HERSHEY – The golden image of excellence from a grueling five-month wrestling season hung across the necks of Tom Wilt and Doug Haines and 10 different Class AA wrestlers on the conclusion of the 44th annual PIAA wrestling match Saturday afternoon.
All 12 are PIAA champions, Pennsylvania’s most interesting wrestlers.
However as each the Washington Excessive College 126-pounder and the Waynesburg 155-pounder gazed on the PIAA emblem engraved on their gold medals, neither might comprehend the truth that their desires are actuality.
“I don’t suppose it has set in but,” stated Wilt after successful an exhilarating 6-Four resolution over Ron Wilson of Bellwood-Antis. “I’m actually comfortable however I haven’t realized the complete worth of it but.”
“You’re going to need to ask me in a number of days about the way it feels,” stated Haines after pinning Invoice Aiello of Bermudian Springs. “I considered being right here all my life. That is the place I needed to be.”
Becoming a member of Wiltz and Haines had been Matt Gerhard of Catasauqua at 98 kilos, Chris Cooper of Warrior Run at 105, Rick Bonomo at 112 and his twin brother Rocky at 119 for Lake Lehman, Tim Cochran of Camp Hill at 132, Jeff Grey at 138 and Greg Sullivan at 145, each of Hughesville, Wilbur Wolf at 167 from Large Spring, Paul Wysocki at 185 for Danville and heavyweight Mike Leskowski of Lake Lehman.
Lake Lehman received the Class AA crew title with 71 factors. Wash Excessive completed second with 58. Waynesburg ended up sixth with 41 factors and Burgettstown positioned ninth with 29.5.
“It appeared like such an extended shot once I first began out,” stated Wilt. “Now that I’ve completed it, I appeared again and it’s simply unbelievable. The state title wasn’t actually on my thoughts once I got here right here. I simply needed to show to myself that I had the potential of successful.”
Wilt, coming into the three-day match with an 18-Four document, was thought-about an underdog at finest within the 16-man bracket. However Wash Excessive coach Invoice Solominsky knew higher.
“I’ve felt that Tom has had a shot since ninth grade,” Solominsky stated. “He’s at all times had the expertise. It was only a matter of him pulling himself collectively.”
Wilson took a 2-Zero lead after two durations earlier than the Wash Excessive junior managed an escape, takedown and nearfall for 2 factors and a 5-2 lead. After Wilson reversed Wilt with 23 seconds left within the bout, the Little President registered an escape within the remaining 13 seconds to take the title.
“Within the first interval, I took three of my finest takedown photographs I had and he countered all of them,” Wilt stated. “I used to be fearful as a result of I knew proper then and there I’d be in for a troublesome one.
“All of the working, sweating, arduous work and never having the ability to eat doesn’t appear to be so unhealthy anymore. This entire 12 months has been nice and making it to the match is simply great. I’ll at all times look again on this with satisfaction. I do know that I can do one thing towards the chances and it actually makes you imagine in your self.”
Wash Excessive misplaced an opportunity for a second state champion when Lonnie Barnes dropped an 11-2 resolution to Cochran, who was voted Class AA’s Excellent Wrestler by the wrestling writers, within the 132 remaining.
“Being second-best within the state feels all proper however I ought to’ve completed higher,” Barnes stated. “This was the hardest match I’ve been by. Cochran is a powerful and bodily wrestler. It takes that sort of wrestler to beat me. I’m going to work twice as arduous subsequent 12 months and win it.“
“The rating in Lonnie’s match seems to be lopsided,” Solominsky stated. “The rating wasn’t indicative of how he wrestled. I’ve to take it somewhat bit farther subsequent 12 months.”
Haines trailed 4–three earlier than pinning Aiello 4:55 into the match. He turned Waynesburg’s 23rd state champion, tying Trinity for first place in District 7.
“I used to be working for a pin however wasn’t positive I might get it,” Haines stated. “After I fell behind early, I used to be actually fearful. Pinning him was top-of-the-line emotions I’ve ever had. I actually didn’t need to give it some thought an excessive amount of earlier than the match as a result of it’d get me nervous.”
Haines credit Waynesburg coach Joe Ayersman with a lot of his success.
“I actually needed to win this one for him,” he stated. “Any time I wanted to speak to somebody, I might at all times go to him. I really feel that’s actually essential for a coach.”
“It makes me really feel good that he needed to win this for me,” Ayersman stated. “He’s a positive younger man and he actually deserved the win. It’s actually powerful to win up right here however Doug is a tough employee and he’s in high form. The one factor about Doug is that he by no means quits. He simply retains coming and coming and by no means pushes the panic button.”
Ten WPIAL wrestlers additionally positioned within the match. Successful third locations had been John Wandrisco at 105 for Canevin and Randy Agnew at 112 for Washington. Taking fourth place had been John Throckmorton at 105 for Waynesburg, Scott Heim at 112 for Richland and Pete Comis at 155 for Burgettstown.
Fifth-place finishers included Ernie Bannister at 138 for Burgettstown and heavyweight Roy Corridor of Jeannette and Marty Stewart at 98 from Waynesburg and Burgettstown’s John Lis at 119 and Kelly Surh at 185 positioned sixth.