The finalists for the Wrestling Coach of the Year each had something in common.
Jeremy Allen of Avella, Jason Cardillo of Canon-McMillan and Rick Chaussard of South Fayette each exacted strong performances from their wrestlers.
The three will be honored, and the winner chosen, at the Tri-County Athletic Directors Coach of the Year Banquet 5 p.m. Sunday, April 27, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in the Meadow Lands.
Tickets for the banquet are $35 each and are on sale at Washington High School, 201 Allison Avenue, Washington, PA, 15301. Reservations can be made by calling athletic director Joe Nicolella at 724-223-5085, ext. 2091.
All proceeds from the banquet benefit Special Olympics.
Allen was in the corner when Jake Temple snapped a 26-year state champion drought for Avella by winning the 220-pound weight class in Double-A. Temple had a wonderful season, going 43-0 and repeating as champion in the Southwest Region Tournament and WPIAL Championships. It was the first state title for an Avella wrestler since Ryan Sella won the 95-pound title in 1988 and just the fourth in school history.
Avella had a 6-6 record, finished fourth in Section 1 and qualified for the WPIAL Team Tournament. After a first-round win over Bentworth, the Eagles fell to South Fayette.
Cardillo took over the Canon-McMillan wrestling program after Chris Mary retired after winning five of the past six PIAA Class AAA team titles over the past three seasons. He not disappoint, leading the Big Macs to a 35th section title with a win over Trinity and a No. 3 seed in the WPIAL Team Tournament.
The Big Macs made it to the semifinals, where they fell to Latrobe, then lost a one-point match to North Allegheny for third place.
In the individual state tournament, Dalton Macri won the 126-pound title and Solomon Chishko repeated as 145-pound champion. Macri’s win gave C-M 41 total state champions, more than any other school in the state. Chishko, who was No. 42, capped his career with a fourth WPIAL title.
Chaussard led the Lions to the Section 1 team title and a No. 2 seed in the WPIAL Team Tournament. South Fayette defeated Southmoreland, 60-19, Avella, 47-21, and Jefferson-Morgan, 47-29, to advance to the finals. The Lions came up short there, falling to eight-time champion Burrell, 34-28.
In Hershey, Jared Walker advanced to the 160-pound finals, where he lost a 9-3 decision to Kyle Bova of Coudersport. Grant Fetchet finished fourth at 152 and Mike Carr was fifth at 132.