The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

July 11, 2013

Greco-Roman, freestyle wrestlers prepare for national tourney

JOHNSTOWN — Pitt-Johnstown wrestling coach Pat Pecora has an ambitious goal.

“I want every good wrestler in Pennsylvania to walk through UPJ’s wrestling room before he graduates (high school),” Pecora said on Thursday.

The Hall of Fame coach certainly had a good start on it this week, as hundreds of young wrestlers filled UPJ’s Sports Center from morning until night.

Members of the Pennsylvania Junior and Cadet national teams – both freestyle and Greco-Roman – have been hitting the mats at UPJ while Pecora’s popular camp included 120 wrestlers ranging from first-graders to high schools seniors. Throw in the Young Guns club practices run by UPJ assistant Jody Strittmatter and it’s been a busy week on the Richland Township campus.

“We’ve had wrestlers on the mat from 7 a.m. to 10 at night,” Pecora said on Thursday as members of the Greco-Roman Cadet team warmed up for a practice session.

Members of the Pennsylvania teams are practicing in preparation for the national championship tournament in Fargo, N.D., which begins today.

The tournament has Cadet (wrestlers born in 1997 or ‘98) and Junior (those born after Sept. 1, 1993 and still enrolled in grades 9-12) classifications. It also includes male and female divisions.

The current members of Team Pennsylvania have quite a legacy to uphold. A report on theopenmat.com shows that the Keystone State has been the most successful at the event over the years, with a combined 1,294 All-Americans and 186 champions since it started in 1971.

But staying at the top is no easy task.

“Fargo is one of the toughest tournaments in the U.S.” said Joe Stabilito Jr., Pennsylvania’s Cadet Greco-Roman coach. “You can talk about scholastic states, but I personally don’t think there is anything tougher. The competition that we see here is a level higher. The kids that are doing this are the kids you see in the state finals in scholastic.”

Only one local wrestler – Somerset’s Jon Fabian – was a part of the Greco-Roman teams at UPJ this week. The 145-pounder, who will be a junior in the fall – is thrilled to be making his first trip to Fargo.

“I’m pumped,” he said. “I heard there are like a hundred-and-some kids in a bracket. I just want to go try it out. I’m praying I get on that podium. I’ve been working hard for it.”

Fabian said that Greco-Roman, in which wrestlers are not allowed to touch their opponents below the waist, is a better fit for him than freestyle.

“I’m more upper body,” he said. “I like how the pace is slowed down. I can just stay in my mind and just keep working.”

Penns Valley’s Seth Decker, who was a runner-up at the District 6 folkstyle tournament in February, said that having wrestled in the national tournament last year makes it easier for him this summer.

“It helps a lot, knowing what competition you have to wrestle, just knowing what they do,” said Decker, who graduated to the Junior level this year after competing as a Cadet last year. “It helps training with these guys, too.”

Members of the Cadet team were scheduled to leave for Fargo on Thursday with the Junior team beginning the long bus trip today.

Cadet and Junior wrestlers who are competing in only the freestyle portion of the national tournament will arrive at UPJ today for a few days of workouts before leaving for North Dakota.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Pirates 0720 Pirates rally to keep sweep

    Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsburgh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
    Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • LAG 0720 AAABA League playoffs: Laurel Auto Group moves closer to advancing

    Second-seeded Laurel Auto Group fell behind early against No. 3 Berkley Hills Renegades on Sunday afternoon at Roxbury Park. But Laurel’s players didn’t lose their composure.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Urtz, Pope lead AAABA League award votes

    Logan Urtz hadn’t fielded a ground ball as an infielder or swung a bat in a game for a couple seasons.
    But you can’t take the former infielder out of a starting pitcher.

    July 20, 2014

  • aaaba 0721 Martella’s sweeps past Delweld

    A six-run rally in the first helped guide Martella’s Pharmacy to an 8-1 win over Delweld in Game 3 of their best-of-5 AAABA League semifinal series at Point Stadium, sweeping the series in the process.
    That rally also continued season-long trends for the clubs, according to their respective managers.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • warshel_0721 Warshel selecting UPJ

    For Kelci Warshel, the call to attend Pitt-Johnstown was based on the availability of her desired major – nursing.
    Taking an opportunity to join the university’s women’s track and field program was a very nice add-on and one that the Richland High graduate is ready to jump into ...
    ... Or hurdle over.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0721 Rallying Dodgers snap Pirates’ win streak at 3 games

    Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven strong innings, Adrian Gonzalez reached base five times and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Monday night.
    Ryu (11-5) joined Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in making the Dodgers the first team in the majors with three 11-game winners.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pitt picked sixth in cluttered Coastal

    Florida State was an obvious choice as a favorite in one of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s divisions.
    In the other one, the pecking order was nowhere near that clear.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local Sports Briefs

    July 21, 2014

  • American Legion Region 7: Bedford gets past Clearfield

    Bedford’s Jake Stover had two hits with double and three RBIs in a 9-6 win against host Clearfield in the Pa. American Legion Region 7 Tournament.

    July 21, 2014

  • American Legion Region 7: Claysburg edges Beech Creek

    Claysburg’s Mike Mock went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run in the fourth inning to help his squad get by Beech Creek 7-6 during Sunday’s winners-bracket game in the Pa. American Legion Region 7 Tournament.

    July 21, 2014

AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide