Pittsburgh Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Canon-McMillan's Cody Wiercioch, Bishop Canevin's Johnie Olkosky
Claim to fame: Wiercioch joined teammates Connor Schram and Solomon Chisko in winning his third consecutive WPIAL title Saturday. Wiercioch (40-1), making his fourth trip to the title match, beat Chartiers Valley's Noah Wilps, 9-1, in a major decision to capture the 170-pound crown. A two-time PIAA champion, Wiercioch will look to win his third state championship beginning Thursday at Giant Center in Hershey.
How have you improved since your first trip to states?
I'm more well-rounded than I was as a freshman. I've gotten better in all three positions, especially neutral. I haven't been taken down since my sophomore year.
How are you preparing for states?
I've been training with our assistant coach (Jason) Cardillo and he wrestled in college and fights in MMA now. He's really helping me out with drills and getting ready throughout the season. I'm just trying to fine-tune my skills.
What are your plans after high school?
I'm going to wrestle at Pitt. I think they want me to start off at 165 or maybe redshirt. I really want to get right in there and wrestle 165.
Of the three titles you've won, which one means the most?
My freshman year. Making it all the way to the finals and starting off down, 2-0, and fighting my way back is probably one of the purest moments of my life.
Is the wrestling program in good shape with you leaving?
I think so. The all-around team is so strong. It was probably like that before I got there. But when I got here I just knew everyone was on the same page and clicked. That's what helped us win two state titles.
School: Bishop Canevin
Claim to fame: Olkosky was 7 of 9 from 3-point range and finished with a game-high 26 points to lead the Crusaders to their first WPIAL title with a 56-47 win over Seton-La Salle in the Class AA title game at Palumbo Center on Saturday. Olkosky's seven 3-pointers tied a WPIAL title-game record held by Carlynton's Kristen Bonner.
Do you have any explanation for why you were so hot behind the arc?
That whole week leading up to the game I stayed after practice with my coaches and worked on my shot. I probably shot an extra 100 shots after practice every day.
What was the celebration like after you left Palumbo Center?
It was amazing. We were so excited to finally beat Seton. It was a great way to end the WPIAL season.
What was it like before the game, knowing you've had problems with Seton-La Salle?
Honestly, I wasn't nervous at all. I'm always calm and ready to play. I'm not sure why. I think it's because I've been playing for so long.
Do you know anything about (PIAA opponent) Westmont Hilltop?
We don't know too much yet. We'll start working and watching film and get ready.
What are you going to have to do to assure your season doesn't end?
We'll have to keep up our defensive intensity and work as a team on offense. On defense, we do a good job pressing and trapping. We just need to attack.