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McWreath takes WPIAL Crown

Posted Sunday, March 06, 2011 by Paul Reihner
Kyle McWreath won the WPIAL AAA 215 pound title at Canon Mac.  He will be competing for the state title this weekend at Hersey's Giant center this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. 

CANONSBURG - Canon-McMillan High School had the kind of evening Saturday that sends historians to the archives.

In this case, the archives happen to be the Big Macs' wrestling room.

The host Big Macs claimed five individual titles at the WPIAL Class AAA Wrestling Championships, added third-place finisher and will send six wrestlers to next week's PIAA tournament in Hershey.

The five champions were the school's most since 1947.


"Five WPIAL champions in this era is very hard to do. I couldn't be happier for the team, the program and my assistant coaches who helped them do this," said C-M head coach Chris Mary. "They had seven in 1947. They had to look that up on the wall downstairs."

The five titles helped Canon-McMillan, which had four champions in 1994, claim the points title over second-place Central Catholic, which had four champions, 167.4-141.

"We expect big things out of our kids here at Canon-Mac. We have good kids, and it's our job to keep that tradition going," said Mary. "It was a great effort from everybody."

Colton Shorts got the Big Macs started with a 4-0 win over North Allegheny's Dom Forys at 103 pounds to claim his first WPIAL title.

Shorts did not allow a point in the tournament. Shorts said the Big Macs' aggressive schedule helped prepare him for what he faced this weekend.

"We wrestled a lot of top teams, and have been all over the place, so I felt pretty experienced and confident," Shorts said.

Connor Schram followed Shorts' effort with a title of his own at 112 pounds. A defending PIAA champion who finished second here last year, Schram edged Franklin Regional's Tyler Smith, 3-2.

Solomon Chisko (130), Nick Catalano (145) and Cody Klempay (heavyweight) also won titles for the Big Macs, while 135-pounder Dario Dobbin claimed a third-place finish.

"I'm really proud of Dario," Mary said. "He's been knocking on the door here the last two years and finally got it this year. He really wrestled well."

The WPIAL championship the first for Catalano, the lone senior in Canon-McMillan's lineup. He had been a WPIAL placewinner in the previous two seasons. He's also a returning PIAA placewinner.

"It's taken my fourth year to finally get to the top," said Catalano. "But I've still got one more week. Hopefully, I'll get to the top next week, too."

Waynesburg qualified two wrestlers for the state championships, with each winning silver medals.

Derrick Nelson, the top seed at 119 pounds, finished second here for the second consecutive season, dropping a tough 3-2 decision to Upper St. Clair's Mackenzie McGuire.

Nelson, a fifth-place finisher at last year's PIAA tournament, gave up a first-period takedown and second-period escape. He reversed McGuire in the third period, but was unable to turn the Upper St. Clair junior despite several strong attempts.

Teammate Zach McGinnis got perhaps the biggest cheer of the evening in his 125-pound bout in the finals against two-time PIAA champion Nico Megaludis when he scored a first-period takedown of the Franklin Regional star.

But Megaludis won his fourth WPIAL title by methodically working his way to a 17-9 victory over McGinnis, himself a defending WPIAL champion. Megaludis was named the tournament's outstanding wrestler.

Trinity's Kyle McWreath ran his record to 32-0 with a 3-1 win over Latrobe's Scott Mohring in the 215-pound final.

A second-place WPIAL and sixth-place PIAA finisher last season, McWreath quickly raised his hands following the final buzzer, but thought better of it and brought them down.

"I didn't want to embarrass myself out there or anything," McWreath said. "But I was a little excited."

Peters Township advanced two to the PIAA tournament.

Tyler Buckiso, who was seeded second at 103 pounds, rebounded from a quarterfinal loss to win three bouts in the consolation bracket for a third-place finish.

Teammate Derek Evanovich, who dropped a 9-0 decision to McGinnis in the semifinals, defeated Peter Craig in the 125-pound consolation finals to claim third place in that weight class.

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