WPIAL Team Wrestling Championships: Burrell makes it eight in a row

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Jason Roberts and Burrell experienced deja vu Saturday in the WPIAL Class AA title match at Chartiers Valley High School.

The Buccaneers faced South Fayette for the second year in a row and Roberts found himself in another bout to clinch another title for Burrell.

"I was a little nervous, but I was also very excited," Roberts said after his 7-1 victory in the 120-pound bout against South Fayette's Kevin Chaussard clinched Burrell's 34-28 victory. "I knew I was going to win. I wasn't going to be the one who let our streak come to an end."

Roberts and his teammates celebrated an eighth consecutive title and 10th overall, both WPIAL records. No other team has won more than four consecutive titles in the 36-year history of the tournament. Burrell was tied with Canon-McMillan for the most titles with nine.

"The kids were determined to keep the streak alive," coach Josh Shields said. "We're a family. These kids are like brothers. They didn't want to be the team that let the streak end."

The match started at 126 pounds and Burrell took advantage of its strength in the middleweights by winning four of the first five bouts to take a commanding 17-3 lead.

Anthony Marra started Burrell's flurry with an 18-3 technical fall of Scott Rzepecki at 126. Michael Carr gave South Fayette its first points with a 6-4 win against J.R. Andrejcik at 132.

Then came one of the most significant bouts of the match. Burrell's Damon Greenwald scored a takedown at the edge of the mat 15 seconds into overtime to record a 4-2 win against Shane Ging at 138.

"They won the close bouts," South Fayette coach Rick Chaussard said. "It's two years in a row that we lost the close bouts. It's that simple. If we win any of those bouts, we win the match."

Corey Falleroni and Steve Edwards capped Burrell's early surge with wins at 145 and 152.

South Fayette rebounded with wins in four of the next five to take a 25-20 lead, and all four wins garnered bonus points. Grant Fetchet (160), Jack Previte (182) and Zach Walker (220) recorded pins, while Jared Walker (170) won by major decision.

Burrell regained the lead, 26-25, with a pin by Allan Beattie at heavyweight. But its lead didn't last long, as South Fayette's Andrew John posted a 6-5 win at 106 to give the Lions a 28-26 lead with two bouts to go.

Burrell freshman Dillan Jeffery followed with a 17-2 technical fall of Jasper Wolfe at 113. The victory avenged a loss to Wolfe one week ago and set the stage for Roberts.

Burrell, South Fayette and Jefferson-Morgan qualified for the PIAA team tournament, which begins Monday. Jefferson-Morgan earned its berth with a 45-22 victory against Burgettstown in the WPIAL consolation match for third place.

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