The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

March 29, 2013

Top wrestlers on display at Westmont Hilltop

JOHNSTOWN — Good Friday should mean some great wrestling action at Westmont Hilltop High School.

The 10th annual Flood City Showdown will pit some of the top senior wrestlers from the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference against their counterparts from the WestPAC and Heritage Conference in a dual meet that begins at 7:05 p.m.

“We’re blessed in the region,” said Matt Beaujon, Westmont Hilltop’s coach and the event’s organizer. “We have a lot of good wrestlers going down and making their names known at the state level. Within the conferences we have here, there are a lot of tough kids graduating every year.

“We thought it was a good idea to pit the conferences against each other, and it allows the kids to showcase what they’ve done and go out in style, so to speak. It gives them one more chance to wrestle in front of their friends and family.”

Beaujon and Forest Hills’ Jake Strayer will serve as honorary coaches for the LHAC squad.

The Westmont coach said his role doesn’t change much from when he’s on the bench as a coach or just acting in his role as organizer.

“Not really,” he said. “I really encourage all of the coaches to show up and sit on the bench for when their kids go out. I can yell stuff out, but they might not know what I‘m talking about. When my guys go out, I’m a little more vocal.

Beaujon said that the event is to honor wrestling in the region.

“It’s recognition for the coaches as well,” he said.

Berlin Brothersvalley’s Jason Cornell and Meyersdale’s Chadd Sines will coach the Heritage/WestPAC squad.

Cornell said this is his third time participating in the showcase.

“It’s a good experience,” he said. “It’s good to see some of the boys that we’ve faced throughout the season from a different side of the mat.

“It’s always fun to see those guys let loose,” he said. “It’s a wrestling mentality, how they kind of team up. They can be enemies throughout the season but best friends at an all-star event.”

There are six matches scheduled for the event, which includes a PIAA placewinner in Ligonier Valley’s Josh Patrick, who signed with Rutgers, as well as multiple state and regional qualifiers.

“We’re happy with the guys that decided to come and participate,” Beaujon said. “They all bring credentials to the event. They’ve all been down wrestling at the War Memorial or even at the state level.

“I think we’ve got some good matches in there and it should be a good,” he said.

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