In the 152-pound semifinals of last week’s WPIAL Championships, Grant Fetchet landed awkwardly on his knee during his match against Nolan Wise of Highlands.
Fetchet, a senior from South Fayette High School, reached down and felt his kneecap had popped out of place.
He could have rolled over, taken a bunch of injury time, maybe even defaulted out of his bout.
Fetchet did none of these.
He simply popped the knee back in and continued the match.
Fetchet came away with a 6-2 win over Wise, then battled Burrell’s Steven Edwards in the finals, dropping a 5-4 overtime decision.
“I got treatment on it last week,” he said. “I iced it. It’s not bothering me. I went through the whole week’s practice but I was cautious.”
In the regional tournament in Johnstown, Fetchet advanced to the semifinals, where he lost a 3-1 decision to Andrew Doak of Blairsville. Fetchet battled back and took third place with a 9-4 decision over Taylor Cahill of Berlin-Brothersvalley.
Class AAA standouts
Canon-McMillan’s Solomon Chishko became just the 24th wrestler to win four WPIAL titles Saturday at Canon-McMillan High School but there are some others who could be joining him in that group in the next few years.
Franklin Regional freshman Spencer Lee rolled through the 113-pound weight class without a bout going the distance, including pins in 21 and 50 seconds.
All told, it took him 7:01 to finish his four bouts as he improved his record to 45-0 heading into this week’s PIAA tournament.
Latrobe sophomore Luke Pletcher picked up his second WPIAL title, taking home the 120-pound championship this year after winning at 106 last season. Pletcher, a sophomore who went 41-2 last season while winning a PIAA championship, is 39-0 this season.
Troubled times for champions
Chishko and Pletcher were two of four returning PIAA champions competing in the WPIAL tournament. They also were the only two to win WPIAL titles as Hempfield’s Sam Krivus and Franklin Regional’s Tyler Smith both were upset in the finals.
Krivus, who won PIAA and WPIAL titles at 120 pounds last year as a sophomore, was knocked off, 4-3, by Canon-McMillan’s Dalton Macri in the 126-pound championship on a last-second takedown.
Smith, who won the PIAA title at 132 pounds last season as a junior despite finishing second in the WPIAL tournament, was upset by Penn Trafford freshman Cameron Coy, 5-2, in the 132-pound final. It was Smith’s first loss of the season.
The losses for Krivus and Smith came right before Chishko took the mat against Franklin Regional’s Josh Maruca, another returning WPIAL champion at 138 pounds last season.
But seeing other returning PIAA champions lose had no effect on Chishko.
“I really don’t concern myself with other people’s business,” said Chishko. “If you don’t focus on yourself, it can kind of mess you up. You have to focus on the things that go into wrestling and make sure you’re ready to go.”
Change of fortunes
The long postseason means many wrestlers compete against the same opponents on a weekly basis.
In the WPIAL Championships in Double-A, Burgettstown’s Austin McDermitt pinned Brendan Howard of Jefferson-Morgan and shut out Austin Griffiths of Southmoreland, 6-0, to win the 113-pound title.
At the Southwest Region tournament, Griffiths defeated McDermitt, 7-1, in the finals.
“I couldn’t get anything going,” McDermitt said.
Next week? Who knows what could happen at the state tournament in Hershey?