Share This Page

Canon-McMillan wins 4th straight WPIAL wrestling title

| Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, 9:32 p.m.
Canon McMillen's Dalton Macri celebrates his pin of Franklin Regional's Dan Turner at 1:00 in their 120-lb match during the finals of the WPIAL Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at Chartiers Valley High School on February 02, 2013. The pin propelled Canon McMillen to their fourth consecutive team title as they defeated Franklin Regional with a 31-26 victory. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review

Canon-McMillan won its fourth consecutive WPIAL Class AAA team title and ninth overall Saturday at Chartiers Valley, but the championship didn't come easy.

For the second consecutive day, the Big Macs (15-0) had to rally for a victory.

They trailed by 12 points through six matches but defeated first-time finalist Franklin Regional, 31-26, thanks to wins in five of the final seven bouts.

A pin in a minute by junior Dalton Macri at 120 pounds ended the match.

Macri said he was confident he would pull out the win for the team.

“I know that I'm one of the best in the state, and I'm confident in my abilities,” he said. “Right before the match, I looked around and saw all the people cheering in the stands. Then I kind of shrunk it down and just imagined being in the practice room.”

After the pin, Macri flexed both arms. It was something he saw Iowa junior Tony Ramos do after a pin Friday against Penn State.

Both teams earned a trip to Hershey for the PIAA Team Tournament, which begins Thursday.

Canon-McMillan is the defending state champion. This is Franklin Regional's first trip to the state tournament.

“This never gets old,” Canon-McMillan coach Chris Mary said. “I love my kids. I love the program and community. This is for them.

“We got a lot of gutsy performances from all of the wrestlers. We beat a very good and well-coached Franklin Regional team.”

Franklin Regional (17-3) built a 20-8 lead with technical falls by Michael Kemerer (126) and Tyler Smith (138), a major decision win by Josh Shields (152) and wins by Josh Maruca (145) and Nate Painter (170).

Canon-McMillan started its rally with a win by Steve LaFrance at 182 pounds.

Two-time state champion Cody Wiercioch followed with a pin at 195 pounds, and a win by Angelo Broglia at 220 tied the match at 20-20, setting up a thrilling final four bouts.

“One match goes the other way and we're WPIAL champions,” Kemerer said.

“We're proud, but we would have liked to win it.”

The teams split those bouts, but a technical fall win by Brendon Price (106) and Macri's pin gave the Big Macs the win.

“I told the guys I believed we could win possibly nine matches,” Franklin Regional coach Eric Mausser said. “We had an opportunity in a couple matches.”

Both teams were missing starters: Connor Medlang (120) for Franklin Regional and Solomon Chishko (138) and Malachi Krenzelak (145) for Canon-McMillan.

North Allegheny (16-3) earned its second consecutive trip to the state team tournament with a surprisingly easy, 44-20 victory against Kiski Area in the third-place match.

The Tigers will face Pittsburgh City League champion Allderdice at 6 p.m. Monday in a preliminary-round match at Carrick High School.

A victory Monday would send North Allegheny to Hershey for a match Thursday.

North Allegheny won nine of 14 matches, including pins by Scott Stossel (106), Connor D'Amato (113), Clay Byerly (170) and Alex DeCiantis (182).

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at schofield@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.