Kurt Angle’s reign as Mt. Lebanon’s winningest wrestler will most likely come to an end Saturday at the Class AAA Section 2 tournament at Baldwin High School.
Kellan Stout, a 182-pound junior, needs one more win to become the all-time leader in career victories.
Angle, a 1987 graduate and eventual Olympic champion before becoming a professional wrestler, posted a 91-8 record during his career at Mt. Lebanon. Stout enters the tournament with a 91-16 mark.
“We sent out a tweet when Kellan tied Kurt’s record,” Mt. Lebanon coach Bill Lewis said. “Kurt re-tweeted it to his 500,000 followers. We would love to have Kurt attend the section tournament or the WPIAL tournament, but we realize he has a very busy schedule.”
Stout (27-2) is one of six returning champions in Section 2. He claimed the 170-pound section title last year en route to a PIAA berth. He is a strong favorite to claim another section title.
“Kellan is close to becoming Mt. Lebanon’s first wrestler to join the WPIAL Century Club,” Lewis said. “He only needs nine wins to reach 100, and he still has next season. We would love to see Kellan reach that milestone this season, but for that to happen he’s got to earn another trip to Hershey.”
At least two of the six returning Section 2 champs will have to settle for a silver medal this season.
Ringgold’s Devin Fallenstein (23-1 at 170) and Connellville’s Dale Provance (30-7 at 170) are entered in the same weight class. Fallenstein is a two-time section champ who won at 160 last year, while Provance captured his title at 152.
The same scenario is taking place for Bethel Park’s Paul Dunn (26-7 at 152) and Belle Vernon Area’s Derek Verkleeren (26-6 at 152). Dunn won at 138 last season, while Verkleeren claimed a title at 145.
The only other returning champion is Connellsville’s Tyler Kenney (26-7 at 113), who won at 106 last season.
Also back in Section 2 are nine of last year’s silver medalists, including three-time runner-up Tyler Buckiso of Peters Township. Buckiso (22-3 at 132) has placed second at 103, 120, and 126, with the first two coming in Section 4. Buckiso will take a 124-23 career record into the section tournament.
“We had five kids get to the finals last year, and we went 0-for-5,” Peters Township coach Jason Carpetta said. “We’re hoping for a little better success in this year’s tournament.”
Philip Mary (23-4 at 126) and Italo Merante (24-4 at 138) were also silver medalists for Peters Township last season. Mary was at 113 and Merante was at 132.
“Tyler [Buckiso] broke the school record for career victories in our last dual meet,” Carpetta said. “He broke the record set by [2012 graduate] Derrick Evanovich [123-30].”
Belle Vernon has three entries who won silver medals last year: Brendan Hasson (29-6 at 120), Milton Kaboly (25-6 at 170) and Patrick Mayernick (16-5 at 220).
The other returning runners-up are Ringgold’s Doug Gudenburr (20-3 at 113), Connellsville’s Matt Butler (23-8 at 195) and West Mifflin’s Shawn Devey (15-4 at 285).
Section 4 champs back
The Class AAA Section 4 tournament has only four returning champions, and three are from Canon-McMillan.
Solomon Chishko (16-3 at 145) is a three-time champ who has won previous titles at 130, 138 and 145 pounds. He missed a month of this season with an injury.
“Solomon missed some time, but he’s back to 100 percent,” Canon-McMillan coach Jason Cardillo said. “He’s looking great and wrestling with confidence.”
Big Macs teammates Dalton Macri (30-2 at 126) and Brendan Price (31-5 at 113) are also returning section champs. Macri is a two-time champ who previously won at 113 and 120. Price won at 106.
“Dalton is in the strongest weight class in the WPIAL,” said Cardillo, referring to the fact that Macri is one of four returning PIAA place-winners entered at 126. “I don’t know if there’s ever been four returning PIAA place-winners in the same weight class. Dalton will face one of them this weekend.”
Waynesburg Central’s A.C. Headlee (29-3), a two-time Section 4 champ, is also entered at 126. Headlee placed sixth in the PIAA at 113 last year. The other two returning PIAA placewinners competing at 126 are Hempfield’s Sam Krivus (32-2) and North Allegheny’s Dom Forys (36-3).
Chishko is one of three wrestlers competing in Section 4 who are ranked No. 1 in the WPIAL in Class AAA by the Post-Gazette. The other two are Chartiers Valley’s Noah Wilps (25-1 at 170) and Montour’s Cole Macek (26-0 at 195).
Wilps placed second in the Section 4 and WPIAL tournaments last season en route to a sixth-place finish at Hershey. His losses in the section and WPIAL were to Canon-McMillan’s Cody Wiercioch, a three-time PIAA champion.
“Noah was in Cody’s shadow last year,” Chartiers Valley coach Bill Evans said. “This year, Noah has a chance to step into the spotlight and win section and WPIAL titles that eluded him last year.”
Macek has moved down to 195 after placing second in the section and third in the WPIAL last year at 220.
First Published February 19, 2014 12:02 PM