Pollard seeded second for Powerade tourney

Corry’s Kyle Schreckengost was in the lineup at 103 for the Powerade Tournament. Journal photo by R.L.McCray

From Combined Sources

PITTSBURGH — The 43rd annual Powerade High School Wrestling Tournament will consist of 44 schools — including for the first time Corry — and take place for the seventh-straight year at Canon-McMillan High School.

This holiday treat for wrestling fans that began in 1967 will take place Tuesday and Wednesday with a junior varsity tournament.

The opening round started this morning. Tomorrow’s action begins at 10 a.m. The championship finals are set for 7:30 p.m.

Powerade has been called "the toughest regular-season tournament in Pennsylvania and the fourth-best tournament in the country," by Wrestling Report.

Seven tourney champions return, including Derry Area's Jimmy Gulibon (39-1, 103 pounds), Franklin Regional's Nico Megaludis (46-0, 112), Shady Side Academy's Frank Martellotti (31-7, 130) and Matt Cunningham (46-3, 160), Blue Mountain's Josh Kindig (53-1, 135), Central Dauphin's Marshall Peppelman (46-0, 152) and Mt. Saint Joseph's Karl Green (36-2, hwt).

Kindig, an individual Class AAA state champion and already a two-time Powerade champ, was selected as the outstanding wrestler at last year's tournament. Peppelman, also a defending state champion, will look to become the second four-time individual champion. The only quadruple champion was North Allegheny's Ty Moore in 1986-89. Megaludis, as well as Kindig, will be striving for a third-straight individual championship.

Two-time individual Powerade champions through the years include Lauren Highlands' Howard Stock (1967-68), Charleroi's Bill Dudas (1967-68), Beth Center's Tom Yanek (1971-72), German Township's Darwin Stalnaker (1972-73), Connellsville's Ed Benzio (1974-75), Mike Mitchell (1975-76), John Richey (1989-90), Kevin Saniga (1990, 92), Chad Jesko (1992-93), Brian Martin (1992-93), and Drew Joseph (1998-99), Uniontown's Jim Jenkins (1983-84), and Mt. Pleasant's Harley Anderson (1996-97) and Justin Spates (1998-99).

Longtime California resident Bill DePaoli won three-straight individual titles at Chartiers-Houston High School from 1972-74. Mt. Pleasant also has had a pair of three-time champions in Joe Yancosky (1981-83) and Robbie Waller (1995-97).

All told, 59 previous Powerade place-winners and 15 individual state champions return this year.

Team state champions vying for the Powerade team title include three-time PIAA Class AAA defending champion Central Dauphin, two-time defending PIAA Class AA champion Shady Side Academy, Kissimmee Osceola (Florida Class AAA), Christiansburg (Va.), and Collins Hill (2-time Georgia Class 5A).

Central Dauphin has won the past two team championships, and the Bulls are one of just 10 different schools to win two or more Powerade team crowns.

Only 19 different schools have won team titles at this 42-year event.

Connellsville Area and Chartiers-Houston High Schools have each won the Powerade team title a tourney-most seven times. Connellsville's last title was in 1999 and that was also the last time a WPIAL team won the championship.

Tournament Director Frank Vulcano again believes mat fans who attend will be in for a true holiday wrestling treat. "The tournament is as tough as ever," said Vulcano, who won the 1980 Powerade individual title at 185 during his scholastic days at Chartiers-Houston High School. "We try to improve on the quality each year and are obviously excited to have as many returning champions as we do this year."

Vulcano also said that the finals will again be broadcast on a tape-delay by Pennsylvania Cable Network at a date to be determined.

Heading into the tourney, Corry’s Michael Pollard and Jake Kondrlik both have 112 career wins. Pollard is 13-0 this season with 12 first-period pins and one forfeit. Kondrlik stands 11-1.

Austin Gillihan has 87 career wins and is 13-0 this year, Dustin Taubert in at 12-0.

Jesse Preisler and Levi Catalfu both show a 9-3 record.

In the seedings, Pollard is second at 189 pounds to Council Rock North’s Jamie Callendar. Kondrlik is tabbed third at 145, Taubert sixth at 171 and Nash Walters eighth at 215.

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