Another first for Lions, spot in team finals

February 1, 2013
South Fayette’s Seth Carr takes down Jefferson-Morgan’s Trevor Kniha in the 126 bout. Carr won 17-8. - Katie Roupe / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

HEIDELBERG – This has been a season of firsts for South Fayette High School’s wrestling team.

Last week, the Lions captured the first section title in the program’s history.

On Friday night, the Lions disposed of Jefferson-Morgan, 37-23, in the semifinals of the WPIAL Class AA Team Wrestling Tournament at Chartiers Valley High School.

South Fayette will make its first appearance in the team tournament finals and has already qualified for the PIAA Team Tournament, another first.

Waiting in today’s 2 p.m. finals is Burrell, the six-time defending Class AA team champion. Burrell defeated Chartiers-Houston, 37-30, in the other semifinals match.

“It really hasn’t set in yet,” said South Fayette head coach Rick Chaussard. “Maybe when I go down to the locker room with the kids.”

The victory moved South Fayette’s record to 10-0. Burrell is 14-5. This will be the 11th straight appearance in the team tournament finals for Burrell.

“How do we beat Burrell?” Chaussard asked. “I haven’t decided yet.”

South Fayette will depend on a lineup that is strong from top to bottom. Against J-M, the Lions won four bouts in the lighter weights, three in the middle and two up top.

Zach Walker started with a pin of Nathan Wolfe in 3:15 to get the Lions a 6-0 lead and stretched it to 19-9 with decisions by Jasper Wolfe at 113, Jared Cardillo at 120, and Mike Carr at 132. Seth Carr slipped in a major decision at 126.

“We were looking for bonus points in four or five matches,” Chaussard said. “But we got decisioned where I thought we would get majors and majors where I thought we would get falls. It didn’t go the way I anticipated but it worked out for us.”

Jefferson-Morgan (11-5) rallied in the middle with a major decision by John Demaske at 138 and another by Jason Miller at 145. Any hope of a comeback was dashed when Grant Fetchet got a pin at 152 and brother Mike got one of his own at 170.

“They are a really good team,” said J-M head coach Scott Rhodes. “I felt we had to have our good guys pull off some good matches for us to win. There wasn’t one spot (that hurt us). It was a good team of solid kids. We fought hard to not give up bonus points.”

Brendan Howard (106) and Dustin Conti (182) each had a pin for the Rockets.

Joe Tuscano has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1980. He has covered all sports for the newspaper, including the Steelers, Pirates, Pitt football, local college football and wrestling. He has worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Jeannette News-Dispatch and North Hills Record. He graduated from Duquesne University in 1980.

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