McKEES ROCKS – As the mats were being rolled up and the fans headed to the exit, Jason Cardillo was busy signing cards.
No, he wasn’t handing out autographs. It will take a few more wins before he gets to that point.
Cardillo was putting his name with the rest of the team’s on “Thank You” cards that will be sent to some members of the Canon-McMillan community.
The Big Macs have shown their appreciation in many ways, such as winning five of the last six state team tournament titles.
The latest instance came Wednesday evening when Canon-McMillan rolled past Trinity, 62-12, in the Section 4-AAA championship at Montour High School. Montour defeated West Allegheny, 50-27, to take third place.
It was the 14th consecutive section title for the Big Macs (14-0) and the 35th in school history. The victory probably assures one of the top four seeds in next week’s WPIAL Team Tournament. C-M has won the last four in a row in that event, a record for Class AAA schools.
The preliminary dual meets will be held Monday and first-round matches are Wednesday. Semifinals are Friday and the finals are Saturday. None of the teams that wrestled last night was eliminated. The prize for winning this tournament – besides a section title and trophy for the showcase – is a good seed in the team tournament.
“It was important for us to keep it going,” said Cardillo, the Big Macs’ first-year head coach. “It’s a consistent thing. We’re expected to win every year. The expectations are that we win the section title every year and win a WPIAL title every year, and that’s a good thing.”
This also was the second time in a week that Canon-McMillan beat Trinity. The Big Macs took a 66-12 victory from the Hillers (4-3) in the THS gymnasium last Wednesday to win the subsection.
“They are definitely state champions for a reason,” Trinity head coach Mark Powell said. “We’re at the hardest part of our season right now. We wrestled Waynesburg, Char Valley, Canon-McMillan and went to the Top Gun Tournament, which is a really good tournament. I think our guys are a little worn out.”
The Big Macs got pins from Cam Fontenot (106), Josiah Hritsko (132), Malachi Krenzelak (145) and defending state champion Solomon Chishko (152). Canon-McMillan opened a 47-0 lead before Trinity got on the board with a defensive pin for Justin Ritter at 160. Robert West had a pin at 195 to account for the other Trinity points.
“I was pretty impressed with the way we wrestled,” Cardillo said. “We wrestled tough, the effort was there and I was happy. Our legs weren’t as dead. Now, we get ready for the team tournament.”
Trinity, thanks to a second-place finish in the section, will not be in a pigtail round. Pairings will be released this afternoon.
“Wherever they throw us, we’ll bang with anyone,” Powell said. “There are some tough teams in it, but I believe we can compete. We just have to get the guys to believe it.”
In the opening round, Canon-McMillan routed West Allegheny, 71-3, and Trinity knocked off Montour, 49-21.
Cam Fontenot (106), Brendan Price (113), Dalton Macri (126), Alec Hutchin (138), Nick Konyk (170), Jesse Lesko (182) and Brendan Furman (Hvy) had pins for the Big Macs against West Allegheny.
Mike Kolosky (106), Tristan Buxton (113), Devin Kelley (138), Justin Ritter (160) and Robert West (220) had pins for the Hillers against Montour.