Nick Gavazzi, a two-time state qualifier from Charleroi High School, won’t wrestle in the postseason because of a shoulder injury.
Gavazzi, who was a fifth-place finisher at 138 pounds in the PIAA Class AA tournament last season in Hershey, originally injured the shoulder this summer.
“It happened in South Carolina at a national tournament,” said Bill Wiltz, Charleroi’s athletic director. “He thought he could get through the season with it, but it went out again right before the Tri-CADA tournament. He tried to wrestle, but now he wants to get it operated on as soon as possible.”
Gavazzi has a 7-0 record this season and 112 career victories. He took fifth place in last year’s state tournament with an 8-0 decision over Steven Edwards of Burrell.
Gavazzi wrestled against Southmoreland Jan. 2, when he pinned Aran Brubacher in 3:21. He aggravated the shoulder injury and pulled out of the Tri-County Athletic Directors Association the following week.
“I talked to him right after the Tri-CADA tournament to see what was going on,” Wiltz said. “He’s kind of accepted it.”
Gavazzi accepted a scholarship offer from Pitt. Wiltz said Gavazzi was working with the Pitt medical staff.
“He wanted to try to make another run,” Wiltz said, “but it just didn’t work out.”
The section tournaments in Class AA get under way Saturday. The one-day events will be held at Chartiers-Houston for Section 1, Charleroi for Section 2 and Avonworth for Section 3. Class AAA wrestlers have the week off and compete in the section tournaments Feb. 27.
Hall of Fame
Thirteen new members, including Jim Horner, will be inducted into the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame this season.
Horner, a former coach at Bethel Park High School, will be inducted as a contributor for his long and distinguished career as an official. He refereed 650 dual meets, 190 tournaments, 25 WPIAL championships, eight PIAA championships, 11 National High School tournaments and 17 Pittsburgh Wrestling Classics.
The other District 7 inductee is Tim Giel, who coached Shady Side Academy to back-to-back PIAA team titles in 2008 and 2009.
The others are Bob Batch (Wrestler – District 2), Eric Brugal (Wrestler – District 6), Andy Fitch (Wrestler – District 1), John Heacock (Wrestler – District 5), Brian Hills (Wrestler – District 10), Joe Kiefer (Coach – District 1), Travis McCormack (Wrestler – District 6), Robert Parker (Coach – District 10), Barry Snyder (Coach, Wrestler – District 11), Craig Turnbull (Coach – District 10) and Ernie Yates (Coach – District 4).
The new members will be inducted at a dinner May 11 at the Ramada Inn in State College.
Seedings for the Class AA sections will be Tuesday. … Franklin Regional, Canon-McMillan and Connellsville are the only WPIAL teams to win a PIAA Class AAA Team Tournament title under the current format. The WPIAL has won the last three Class AAA championships. … Bethlehem Catholic won its fourth Class AA title, losing just six bouts in four dual meets and recording two shutouts.