The COVID-19 pandemic proved to be a challenge for scholastic wrestlers. Tournaments were limited and individual berths in postseason events like sectionals, districts and states were at a premium.
One area wrestler repeatedly responded to the rigorous requirements and found himself at the top of the list when considering postseason accolades.
Dylan Evans from Chartiers Valley outshone all wrestlers in The Almanac readership area. As a result, the sophomore headlined the list of all-stars by garnering Most Valuable Wrestler honors.
Peters Township’s Derrick Evanovich was named The Almanac’s Coach of the Year.
The Almanac wrestling all-stars was selected with the help of area coaches and based on match competition as well as final season records and showings in postseason action.
For the second year in a row, Evans graced the podium at the state championships. During the PIAA tournament held in mid-March at the Giant Center in Hershey, Evans finished fourth in the 138-pound weight class. He was an eighth-place medalist as a freshman in 2020.
In addition to his state showing, Evans finished fourth in the West Super Regional. He was the WPIAL bronze medalist and the Section 4-AAA runner-up.
Evans finished the season at 33-9. He owns a 69-20 career record.
“Dylan comes at you the entire match. He doesn’t take any breaks, doesn’t ever relax,” said Billy Evans, who is Dylan’s dad as well as CV head coach. “He can go, go, go. He has that ability to dig deep when it gets late into matches.
“He’s done pretty well competing against some of the best wrestlers in the state because in our crazy little section that’s where they all are.”
The Colts had a couple more wrestlers that competed well enough to earn The Almanac laurels.
Joining Evans on the list is CV’s Christopher Beatty and Joe Sarasnick. Both are juniors.
Beatty posted a 20-6 record. He finished runner-up in the section and qualified for the WPIAL championships at 160.
According to Evans, Beatty is a special athlete, who owns a 5.25 GPA and is being courted by Columbia and Cornell.
“He’s almost like Captain America in that he has strong character and abides by a moral code. He never does what he’s not supposed to do,” Evans said. “He’s the most humble kid and an unbelievably tough wrestler.”
Sarasnick finished 23-4 overall. According to Evans, he competed in a “super loaded” sub-section. Sarasnick, however, did post a 5-0 mark in the North Allegheny Duals and was ranked among the WPIAL’s best wrestlers at 215 throughout the year.
Mt. Lebanon had the top-ranked wrestler at 189 in Mac Stout but an injury derailed his plans to contend for a PIAA title. Stout was a PIAA runner-up and WPIAL champion in 2020.
In 2021, he won all 17 of his matches by major, tech fall or pin. Some of the victories came against WPIAL and PIAA place winners.
Stout finished the season at 17-2. Both losses came during the Powerade Tournament, where he suffered the season-ending injury and placed sixth.
A junior, Stout is 91-15 overall.
Ben Streiff and Louis Pietragallo tied Stout for most team wins this season.
A senior, Streiff finished 17-8 overall at heavyweight.
A junior, Pietragallo was 17-9 overall at 145.
Both finished first in the sub-sectional and took third during the Section 4 championships in their respective weight classes.
Three stars for PT
Peters Township placed three wrestlers on The Almanac all-star list, in addition to Evanovich’s honor. He guided the Indians to the WPIAL Class AAA team tournament.
The Indians posted a 4-0 sub-section record and 7-1 overall match mark before falling to Waynesburg in the Section 4-AAA championships. During the WPIAL team tournament, Peters Township succumbed to Seneca Valley in the quarterfinals. In the WPIAL finals, the Raiders finished runner-up to Waynesburg, which also went on to win the PIAA team title.
During individual sub-section action, Jackson Spiteri (120), Chris Cibrone (126) and Eliot Schratz (132) all claimed championships. Spiteri and Cibrone took third in the Section 4 tournament while Spiteri finished fourth.
On the year, Spiteri and Cibrone posted 14-7 and 16-3 records. Schratz finished 17-3 overall.
As Spiteri and Cibrone are freshmen and Spiteri is a sophomore the future is bright for PT wrestling.
BP hopeful too
Bethel Park also anticipates promising years ahead because of freshmen Aiden Bench and Mason Kernan.
At 106, Bench finished fourth in Section 4. He posted an 11-5 record.
At 113, Kernan was a Section 4 runner-up and a WPIAL qualifier. He finished 14-4 overall.
Vince Riepole earned all-star honors at 172. He took third in the section and finished 13-3 overall. A senior, Riepole is considering wrestling in college. Washington & Jefferson College is one of his top choices.
Two complete all-star list
James Anderson from South Fayette and Dan Martin from Upper St. Clair round out The Almanac all-star list.
A junior, Anderson compiled a 17-5 record. He took third in the section tournament at 113.
“James is one of the hardest workers on the team,” said SF head coach Rick Chaussard.
Chaussard also noted how Anderson opened up his garage for his teammates to work out and practice when the school was shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Martin, meanwhile, was a fourth-place finisher at the sectional tournament. He posted a 13-9 record at 152 this season.