HERSHEY – Solomon Chishko knew who won the bout.
Chishko’s coach, Jason Cardillo, knew it, too.
Ethan Stever, Chishko’s opponent, knew and so did his coach at Exeter Township, John Rugg.
Everyone seemed to know who won this 145-pound match in the first round of the PIAA Class AAA Wrestling Championships except the official scorer.
That was why Chishko, a defending state champion from Canon-McMillan High School, was forced to stand at the scoring table after his 25-10 technical fall over Stever Thursday afternoon to go back over the scoring to make sure it was all right.
“They had the name backwards,” said Chishko, a District 7 champion who is favored to repeat as the 145-pound champion.
“The lady who was keeping score had everything backwards. They had to erase everything and put it back in again the right way.”
Each wrestler is assigned an ankle band that is either green or red. Referees wear the same color bands on different wrists and indicate the scoring by raising the arm with the appropriate colored wrist band. That’s how the mistake occurred.
Not that upsets don’t happen in this tournament, especially in the first round. Gage Curry of North Hills, who was ranked third in the country at 106 pounds by Intermat, was knocked off by Connor Sheehan of Solanco, who was a state runner-up at 106 last year. Sheehan, obviously no slouch, was unranked by Intermat.
Devin Brown of Franklin Regional, who won the 106-pound title in Class AA for Saegerton last year, needed a last-second takedown to hold off Zurich Storm of New Oxford, 8-7.
“Kids can get surprised sometimes,” said Chishko, who probably hasn’t allowed 25 earned points all season. “At states, every kid is tough, and you can’t underestimate anyone.”
Even the scorekeepers.
The last hurrah
Every senior in this tournament is facing the same reality, and possibly feeling the same emotions, in the state tournament.
Each one is going through their final week of practice for high school competition, and more important, their final scholastic tournament of their careers.
“It’s bittersweet,” said Canon-McMillan senior Dalton Macri, a state runner-up last season who is headed to Cornell University next fall. “The sweetest part is that at the end, you could be standing on the top of the medal stand. You realize that at the end of that day, there are bigger and better things to accomplish.”
Jason Miller, a 138-pound senior for Jefferson-Morgan, echoed those thoughts.
“You think about it and realize it’s the last week of practice,” he said. “So you work as hard as you can to do the best you can.”
First-day attendance was 10,068. … Chance Marsteller of Kennard-Dale began his drive for a fourth straight PIAA title in strong fashion. The senior pinned Connor Martinez of Dallas in 1:23 to move to 38-0. Only 10 wrestlers in the history of this tournament have won four straight titles and Marsteller is attempting to become the sixth wrestler to finish his career undefeated. … With his 8-2 decision over Jared Hardinger of Wymomissing, South Fayette’s Jared Walker scored two more bout points than he did in three matches in last week’s region tournament combined. … Avella’s Jake Temple’s 16-1 technical fall over Rian Shubeck of Panther Valley gives him three such wins by tech fall in the last four bouts and five in the postseason, unusual for a 220-pounder.