Chishko, Macri win PIAA titles
Chishko, Macri win PIAA titles
After winning PIAA state championships and making history at Canon-McMillan High School, Solomon Chishko and Dalton Macri will exhibit their talents this Sunday, March 16 in the 40th Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic.
The prestigious competition pits Pennsylvania’s best grapplers against the top talent across the United States at the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Fieldhouse. The main event begins at 6 p.m. The WPIAL all-stars will battle the Oklahoma stars at 4 p.m.
“When I was younger, I always watched the Powerade Tournament and the Dapper Dan,” said Chishko, who sports a 132-8 career record. “So it’s pretty cool to be competing. The goal is to win the Dapper Dan.”
Marci, who owns a 133-15 record, agreed. He has been a spectator at the event since he was 10. “The competition is always awesome. It’s hard to describe it and to be a part of it now,” he said, a bit awestruck. “Well, I just want to win my match and help PA win.”
Right now, Chishko and Marci are helping each other drop weight to fit their 120- and 138-pound singlets. After winning their 126- and 145-pound weight classes in the PIAA tournament, the pair celebrated at Applebees in Hershey. Marci enjoyed the honey-barbequed wings while Chishko indulged in the chicken, tomato and basil penne.
“I love pasta,” said Chishko. “It’s something I don’t have a lot of during the season. It’s mainly lean meat and vegetables.
Macri, who also enjoys chicken Parmesan, said that it was fun to enjoy a good meal with friends and family and while they may have gained a couple pounds, they would “still make weight.”
While they are looking forward to the Dapper Dan, Chishko and Macri are still reveling in their victories in the state championships. For Chishko, his PIAA title was his second straight, while Macri won his first after finishing runner-up a year ago.
“Last year motivated me. It drove me,” said Macri, who became the 41st champion in school history. “My whole motivation this season was to go back to states.
“I feel that experience helped me. I was able to picture in my head all the seats filled at the Giant Center and all the people watching me wrestle.”
The crowd did not phase Macri. The senior veteran dispatched Zach Valley, 5-1, in the 126-pound championship bout. The Northhampton senior, who was competing in his first final, had not surrendered a point until his match with Macri.
“I didn’t think about that,” Macri said. “In wrestling, you only can control yourself and how you prepare. It’s about how prepared you are, your state of mind and your emotion.”
Macri, who finished the season 40-2 overall, focused on each of his bouts. “The idea was to keep moving forward,” he said. He scored a technical fall, 25-10, at 5:40 in his opening match against Connor Moyer from Wilson. Macri scored a 26-11 decision over DJ Fehlman of Warren in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, he defeated A.C. Headlee from Waynesburg, 5-3.
“I never quit,” he said. “I was always attacking and moving forward.”
From the start, Chishko attacked too. He recorded a technical fall, 25-10, against Exeter Township’s Ethan Stever at 5:47 in the tournament opener. After he decisioned Demetri Probst of Central Mountain, 17-6, in the quarterfinals. Chishko scored a 21-8 win against Max Good from Cedar Cliff in the semifinals.
That set the stage for a showdown between state champions. Last year, Chishko won the 145 pound title while his opponent, Joe Galasso won the 138-pound championship. The Father Judge senior also entered the match sporting a 26-0 record. However, Chishko triumphed, 7-2, in the finals, making him the 42nd state champion in school history.
“I looked forward to the match but I didn’t look ahead,” explained Chishko, who finished the year at 27-3. “He’s a tough competitor. He’s always been. I knew that.
“But you can’t look ahead because you could lose before you even get to the big match. So I prepared myself to the best of my abilities. To be sure, to beat a previous state champion in the finals is a great way to close our your career.”
Two other area wrestlers closed out the competition with silver medals. Since both are juniors, however, they could comeback for the gold.
In a replay of the WPIAL Class AAA, Kellan Stout of Mt. Lebanon succumbed again to Zack Zavatsky of Latrobe. In the 182-pound finals, Zavatsky scored a 3-1 decision against Stout to remain undefeated on the year.
Stout recorded his 100th career victory in reaching the finals. In the semifinals, the junior beat Alex Price from North Penn, 5-0. In his opening bouts, Stout, who is Lebo’s all-time winningest wrestler, pinned Dennis Lumadue from Philipsburg-Osceola in 1:10 and beat John Shorter of Manheim Township, 5-2.
In Class AA, Jared Walker finished runner-up at 160 pounds. He dropped a 9-3 decision to Kyle Bova from Coudersport in the finals. A junior, Walker had beaten Ryan Preisch from Milton by ultimate tiebreaker, 4-2, in the semifinals. He beat Jarred Hardinger from Wyomissing, 8-2, and Adam Soldridge from Bethlehem Catholic, 7-0, in his opening bouts.
Walker’s teammates, Grant Fetchet and Mike Carr earned medals. A senior, Fetchet finished fourth at 152 while Carr, also a senior, finished fifth at 132.
Other medal winners at the Class AAA level included:
• Tyler Buckiso from Peters Township; sixth at 132.
• Paul Dunn of Bethel Park; third at 152.
• Noah Wilps from Chartiers Valley; fourth at 170.
• Zeynul Zaynullayev of Mt. Lebanon; eighth at 285.