Updated: Feb 7
After a 2023 season with huge expectations, the Wildcats Wrestling team came up short against a Norwin Knights squad which came into the first round of the WPIAL Teams tournament as underdogs. Norwin entered Canonsburg, PA as the number two team in AAA Section 3, and the Wildcats sat in a similar situation in AAA Section 4. The large notable difference was that Norwin was missing multiple big names in their wrestling line up. Gabe Conboy (SR), Joseph Ferrari (SR), and Nathan Campbell (JR) are just a few talented wrestlers that were scheduled to be absent for the pivotal match up for Norwin.
The matched started at 127lbs, and Greater Latrobe's Vinny Kilkeary took a forfeit win. The first match which saw action was the next weight, 133lbs, where Greater Latrobe's Jacob Braun lost to Norwin's John White by decision. Cole Short was pinned at 139lbs by Gage Mamie, and Lucas Braun fell via decision to Jackson Huss at 145lbs. Bradan Bronson saw the same result as Braun, at 152lbs. The Wildcats were down in team points 15-6 by the time Wyatt Schmucker stepped onto the mat at 160lbs. The Wildcats were able to pull the match closer with that forfeit and now the team score sits at 15-12 heading into the 189-pound weight class.
At 189lbs, Latrobe's Brock Mears was unable to keep up with Norwin's Chaise Thompkins and fell via decision 6-9. Latrobe was able to call upon Senior Corey Boerio to help them claw back from the 24-12 hole that the team was in. Boerio won his 215lbs match via pin. This victory put the team score at 24-18, and the Wildcats were looking to tie the match at 285lbs. Latrobe's Wyatt Held was set to square off against Norwin's Josiah Pastories knowing that this was arguably the most pivotal match of the evening. Unfortunately, for Latrobe, Wyatt Held injured his elbow* during this match and this led to an injury forfeit in favor of the Norwin Knights. Norwin then scored a forfeit at 107lbs and had the score sitting at 36-18. Latrobe's Luke Willochell was able to win his match at 114lbs via pin, and Leo Joseph was able to win via pin at 121lbs.
After a season of ups and downs, the loss at Canon-McMillan was incredibly difficult to stomach for the Latrobe Wildcats, and leaves so many questions about what could have led to a loss to a team that was missing a number of top tier wrestlers. Greater Latrobe Wrestling Seniors now look towards the individual tournaments to round out their last season with the school.
*As of 02/03/2023, the injury is reported as a serious dislocated elbow