East Xtra: Hempfield junior making impression

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Hempfield Area's Ricky Cavallo hasn't had a chance to show WPIAL wrestling fans what he can do.

Cavallo, a junior, has had injuries prematurely end his first two seasons of varsity competition.

"Ricky was injured in the semifinals of the WPIAL [Class AAA] tournament his freshman year and could not continue," Hempfield coach Vince DeAugustine said. "Last year, he suffered a season-ending injury during practice two weeks before the section tournament."

Cavallo completed his freshman year with a 33-4 record. He had a 24-6 record last season.

"I feel bad for Ricky," DeAugustine said. "He could have gone far both years."

DeAugustine had a scare during the past weekend when Cavallo sustained what turned out to be a minor injury at the King of the Mountain Tournament, held at Central Mountain High School in Mill Hall, Clinton County, near Lock Haven.

"Ricky tweaked an ankle in the [120-pound] consolation semifinals," DeAugustine said. "He was up 2-0 at the time and could have defaulted, but he wanted to finish the bout. He wrestled, almost on one foot, for the rest of the bout and won. That guaranteed him a top-four finish."

At that point, Cavallo's ankle swelled up forcing him to take a medical default in the consolation for third and fourth place.

"Fortunately, the injury doesn't look serious," DeAugustine said.

Hempfield placed ninth in the team standings in the 34-team field. Cavallo was one of five Spartans who placed among the top six in their weight classes.

Sam Krivus claimed the 132-pound title for the Spartans with a narrow 1-0 victory against Penn-Trafford's freshman phenom, Cameron Coy, in the finals.

"Sam's escape was the only point scored in the bout," DeAugustine said.

Also placing for the Spartans were Vincent Distefanis (sixth at 106), Joey Alessandro (third at 138), and Freddie Mantsch (fifth at 220).

Other 'King' champions

Hempfield was joined at the King of the Mountain Tournament by Greater Latrobe, Burrell, Kittanning and Penn-Trafford.

Latrobe and Burrell each had two champions.

Luke Pletcher and Zack Zavatsky won titles for the Wildcats, who finished fourth in the team standings. Pletcher claimed the 120-pound title with a 4-3 overtime win against Parkland's Ethan Lizak. Zavatsky dominated the 182-pound final with a 15-5 win against Erie McDowell's Tyree Spearman.

Pletcher and Zavatsky were among five Latrobe place-winners. The others were Ethan McCoy (fourth at 113), Dom Scalise (third at 160), and Tyler Mears (fifth at 285).

Steve Edwards and Allan Beattie won titles for Burrell, which finished sixth in the team standings. Edwards claimed the 152-pound crown with a 9-4 win against Spring Grove's Mason Bentzel. Beattie won the heavyweight title with a 4-2 win against Mifflinburg's Nazar Mironenko.

Burrell had a total of four place-winners. The other two were J.R. Andrejcik (seventh at 132) and Corey Falleroni (third at 145).

Coy was one of three Penn-Trafford place-winners. The others were Devin Austin (sixth at 160) and Jak McGill (eight at 182).

Kittanning had two place-winners, Jason Nolf (champion at 145) and Jacob Robb (fourth at 195).

Mat notes

* Franklin Regional competed in Walsh Jesuit's Ironman Tournament over the weekend and had three entries place among the top eight in their weight classes.

Freshman Spencer Lee won the 113-pound title by pinning Anthony Bosco of Marmion Academy. Michael Kemerer (second at 138) and Josh Shields (sixth at 152) also placed for the Panthers.

* Greensburg Salem finished fourth at the 24-team North Coast Classic, which took place last weekend at Ohio's Independance High School.

Placing for the Golden Lions were Chris Eddins (fourth at 120), Josh Armstrong (third at 126), Austin Shaw (second at 132), Zach Mattucci (first at 138), Zach Pasko (third at 182), Korbin Bundy (fifth at 195), and Derek Berberick (fifth at 220).

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