This January 18th and 19th marked the 18th season for the Allegheny County tournament, which Fox Chapel hosts every season since its inception. It was a loaded field that included 11 previous county champions and 37 teams from every part of the county. Something unexpected happened there this year.
Pine-Richland entered the tournament with just 10 wrestlers, for 14 weight classes. The outnumbered team managed to bring home the fourth-place trophy with a total team effort. The Rams scored 141.5 points barely losing out to Mt. Lebanon for third, but more than enough to hold off Upper St. Clair and Hampton their next closest competitors. The trophy was the second award added to the wrestling trophy case this year. The Rams were 5-0 and secured first place at the North Hills Duals early this season.
New head coach Caleb Kolb with assistant coaches Tom McGarity and Rob Hunt reported that every wrestler won at least one match and most of his wrestlers' wins were by falls. Teams earn more points for pinning their opponents and the underdog Rams pinned 23 opponents of their 32 victories.
Nate Lukez, a junior carrying a 4.41 QPA, earned his first County title winning five matches over the two days. The trio of Cole Spencer, Kelin Laffey, and Miguel Jackson brought home third place trophies with impressive wrestling as well. The four underclassmen won nineteen matches to just three losses at the Fox Chapel gymnasium.
Every wrestler on the team returns next year. Coach Kolb and his wrestlers will not be surprising anyone next year when they compete for the top spot and a first-place team championship.