For a second straight season, the opening weekend of wrestling in the WPIAL offered a tone-setting statement. Yet again Kiski Area, which entered the weekend not ranked nationally, upended nationally ranked North Allegheny for the championship at the Eastern Area Invitational Wrestling Tournament.
The champion Cavaliers placed all but one wrestler within the top six on the way to scoring 298 points. The performance was anchored by four weight class champions: Cam Connor (138), Joey Blumer (145), Tom Starr (220), and Isaac Reid (285). They were joined by four other wrestlers that finished as runners-up: Darren Miller (113), Noah Levett (126), Nick Delp (152), and Brad Nagy (170).
No. 40 North Allegheny was the tournament runner-up with 216.5 points. The Tigers placed seven wrestlers in total, even absent two-time state placer Jake Hinkson (145) and returning state qualifier A.J. Boeh (152/160). The status of No. 3 Eric Hong (160) is pending an appeal to the PIAA to overturn the ruling of the WPIAL that rendered him ineligible.
Winning weight class titles for North Allegheny were Jacob Downing (113), Sean Hoover (170), and No. 11 Jake Woodley (195), while Luke Landefeld (132) and Zach Stedeford (138) finished in second place.
Additional nationally ranked wrestlers to win weight class titles were No. 1 (at 120) Gavin Teasdale (Jefferson Morgan) at 126 pounds, No. 2 (at 152) Cameron Coy (Penn Trafford) at 160, and No. 3 Nino Bonaccorsi (Bethel Park) at 182. Rounding out the champions were Kurtis Phipps (106) of Norwin, Ed Scott (120) and Kolby Ho (132) of DuBois, along with Dom Davido (152) of Plum.
Both Kiski Area and North Allegheny are Class AAA (big-school division), and will this season be battling most likely for the championship in the WPIAL in early February.