CANONSBURG – Angelo Broglia has all the skills to be a top-notch heavyweight wrestler.
He’s big, strong, physical and quick on his feet. Broglia has the right moves to escape and can ride when the need arises. He can take an opponent down with authority as he did before pinning Waynesburg’s Thad McGilton in Canon-McMillan’s 59-9 Section 4A victory Wednesday night.
Maybe the most important element in Broglia’s repertoire is patience.
For the past two seasons, Broglia sat behind Cody Klempay on Canon-McMillan’s roster, unable to beat the two-time WPIAL champion and two-time state medalist in eliminations.
Broglia never wrestled a varsity match until the Ironman tournament that kicked off his senior season.
“I almost quit to focus on football,” said Broglia. “I’ve wrestled for 14 years. I started in second grade. I didn’t want to quit because they needed me.”
The Big Macs are glad he stayed. Broglia pinned McGilton in 1:26 for his eighth pin and 12th victory of the season. He was one win away from placing in the Ironman tournament and took third place in the Reno Tournament of Champions, winning the last eight in a row in the consolation bracket after a second-round loss.
“It all fell into place,” said Broglia. “I wrestled Klempay and (Alex) Campbell every day in practice, two of the best heavyweights in the WPIAL. We beat each other up.”
Broglia believes his future is in football and is being pursued by St. Francis to play defensive end. But the 6-4, 245-pounder might have more options for wrestling if he continues to develop.
“We always knew over the last few years that the goal would be to have him (start) as a senior,” said C-M head coach Chris Mary. “When you have a two-time WPIAL champ and two-time state placewinner in front of you, it’s tough. We allowed him a split (practice) schedule, where he could wrestle and lift weights for football. We kept him feeling there was something special here. We knew it was hard to wait that long.”
Mary believes Broglia has a bright future in wrestling.
“He opened a lot of eyes in Reno,” Mary said. “I always tell heavyweights that they need three moves: a throw down, a hold down, and a get up. Well, he has those three and a few more.”
Broglia got a chance to show his talent in last year’s junior varsity session at Powerade, which takes place the day before the first round. Broglia pinned all four opponents in a combined time of just over three minutes.
“Coach Mary kept me interested,” said Broglia. “I practiced every day and lifted weight every day. At Reno, no one knew who I was. The word is getting out now. If you take me lightly, you’re going to get pinned.”
Josiah Hritsko started the dual meet against Waynesburg with a 1-0 decision over the Raiders’ Terry Victor at 126, the first of four close wins for the Big Macs (2-0, 2-0). Alex Hutchin stopped Waynesburg’s Michael Heasley, 6-3, at 138, Malachi Krenzelak decisioned Shane Piper 3-1 at 145 and William Pihiou edged Bo Hampson 3-2 in ultimate tiebreaker.
“I told our kids before the match to not over-respect them” said Waynesburg coach Joe Throckmorton. “I told them to wrestle their match and go from there.”
Waynesburg (1-1, 6-5) was forced to forfeit three bouts and Canon-McMillan one.
Dalton Macri (120) and Jesse Lesko (182) each had a pin for the Big Macs, who will honor their 1983 and 1985 WPIAL championship teams at a dual meet Friday night against Chartiers Valley. Hempfield was originally supposed to wrestle but flip-flopped dates with Chartiers Valley to compete in this weekend’s Beast of the East tournament.