Canon-Mac No. 1 seed in team tournament

January 24, 2013

Canon-McMillan begins a possible historic run through the WPIAL Team Tournament as the No. 1 seed in Class AAA.

The Big Macs are looking to become the first Class AAA wrestling team to win four consecutive WPIAL team titles. North Allegheny, under Gus DeAugustino, won three titles from 1986-88.

Burrell holds the Class AA record, winning the last five team tournament championships.

Canon-McMillan is the defending state team tournament champions and also won a second straight team title at last year’s individual tournament. The PIAA gives out two each season.

The Big Macs (11-0), the top-ranked team in the Observer-Reporter Team Rankings and the No. 10 team in the country by Intermat, will wrestle the winner of the preliminary-round dual meet between Central Catholic and Ringgold in Wednesday’s doubleheader, which the Big Macs will host.

The WPIAL will hold first-round and quarterfinal matches at four Class AAA sites and three Class AA sites Wednesday at 6 p.m., then 7:30. Fourth-seeded Connellsville (18-2), third-seeded North Allegheny (13-2) and second-seeded Franklin Regional (11-1) are the other home sites in Class AAA. No. 1 Burrell (9-4), No. 4 Chartiers-Houston (5-4), No. 3 Jefferson-Morgan (9-4) and No. 2 South Fayette (7-0) are the home sites in Class AA.

Semifinals and finals will be held at Chartiers Valley High School. Semifinals will be Friday, Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. for Class AA and 7:30 p.m. for Class AAA. Finals, also set for Chartiers Valley, will be held Saturday, Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. for Class AA and 6:30 p.m. for Class AAA.

The top three teams in each classification advance to the PIAA Team Tournament, Feb. 7-9 at the Hersheypark Arena.

Record for Vulcano

Garrett Vulcano’s pin of South Fayette’s Bryce Christoff in Wednesday night’s WPIAL Section 1-AA Team Tournament was one of his quickest of the year: 27 seconds. It also was the most meaningful in Chartiers-Houston wrestling history.

The pin was Vulcano’s 133rd win of his career and set the school’s career victory record. Michael Innes previously held the mark with a 132-20 record.

“Garrett just goes out and gets it done,” said Chartiers-Houston head coach Bill Sutton. “Sometimes it’s tough, because you talk to other kids (before a match), and you kind of skip over Garrett. He’s that good. He’s that dependable. You know you can count on him.”

Vulcano, a 195-pound senior, has a 23-2 record this season and a 133-37 career mark. He has 12 pins this season, the quickest coming in just eight seconds in a season-opening victory against Beaver’s David Burzenski.

“He’s always in good position,” Sutton said. “He’s impossible to score on. That’s why he has all those wins.”

No action taken

The WPIAL Board of Control reviewed an incident during the Chartiers-Houston Wrestling Tournament at its January meeting Tuesday and took no further action.

Chartiers-Houston police said a physical altercation occurred between Rich Hall, the president of the Chartiers-Houston School Board, and Josh Mollica, an assistant wrestling coach for South Fayette during the tournament, which was held Dec. 7-8.

Chartiers-Houston police said no charges were filed.

Tim O’Malley, executive director of the WPIAL, said the organization asked for, and received, reports from both schools about the altercation. After reviewing the matter, O’Malley said the board was satisfied with the “collective resolution” between the two schools in settling the matter.

Because it was considered a personnel matter, no details were made available.

Joe Tuscano has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1980. He has covered all sports for the newspaper, including the Steelers, Pirates, Pitt football, local college football and wrestling. He has worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Jeannette News-Dispatch and North Hills Record. He graduated from Duquesne University in 1980.

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