better," Wilps said. "The losses showed me that I've got a lot more work to do to get to where I want to be. It was nice to stand on the winners platform for the first time, but I could have done better.
Tough loss eliminates Montour junior
Montour junior Cole Macek made his second trip to Hershey for the PIAA Class AAA tournament and had a repeat of his first appearance.
Macek posted a 1-2 record for the second year in a row.
"This was the second straight year Cole finished one win short of medaling," Montour coach Jason Bombardier said. "It was so frustrating, because his second loss should have gone to the ultimate tiebreaker period."
Macek's second loss was a controversial 3-2 decision to Bald Eagle Area's Nathan Sharkey that was decided in the tiebreaker periods.
"A penalty point in the second tiebreaker period was the difference," Bombardier said. "Cole was cautioned for a false start that should have been waved off because of a whistle on the next mat. The ref also cautioned him for not having his foot on the line for a restart."
The two questionable calls gave Sharkey the winning penalty point.
"The match should have gone to the ultimate tiebreaker and Cole had the choice," Bombardier said. "It's disappointing to see him lose on two questionable cautions."
Macek finished the season with a 33-6 record, and enters his senior year with a 102-23 mark.