HOUSTON – It was a breezy night for Burgettstown’s freshman sensation Parker Sentipal at Tuesday’s WPIAL Class AA Sub-Section 1A Round Robin at Chartiers-Houston High School.
The 106-pounder only had to wrestle one match, and that bout lasted a little over a minute. Sentipal quickly disposed of South Park’s Brennan Cowen with a pin in 69 seconds.
Although Sentipal only had to wrestle once, while several of his teammates had to win three battles, he would have rather been working than resting.
When he did work, however, he did his job, crediting bar tilts for his success.
“I like to wrestle, and I would have liked to have had more (matches),” Sentipal said.
Burgettstown coach Joey Vigliotti thinks highly of the newcomer.
“Parker could win a WPIAL title this year if he wrestles (well),” he said.
Sentipal has a bright future ahead of him and having some pedigree doesn’t hurt. His father, Joe Sentipal, wrestled for the Blue Devils way back when, and his older brother, Joey, is teammates with Parker, just a year older.
Joey had a rough go of it Tuesday night due to having the misfortune of drawing South Park’s Joey Fischer, who just so happens to be the defending state runner-up at 126. Fischer outpointed Sentipal by major decision, 19-7.
The elder Sentipal’s loss was about the only setback for Burgettstown on the night. Of the six matches in stage three, five were won by Blue Devils, with the only outlier being Chartiers-Houston’s Jessie Orbin beating Wash High’s Kyle Slesh at 145. Every Blue Devil in the building qualified for the section championships, which will be held this weekend.
It was, in Vigliotti’s words, “not too bad.”
“You know, obviously, it’s a different outlook (for the) postseason this year (because of COVID 19),” he said. “But we were pretty good. I think we’ll be ready to go Friday and Saturday.”
Indeed, the Blue Devils were pretty good, and it turns out Shane Kemper is pretty good at 189.
Kemper’s normal weight class is 172 pounds, but Vigliotti and his staff decided to move him up.
“We were just look deep into region, super region in Hershey, and what his best spot would be,” Vigliotti said. “He’d been wrestling up (in weight) most of the year, and we feel that he can do very well at 189 pounds. So we made that decision.”
Thus far, the move is proving to be a shrewd one. Kemper beat Tyler Love before pinning Wash High’s Mike Ewing in 2:34 to top 189.
“He put on some muscle over the summer,” Vigliotti said. “He started the year at (172), and we just looked at the brackets and looked where kids fell, and we just felt that 189 was his spot.”
In other stage three matches, Rudy Brown beat Keystone Oaks’ Gregory Wagner in the 132-pound weight class, pinning him in just 1:07. At 145, it took Anthony Lancos even less time to take care of Jonathan Dennis, also of KO, pinning him in 45 seconds.
In the 138-pound class, Wash High’s Maddox Kehn almost took Eric Kovach to the limit, but Kovach scored a technical fall with 18 seconds left in the third period. At 172, the bout between Nate Neal and South Park’s Peyton Pauline told a similar tale, and came even closer to going the distance. But Neal scored a Tech Fall with just six seconds to spare.
Burrell is the kingpin of Class AA, but the Blue Devils have a lot of potential to make some noise in the WPIAL tournament.
“A lot of kids on our team have a shot at a WPIAL title this year,” Vigliotti said, “They’re focused, and they’re ready to go.”
There were a few notable omissions in the tournament.
Fort Cherry pulled out of the Section 1 subsection event. Efforts to reach Fort Cherry officials were unsuccessful.
The Rangers have a few standouts. Both Robbie West, a 215-pound senior who sits at 99 career wins, and Julian Moore, a 120-pound sophomore, have appeared in the Observer-Reporter Wrestling Rankings.
There also weren’t any heavyweight matches, partially because Wash High’s Cameron Carter-Green not wrestling after tearing his rotator cuff during football season.
Other wrestlers who took first place included