Tommy Dolde said he tried to stay calm prior to last week’s key Section 2-AAA match against Albert Gallatin.
But the first-year Connellsville Area wrestling coach admitted he was a little nervous. Dolde replaced his father as the Falcons coach. His father, Tom Dolde, retired after last season and now serves as a volunteer assistant coach.
The younger Dolde is glad his dad is still a part of the staff.
“He’s irreplaceable,” Tommy Dolde said. “Anytime I have a question or something I’m not sure about, he’ll give me a suggestion.”
Connellsville, ranked No. 4 in the Tribune-Review Class AAA poll, erased its new coach’s fear by rolling to a 47-18 victory against the Colonials and followed that with an impressive 39-21victory over Trinity, which was ranked No. 2 prior to the loss.
“We still have a long way to go,” Dolde said. “We’re still out of shape and have a lot of room to grow. It’s a good start.”
The Falcons improved their record to 3-0 after they blanked Uniontown Area 71-0.
“Tommy will do a good job,” Tom Dolde said. “He’s already made a lot of changes to improve the program.”
Greater Latrobe prepped for its key Section 1-AAA match against Penn-Trafford by capturing the team title at the Conemaugh Township tournament last weekend.
The Wildcats had nine wrestlers in the finals and five — Zach Small (112), Zach Walton (125), Jase Stas (145), Bryan Lekawa (152) and Brian Rusnock (215) — walked away with titles. Finishing second were Pete Elers (119), Bernie Lynch (135), Tommy Shultz (160) and Frank Cremonese (275).
“I liked the fact we had nine wrestlers in the finals,” Latrobe coach Marc Billett said. “Even though it wasn’t a strong tournament, we did face some quality wrestlers.
“We’ll have a different team by the end of the season. Some of the wrestlers will be more experienced. We just have to be patient with them.”
The Wildcats will be helped by the return of Sam Ansell at the 215-pound weight class. Ansell was not available for the first two weeks of the season for personal reasons.
Latrobe had two other place-winners: Daniel Thompson was third at 135 pounds, and Josh Turnbull was fourth at 189 pounds.
WARRIORS CLAIM TITLE
Three Penn-Trafford wrestlers captured titles at the Penn Manor tournament in Millersville, which helped the Warriors edge out Clearfield 191-188 1/2 for the team title.
Claiming titles were Tommy Picarsic at 140 pounds, Nate Picarsic at 160 and Charlie Pienaar at 171. Derek Jones at 135 and Jason Coyne at 152 each placed second, Nick Padezan placed third at 189, and Sean Meehan was fourth at 119.
“It was good experience,” Penn-Trafford coach Vince Testa said. “Clearfield is an excellent team, and we meet a lot of different competition. It should help us during the season.”
The Mt. Pleasant Area team opened the season with an impressive victory at the King of the Hill tournament in East Liverpool, Ohio.
Mt. Pleasant with 380 1/2 points, defeated Brockway 361 1/2. The Vikings placed nine wrestlers but came away with no champions. Placing second were Victor McCoy at 160, Jake Harr at 189 and C.J. Cavalcante at 145.
Mt. Pleasant is in the Hampton duals Saturday.
Jim Lembo, Connellsville Area athletic director, helped the Trinity High School team out in a pinch. The bus transporting the Hillers to Connellsville for a 2 p.m. match broke down on Rt. 201 near Rt. 51, 12 miles from Connellsville.
Lembo was contacted and was able to get a local bus line to pick up the Hillers and bring them to the school for their match against the Falcons.
1. Kiski Area
5. Greater Latrobe
9. North Allegheny
10. Seneca Valley
2. Mt. Pleasant Area
4. Fort Cherry