MONONGAHELA – One comes from one of the smallest schools in the WPIAL, the other from a Class AAA program with Class AA numbers.
Now, Jake Temple of Avella and A.C. Headlee of Waynesburg have something in common.
Both are three-time champions of the Tri-County Athletic Directors Association Wrestling Tournament.
Headlee, a 126-pound junior, and Temple, a 220-pound senior, each captured their weight class in the 17-team event at Ringgold High School Saturday. And both did it with pins.
Headlee stuck Ryan Yocum of Trinity in 1:56 in the finals, his third straight fall. Temple caught McGuffey’s Ryan Steinstraw in a cradle and pinned him in 4:40.
Canon-McMillan won the team title with 234.5 points followed by Ringgold (181), Jefferson-Morgan (152), McGuffey (135.5) and Bentworth (123) in the top five.
John Demaske of Jefferson-Morgan, who won his second title with a pin of Alec Hutchin of Canon-McMillan in 1:41 at 138, was named Outstanding Wrestler. Demaske had three pins in a combined 4:23.
The last wrestler to win three tournament titles was Tanner Sutton of Chartiers-Houston, who captured gold in 2010, ’11, and ’12. His attmept to become a four-timer was derailed by Waynesburg’s Shane Piper last year.
“I was looking forward to wrestling (Dalton) Macri,” said Headlee of the Canon-McMillan state runner-up who missed this tournament with the flu. “I wasn’t really worried about it. I just went out and wrestled. I’ve wrestled all these guys before, since I was 5-years old and growing up. It was nice to win with a pin.”
Headlee said he takes pride in his ability to ride, and it has helped produce solid results. Headlee was a WPIAL champion and finished sixth in the state at 113 last year.
“Any time I feel I can get the right move on top, I can pin him,” said Headlee. “It just depends on the kid.”
Like Temple, Headlee was a No. 1 seed. He began the tournament with a pin of Declan Lewis of Canon-McMillan in 3:15 and followed it with a pin of John Dennis of Burgettstown in the semifinals.
“I definitely like pins,” said Headlee. “We have someone who keeps track of pins, takedowns, points scored and other stuff. I don’t know how many pins I have this year.”
Temple opened with a 20-4 technical fall over David Ainscough of Canon-McMillan and disposed of Chris Hlatky of Albert Gallatin by fall in 3:25 in the semifinals.
Temple said he wasn’t thinking about being a three-time champion until after his win in the finals.
“When I wrestle, I just clear my mind,” he said. “I zone everything out. I can’t even hear the coaches until the action stops.”
Temple, now 14-0, said he too enjoys riding.
“I love the cradle, and I love tilting a guy for backpoints,” he said. “It’s not hard being on top. I stick with the cradle when I need a pin.”
Brendan Price was one of two Canon-McMillan wrestlers to win titles. Price notched the 100th win of his career with a 9-6 decision over Brendan Howard of Jefferson-Morgan in the 113-pound finals. His career mark is 100-22.
“I started the season with around 75, and I wasn’t positive I would get it here,” said Price. “I wanted to get it before Senior Night Wednesday, when we wrestle Trinity. You get a little award, and it’s the last home match of the (regular) season. I had to win them all (in the tournament) to get it.”
Price’s teammate, Matt Oblock, went from an unseeded freshman to 120-pound champion by knocking off top-seeded Austin McDermitt of Burgettstown Friday night and No. 2 seed Jake Rothka of Bentworth in the finals.
Kenny Tarpley was one of two Ringgold wrestlers to capture titles. Tarpley won the 132-pound title with a 7-2 decision over Matt Vickless of Bentworth. Tarpley’s teammate Devin Fallenstein stopped Bill Bowlen of Jefferson-Morgan in the 170-pound finals with a 5-1 decision.
Tarpley, the fourth seed, knocked off top-seeded Shaun Wilson of Waynesburg in the semifinals, 9-4, then handled Vickless, who was the third seed.
“Those are just numbers,” Tarpley said of the seeds. “I wasn’t worried about it. I had good wrestlers in my bracket, and it was good for me to wrestle them.”
Tarpley is four wins from 100 in his career.
Other winners were Gage Nicolella (106) of McGuffey, Anthony Welsh (145) and Jason Stay (152) of Beth-Center, Ryan Zalar (160) and Ian Wolfe (Hvy) of Jefferson-Morgan, Dalton Wildman (182) of West Greene and Robert West (195) of Trinity.