Prosdocimo hopes third time will be a charmBy Paul Schofield
Woodland Hills junior Tony Prosdocimo, who hasn't won a section title, is favored to win his first this weekend when the WPIAL Class AAA Individual tournaments get underway Friday at five sites. Prosdocimo, ranked No. 1 at 145 pounds by the Tribune-Review, will be at Kiski Area High School for the Section 4 tournament. The other tournaments are at Norwin (Section 1), Connellsville (Section 2), Seneca Valley (Section 3) and Washington's Trinity (Section 5).
Prosdocimo, a PIAA qualifier as a sophomore, is one of only four wrestlers in the WPIAL with undefeated records. Prosdocimo is 26-0. The others are Greensburg Salem's Billy Smith (26-0), Mt. Pleasant's Robbie Waller (18-0) and North Hills' Randy Hobbs (25-0). "I'm excited about the section tournaments," Prosdocimo said. "I should do pretty well."
In two previous section finals, Prosdocimo got pinned by McKeesport's Tony DiBattista (1996) and Kittanning's Chamie Hooks (1997). "I learn from all my losses," said Prosdocimo, who practices what he, preaches.
He's dominated every opponent this season. His closest matches were two 5-2 victories against Plum's Greg Chirieleison and Mt. Lebanon's Angelo Palmiere. "Tony hates to lose," said Woodland Hills coach Bob Ladick. "When he steps on the mat, his opponent knows he better strap it up. He's a hard working kid that leads by example."
Prosdocimo, with an 82-14 career mark, broke Wayne Anderson's team-points mark for a season. Anderson is a two-time WPIAL champion and two-time PIAA third place finisher. "He's exceptionally good on his feet, has great balance and good mat awareness," Ladick said. "He's got the total package (quickness and balance) and a big heart."
Prosdocimo, who went 2-2 at the PIAA tournament, wants to take his wrestling to a new level. "I want to win a WPIAL title and go to states with at least 30 wins," Prosdocimo said. "Everyone is good at states and if I make it this year, I'll do better."
Section 4 returns five defending champions including two-time winners John Lorenz (119) and Joe Chirafisi (160) of Kiski Area. Also returning are Kiski Area's Brian Egnatz (103) and Plum's Wes Koteski (171) and Chirieleison (145). Here's a look at the other sections:
SECTION 1At Norwin, seven wrestlers, four from Greensburg Salem, return to defend their titles.
Smith (125), a three-time champion, heads the Greensburg Salem contingent that includes George Carter (140), Bill Selembo (119) and Greg Jones (103).
Waller (152), a two-time winner, is Mt. Pleasant's only returning champion. Penn-Trafford's Nick Picarsic (135) and Norwin's Mike Croyle (189) were the other winners.
Mt. Pleasant's Harley Anderson (103) and Brandon Newill (112) were among the second-place finishers.
Latrobe's Brett Lundquist, a senior, was the 103 winner in 1996. He placed fourth last year.
SECTION 2At Connellsville, the Falcons return four champions including two-time winner Chris Liston. Also returning are Drew Joseph (103), Marcus Lubich (112) and Matt King (152). Liston and King are PIAA qualifiers.
West Mifflin's Tom Salopek is also a two-time champion and Kris Derry was the 103 winner in 1996.
Elizabeth Forward's Adam Musisko, a PIAA qualifier, will miss the rest of the season with a broken ankle.
SECTION 3At Seneca Valley, Moon's Ed Beighey, a three-time champion, heads a list of nine returning champions.
North Allegheny, section runner-up to Shaler, returns Bill Boeh (135), Brendan O'Connell (140), Jason Bader (145) and Ben Kuntz (171). Others returning include North Hills' Darren McLane (103) and Randy Hobbs (112), Butler's Lyneil Mitchell (189) and West Allegheny's Jim Capozzoli (130).
SECTION 5At Trinity, Canon-McMillan's Brad Mockler and Trinity's Andy Migyanko are two-time champions.
Mockler won the 119- (1997) and 112-pound (1996) titles and Migyanko took the 103 titles in 1995 and 1996. McGuffey's Luke Main defeated Migyanko in the finals last year.
Main is one of four McGuffey wrestlers returning. Also back are Zac Shaner (125), Jim Hanning (135) and Nick Richmond (171).
Trinity's Todd Day (130) and Peters Township's John Williams (152) are also returning champions.