South Xtra: Charleroi senior wins another WPIAL championship
South Fayette's Mike Fetchet, pinning Burrell's Zachary Smith during WPIAL team tournament, was a WPIAL runner-up.
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For the second consecutive season, Nick Gavazzi left the WPIAL Class AA tournament with a gold medal around his neck.
Now, the Charleroi Area senior is looking for redemption the next two weeks.
"It's nice and is a good feeling, but there is more work to be done," Gavazzi said. "Last year, I think I lost focus on what was really important.
"But this year, I know what I have to do. You still got regionals and you still got states. I have to get on that podium in Hershey."
After winning his first WPIAL title at 138 pounds last season, Gavazzi finished a disappointing fifth at the PIAA Southwest Regional.
He followed that up the next week by going 1-2 at the PIAA Class AA tournament in Hershey.
This season, Gavazzi will head to the regional in Johnstown as the No. 2 seed and with an undefeated 32-0 record after pinning Beth-Center freshman Anthony Welsh in 3:40 in the 138-pound WPIAL title match.
It was a surprise pairing, as Welsh upset the No. 2 seed, Steve Edwards of Burrell and No. 3 seed, Jason Miller of Jefferson-Morgan, to reach the finals. Miller had lost to Gavazzi, 10-9, in the Section 2-AA tournament on Feb. 16.
But Gavazzi was also familiar with Welsh, having pinned him in 2:40 in the championship match of the Tri-County Tournament on Jan. 12. But he didn't take the promising ninth-grader for granted.
"He's a good wrestler; a really tough kid," Gavazzi said. "It's just how it ended up."
Gavazzi admitted the pin was a great ending to his second consecutive title, but he knows he can't dwell on it.
"It's nice, but it's just another step along the way," Gavazzi said. "I just have to take it one match at a time and keep it rolling."
The 126-pound bracket at the WPIAL Class AA tournament Saturday had the defending 106-pound district champion, Pat DeWitt, and the 2012 113-pound WPIAL runner-up in John Demaske.
But it was a freshman from South Park who outshined everyone in the weight class.
Greg Bulsak defeated Bentworth senior Vince Vahaly, 4-0, in the championship match for his first WPIAL title.
"Before the match, I didn't think I'd be there," Bulsak said. "But once I got there, I knew I wanted to win."
Bulsak (31-7) didn't allow a point in any of his four matches Saturday. He pinned his first opponent, Jason Campbell, in the first period. Then he outscored his next three opponents by a combined 7-0 on his way to the title.
"I just try not to give up any points and go all out," Bulsak said.
Brothers have success
South Fayette had a Class AA-best six wrestlers finish in the top-three at the WPIAL tournament Saturday.
The common theme between the six Lions who received a gold, silver or bronze medal is family.
Three different sets of South Fayette brothers -- the Carrs, the Fetchets and the Walkers -- will all head to the PIAA Southwest Class AA Tournament that starts Friday in Johnstown.
Senior Seth Carr (32-4) finished second at the WPIAL tournament at 113 pounds, while his brother, freshman Mike Carr (25-9), took third at 120 pounds.
Senior Mike Fetchet (36-2) lost a heartbreaker in overtime in the 170-pound championship, while his brother, junior Grant Fetchet (33-8), took third at 152 pounds.
At 160 pounds, sophomore J.J. Walker (28-6) won his second WPIAL crown, while his brother, junior Zach Walker (31-5), finished second in the 195-pound bracket.
Two other Lions, freshman Shane Ging and senior Brad Haney, also qualified for the regional tournament with sixth- and seventh-place finishes, respectively, in their weight classes.
First Published February 28, 2013 12:00 am