CM’s Wiercioch, Schram, Chishko claim PIAA wrestling titles
Threes were wild for Canon-McMillan during the PIAA Class AAA wrestling tournament at the Giant Center in Hershey as the Big Macs crowned three state champions. Connor Schram, Solomon Chishko and Cody Wiercioch captured gold medals
According to wrestling guru and Observer-Reporter sports writer Joe Tuscano, the last time Canon-McMillan sported three champions was 63 years ago when Manuel Pihakis (95), Joe Solomon (145) and Don Haney (154) competed the feat in 1950.
Additionally, the three titles gave the school 39 state championships, one shy of the record of 40 held by Clearfield.
For Wiercioch, his 7-2 triumph over Penncrest’s Joe Gartland in the 170-pound final marked his third crown. The senior won his first PIAA title at the Class AA level while wrestling for Charleroi. The four-time finalist has won back-to-back championships for the Big Macs.
The Pitt recruit moved through the tournament with ease. He opened action with a fall at 4:28 against Cody Seibert of Big Spring. After an 11-3 decision against Tom Sleigh from Dubois, Wiercioch whipped Central Dauphin’s Colton Peppelmon in the semifinals, 16-6.
In the finals, Wiercioch scored a takedown to take the early lead, 2-0. Though Gartland registered an escape, Wiercioch held a 4-1 lead after the first period.
Wiercioch rolled up a 44-1 record this winter. His lone lose came in the Powerade Tournament in December against Chase Marsteller. Marsteller, who also claimed his third state title, winning the 160-pound weight class.
Wiercioch will now compete in the prestigious Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic set for Sunday, March 17 at the University of Pittsburgh, his future collegiate home.
Meanwhile, Schram ended his scholastic career the way he started…with a state title. A PIAA champion as a freshman, Schram scored his second title with a 5-3 win over Franklin Regional’s Michael Kemerer. In the 126-pound final, Schram opened up a 2-1 lead in the first period with a takedown. After two, he lead 5-3, and added an escape to seal the victory in the third.
Schram (44-3) also breezed through his early rounds of competition. After recording an 11-4 win over Dallastown’s Rodney Sunday in the opener, the Stanford recruit registered a technical fall, 20-5, against Chase Remenak of Nazareth in the quarterfinals. Schram’s 7-3 win over Wyoming’s Kyle Krasavage vaulted him into the finals.
Chishko joined Schram and Wiercioch in the winner’s circle when he blanked Chris Vassar of Cedar Cliff, 8-0, in the 145-pound finals. He jumped ahead, 4-0, in the first frame and led, 5-0, after two periods. He closed out the third with an escape and a takedown for the major decision.
After missing the entire dual-meet season because of a fractured elbow, Chishko charged back to win the section, district and regional tournaments. He brought a 10-0 record into the finals. In the opener, he scored a technical fall, 17-2, over Garnett Valley’s John Dambro then won by decisions against Spring Grove’s Mason Bentzel, 5-2, and Clearfield’s Nolan Barger, 11-2, to set up the showdown with Vassar.
The Big Macs just missed having four state champions when Dalton Macri dropped a touch decision, 3-1, to Sam Krivus in the 120-pound final. Krivus registered a first-period takedown and escaped with 18 seconds left in the second period to score all the points he needed for the victory.
Though Brendan Price and Angelo Broglia did not experience much success at the state level, going 0-2 in their bouts, Alex Campbell added eighth place in the 220-pound weight class.
With three state champions, a silver medalist and an eighth-place award winner, the Big Macs secured their second straight Class AAA PIAA team title at the individual championships. During the dual-meet season, Canon-McMillan also won team titles at both the district and state level.
In other AAA action involving wrestlers from the Almanac area, Noah Wilps secured sixth in the 170-pound weight class dominated by Wiercioch and Gartland. The Chartiers Valley junior lost to Garland in the semifinals, 8-4.
Mt. Lebanon’s Kellan Stout met the same fate against Gartland only in the first round when he dropped a 3-1 decision. Stout, who has won over 35 matches this winter, split his next two matches in the loser’s bracket.
In Class AA, three area grapplers had opportunities to take home gold medals but each settled for silver. South Fayette’s Seth Carr, Keystone Oaks’ Nick Zanetta and Chartiers-Houston’s Garrett Vulcano finished as runners-up at 113, 132 and 195.
For complete results visit www.escapesports.com/2013-PIAA/ and for more comprehensive coverage of the finals pick up The Almanac March 13.