Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Freedom's Rose Gets Sweet Win in Regionals

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Freedom's Rose Gets Sweet Win in Regionals

Article excerpt

Senior Damian Rose of Freedom spent an entire year as a PIAA wrestling champion before earning the first regional title of his scholastic career.

Rose's long journey ended last Saturday at the Johnstown War Memorial when he claimed the 140-pound Class AA Southwest Regional championship. Rose scored a 3-1 decision in the final over previously undefeated Matt Moore of Blairsville.

Despite winning the PIAA championship in Hershey last year, Rose (38-2) was second at the regional as a junior. He also finished third in the region as a sophomore and fourth in his freshman year.

"I wanted to get this tournament out of the way before states," said Rose, also a two-time WPIAL champion with a career record of 144-22.

Winning his first regional gives Rose a boost of confidence heading to the state tournament tomorrow at the Giant Center in Hershey.

"I have more confidence going to states this year because I didn't win here last year," Rose said. "It feels good to win this one."

Rose is not completely satisfied after winning all three of the major titles in his scholastic career: the WPIAL, Southwest and PIAA.

"I'm not all smiles yet," Rose said. "I will be if I get through this week [with a second state championship]."

The 160-pound Southwest Regional title matchup was a repeat of the previous week's WPIAL final. The result was also the same. South Side Beaver's Corey Checkan (39-3) scored a 5-2 decision over Todd Cessna of Elderton. Checkan, a senior, won the semifinals 7-1, over Robin McCabe of Freedom. Checkan opened the Southwest tournament with a pin in 1:08 against Ian Leslie of Claysburg-Kimmel. Checkan is the first South Side wrestler to win a Southwest Regional championship.

McCabe (29-19), a senior, reached the regional semifinals by upsetting a pair of district runners-up in the first two rounds. He pinned Jacob Brambley of Everett in a first-round match in 5:53. McCabe followed that with a pin in the quarterfinals of United's Chuck Boring in 3:03. …

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