East Xtra: Greensburg Salem wrestling short-handed for key tournament
Greensburg Salem's Zach Voytek, on top of Canon-McMillan's Dario Dobbin during last season's WPIAL team tournament, will compete at the Powerade tournament.
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Greensburg Salem senior Tanner Hahn will not be participating at the Powerade Christmas Tournament, which begins Friday at Canon-McMillan High School.
In fact, Hahn, a two-year starter who is recovering from offseason knee surgery, may not return to the Golden Lions squad.
"Tanner's main objective is to attend the Air Force Academy next year," Greensburg Salem coach Randy Parsley. "He's very close to completing all the requirements for his appointment. If that happens, he may decide not to come back.
"I'm hoping Tanner gets [his appointment], but I'm also hoping that he comes back. Fortunately, his rehabilitation is way ahead of schedule. I'll just have to wait and see."
Hahn qualified for the PIAA Class AAA tournament last season by placing third in the WPIAL at 220 pounds. He finished the season with a 45-8 record and has a two-year mark of 78-20.
"I would like to see Tanner at Hershey again," Parsley said.
Hahn placed fifth at 220 pounds at the Powerade tournament last season.
Despite Hahn's absence, Parsley is looking forward to Greensburg Salem's appearance at the Powerade tournament.
"Powerade is one of the top tournaments in the country," Parsley said. "Every year is a challenge, and this year should be no different. It's going to be interesting to see who survives in each weight class."
Hahn was one of two Greensburg Salem wrestlers who placed at last year's Powerade tournament. The other was Austin Caldwell, a sixth-place finisher at 106 who has since graduated.
Zach Voytek fell one win short of placing at 152 pounds after a 1-0 loss to an opponent from Virginia. Voytek is competing at 160 pounds this season.
"Zach is off to a 14-0 start," Parsley said. "This weekend will be his first big challenge of the season."
Franklin Regional, an East Xtra area team competing at the Powerade tournament, has four returning place-winners in its lineup. Michael Kemerer won the 113-pound title last year and is now competing at 126. Tyler Smith has moved to 132 after placing third at 120 last season. Josh Maruca and Josh Shields placed fourth at 126 and 132, and are now competing at 138 and 145.
"Luke Fleck was also a place-winner last year," Franklin Regional coach Eric Mausser noted. "But he's out this year recovering from a football injury. He will be back in January."
Fleck was sixth at heavyweight last year.
Central Catholic's Vincenzo Joseph and Burrell's Dakota DesLauriers are returning Powerade champions. Joseph has moved to 120 after winning at 106 last season. DesLauriers is the defending champion at 182.
Hempfield Area has a pair of returning place-winners. Ricky Cavallo was the runner-up at 106, while Sam Krivus placed third at 113. Both have moved up one weight class.
Norwin's Heath Coles is also a returning place-winner. Coles has moved to 160 after placing fifth at 145 last year.
Southmoreland Holiday Classic
Gateway is one of 20 WPIAL teams entered in the 33-team Southmoreland Holiday Classic, which begins Friday.
"We've wrestled at the Southmoreland tournament every year but one since 2004," Gateway coach R.J. Santilli said. "We took off one year to wrestle at the Powerade tournament."
Gateway had only two place-winners at last year's Southmoreland tournament, and one has graduated. A.J. Wilkins is the Gators lone returning place-winner. He finished third at 113 and is now at 126.
"This tournament is well run and has a good mix of teams from the WPIAL and outside the WPIAL," Santilli said. "We get to see a lot of schools we don't normally see, a lot of fresh faces."
Jefferson-Morgan placed second at last year's Southmoreland Classic. The Rockets have two returning champions, John Demaske and Dustin Conti. Demaske won at 113 and has since moved to 132. Conti has moved up to 182 after winning at 170 last year.
The only other returning champion from a WPIAL school is Bentworth's Vince Vahaly, who won at 126 pounds last year and is back at the same weight class.
First Published December 27, 2012 12:00 am