| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Canon-McMillan trio trying to make WPIAL history by winning 3rd titles

Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Canon-McMillan's Connor Schram will attempt to become a three-time WPIAL champion.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review</em></div>Canon-McMillan's Connor Schram will attempt to become a three-time WPIAL champion.
- Burgettstown wrestler Austin McDermitt Submitted
Burgettstown wrestler Austin McDermitt Submitted
- Belle Vernon wrestler Adam Nickelson Submitted
Belle Vernon wrestler Adam Nickelson Submitted

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.

AUSTIN McDermitt

Burgettstown, Soph.

Claim to fame: McDermitt (33-4) won the WPIAL Class AA title at 106 pounds with a 9-1 major decision over South-moreland's Austin Griffiths on Saturday at Chartiers Valley. McDermitt pinned Chartiers-Houston's Ben Hritsko in 1:47 to win the Section 1-AA championship at Chartiers-Houston earlier in February.

“All year, he's been a leader for the team in the locker room and on the mat,” coach Terry Havelka said. “His leadership and hard work transfers onto the mat, which is pretty good for him being a sophomore.”

What was your mindset going into your match against Griffths?

I just put the fact that he beat me multiple times in the past behind me and thought to myself that I had a fresh start. I had a good mindset and knew I needed to do whatever it took to get it done.

How do you keep progressing as a wrestler even though you have won WPIALs early in your career?

I mean it's a big step in the right direction. Regionals are this weekend, and then states. I need to keep working hard during the offseason. But I think it was a big win for me.

How do you think you will do at regionals?

I think this win gives me more motivation to come out on top this year at Johnstown and then take it into Hershey. I think I have been picking it up at the end of the year, and it's at the right time.

What have you been doing differently down the stretch here?

In the past week, I was working out before school and then I was working out at Canon-Mac, and I'm just pushing myself with this last run.

— Andrew John

Class AAA Rankings

106: 1. Luke Pletcher, Latrobe (33-2); 2. Gage Curry, North Hills (31-2); 3. Brendon Price, Canon-McMillan (34-6); 4. Kevin Miller, Norwin (23-8); 5. Mike Heinl, Shaler (25-6).

113: 1. A.C. Headlee, Waynesburg (35-3); 2. Dom Forys, NA (36-2); 3. James Harrison, West Mifflin (29-1); 4. Phil Mary, Peters Township (27-6); 5. Kyle Berk, Franklin Regional (28-13).

120: 1. Sam Krivus, Hempfield (32-3); 2. Dalton Macri, Canon-McMillan (37-5); 3. Vincenzo Joseph, Central Catholic (19-7); 4. Lukas Etzel, Elizabeth Forward (25-7); 5. Brenden Hasson, Belle Vernon (32-4).

126: 1. Connor Schram, Canon-McMillan (36-3); 2. Michael Kemerer, F. Regional (32-4); 3. Tyler Walker, North Hills (31-1); 4. Nate Russo, Belle Vernon (31-4); 5. Tyler Buckiso, Peters Twp. (31-3).

132: 1. Tyler Smith, Franklin Regional (38-3); 2. Ethan Kenney, Connellsville (26-6); 3. Drew Walker, North Hills (28-4); 4. Italo Merante, Peters Twp. (27-3); 5. Joel Pezze, Norwin (27-7).

138: 1. Josh Maruca, Franklin Regional (36-6); 2. Jesse Rodgers, NA (33-4); 3. Justin Alexander, Central Catholic (35-9); 4. Sean LaVella, Hempfield (26-5); 5. Jake Shaffer, Latrobe (29-8).

145: 1. Solomon Chishko, Canon-McMillan (3-0); 2. Josh Shields, F. Regional (37-4); 3. Cole Landowski, Kiski Area (31-3); 4. Chris Nuss, Central Catholic (27-10); 5. Kevin Synan, Hampton (32-6).

152: 1. Tyler Reinhart, Greensburg Salem (34-5); 2. Heath Coles, Norwin (29-4); 3. Devin Austin, Penn-Trafford (32-7); 4. Brendan Burnham, Pine-Richland (27-3); 5. Kyle Skelly, Kiski Area (24-6).

160: 1. Zack Zavatsky, Latrobe (34-1); 2. Zach Voytek, G. Salem (37-2); 3. Jonathan Avon, North Hills (26-1); 4. Sammy Minor, Canon-McMillan (29-5); 5. Devin Fallenstein, Ringgold (33-3).

