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Wiercioch, Endres will continue sports careers at new levels

| Saturday, March 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Canon-McMillan wrestler Cody Wiercioch

Former Charleroi High School and current Canon-McMillan High School standout wrestler Cody Wiercioch will continue his academic and athletic careers at the University of Pittsburgh next autumn.

At Pitt he will wrestle for 34th-year head coach and Fallowfield Township resident Rande Stottlemyer. The Panthers will begin their first season as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference in the 2013-14.

Wiercioch is a senior at Canon-McMillan and wrestled at Charleroi during his freshman and sophomore seasons.

As a freshman, Wiercioch concluded a 38-1 season by winning the state Class AA 152-pound state championship. He became the first freshman in 33 years to win a state individual championship in a weight class higher than 130 pounds. Earlier that season he won the prestigious Powerade Christmas tournament's 152-pound title despite being unseeded and was named the tourney's outstanding wrestler.

In 2010-11, Wiercioch compiled a 39-3 overall record, won the WPIAL Class AA title and finished second at Powerade, the state regional and finals while wrestling at 160 pounds,.

He transferred to Canon-McMillan High School and concluded his junior season by winning his second PIAA crown in three years and first at the Class AAA level.

Wiercioch achieved his first undefeated season with a 7-4 victory over Norristown High School's Shane Springer in the 170-pound finals. He finished the season with a 46-0 final overall record and remarkably did not allow a takedown all season.

His transfer helped the Big Macs win the PIAA team titles and both the state team and individual tourneys. He was Canon-McMillan's lone state champion in 2012.

Other schools that actively recruited him were Maryland, North Carolina and two-time defending national team champion Penn State.

In 2012-13 Wiercioch compiled a 45-1 overall record and won his third state title by defeating Joe Gartland of Penncrest High School, 7-2, in the 170-pound PIAA Class AAA finals.

His overall scholastic record was 168-5 and his only loss this season was a 3-2 triple overtime loss to Kennard-Dale's Chance Marsteller in a match of two-time individual state champions at the 170-pound finals of the Powerade Christmas Wrestling Tournament.

He helped undefeated Canon-McMillan become the first team to win four straight WPIAL Class AAA team titles and the first WPIAL team to win a second consecutive PIAA Class AAA team championship at the team tourney. The Big Macs also won a third straight team title at the individual championships.

At the collegiate level Wiercioch is expected to wrestle at either 174 or 184 pounds.

Endres joins IFL team

Former Trinity High School quarterback Cody Endres has signed a contract with the Colorado Ice of the Indoor Football League.

A 2006 Trinity graduate, Endres played at the University of Connecticut and Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.

Endres began his collegiate career at UConn, appearing in five games and making two starts as a redshirt freshman in 2008. He started eight games for the Huskies before being dismissed the team in 2010 for violating team rules. His career high collegiate passing yardage at Connecticut was 378 yards against West Virginia University in 2009.

He transferred to Slippery Rock in the spring of 2011 and set a school record for passing yards last fall with 2,551. He threw 21 touchdown passes as Slippery Rock tied for the PSAC West Division title and finished with an 8-3 record. During a road win at Lock Haven last season, Endres completed 23 of 31 passes for 397 yards and four touchdowns. Endres' passing yardage total was the second-highest ever recorded by a Rock quarterback, behind only John Linhart's 502-yard performance in 1992 against Clarion.

Endres' favorite receiving target at Slippery Rock was Elizabeth Forward High School graduate Devin Goda, who caught 75 balls for 1,028 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2011.

The Indoor Football League began in 2003 and consists of teams in the west and southwest.

Games are contested on a 50-yard field that is 28 yards wide with eight-yard end zones. There are eight players on the field for each team with four players on the offensive line of scrimmage and two players in forward motion. On defense there are three down linemen.

Endres is the backup quarterback to Willie Copeland.

Bruce Wald is a freelance writer.