Fox Chapel wrestling coach Ron Frank is optimistic his youthful squad will be in the mix for a playoff spot in Class AAA, Section 3B.
“There are many tough teams in our section,” he said. “North Hills and Shaler have returning state champions and then we’ll be going up against North Allegheny.”
Hampton and Indiana are also in the section.
“We have a very young team, and we’re thin in numbers, but the kids are working hard and learning quickly,” Frank said.
At 106 pounds, the Foxes will have freshman Ray Worsen and Jordana Matamoros, a four-year starter who won 10 matches last year. Sophomores Sam Zuckerman and Maximus Lucco (10 wins) will be at 113.
Sophomore Jose Morales (12 wins) will be in at 120 while freshman Brendan Kost is penciled in at 126. Junior Joseph D’Cunha, in his first year, is at 132.
“He’s one of the quickest and hard-nosed athletes we have,” Frank said.
Senior Avery Bursick, a three-sport athlete who won 22 matches last year, leads the way at 140, along with sophomore Max Lucey. Juniors Alex Wecht (16 wins) and Josh Miller will wrestle at 152. Wecht was on the football team while Miller played soccer.
Senior Sean Mahon (9 wins) returns at 160.
“He’s one of our leaders,” Frank said of Mahon.
Seniors Steve Cano and Luke O’Connor, both first-year wrestlers, also will compete at 160, along with sophomore Zane Gavazzi.
“Cano is working hard, and Luke is one of the strongest athletes on the team while Zane is learning quickly,” Frank said.
Sophomore Henry Gavazzi, another first-year wrestler, is at 170.
“Henry is very strong,” Frank said.
At 185, sophomore Ethan Spangenberg and senior James Patterson will battle it out.
“Ethan wrestled JV last year, and he’s learning fast,” Frank said. “James is another one of our strongest guys.”
Junior Eddie Farrell, who recorded 21 wins as a first-year starter last year, is penciled in at 195 while freshman Jordan White will be at 220.
“We’re in a difficult section and we have a tough schedule,” Frank said. “We need to grow quickly.”
Marty Stewart is a freelance writer.