Shaler wrestlers advance to semifinals
Shaler seniors Mike Heinl and Jake Hartman have been wrestling for more than 12 years.
Now they want to end their high school careers on top.
Heinl and Hartman advanced to the WPIAL championship/PIAA Southwest Regional Class AAA semifinals at Penn Hills with two victories each.
Heinl (38-4) rolled with a 7-2 win against Latrobe’s Joel Cawoski and a pin of North Hills’ John MacPherson at 132 pounds. The wins put Heinl against Hempfield’s top-seeded Luke Kemerer, who defeated Heinl, 3-1, in last year’s tournament.
It also was the first time in Heinl’s career he reached the semifinals.
“Jake and I became friends wrestling in elementary school,” Heinl said.
“We’re like brothers,” Hartman said. “We push each other on the mat.”
Heinl was ranked No. 1 last season before Kemerer pinned him in the quarterfinals. He battled back to qualify for the state tournament, where he finished fourth.
Now he’s ready to turn the tables on Kemerer.
“He’s a really good wrestler,” Heinl said. “I respect everyone in this tournament.
“I have no long-term goals. I’m just going out and having fun.”
Hartman (14-1), who has battled injuries his high school career, returned to wrestling prior to the individual tournaments. In December, he reinjured his left arm, which kept him from wrestling last year. It forced him to sit out January.
Hartman had two major decisions, beating Greensburg Salem sophomore Jesse Quatse, 8-0, and West Mifflin senior Lawrence Schrott, 11-2, at 145. Hartman, the No. 2 seed, will face Franklin Regional senior Ryan Krause.
“I’ve definitely had a tough career,” said Hartman, who said he injured his elbow at a tournament in Wilkes-Barre, where his only loss came.
“I’m hoping to qualify for states and place there,” he said. “I’m just hoping to do my best.”
There weren’t many surprises during the first two rounds as 51 of the 56 top-4 seeds advanced.
The only second seed to fall was Franklin Regional’s Dan Contraguerro, who lost to seventh-seeded David Kelly of Pine-Richland at 152.
There were four No. 4 seeds to lose. The biggest surprise was Fox Chapel’s Mike Mahon, who was pinned by Kiski Area’s Brad Nagy.
There were a couple of close calls for seeded wrestlers.
Greensburg Salem’s Derek Berberich, a third seed, needed overtime to edge Moon’s Nate Barcaskey, 3-1, at 220. North Hills senior Gage Curry, a No. 1 seed at 113, used a first-period takedown to edge Penn-Trafford freshman Nick Coy, 2-0.
Franklin Regional junior Spencer Lee (6-0, 104-0) breezed into the semifinals with two pins, the second coming against Seneca Valley’s Ben Lynch in 45 seconds.
Kiski Area leads the team standings with 53.3 points. Canon-McMillan is second with 50.5.
Kiski Area, North Allegheny and Belle Vernon have six wrestlers each in the semifinals.
Action resumes at 10 a.m. Saturday with the semifinals at noon and finals at 7:30 p.m.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com |or via Twitter Schofield_Trib.