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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
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Weigh-in: Central Tech and Reynolds

Central Tech

Coach (season/record): Kevin Pastewka (7th/28-72)

2011-12 overall record: 8-6

2011-12 region record: 4-6

Top wrestlers lost: Nick Karnes, Ernesto Laureano

Top wrestlers returning: Andrew Welton, Santos Guerra, Paul Mancuso

Assistant coach: Matt Wakefield

Outlook: Welton was a regional runner-up who went 28-4 at 220 pounds last season. He’ll move up to 285 this year for a run at a state title. He goes into his final season with an 86-29 career record, one win shy of his brother Joe, a two-time PIAA qualifier for the Falcons in 2004-05. The Falcons have other solid returnees in Guerra, a returning District 10 runner-up who has a 46-40 career record and is expected to be back at 182 pounds, and Mancuso, a projected 138-pounder who is 56-43. Newcomer Jose Lopez has shown promise and could slide into the lineup at 120.

Schedule

December

18 Warren 6

28 Cranberry 6

January

16 Oil City 6

23 at Meadville 6

February

6 Titusville 6

Reynolds

Coach (season/record): Casey Taylor (2nd/19-4)

2011-12 overall record: 19-4

2011-12 region record: 9-0

Top wrestlers lost: Dylan D’Urso, Blake Heim

Top wrestlers returning: Austin Matthews, Jamar Henry, Mason McCollum, Michael Bartolo, Austin Moffett, Alex DiGregorio, Neal Engstrom, Levi Stoyer, Logan Rickert

Assistant coaches: Joe Reichard, Michael Hills, Mark Bartolo

Outlook: After 11 seasons as an assistant under Brian Hills, Casey Taylor took over the program last year and led Reynolds to another outstanding season. The Raiders finished as runners-up in the team race at the PIAA Class AA individual championships and returned to the PIAA AA team tournament. In his second season, Taylor will be without standouts D’Urso, a PIAA runner-up, and Heim, who was third. Together the two won 84 matches last season. But plenty of talent returns, led by Matthews, who was 48-2 last season en route to a second-place PIAA finish at 138 pounds. He bumps up to 152 this season. As usual, the Raiders will have a balanced lineup with plenty of wrestlers who gained experience last season. Newcomers Gene Ringer (285) and Seth Hogue (106) should step in and provide help right away. As usual, the expectations will be high both inside the program and on the outside.

Schedule

December

7-8 at Walsh Ironman Tournament

11 at McDowell 6:30

15 at King of the Mountain Tournament

18 at Cathedral Prep 7

20 at Lakeview 7

January

2 Fort LeBoeuf 7

5 Region 1 Duals at West Middlesex

16 Sharon 7

19 at Brookville Ultimate Duals

23 Franklin 7:30

29 at Grove City 7

Monday: General McLane and Grove City

– John Dudley

Posted in: Weigh-in, Wrestling

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