PIAA titles haven't come easy for WPIAL wrestling teams
TribLIVE Sports Videos
It hasn't been easy for WPIAL teams to win PIAA team titles since the tournament began in 1999.
Only three teams — Burrell (2008) in Class AA and Connellsville (2005) and Canon-McMillan (2012) in Class AAA — have won titles.
Five local teams, including the defending champion Big Macs, are headed to Hershey for the PIAA team tournament, which begins Thursday at Giant Center.
Burrell, which won its seventh consecutive WPIAL title, and South Fayette are in Class AA, while Franklin Regional, Canon-McMillan and North Allegheny are in the Class AAA tournament.
North Allegheny advanced by defeating City League champion Allderdice, 73-7, on Monday. Chartiers-Houston fell short of a trip to Hershey after falling to District 10 runner-up Fort LeBoeuf, 41-21, in the PIAA opening round. Those losses have become commonplace for WPIAL teams.
“There are such strong teams all over the state,” Canon-McMillan coach Chris Mary said. “You have Easton, Central Dauphin; there are a lot of good teams out there with studs. We're going to prepare and go out with a positive attitude.”
Canon-McMillan, which will wrestle 8 p.m. Thursday against Spring Grove, the third-place team from District 3, has its own “studs” — Brendan Price (106 pounds), Dalton Macri (120), Connor Schram (136), Cody Wiercioch (170) and Alex Campbell (220).
Franklin Regional and North Allegheny have matches at 6 p.m. The WPIAL runner-up Panthers face District 4 champion Jersey Shore, while the Tigers, the WPIAL third-place team, will face District 3 champion Central Dauphin, which won consecutive titles from 2008-11.
“It's really hard putting together a full lineup with very few holes or no holes,” said North Allegheny coach Jaime Kyriazis, whose team qualified for the second consecutive year. “Your second-tier guys have to do well, and you have to get the right matchups.
“Everybody says Western Pennsylvania is one of the toughest parts of the state; I don't know. Teams like Easton, Central Dauphin and Northampton are the ones who have had success. I don't know how they do it; they put these incredible teams together. Hopefully things are turning the corner with Canon-McMillan winning.”
Franklin Regional coach Eric Mausser said he's excited about his team's first trip to the state tournament and knows his team can do some damage.
Burrell is making its 10th straight trip to the state tournament, placing third in 2005 and '11.
“When you get outside the district, the talent pool out east and up north is better,” said Chris Como, Burrell's assistant coach who also has served as the team's head coach. “Reynolds and those teams in the Lehigh Valley have solid lineups throughout, and studs. It comes down to winning swing matches. When we won, we had a solid lineup and guys who could win or keep matches close. Then, we had guys we could count on getting big points.”
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.