BACK IN ACTION
North Star has more matches under its collective belt than most PIAA teams so far. The Cougars went 3-2 in dual meets at the Sheetz Classic in Greenville a week ago, but coach Tim Rosa is eager for his wrestlers to get back on the mats after missing a month of the season because of the state shutdown.
“We’re ready,” Rosa said.
“We need to get out of the practice room. We need to see some other people right now. Last weekend was great to get five matches in against quality teams. To get some matches in against some other people will be a nice treat at this point.”
Rosa is trying to get his wrestlers ready for the postseason with a challenging schedule.
“With a short season like this, you want to find the best competition you can,” he said. “You might as well find out right away where you stand. You don’t have much time this year to make up ground.”
NATE THE GREAT
Nathan Pelesky impressed in his debut last week.
The senior went 5-0 with four pins and a 14-4 major decision over Brookville’s Cayden Walter, who is a returning state medalist.
Walter and Chestnut Ridge’s Calan Bollman, a state runner-up as a freshman a year ago, are each in Division I of the tournament, leaving Pelesky as the favorite in his 113-pound bracket.
“He’s working hard,” Rosa said of Pelesky, who fell one victory short of earning a state medal last season.
“He knows the opportunity is short this season, his senior year. He knows that an early season win like that is nice but it doesn’t mean anything in the end. He’s got a lot of work to do.”
North Star’s Connor Yoder went 4-1 last week, with the freshman’s lone loss coming to Laurel’s Grant MacKay, who is ranked third in the state at 152 pounds.
Yoder won’t see MacKay in the 160-pound bracket or nationally-ranked wrestlers Avery Bassett of Midd-West and Cole Spencer of Pine-Richland — both of whom are in Division 1 — but his Division 2 weight features Kiski Area’s Enzo Morlacci, who is No. 20 in the nation at 170 pounds according to MatScouts.com.
“He’s going to be tested early,” Rosa said. “His first two competitions are pretty tough for any freshman. We’re just looking for him to grow from match to match. I think we saw that last week. He was able to make some adjustments to help him score. We’re hoping he gets to face some of the best kids in his bracket.”