High School Wrestling: WPIAL, City League standouts eye individual titles

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The crowning of Canon-McMillan and Bethlehem Catholic as PIAA team tournament champions Saturday marked the end of the dual-meet season. Wrestlers from the WPIAL and City League now can look forward to the individual postseason tournaments, which begin with the Class AA section qualifiers and the City League tournament Saturday.

Lineup sheets for Class AA teams must be submitted to the WPIAL no later than today. The three tournaments will be held at Chartiers-Houston (Section 1), Charleroi (Section 2) and Avonworth (Section 3).

Some wrestlers have moved down a weight class for the section tournaments, others have moved up and several who had a chance to move down decided to stay at the weight at which they finished the season.

A good example is Jefferson-Morgan's Dustin Conti (28-0), who moved down from 182 to 170 to defend the WPIAL title he won last year. He could have stayed at 182 and challenged Burrell's Dakota DesLauriers (24-0), the defending champion. Now both have a chance to defend their title.

South Fayette's duo of Grant Fetchet (27-6 at 152) and J.J. Walker (22-5 at 160) moved down to 145 and 152, respectively, for one match each at the PIAA team tournament, but both decided not to move down for the section tournament.

Unbeatens take the mat

Other section tournament notes:

• Conti and DesLauriers are two of the four remaining unbeaten wrestlers in Class AA. The other two are Kittanning junior Jason Nolf (32-0 at 132) and Charleroi senior Nick Gavazzi (24-0 at 138). Nolf, who has a 119-1 career record, went unbeaten as a freshman en route to WPIAL and PIAA titles. He won a second WPIAL title last season, but lost in the PIAA semifinals and finished third.

• South Side Beaver's Nathan Reckner (23-2 at 120) and Chartiers-Houston's Tanner Sutton (33-5 at 145) are the only three-time section champs in Class AA. Reckner won his previous titles at 103, 112 and 120. Sutton won at 125, 130 and 145. Both are competing this season in Section 1.

• Nolf and DesLauriers are two of six two-time section champs. Chartiers-Houston has two in Rich McGinnis (27-11 at 120) and Garrett Vulcano (35-2 at 195). The others are South Side Beaver's Shane Gentry (29-1 at 132) and Jefferson-Morgan's John Demaske (16-2 at 126).

City League favorites

Allderdice senior Ean DiSilvio has a chance to become the seventh wrestler in City League history to win four titles at the individual tournament Saturday at Carrick. Matches begin at 10 a.m., and DiSilvio is entered in the 138-pound weight class after winning two titles at 135 and one at 132.

Carrick's duo of Tom Ford (1993) and Mike Shaw (2000), Allderdice's Harry Decarme (2007), and Brashear's trio of Damian Link (2010), Jonathan Hanna (2010) and Godwin Nyama (2012) are the other six wrestlers who won four City League titles.

DiSilvio is one of three returning champions from Allderdice. Dorion Devaugh-Long returns to defend his title at 113. Dillon Mulvihill is the defending champ at 145, but is questionable due to a concussion.

Perry's Daequan Butler is a two-time City champ. Butler won at 103 in 2011 at Peabody, then at 106 for Westinghouse last season.

The other three returning champs are Obama Academy's D'Andre Caviness, Westinghouse's Rodjecko Christian and Carrick's Jesse Reid. Caviness is the defending champ at 170. Reid is the defending champ at 220. Christian won at 182 and has since moved to 220.

Looking ahead

The WPIAL section tournaments in Class AAA will be held Feb. 23 at Gateway (Section 1), Baldwin (Section 2), Fox Chapel (Section 3) and Moon (Section 4).

The top five finishers in each weight class from each section advance to the WPIAL championships. The WPIAL Class AA tournament will be Feb. 22-23 at Chartiers Valley. The Class AAA WPIAL/Southwest Regional will be Feb. 28-March 2 at Norwin.

The Class AA Southwest Region tournament will be March 1-2 at Cambria County War Memorial. The PIAA tournament, both AAA and AA, will be March 7-9 at Giant Center in Hershey.

Dapper Dan Classic

The Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic will be March 17 at Pitt's Fitzgerald Field House. The United States all-star team will face Pennsylvania's all-star team in the feature match at 6 p.m. A team of WPIAL all-stars will face the Virginia all-stars in the preliminary match at 4 p.m.

The Classic is produced and sponsored by the Post-Gazette Dapper Dan Charities and local volunteers. Proceeds from the event support a youth wrestling program for inner-city children through the Dapper Dan Youth Sports Leagues at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania. The reserved seat ticket price is $15 and general admission is $10.

Tickets can be purchased at Wright Automotive Group on Route 19, Monroeville Chrysler Jeep, Canon-McMillan High School or by calling Dapper Dan Charities at 412-263-3850. For more information about the Wrestling Classic or to order tickets, visit www.wrestlingclassic.com.

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