A-K Valley wrestling notebook: No. 1 Kiski Area braces for showdown with No. 2 Big Macs

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017 | 11:09 PM


Kiski Area rolled to easy victories in its first six matches of the season, but the WPIAL Class AAA No. 1 Cavaliers face a big test Friday night with a nonsection match at No. 2 Canon-McMillan.

The Cavaliers and Big Macs meet each regular season, but they faced off three times in 2016-17 — all Kiski Area victories, including a 41-21 triumph in the WPIAL Class AAA championship match and a 29-24 win in the PIAA tournament.

Not only could the match provide an early glimpse at how the season may shake out, it also features some individual wrestlers who are WPIAL championship hopefuls — Logan Macri and Gerrit Nijenhuis for Canon-McMillan (1-0), and Cam Connor, Noah Levett and Darren Miller for Kiski Area (6-0).

Kiski Area shut out Gateway in its Section 1-AAA opener last week and then rolled to victories over Central Catholic, Cumberland Valley, Gateway, North Hills and Penn Hills to claim the North Hills Invitational title for the third consecutive season.

Turn of the century?

Burrell's dominance of WPIAL Class AA wrestling begins at home.

The Bucs' 69-12 victory over Riverview last week was their 99th consecutive in section competition, a streak that dates to the 2002-03 season.

Since the streak began, Burrell has claimed every section team championship, 12 WPIAL titles — including the last 11 — and one PIAA title. Seven wrestlers claimed individual state championships.

Rival Valley came the closest to ending Burrell's streak in 2013, but the Bucs edged the Vikings, 36-34. Most of the other wins during the run were blowouts.

“It takes a lot of people to put that many wins together,” said coach Josh Shields, a freshman at Burrell when the streak began. “The littlest things like some type of injury can take kids out here and there. Something could come up. The fact they've been consistent for so many years speaks for itself.”

Burrell, which can extend its streak to 100 on Wednesday at Summit Academy, still has a ways to go to record the longest section streak in Alle-Kiski Valley history: Kiski Area won 119 in a row before its run ended in 2006.

A true Patriot

Shields had more than just his birthday to celebrate Monday.

A New England Patriots fan “probably longer than most of these kids have been alive,” Shields wore a grin and a Patriots long-sleeve shirt at practice Monday, the day after their 27-24 win over the Steelers. Shields got back from the King of the Mountain Tournament with his wrestlers Saturday night, then got up early Sunday to go to Heinz Field.

“It was a good weekend,” Shields said.

Match on hold

Burrell's nonsection match at Class AAA No. 4 Hempfield, originally scheduled for Tuesday at Jeannette, was postponed.

Shields said the teams would look to make up the match in January.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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