After winning the WPIAL Class AAA Team Tournament and finishing second in the state event this past season, Waynesburg’s wrestling team appears well-stocked for another successful postseason next winter.
In TheOpenMat.com’s national preseason rankings that were released recently, Waynesburg has four wrestlers ranked among the top-20 nationally in their respective weights classes.
Defending PIAA champion Wyatt Henson is the highest-ranked among the Raiders. Henson, an Iowa recruit who won the PIAA championship at 138 pounds in March, is ranked No. 4 at that weight class.
Mac Church, the third-place finisher in the state at 106, is ranked No. 14 nationally.
Rocco Welsh, a state runner-up a season ago, is ranked No. 13 at 126 pounds.
Luca Augustine, a Pitt recruit who placed sixth at the PIAA meet, is ranked No. 16.
There are 13 WPIAL wrestlers included in the national rankings and six are from the O-R’s coverage area.
Belle Vernon’s Cole Weightman is the No. 20 wrestler at 220. Weightman placed sixth at the PIAA Championships.
Yough’s Evans retires
Donora native Tom Evans is retiring as athletic director at Yough, ending a long and distinguished career as an administrator.
Evans was the longest-tenured athletic director in Westmoreland County. He has been an athletic director or assistant AD since 1993.
A 1980 graduate of Ringgold High School, Evans was selected in April to the WPIAL Hall of Fame. He will be inducted next May.
Evans has been a member of the WPIAL golf steering committee, a liaison for the football and soccer championships at Heinz Field and Highmark Stadium and a member of the WPIAL Board of Directors.
Evans started a 35-year umpiring career in the youth leagues at age 16, when he was a junior at Donora High School, after attending a clinic for potential umpires. Evans started out making $2 per game.
By the time he was 18, Evans had passed the PIAA umpires test and was working high school games, many in the Mon Valley with Jim Chacko. At age 21, Evans was umpiring WPIAL playoff games.
In Evans’ umpiring career, he worked 15 WPIAL championship games and three PIAA finals. He was the home-plate umpire in two of those state championship games. He also umpired at the college level.
Parshall excels at PSU
Penn State lefthander Bailey Parshall was ranked the No. 10 pitcher in the nation in the shortened 2020 season, according to statistical analytics conducted by the website d1softball.com.
A Belle Vernon graduate, Parshall pitched in 20 of Penn State’s 26 games this spring, starting 13 contests. She had a 7-6 record, one save and a 2.51 ERA and struck out 129 batters in only 89 1/3 innings. She issued just 18 walks and opponents batted .232 against Parshall, who pitched Belle Vernon to the 2015 WPIAL Class 3A championship.
A sophomore, Parshall is eighth in Penn State history in strikeouts with 313 and is tied for No. 3 in program history with six saves in less than two full seasons.
Neely earns honor
Hunter Neely of Cokeburg was named the winner of Washington & Jefferson’s Walter C. Cooper Senior Athlete Award. The award is given annually to the top senior male athlete.
A Bentworth graduate, Neely won the NCAA Southeast Regional championship at 174 pounds, making him the Presidents’ first regional winner since national champion Nick Carr at 157 pounds in 2015. Neely went 5-0 in the 174-pound bracket to take the title. He compiled 116 career wins, which ranks as the fourth most all-time at W&J. Neely had a 29-4 record as a senior and became the fifth W&J wrestler to be a four-time Presidents’ Athletic Conference champion. He finished as a two-time NCAA qualifier and a 2020 regional champion.