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Run at top continues for Canon-McMillan wrestlers

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

It was a triple trifecta for the Canon-McMillan wrestling team at the Class AAA WPIAL/Southwest Regional tournament, which concluded Saturday night at Norwin High

School.

Connor Schram, Solomon Chishko and Cody Wiercioch each claimed a third consecutive WPIAL title as the Big Macs dominated the field for the second year in a row. The

three champs were among seven Big Macs who qualified for the PIAA championships by placing in the top three in their weight class.

Schram (41-3) made his fourth appearance in the finals and claimed his third title with a 3-2 win against Franklin Regional's Michael Kemerer (34-6) in the 126-pound

final. It was the only weight class that featured two returning champions, as Kemerer won the 106-pound title last year.

Schram and Kemerer also met in the finals of the Powerade Christmas tournament and Schram won by injury default when Kemerer suffered a concussion.

"It's an awesome accomplishment to win three WPIAL titles," Schram said. "I will enjoy the title tonight and then get back to work tomorrow to get ready for states."

Chishko (7-0) won his third title with a 3-2 win against Franklin Regional's Josh Shields (40-5) at 145 pounds. Chishko's takedown with 0:51 left broke a 1-1 tie.

"This title means more to me than the others because of what I've gone through this year," said Chishko, who missed most of the season recovering from elbow surgery.

"And it was also great to share the spotlight with Connor and Cody."

Wiercioch (40-1) made his fourth title appearance and captured his third title with a 9-1 major decision of Chartiers Valley's Noah Wilps (30-8) in the 170-pound

final.

"It's pretty awesome to win three titles," said Wiercioch, who lost in the title match as a freshman. "It would have been better if I was a four-timer, but I'm happy

with three."

Hempfield's Sam Krivus, Connellsville's Ethan Kenney, Norwin's Heath Coles and Latrobe's Zack Zavatsky claimed a second gold medal. Krivus (36-3) won the 120-pound

title with a convincing 12-0 major decision against Central Catholic's Vincenzo Joseph (22-8).

"Two down and two to go," said Krivus, a sophomore. "My goal is to win four WPIAL titles. I just have to keep working hard."

Kenney (30-6) claimed the 132-pound title with a 14-12 win against Franklin Regional's Tyler Smith. Kenney won his first title as a freshman, then placed third the

past two years. Smith finished second for the third consecutive year.

Coles (33-4) posted a 4-3 victory against Greensburg Salem's Tyler Reinhart (37-6) in the 152-pound final. It was the fifth time the two faced off this year and Coles

won for the third time.

"It's been back and forth all year with Tyler," Coles said. "Each match seemed to get closer. I'm just glad I was able to win the most important of my matches with

him."

Zavatsky (38-1) made his third appearance in the 160-pound final and won his second title with a 7-2 win against Greensburg Salem's Zach Voytek (40-2).

Kiski Area's Matt McCutcheon (34-1), a returning WPIAL and PIAA champion, was upset, 3-1, in overtime by Hampton's Jake Hart in the 195-pound final. Hart, a WPIAL and

PIAA runner-up at 195 last year, scored the deciding takedown 13 seconds into overtime.

"Knocking the No. 1 kid off his throne is a big confidence booster," said Hart, who received the Outstanding Wrestler Award for his upset. "I wasn't getting any

respect in the rankings coming in. Maybe now I'll get some respect."

Canon-McMillan coach Chris Mary was named WPIAL Class AAA coach of the year for the fifth consecutive year.