Sunday, February 19, 2023 | 11:01 AM
You would think a growing team like the Chartiers Valley wrestling program would not like being part of a loaded section where signs of improvement might not be evident in your spot in the final standings.
With WPIAL realignment this past offseason, the Colts were placed in Section 5-3A along with four-time defending champion Waynesburg Central, plus traditional power Trinity and strong programs such as West Allegheny and South Fayette.
Those four teams ended up with a combined final team record of a 49-16.
However Chartiers Valley wrestling coach Bill Evans disagrees about the notion that a strong section could handcuff a program trying to join the elite of the district.
“I like being in a tough section,” he said. “Week in and week out, our wrestlers face the best that the WPIAL has to offer. It only makes us better and sharper as a team and individually.”
The Colts finished fifth in the six-team section with a 1-4 section record. Overall, Chartiers Valley was 4-6 in team duels.
“We’ve been a nice little tournament team, placing pretty high in the team standings everywhere we have gone,” Evans said.
Chartiers Valley finished 49th out of 67 teams in the prestigious Powerade Tournament over the holidays. The Colts also finished fifth in the Allegheny County championships Jan. 21 and were fourth in the Buckeye Local Panthers Classic in Ohio on Jan. 28.
Despite not qualifying for the WPIAL team playoffs, Evans and his team have enjoyed this season on the mats.
“It has been a fun year,” he said. “We have two Division I commits, kids getting into the 100 win club, kids chasing school records. A lot of history has happened this year, and it has been fun to be a part of.”
With the team aspect of the season in the books, the attention turns to the individual wrestling postseason, starting with sectionals and continuing into the WPIAL and then the PIAA tournaments.
The Colts hope to have wrestlers enjoy success in February and still be wrestling into early March.
“We have returning state champion Dylan Evans, returning state qualifier Brady Joling, junior Tyler Glover and freshman Michael Lawrence,” Coach Evans said. “Those four have the best chance to wrestle at Hershey in March. I like how sophomores Logan Connolly, Howard Clellen and Travis Schoonover, along with freshman Morgan Silberman, are developing for the future as well. I think that qualifying for the WPIAL tournament is definitely within reach for them this season.”
The WPIAL Class 3A South sectionals are slated for Saturday (Feb. 25), at South Fayette. The district championships at Canon-McMillan are March 3-4, followed by the PIAA individual championships in Hershey on March 9-11.
Coach Evans feels the future is bright for his young Colts and is already excited about the 2023-24 season.
“We are bringing back some tough young talent, and our JV team has done well over the past couple of seasons against teams like Canon-McMillan and Waynesburg,” he said. “I think that group should be a playoff team over the next couple of seasons, coupled with the potential for individual success from some of our sophomores and freshmen as they grow up and develop.”
Tags: Chartiers Valley