HERSHEY – Dalton Macri knows the secret to being a champion.
And he let everyone know after the most important match of his scholastic career Saturday night in the Giant Center.
“Pressure is something you put on yourself,” he said. “You can’t burden yourself with something that weighs nothing.”
Macri won a historic state title for Canon-McMillan with a 5-1 decision over Zach Valley of Northampton in the 126-pound finals of the PIAA Class AAA Wrestling Championships.
The state title was the 41st in Canon-McMillan’s history, more than any other school in the state. C-M and Clearfield were tied with 40 apiece.
Solomon Chishko, Macri’s teammate, made it 42 a little while later when he won a relatively easy 7-2 decision from Joe Galasso of Father Judge in the 145-pound finals. Chishko defeated Chris Vassar of Cedar Cliff in last year’s 145-pound finals, 8-5.
Macri took a 3-0 lead in the second period after a scoreless first with an escape and takedown. Valley escaped in the third but Macri nailed the victory with a takedown late.
Macri was a state runner-up last year, losing in the 120-pound finals to Sam Krivus of Hempfield. There would be no disappointments this year.
“I was not as nervous as I thought I might be,” he said. “I was the experienced one. (Valley) was never in the finals before. You look up at all the people in Giant Center and it can get to you.”
Franklin Regional ended Canon-McMillan’s three-year reign as team champions by winning this year’s title. The Panthers had four in the championship round and two in the consolation finals.
Chishko built a 2-1 lead over Galasso with a takedown in the first period. The lead stretched to 3-1 with an escape early in the second. Chishko put the match away with a takedown with 1:47 left in the third period. Another takedown with 24 seconds to go made it a five-point win.
“I wanted to do everything right,” said Chishko. “I warmed up the same way. I prepared the same way. Galasso is tough. He kept up the pace.”
Chishko had an easy time in the semifinals, routing Max Good of Cedar Cliff 21-8. Chishko had been dominating up to that point, stopping Demetrie Probst of Central Mountain 17-6 in the quarterfinals and winning by 25-10 technical fall over Ethan Steve of Exeter Township. Chishko outscored his opponents by a combined 63-24 in those bouts.
Macri met Headlee for the third time this season in the semifinals and came away with another win. Macri built a 5-0 bulge then held off a rally by Headlee in the third period. Headlee finished third when Krivus pinned himself in 4:46.
Buckiso lost a 2-0 decision to Cameron Coy of Penn Trafford in the semifinals. The match turned when Buckiso was called for his third caution – which draws a penalty point – with 24 seconds remaining. There was confusion over how many cautions Buckiso had and the bout was stopped for about three minutes as the officials huddled at the scorer’s table to straighten it out.
When the conference ended, Coy was awarded the point and Buckiso, who was riding at the time, let Coy and tried unsuccessfully to take him down in the final 24 seconds.
Buckiso fell into the consolations, where he lost a 1-0 decision to Tyler smith of Franklin Regional. He wrestled for fifth place against Matthew Grossman of Manheim Township but dropped a 6-1 decision.