170: 1. Cody Wiercioch, Canon-McMillan (33-1); Kellan Stout, Mt. Lebanon (30-3); 3. Noah Wilps, Chartiers Valley (27-7); 4. Tyler Worthing, Kiski Area (29-9); 5. Damon Drositis, Hopewell (29-2).

182: 1. Adam Nickelson, Belle Vernon (34-1); 2. Alex DiCiantis, NA (28-2); 3. Drew Phipps, Norwin (32-5); 4. Brent Blacharczyk, McGuffey (24-4); 5. Luke Fournier, Elizabeth Forward (26-5).

195: 1. Matt McCutcheon, Kiski Area (31-0); 2. Jake Hart, Hampton (36-1); 3. Alen Turcinhodzic, North Hills (28-5); 4. Zach Smith, NA (32-8); 5. Anthony Cable, Greensburg Salem (26-5).

220: 1. Alex Campbell, Canon-McMillan (33-6); 2. Zach DeLuca, Central Catholic (34-7); 3. Cole Macek, Montour (28-3); 4. Noah Shulman, Hampton (34-5); 5. James Keys, W. Mifflin (27-7).

285: 1. Shane Kuhn, Kiski Area (34-0); 2. Luke Fleck, F. Regional (17-2); 3. Angelo Broglia, Canon-McMillan (26-6); 4. Dylan Miller, Conn. (31-4); 5. Pat Kline, Pine-Richland (24-3).

Class AA Rankings

106: 1. Austin McDermitt, Burgettstown (33-4); 2. Austin Griffiths, Southmoreland (28-3); 3. Brendon Howard, Jefferson-Morgan (36-5).

113: 1. George Phillippi, Derry (35-3); 2. Seth Carr, South Fayette (32-4); 3. Zach Swarrow, Beth-Center (20-6).

120: 1. Nathan Reckner, South Side Beaver (29-2); 2. Josiah Hughes, Valley (29-9); 3. Mike Carr, South Fayette (25-9).

126: 1. Greg Bulsak, South Park (31-7); 2. Vince Vahaly, Bent. (29-5); 3. John Demaske, J-M (23-3).

132: 1. Jason Nolf, Kittanning (38-0); 2. Nick Zanetta, Keystone Oaks (29-3); 3. J.R. Andrejcik, Burrell (28-7).

138: 1. Nick Gavazzi, Charleroi (32-0); 2. Anthony Welsh, Beth-Center (35-11); 3. Steven Edwards, Burrell (35-6).

145: 1. Phil Marra, Burrell (26-6); 2. Tanner Sutton, Chartiers-Houston (38-6); 3. Matt Johnston, West Greene (37-4).

152: 1. Boe Bonzo, Freedom (23-3); 2. Taylor Jack, Kitt. (32-9); 3. Grant Fetchet, S. Fayette (33-8).

160: 1. Jared Walker, South Fayette (28-6); 2. Connor Payne, South Side Beaver (32-7); 3. Derek Hull, Chartiers-Houston (30-17).

170: 1. Dustin Conti, Jefferson-Morgan (34-0); 2. Mike Fetchet, South Fayette (36-2); 3. David Kincaid, Chartiers-Houston (25-11).

182: 1. Dakota DesLauriers, Burrell (29-0); 2. Terrell Fields, Valley (33-5); 3. Justin Overly, Mt. Pleasant (35-9).

195: 1. Garrett Vulcano, C-H (39-2); 2. Zac Walker, South Fayette (31-5); 3. Zac Croyle, Kitt. (25-10).

220: 1. Jake Temple, Avella (34-1); 2. Cody Jacobs, West Greene (31-5); 3. Tom Sever, Yough (30-9).

285: 1. Allan Beattie, Burrell (33-8); 2. Jake Beistel, Southmoreland (30-3); 3. Rob Wolak, South Park (22-7).

— Paul Schofield

Top high school sports
Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, 11:30 p.m.

A first in the 78-year history of the WPIAL wrestling championships could occur this weekend at Norwin.

If things go as expected, the Canon-McMillan trio of Connor Schram, Solomon Chishko and Cody Wiercioch will be the first wrestlers from the same school to become three-time WPIAL champions during the same year.

The annual tournament begins Thursday with preliminary- and first-round matches. The finals are slated for 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

For Schram and Wiercioch, their careers in the WPIAL tournament are similar. Both lost tight matches in the WPIAL finals as freshmen, then bounced back to capture PIAA titles a few weeks later.

Schram dropped a 2-1 decision to Connellsville's Ethan Kenney in the 103-pound final.

But Schram has bigger goals. He has reached the PIAA finals three consecutive seasons, but ended up second the past two.

