While 100 pounds differentiate Mt. Lebanon’s Luke Stout and Upper St. Clair’s Jake Slinger, their wrestling seasons were nearly mirror images.
Both were county, section and district champions before finishing runners-up in the PIAA tournament. Both are members of the Century Club with more than 100 career victories.
Slinger finished his career with a 138-26 mark. The benchmark this season was accumulating the most wins in Upper St. Clair High School history.
“It feels good to hold the record and have my name up there in the record books, but it’s not accompanied by a state title,” Slinger said.
Kawaun DeBoe from Cathedral Prep thwarted Slinger’s attempt for gold. DeBoe, who was a PIAA runner-up in 2018, won the heavyweight title with a 3-1 decision in the 285-pound final during the PIAA championships in Hershey.
While the loss hurt, it did not negate an otherwise stellar season for Slinger. He posted a 39-1 record, with falls in most of his matches. He also was selected to participate in the prestigious Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic, which many consider the Rose Bowl of high school wrestling. Slinger wrestled for the WPIAL squad.
Slinger, who was a standout football player for the Panthers, will continue his wrestling career at George Mason University.
Meanwhile, Stout has one more season to try and grab the gold. He suffered his only losses this season to the same opponent, Carter Starocci, also from Cathedral Prep. Stout lost to the two-time state champion in the semifinals of the Powerade Tournament as well as in the finals of the PIAA tournament.
Starocci, who was named Outstanding Wrestler in the Wrestling Classic, is the No. 1 ranked 182-pound wrestler in the country. He will attend Penn State, which won its eighth NCAA title in the last nine years.
On the year, Stout was 42-2. Overall, he owns a 111-16 career record. He is a reigning Cadet Freestyle National Champion.
Mt. Lebanon coach Marc Allemang predicts big things for Stout next season. He believes his loss in the PIAA finals “fuels the fire” for 2020.
“Luke is one of the most driven people I have ever met,” Allemang said. “He will leave no stone unturned and will focus on the details of his training to get back (to Hershey) and wrestling at a high level like he always does. He has the talent. I believe great things will happen for him.”
Great things continue to happen for Stout as well as Slinger as they have both been named The Almanac’s Most Valuable Wrestlers for the 2018-19 season.
Lebo adds 5 more
Stout was not the only star at Mt. Lebanon. His younger brother, Mac, excelled at 160, posting a 32-10 record and garnering Rookie of the Year laurels. A section champion, he fell short of making a trip to Hershey for the PIAA tournament by one match. He ended the year ranked No. 5 in the WPIAL.
In addition to the Stout brothers, Sean McKinney, Mikey Kail, Jackson Gray and Nathan Hoaglund earned spots on the Almanac all-star roster. All were WPIAL qualifiers.
Hoaglund advanced to the PIAA tournament. The senior heavyweight secured sixth place in the state. He was the WPIAL runner-up and posted a 35-11 record on the year. A member of the Century Club with a 110-44 career record, Hoaglund will continue to wrestle at the University of Pennsylvania.
At 126, McKinney posted a 26-14 record while Kail finished 19-11 at 138. McKinney was the bronze medalist at sectionals.
Ranked No. 1 throughout the season at 145, Gray won a section championship. He posted a 29-10 record.
Four star for PT
A junior, Bryce Wilkes earned Section 2 runner-up honors at 120 and qualified for the WPIAL championships, where he lost in the quarterfinals and finished 31-6 on the season. He owns a 71-13 career record heading into his senior year.
After finishing fifth in the section at 152, Coltin Jezioro put together back-to-back medal performances in the WPIAL and PIAA tournaments to finish his senior season with a 36-8 record. He earned the bronze medal in the District 7 and Southwest Regional championships and ended up with the eighth-place award in the PIAA tournament. Jezioro finished his career with a 112-38 record.
A Section 2 champion, Jeff Markert finished fourth in the WPIAL and qualified for the PIAA tournament to cap his wrestling career at Peters Township. The senior posted a 35-6 record this season and a 96-29 career mark.
After losing in the preliminaries, Brandon Matthews wrestled back and finished fifth in the PIAA tournament. The senior was a bronze medalist in the section and a fourth-place finisher in the WPIAL, earning his berth in the state championships. The 182-pound grappler posted a 39-6 record for the season and owned a 119-37 mark.
CV rules lightweights
When bouts started at 106, Chartiers Valley usually jumped off to a lead because the Colts owned the first two weight classes with Anthony Sadowski and Tony Montgomery. Then, Zachary Macy would solidify things by the time the action reached 132.
Macy left his mark on the program entering the Century Club this season and finishing his career with a 113-36 record. A Section IV champion and WPIAL participant, Marcy posted a 31-8 record this year.
The senior earned runner-up honors at the Buckeye Local Panther Classic and Allegheny County tournament. After starting the season with a sixth-place showing due to injury in the Chartiers-Houston tournament, Macy recovered to win the Indiana championship and finish fourth in the Burgettstown tournament.
While 2019 marked the end of the Macy era at CV, it also signaled the start of the Sadowski show. The freshman rolled up a 23-16 record in his inaugural year. His tournament action included a fifth place finish at Chartiers-Houston as well as taking fourth place at Burgettstown, Buckeye Local Panther Classic and Section IV.
Montgomery posted a 22-15 record. The senior finished with a 54-42 career record. A Section IV bronze medalist, Montgomery picked up fourth places at the Indiana tournament and Buckeye Local Panther Classic. He added fifth at Charters-Houston and third at Burgettstown.
Duo complete list
Bethel Park’s Luke Montgomery and USC’s Quinn Murray complete the list of Almanac wrestling all-stars.
Montgomery capped his junior year with an appearance in the PIAA tournament. After taking fourth in the section and claiming runner-up honors at 195 in the WPIAL championships, he secured seventh place in the state. He finished the season with a 24-6 record. He is 62-40 overall.
Murray completed his career with a 33-14 record and an appearance in the WPIAL championships. The senior was a section champion.
Allemang top coach
After a dozen years in the program, a handful of them as head coach, Marc Allemang is just beginning to see the fruits of his labors.
The Bethel Park graduate guided the Blue Devils to the sub-Section 2B title with wins against rivals Baldwin, Bethel Park, Peters Township, Ringgold and Upper St. Clair. He then coached the Blue Devils to a third-place showing in the sectional and a berth in the WPIAL team tournament, where Lebo lost a tough bout to Waynesburg, 38-30.
Allemang was probably at his best as he helped eight wrestlers qualify for the WPIAL individual champions. The Duquesne University standout coached three section winners, one district champion and two state medalists, including one runner-up.
For his efforts this season, Allemang has been named Almanac Coach of the Year.