West Xtra: Winning a state title 'awesome' for Avella's Temple


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HERSHEY -- Avella Area's Jake Temple had a storybook finish to his high school career.

He won WPIAL, Southwest Region and PIAA Class AA titles en route to a perfect 43-0 record.

"It's an awesome experience to wrestle in the PIAA finals and win a state title," Temple said. "I wish I could do it everyday. I always dreamed of this moment."

Temple capped his season with a 3-1 victory against West Branch's Reynold Maines, which was a rematch of the Southwest Region final.

"I knew I had to be more aggressive in this match," Temple said. "When I got the takedown in the first period, I knew I would beat him again."

The last Avella wrestler to appear in the PIAA finals was Ryan Sella, who won the 98-pound title in 1988.

"We've only had three state champions at Avella," Temple said. "It's been 26 years since the last champ. My goal was to put Avella back on the map."

Avella is a small community in which everybody knows each other.

"The social networking has been booming," Temple said. "Everybody was wishing me good luck. It's breathtaking to see how many people were following me. I want to thank everybody who supported me."

South Fayette trio places

The South Fayette wrestling team matched last year's total of three PIAA place-winners, but all three had hoped to place higher.

Jared Walker had the best showing of the three, as he placed second at 160 pounds. Mike Carr was fifth at 132 and Grant Fetchet was fourth at 152.

"Jared made a few mistakes that cost him the title," South Fayette coach Rick Chaussard said. "But finishing second in the state is something to be proud of. Not many kids can say they wrestled in the PIAA finals."

Walker advanced to the 160-pound final with three victories, including a 4-2 win against Milton's Ryan Preisch in a semifinal match that was decided in the ultimate tiebreaker.

"It was a great feeling to be in the finals," Walker said. "Walking out for the parade of champions is something I will never forget. I just wanted a different result in the match."

Walker faced Coudersport's Kyle Bova in the title match and experience was the difference. Bova placed second at 152 last year, while Walker was seventh at 160. Bova came away with a 9-3 victory in the match.

"I still have one year to reach my goal of winning a state title," Walker said. "I will be working especially hard during the offseason."

Fetchet placed fourth after losing twice to Mifflinburg's Cole Walter.

"Grant had a good tournament," Chaussard said. "Both of his losses were to a stud who should have been in the finals."

Carr placed fifth after losses to the eventual runner-up and third-place finisher.

"Mike came in with the goal of getting to the finals and winning a state title," Chaussard said.

"He was upset when he lost in the quarterfinals, but still placed fifth. He showed a lot of mental toughness out there."

Montour's Macek gets medal

Montour's Cole Macek ended his high school career with a PIAA medal. He placed sixth in the 195-pound weight class.

"I could have wrestled better, but I'm taking home some hardware for the first time in three years," said Macek, who posted a 1-2 record in his two previous appearances in Hershey. "It feels good."

Macek was disappointed that his last two losses were in overtime.

"I had hoped to finish my career on a winning note," Macek said. "But I'm still proud of what I was able to accomplish in my high school career."

Colts' Wilps finishes fourth

Chartiers Valley's Noah Wilps finished fourth in the Class AAA 170-pound weight classs.

"I'm glad it's over," said Wilps, who finished sixth at the same weight class last year. "I thought I would do better."

Wilps dropped a 2-0 decision to Big Springs' Cody Seibert in the consolation for third place.

"It kind of [stinks] to lose the last match of your high school career, but I'm very pleased with what Noah did during his career," Chartiers Valley coach Bill Evans said.


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