"It would be awesome to win three WPIAL titles. Winning another state title is my main goal," said Schram, who will wrestle at Stanford. "I want to end my career on a high note."

Wiercioch lost to Burrell's Travis McKillop, 4-2, during his freshman season in Class AA while wrestling for Charleroi.

"Coming up short and being undefeated, it was devastating for a couple days," Wiercioch said. "You have to get over it quickly."

And he did. He defeated McKillop in the finals of the Southwest Regional in Johnstown a week later and then added his first state title.

McKillop avenged that loss by defeating Wiercioch in 2011, but after transferring to Canon-McMillan, Wiercioch won his second state title in 2012.

"It would mean a lot to become a three-time WPIAL and PIAA champion," said Wiercioch, who will wrestle at Pitt.

But one loss the 170-pound Wiercioch won't get to avenge is his overtime loss to Kennard-Dale's Chance Marsteller in the Powerade finals. Marsteller dropped to 160 pounds this year.

"I'm not so much disappointed that he dropped," Wiercioch said. "I would have liked that shot. The loss to him knocked me down a peg and egged me on to work harder in the room."

Canon-McMillan coach Chris Mary, a three-time WPIAL champion (1982-84) at Chartiers-Houston, said both are at the top of their game.

"They are the elite of the elite in the country," Mary said. "Both are humble champions on and off the mat, and they've set the bar so high, not only for our program, but for programs across the state.

"Winning three WPIAL titles would be great, but I won't let them look past Thursday's opponent. They are good sportsmen and class acts. They are fan favorites. People from other schools enjoy watching them wrestle."

Schram and Wiercioch also have been named to the United States Dream Team Classic in Chicago on April 20.

Mary said Chishko was released to wrestle by his doctors earlier this month after an elbow injury kept him out most of this season. He won the Section 4 title at 145 pounds Saturday.

"It hurt him watching the team," Mary said "He looks powerful, determined and hungry."

More Information


Belle vernon, Sr.

Claim to fame: Nickelson (34-1) won the Section 2-AAA title at 182 pounds Saturday by pinning Elizabeth Forward's Luke Fournier in 1:43. Earlier in the season, Nickelson also won the Eastern Area Tournament at Gateway and West Mifflin Christmas Tournament.

"It felt pretty good. I pinned him in the first period," Nickelson said. "I didn't run into any hard competition during the tournament, but I still wrestled pretty good."

How do you think you will fare at WPIALs this week?

I'm definitely good enough to go out there and win. I should be able to win if I keep doing what I have been doing all year long.

Who is the toughest opponent you could face at WPIALs?

I'll probably see Alex DeCiantis from North Allegheny in the finals.

What do you think the key to your success has been this year?

I would have to probably say all the just hard work we have done. We go hard in practice. I don't think any other team in the WPIAL practices harder than us. We have a freshman on the team that has done well for us this year. We have been there motivating each other to be better wrestlers.

What are your college plans for next year?

I'm going to Pitt-Johnstown and going there to wrestle. I'm currently undecided right now on my major, but I'm leaning toward engineering.

- Andrew Joh

WPIAL Class AAA/Southwest Regional wrestling tournament

Thursday-Saturday, Norwin

Times: Thursday: pigtail round, 5:30 p.m.; first round, 7 p.m.; Friday: quarterfinals and first-round consolations, 5:30 p.m.; Saturday: second-round consolations, 9 a.m.; semifinals and third-round consolations, noon; fourth-round consolations, 2:15 p.m.; consolation finals, 6 p.m.; parade of champions, 7:20 p.m.; finals, 7:30 p.m.

Skinny: Top 3 wrestlers in each of the 14 weight classes advance to the PIAA championships March 7-9 at the Giant Center, Hershey. ... Canon-McMillan's Connor Schram, Solomon Chishko and Cody Wiercioch can become three-time WPIAL champions. ... Other returning champions are Connellsville's Ethan Kenney (103, 2010), Franklin Regional's Michael Kemerer (106), Hempfield's Sam Krivus (113), Norwin's Heath Coles (145), Latrobe's Zack Zavatsky (160) and Kiski Area's Matt McCutcheon (182).

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Wrestling

  1. Panthers wrestlers out to gain match experience
  2. Southmoreland wrestling team looks to soar even higher
  3. Ligonier Valley wrestlers strive to improve
  4. Gateway wrestlers look to navigate tough section
  5. Southmoreland wrestling team takes old-school approach
  6. Valley wrestling pins hopes on new coach
  7. Fox Chapel wrestlers hope to compete for section title