Last Updated: Tue Feb 22, 2022 - 2:37AM
The Castle at Norwin High School was filled with perpetual talent for the 2022 Southwest Regional Junior High Wrestling Tournament on Saturday. If there was any question about the future of WPIAL wrestling, several young men answered with an exclamation point.
Individually, the Norwin Knights took advantage of the home mat atmosphere. Landon Sidun, who is ranked sixth nationally, started the Knights charge with a 22-6 technical fall over Zach Franks from Connellsville at 110 pounds. Sidun scored three falls en route to his tech fall in the finals, thus earning him the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler (OW) award. Sidun accepted the trophy from the tournament’s first-ever OW and current Norwin senior wrestler Chase Kranitz.
Jack White continued the streak for the Knights at 117 pounds, picking up a 4-0 decision over Kai Vielma of Connellsville. Gage Mamie also scored a 4-0 decision over Cristian Lowther of Ringgold in the 124-pound final to complete the Knight’s trifecta.
The lone champion for Connellsville came at 192 pounds as Chris Cook won by injury default over Roman Thompson of North Hills. Cook spent time with WSN’s Hannah Mears immediately after the win and showcased immense sportsmanship and concern for his opponent’s knee injury, wishing Thompson nothing but the best.
Jackson Angelo of Frazier claimed the tournament’s first-ever presentation of the Most Falls in the Least Amount of Time award with five pins in 4:44. The presenting sponsor of the regional, Pursuit Sports Apparel, presented the plaque to Angelo which included a picture of him from the tournament. He faced Greater Latrobe's Hunter Snyder in the 147-pound final, earning a 13-3 major decision. His teammate, Jonah Erdely, picked up gold with a 4-0 decision over Derry Area’s Brady Brown at 140.
Butler struck gold twice with a pair of wrestlers finishing at the top of the podium.
Santino Sloboda earned himself a 59-second fall over Brooks Blaski of Shaler Area at 96 pounds while heavyweight Diamond Cantera pinned Moon's Danny Olenik at the 3:25 mark to secure a victory.
Also adding gold to their wall was McGuffey’s Tucker Main at 82 pounds with a 9-5 decision of Hempfield Area's Niko Kapusta. Quaker Valley stud Bruce Anderchak earned a hard-fought 5-4 decision against Nate Caracciolo of Hempfield Area. Penn Trafford’s Luke Desantis picked up a 6-3 decision against Plum’s Owen Campbell at 103 pounds. Roan Tustin of Waynesburg used a late double leg takedown over Kiski Area’s Cooper Roskosky to claim gold at 172 pounds.
Chartiers Valley found a champ in Michael Lawrence at 132. Lawrence blanked Connellsville's Julian Ruggieri 8-0. Nezumiro Green was the lone Highlands wrestler to take home hardware after his mat slapper in 1:43 over Chase McIntyre at 157 pounds.
Lastly, Dylan “Pickle” Pitzer of Mount Pleasant added gold to his wall with a fall in 2:46 over Kiski Area’s Ryder Ekas. He is the younger brother of Vikings PIAA champion Dayton Pitzer.
In the team standings, Norwin showcased its 1-2-3 punch going three-for-three in the championship finals. Throw in four more medals and the Knights finished as runner ups to the Connellsville which had it wrapped up before the final medal rounds began. The Falcons, who also claimed the team title last year, placed 10 wrestlers including one champion and three runner ups.
Kiski Area, North Allegheny and McGuffey rounded out the top five teams. Frazier and Butler each found the top of the podium twice as well as a spot in the top ten of the team race.
The regional, in its 10th year, included 50 total teams.
Junior High Southwest Regional Finals Results
82: Tucker Main (McGuffey) DEC Nico Kapusta (Hempfield), 9-5 SV
89: Bruce Anderchak (Quaker Valley) DEC Nate Caracciolo (Hempfield), 5-4
96: Santino Sloboda (Butler) F Brooks Blasko (Shaler), 0:59
103: Luke Desantis (Penn Trafford) DEC Owen Campbell (Plum), 6-3
110: Landon Sidun (Norwin) TF Zach Franks (Connellsville), 22-6 2:58
117: Jack White (Norwin) DEC Kai Vielma (Connellsville), 4-0
124: Gage Mamie (Norwin) DEC Cristian Lowther (Ringgold), 4-0
132: Michael Lawrence (Chartiers Valley) MD Julian Ruggieri (Connellsville), 8-0
140: Jonah Erdely (Frazier) DEC Brady Brown (Derry Area), 4-0
147: Jackson Angelo (Frazier) MD Hunter Snyder (Greater Latrobe), 13-3
157: Nezumiro Green (Highlands) F Chase Mcintyre (Greater Latrobe), 1:43
172: Roan Tustin (Waynesburg) DEC Cooper Roscosky (Kiski Area), 3-1
192: Chris Cook (Connellsville) DEF Roman Thompson (North Hills), 2-0 0:10
212: Dylan Pitzer (Mount Pleasant) F Ryder Ekas (Kiski Area), 2:46
252: Diamond Cantera (Butler) F Danny Olenik (Moon), 2:25
Team Standings Top 10
Connellsville: 255 points
Norwin: 181.5 points
Kiski Area: 145 points
North Allegheny: 137 points
McGuffey: 126.5 points
Penn Trafford: 121.5 points
Franklin Regional: 113.5 points
Frazier: 108 points
Trinity: 102.5 points
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