HOUSTON – For Chartiers-Houston High School senior Tanner Sutton, winning section wrestling championships has become routine.
Sutton entered the WPIAL Section 1-AA Championships Saturday with three section titles, and he didn’t have much of a problem making four-for-four, defeating Laurel’s Shane King in the finals at 145 pounds.
He got there by pinning both South Park’s Nik Derenzo and South Fayette’s Brandon Keck, before defeating King by injury default.
“Four is special,” said Sutton. “Especially in my home gym. It just gave me an opportunity to wrestle one more match at home. It would have been nice if it would have been a full match because you never want to see someone get hurt, but it is still something special.”
Sutton has come a long way since his freshman season, when he wrestled at 125.
“I’m a lot better wrestler since the day I stepped in this gym as a freshman,” added Sutton. “I got a lot better technically, and that is because of having great coaches and partners on the mat.”
The moment was special for more than just the young Sutton. His father and coach, Bill Sutton, had the best seat in the house for all four section titles.
“He was talking the other day about how cool it would be to win four, just because a lot of people haven’t done that,” Bill Sutton said. “He had a god day on the mat and earned it, and the more time that passes, you start to realize how special it really is for him.”
It also was a good night for Sutton’s teammate Garrett Vulcano, who captured his third section championship by pinning South Fayette’s Zach Walker at 195. Vulcano also quickly pinned Avella’s Derek Allen to reach the finals.
“Winning three is nice,” Vulcano said. “Especially when you think about that I placed fourth out of five kids as a freshman. It speaks to how much I have improved since my freshman season.”
Four other local wrestlers won section titles. They include Burgettstown’s Austin McDermitt (106), South Fayette’s Seth Carr (113) and Mike Fetchet (170) and Avella’s Jake Temple (220).
But the night saw the final performance at home for two of Chartiers-Houston’s best, bringing home a grand total of seven combined section titles during their careers.
“It has been nice to watch them grow throughout their high school careers,” Bill Sutton said. “and they became a couple of really good wrestlers along the way.”