South Fayette advances to WPIAL wrestling final against Burrell
South Fayette disbanded its wrestling program in 1999, but the school district brought it back five years ago.
Now the Lions find themselves wrestling for their first WPIAL Class AA team title against perennial power Burrell on Saturday at Chartiers Valley. The final starts at 2 p.m.
South Fayette advanced with a 37-23 victory against Jefferson-Morgan on Friday in the semifinals, and Burrell, attempting to win its seventh consecutive title, survived a scare and defeated Chartiers-Houston, 37-30.
“This is an incredible feeling,” South Fayette junior Grant Fetchet said. “We work hard every day in practice, and it pays off. Now we have a shot at winning a WPIAL title, but we have a tough Burrell team.”
A Fetchet pin at 152 seemed to energize the bench. Fetchet trailed, 2-0, to Ryan Zalar in the second period. But Fetchet locked Zalar in a cradle and pinned him.
“It's my favorite move,” Fetchet said. “The match was coasting along until I got the pin. Then the bench came alive.”
Mike Fetchet (170) and Zach Walker (220) had pins for South Fayette, which won nine of the 14 bouts.
“Getting to the finals hasn't hit me yet,” South Fayette coach Rick Chaussard said. “We've had a lot of firsts this year, and hopefully we can keep it going.
“We've grown as a team in the past year. They didn't know how to win last year: Now they do.”
Burrell watched Chartiers-Houston race to a 15-0 lead on pins by Garrett Vulcano (285) and Ben Hritsko (106) but battled back on the strength of pins by John Andrejcik (132), Phil Marra (152), Corey Falleroni (160) and Dakota DesLauriers (182).
Tanner Sutton (145) and Jimmy Saieva (195) also recorded pins for Chartiers-Houston.
In Class AAA, Canon-McMillan will be trying to win its fourth consecutive title. The Big Macs rallied to defeat Kiski Area, 36-24.
They will face Franklin Regional in the finals at 6:30 p.m. Franklin Regional (19-2) squeezed past North Allegheny, 28-27.
Canon-McMillan, which trailed, 10-0, got pins by Josh Minor (113), Connor Schram (126) and Cody Wiercioch (170). It also received a forfeit.
What Canon-McMillan did was prevent Kiski Area from getting a lot of bonus points.
Franklin Regional, like South Fayette, is making history. This is the Panthers' first trip to the finals.
All the winners Friday earned a trip to the PIAA Team Championship in Hershey, which begins Thursday.
North Allegheny will wrestle Kiski Area for third place. The consolation winners will advance to the PIAA tournament preliminary round, which begins Monday.
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com.