For the Pin

The first half of the wrestling season has shown every indication that the NA boys will go deep into the playoffs.

Krist Vizcarra in a battle while North Allegheny takes on Pine Richland.

Krist Vizcarra in a battle while North Allegheny takes on Pine Richland.

Manas Kathir, Staff Writer

Oftentimes, when we discuss Winter sports, we talk about basketball, hockey, swimming, etc. However, one sport that is slept on is wrestling. And it hardly deserves to be, as the NA boys’ team is clearly overachieving this season. 

To open their season, the team was invited to the Rick Link Invitational at Union Local, which they dominated. The Tigers totaled an overall team score of 300 to defeat all 18 teams. NA also dominated in the most pinfalls with a total of forty. 

NA also placed 3rd in the Panther Valley Holiday Tournament at Mount Aloysius College. This tournament was special for the team as senior Dylan Coy earned his 100th career win and took first place for the third time at the tournament. A total of six Tigers earned medals at the tournament, including sophomore Casey Walker, junior Nathan Monteparte, junior Jayson Flener, sophomore Travis Stipetich, and sophomore Aidan Buggey. 

At the Powerade Tournament that took place in Canon-McMillan High School, the squad took 49th place and at the recent Mid-Winter Mayhem Tournament that took place at Kovalchick Convention & Athletic Complex, the Tigers placed 11th. 

The team has competed individually against both North Hills and Pine-Richland. Against the latter, the Tigers were trailing 33-18 and were desperate for a pinfall. Thanks to junior Nathan Monteparte, the team was able to cut the deficit to 33-24. Then Jayson Flenner came up clutch and cut the score to 33-30. Finally, the whole matchup came down to sophomore Krist Vizcarra, who dominated with a 6-1 decision and tied NA’s rivals, 33-33. Due to more total victories in the dual meet, NA emerged victorious in the tiebreaker and won 34-33. 

NA’s earlier matchup against North Hills was a total Tiger shutdown. Freshman Kellen Buggey and two forfeits gave the Tigers a start in the right direction as they led 18-0. With a couple of defeats and a forfeit, the Tigers still had a comfortable lead, 24-12. At the crucial moment, Aidan Buggey and Sam Horton did their part to extend the lead to 39-15. In the end, there were forfeits from both teams to give North Allegheny the victory, 51-21. 

Clinching both of these victories, the Tigers completed a section sweep and made a name for themselves. In the WPIAL Class AAA Section 3-B, the squad currently stands at the top with a 2-0 record. 

North Allegheny Boys’ Wrestling’s journey continues as they will take on both Shaler and Mars on Wednesday at Mars High School. Both Shaler and Mars are yet to play a team in their section, so this will be a huge test for North Allegheny as the season moves forward. 

It is not even halfway through the season.  Though the WPIAL Team Tournament, PIAA Team Tournament, and Section Individual Tournament remain far ahead, with the way this team is competing, they are on pace for an extremely successful season.