Canon-McMillan's Chishko, Macri brothers all win state wrestling titles

| Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

Ask anybody who has an affiliation with Canon-McMillan's wrestling program about the Chishko and Macri families and they will all echo the same sentiment: those kids are special.

But don't take their word for it, just let the results speak for themselves.

This season, the eldest brothers of the families, Solomon Chishko and Dalton Macri, each claimed WPIAL and PIAA wrestling championships. Both are seniors at Canon-McMillan and each has a younger brother that is eagerly following in their footsteps.

The younger brothers, Job Chishko and Logan Macri, are both in eighth grade and are having no trouble building formidable reputations as wrestlers on their own. In fact, the weekend before their older brothers hoisted PIAA championships, the younger brothers were able to accomplish the same feat by winning junior high state titles at the PJW Tournament Championships.

Two sets of brothers from the same school district claiming four wrestling state championships in two consecutive weekends is quite a rare feat, one that Big Macs junior high head coach and varsity assistant coach Brian Slack has never seen before.

“I've been coaching at Canon-Mac for 17 years. I'm a wrestling lifer. To have two sets of brothers win four state championships like this, I've never seen it before,” Slack said. “I don't think it will ever be duplicated.”

It is well known that Western Pennsylvania is one of the richest areas in the country when it comes to high school wrestling talent. It has become evident in the past few seasons, that Solomon Chishko and Dalton Macri are the cream of the crop. The older Chishko has won four WPIAL titles, becoming only the 24th wrestler ever to do so in WPIAL history. He is a two-time PIAA champ and boasts a career record of 132-8. The oldest Macri achieved a record of 40-2 this season (133-15 career), on his way to WPIAL and PIAA gold, and was named the PIAA Tournament's Outstanding Wrestler.

For many younger siblings, that kind of success would cast a shadow that would be difficult to escape. But for Job Chishko and Logan Macri, they are giddy at the prospect of filling their older brothers' accomplished shoes. Thanks to strong guidance from their big brothers, they seem poised to do just that.

Jim Akerly, the coach of the Quest School of Wrestling, has tutored all four wrestlers and sees the older brothers' support as key to the younger brothers' development.

“They learn from their older brothers which road they should take,” Akerly said. “You can see them feed off of their brothers. You see their big brothers on the sidelines, working through the match with them, helping them out.”

“I try to help Logan learn from my experiences. I want him to learn these lessons before I did so that he can be better then me,” said Dalton Macri, a Cornell recruit. “One day, I'd love to see him beat my career record at Canon-Mac.”

Like the older Macri brother, Solomon Chishko takes his mentoring of his younger brother seriously, wishing to see Job be a better wrestler then himself one day.

“Whenever Job is struggling with something or needs something pointed out to him, I like to be there to do that for him,” said Solomon Chishko, a Virginia Tech recruit. “We don't have a big sibling rivalry or anything. I just want to see him do well.”

The younger brothers clearly gain inspiration from their big brothers, both looking up to their siblings as role models.

“I've watched Dalton and his work ethic and I see where he is at now with wrestling and I realize that I'm not there yet,” Logan Macri said. “But I want to be there. I've seen him succeed, and I know that he can help me get there.”

Job Chishko shares in that brotherly admiration that Logan has, and wants to one day become a wrestler of his older brother's caliber.

“I see how strong Solomon is. He just throws people around out there on the mat,” the younger Chishko said. “I just want to be better so I can get to be as good as he is one day.”

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.

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