East Xtra: Last go-round for wrestling coaches
Burrell's Cory Klems, wrestling South Fayette's Brad Haney during WPIAL Class AA team tournament, will pursue a section title.
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It's two and out for one local wrestling coach, and it may be 10 and out for another.
Burrell coach Bud Sines will be stepping down at the end of the season after just two seasons with the Bucs.
"It's two and out for me," said Sines, after leading Burrell to back-to-back WPIAL Class AA titles in his two years as head coach of the Buccaneers. "My wife got a new job in Atlanta and she moved in August. I didn't think it was fair to leave the team right before the season."
Sines will join his wife in Atlanta after the season.
"My wife does a lot of traveling with her job," Sines said. "She works for Siemans and manages a few facilities for them. Two are in Western Pennsylvania."
Meanwhile, Yough coach Jeremy Zufall plans on calling it quits after 10 seasons as the Cougars coach.
"I've been hired as the head baseball coach," Zufall said. "It will be to hard to do both back-to-back, so I've decided to make my 10th year as wrestling coach my last year."
Zufall said he has had many people try to talk him out of retiring.
"The parents, the kids, and our athletic director have tried to convince me to stay on as wrestling coach, but I think this is it," Zufall said. "I just want to enjoy the last month of the season. I love the end of the season. It's prime time. It's what we wait for."
Both coaches begin their final month of coaching at the Class AA section tournaments.
Burrell is entered in the Section 3 tournament at Avonworth High School. Yough will compete in the Section 2 tournament at Charleroi.
"My last official match at Burrell will be when Dakota DesLauriers wins his PIAA title," said Sines, who quickly corrected himself. "I will also be coaching at the Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic. The head coach from the two WPIAL championship teams get to coach the WPIAL and Pennsylvania all-star teams. I expect Dakota to be chosen for the classic."
Injuries shelve two champs
Eleven wrestlers won Class AA Section 3 titles last year as underclassmen. Only nine of those underclassmen are entered in Saturday's Section 3 tournament.
Keystone Oaks sophomore Brett Beltz and Valley junior Dylan Clarke have been scratched with injuries. Beltz, last year's 120-pound champ, sustained a broken thumb at the Allegheny County tournament. Clarke, last year's champ at 160, incurred a dislocated elbow at the Clearfield Duals. Both had planned to move up one weight class.
Burrell's DesLauriers (24-0 at 182) and Kittanning's Jason Nolf (32-0 at 132) are two-time section champions. DesLauriers won his previous titles at 171 and 182 and is the defending champion. Nolf is also a two-time WPIAL champion and one-time PIAA champ who has moved up to 132 after competing at 103 and 113 the previous two years.
At 132, Nolf is in the same weight class as Keystone Oaks's Nick Zanetta, who placed second in the WPIAL and PIAA at 126 last season.
"Nick had the option to move down, but he never really considered it," said J.J. Zanetta, his coach and brother. "You have to wrestle in the weight class that is most comfortable for you. Nick is very comfortable at 132. Besides, there are studs at every weight class. You can't avoid strong competition when you get to this level."
DesLauriers is one of four returning section champs from Burrell. The others are Steven Edwards (27-4 at 138), Phil Marra (22-5 at 145) and Corey Falleroni (23-4 at 152). All three have moved up one weight class.
The other returning section champions are Valley's Pat Dewitt (27-7 at 126), Kittanning's Zac Croyle (19-9 at 195) and Highlands' Allan Cratsenberg (5-1 at 220). Dewitt won at 106 last year, Croyle won at 170, and Cratsenberg won at 195.
Seven seek Section 2 repeat
Seven wrestlers enter the Class AA Section 2 tournament at Charleroi High School, as returning champions. At least two will fall short of claiming another title, as a pair of returning champions are entered in two weight classes, 138 and 145.
Charleroi's Nick Gavazzi (26-0) and Jefferson-Morgan's Jason Miller (31-6) are both entered at 138. Gavazzi is the defending champion. Miller won at 120 last season.
"Jason could have entered at 132, but we felt he had a better chance overall at 138," Jefferson-Morgan coach Scott Rhodes said.
West Greene's Matt Johnston (30-2) and Washington's George Rogers (17-8) are both entered at 145. Johnston is the defending champ. Rogers won at 130 in 2011 and placed third at 138 last season.
The other three returning section champs are Southmoreland's Austin Griffiths (23-2 at 106), Jefferson-Morgan's John Demaske (16-2 at 126) and Dustin Conti (28-0 at 170). Demaske is a two-time section champ who won at 113 last season. Griffiths and Conti return at the same weight class.
First Published February 14, 2013 12:00 am