Canon-McMillan, Burgettstown Victorious at WPIAL Wrestling Team Championships

Monday, February 6, 2023

Pittsburgh, Pa. – The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) opened the month of February with the WPIAL Wrestling Team Championships presented by Western Pennsylvania Laborers’ Union, with the semifinal, championship, and third-place consolation matches held this past Saturday at Peters Township High School and Chartiers-Houston High School.

At Peters Township, Canon-McMillan emerged from the 3A field with its 22nd WPIAL team wrestling championship, taking sole possession of the league record with the win. The Big Macs now own trophies from 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1944, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1983, 1985, 1991, 1993, 1995, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2023.

In 2A at Chartiers-Houston, Burgettstown captured its third WPIAL crown overall and first in nearly 50 years. The Blue Devils were last victorious in 1974, and also captured the 1958 team championship.

The top four teams in 2A and top three teams in 3A have qualified for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Wrestling Team Championships, which begin on Monday, February 6 with preliminary round matches. Schools that advance from the preliminary round will compete at the GIANT Center in Hershey from February 9-11 in the championship brackets.

3A RECAP [Bracket | Championship Box Score]
Canon-McMillan snapped a 10-year drought in nail-biting fashion, winning the 3A championship in a 28-28 deadlock with Waynesburg Central. The Big Macs were victorious via the wins tiebreaker, as they won seven individual bouts to the Raiders’ six.

Waynesburg Central (13-3, 5-0) opened a 9-6 lead through four matches, starting with a Rocco Welsh 14-8 decision at the 172 weight class. Canon-McMillan (14-2, 5-0) answered with decisions by Gabriel Stafford (10-5) and Geno Calgaro (9-4), but Eli Makel scored a pin in 22 seconds at 285 to give the Raiders an early advantage.

The Big Macs answered with a pin at 107, as Collier Hartman scored six points for the team in 2:47. Ky Szewczyk of Waynesburg Central answered with a 4-2 decision to tie the match at 12-12, but Canon-McMillan won the next four matches with a 14-1 major decision (Brandon Dami), pin in 3:25 (Ryder Joseph), and two decisions (Andrew Binni, Josiah Gardner) to secure the tiebreaker.

The Raiders won the final three bouts with two forfeits (Mac Church, Nate Jones) and a 17-8 major decision by Brock Evans, but the seven winning bouts for Canon-McMillan were enough to break the 28-28 tie.

Canon-McMillan’s run to the final included victories over Penn-Trafford (49-15) in the first round, Norwin (56-9) in the quarterfinals, and Hempfield Area (37-36) in the semifinals. Waynesburg Central defeated Fox Chapel (54-9) in the opening round, Plum (48-14) in the quarterfinals, and Connellsville (45-25) in the semifinals.

Hempfield Area – who advanced out of the first round with the 7-6 wins tiebreaker – claimed third place and the final PIAA spot with a 32-31 triumph over Connellsville in the third-place consolation match.

Hempfield Area will wrestle in the preliminary round of the PIAA Wrestling Team Championships, taking on District VIII champion Carrick on Monday, February 6. Canon-McMillan will open its tournament round against either District III third-place Chambersburg or District I fourth-place Quakertown, while Waynesburg takes on District IV champion Shikellamy.

2A RECAP [Bracket | Championship Box Score]
For the first time in 49 years, Burgettstown is a WPIAL wrestling team champion as it captured the 2A title with a 31-24 victory over Burrell.

Burgettstown (15-0, 7-0) and Burrell (11-4, 6-0) swapped the first eight bout results, beginning with the Blue Devils’ Jacob Noyes winning by a 3-2 sudden victory decision at the 189 weight class. Luke Boylan answered for the Buccaneers at 215 with a 6-4 sudden victory decision, then Joseph Baronick gave Burgettstown a 9-3 lead with a fall in 2:18.

Cameron Baker pulled Burrell even at the 107 weight class, earning a pin in 20 seconds to make it 9-9. The Blue Devils’ Parker Sentipal scored a 9-0 major decision at 114, but it was answered with an 11-2 major decision by the Buccaneers’ Jacob Stewart at 121. The next two matches featured a pair of 5-0 decisions, with Dylan Slovick of Burgettstown winning at 127 and Cooper Hornack of Burrell triumphing at 133.

The Blue Devils regained the lead at the 139 weight class, moving ahead 22-16 with a Joey Sentipal pin in 50 seconds. At 145, the Buccaneers’ Niko Ferra scored a 5-0 decision to pull his team within three points, but Eric Kovach answered with a pin in 2:27 at the 152 weight class to put Burgettstown ahead, 28-19. Rudy Brown then clinched the title for Burgettstown at 160, winning by a 5-3 decision to give his team an insurmountable 31 points.

Burgettstown reached the championship match with victories against Southmoreland (70-6) in the first round, Mt. Pleasant (42-25) in the quarterfinals, and Frazier (49-24) in the semifinals. Burrell knocked off Knoch (71-3) in the first round, Laurel (39-19) in the quarterfinals, and Quaker Valley (41-24) in the semifinals.

Quaker Valley defeated Frazier in the third-place consolation match, 46-27.

Quaker Valley and Frazier will wrestle in the preliminary round of the PIAA Wrestling Team Championships on Monday, February 6, as the Quakers will take on District VI runner-up Huntingdon and the Commodores compete against District X runner-up Fort LeBoeuf. Burgettstown will face District II champion Honesdale and Burrell takes on District IX champion Brookville in the PIAA Championships first round.

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