Carr, Wilkins transfer back to area

Carr, Wilkins transfer back to compete at local colleges

February 3, 2014
South Fayette’s Nick Carr is wrestling at Washington & Jefferson College this season. - Observer Reporter

Two familiar names have made their way back to Washington County to continue their athletic careers.

Nick Carr, a graduate of South Fayette, is wrestling at Washington & Jefferson College; and Ken Wilkins, a graduate of Trinity High School, enrolled at Calfornia University, where he will continue his football career.

Carr, who won South Fayette’s first PIAA title in 2010 as a junior, began his college career at Kent State, made a stop at Seton Hill, then switched to W&J.

Carr has wrestled in one match, a 27-11 technical fall win over Nick Lees at 165 in the Presidents’ 33-9 win over Case Western last week. The 165-pound sophomore will have two more seasons of eligibility after this one.

“I was looking for a school that was a better fit for me,” said Carr. “This is where I ended up. One of my best friends, Brian Haney, wrestles on the team, and that was a big influence for me.”

Last season, Carr amassed a 20-10 record with Kent State, then transferred to Seton Hill, which offered a scholarship. He did not wrestle in a varsity match there before leaving for W&J.

“I think I can do extremely well here,” said Carr. “I want to have some fun. I’ve wrestled a long time, and I haven’t had fun.”

Carr won a 6-3 decision over Jordan Moss of Sharon in the 145-pound finals of the 2010 PIAA Championships. He made it back to the finals the next season but lost a 4-3 decision to Zach Strickland of Muncy.

As a redshirt freshman at Kent State, Carr won his weight class (149) in the Michigan State Open and finished third in the Eastern Michigan Open.

“He worked out with some of our guys in the summer,” said W&J coach Tommy Prairie. “He knows quite a few of our guys. I saw him wrestle once or twice before he started in the room last week. There is no one in the region at his level of technique.”

Wilkins spent the past three seasons at the University of Michigan before choosing to transfer to Cal. The 6-5, 255-pounder is projected as a defensive end for the Vulcans.

“He registered over Christmas break,” said Cal head coach Mike Kellar. “He was up there for three years and wanted to come home.”

Wilkins was rated the No. 15 defensive end in the country by Rivals, but he never played a down with the Wolverines.

“He contacted us at the end of the season,” Kellar said. “He knew of our success. It was a good fit for him. We had a need at that position, and we got a D-1 player in our backyard. It was a win-win situation.”

Jefferson-Morgan match postponed

Inclement weather closed Jefferson-Morgan High School Monday and forced the postponement of the Rockets’ pigtail round dual meet against Fort Leboeuf in Erie. The match will be held tonight at Fort Leboeuf at 6 p.m.

All four of the Class AA matches were postponed until tonight and three of the Class AAA were rescheduled, too. Only the Greenville at Redbank Valley dual meet was held last night in Double-A.

Meanwhile, South Fayette will wrestle Huntingdon in the Class AA first round. Huntingdon is the District 6 champion and South Fayette the District 7 runner-up.

U.S. Team picked for Classic

The United States Team has been selected for the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic, which will be held Sunday, March 16 at Pitt’s Fitzgerald Field House.

The United States team meets Pennsylvania at 6 p.m. The WPIAL wrestles Oklahoma in the 4 p.m. preliminary.

Perhaps the marquis name on the list is 220-pounder Kyle Snyder from Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Maryland. Snyder is a three-time Maryland champion and owns a 179-0 career record. Snyder wrestled in the 2012 Powerade Christmas Tournament. He has spent this season working out at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., and did not wrestle high school competition.

The other wrestlers selected who have already won three state titles include Josh Albers (132, 134-0) of Dakota, Ill., Tyler Berger (145, 152-3) of Crook County, Ore., Ryan Blees (160, 141-5) of Bismarck, N.D. and Chip Ness (138-1) of Buford, Ga. Ness was a Powerade champion at 195 this season.

Joel McKenna (138) of Blair Academy is a three-time prep champion.

Chance Marsteller of Kennard-Dale, an undefeated three-time PIAA champion, has already been selected for the Pennsylvania Team.

The U.S. lineup can by found in the Scoreboard section on Page C2.

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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