Canon-McMillan proves point with 4th-place finish at PIAA team wrestling tournament

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Saturday, February 11, 2023 | 5:30 PM


HERSHEY – Canon-McMillan coach Brian Krenzelak said he doesn’t care about team rankings, but he did take notice that his Big Macs were ranked sixth in the WPIAL at the start of the season.

The Big Macs did better, a lot better than expected.

Canon-McMillan finished with its 10th WPIAL team title and placed fourth in the PIAA Class 3A team tournament, reaching the semifinals before falling to Nazareth on Friday.

“To start out ranked sixth in the WPIAL and to finish fourth in the state, that definitely feels good,” Krenzelak said. “That’s a testament these coaches, these wrestlers and their families. These guys sacrificed a lot and worked hard to achieve this.”

The Big Macs came back in a fourth-round consolation match Saturday and held off a late charge to defeat rival Waynesburg, 33-32, on a clinching pin by junior Tanner Mizenko.

It was the third time that the rivals collided with the Big Macs winning the WPIAL title 29-28 on Feb. 4 and Waynesburg winning the first meeting 30-27 on Dec. 14.

Canon-McMillan dropped the third-place match, losing to Central Dauphin, 36-31. Central Dauphin got a pin from Thunder Beard at 107 pounds to clinch the win, rallying from a late deficit to pin Mizenko with a headlock.

The Waynesburg match turned into a brawl. Off the mat, these wrestlers might like each other; on the mat is a different story.

“It came down to the last match in all three meetings,” Krenzelak said. “This rivalry has been going on since the 1940s. You can’t take anything away from those battles.

“This is an 80-year rivalry. It’s phenomenal and its part of the reason why both programs sustain so much is because we have each other. They say iron sharpens iron. That’s why we wrestle them.”

Canon-McMillan jumped out to a 23-0 lead on Waynesburg, but the Raiders battled back and closed the gap to 27-26 with two matches left.

Mizenko’s pin sealed the win.

“Every time we wrestle them, it’s going to be close,” Waynesburg coach Kyle Szewczyk said. “We moved our lineup around because of injuries. We bumped away from (Brandon) Dami to get a different look. Different opponents sometimes produce different outcomes.”

Waynesburg actually won more matches, seven, than the Big Macs, but the Big Macs got bonus points in their six wins.

Waynesburg’s Nate Jones held on to defeat Josiah Gardner, 7-5, at 152 pounds, and Brody Evans edged Gabriel Stafford, 5-4, in a slugfest at 189.

The match came down to the final two bouts with Mizenko ending the suspense with a pin.

The official in the match gave Canon-McMillan and Mizenko a break by not penalizing the Big Macs a team point for celebrating towards their opponent.

Szewczyk said he questioned the official who admitted he should have penalized the wrestler.

“We got a little banged up in this tournament,” Krenzelak said. “We didn’t put a couple guys out there. We need to check a few things with them. I didn’t want to risk further injury.”

Waynesburg advanced in the third round of consolations by running over Chambersburg, 45-18.

The Raiders won 10 of the 13 matches, including pins from Floyd Huff (107), Mac Church (145), Nate Jones (152), Roan Tustin (172), Rocco Welsh (215) and Eli Makel (285).

Notre Dame-Green Pond 47, Burgettstown 9 – Despite losing to one of the better teams in the state, the Blue Devils walked away with their head held high.

Burgettstown (17-2) battled the talented Notre Dame squad but was just overmatched.

Parker Sentipal (121), Gaven Suica (133) and Rudy Brown (160) picked up decisions for the Blue Devils.

“I’m proud of the effort,” Burgettstown coach Joey Vigliotti said. “We didn’t back down.

“This was a great year for the wrestlers and the program. It will be a good memory for them.”

Class 3A

Consolation third round

Waynesburg 48, Chambersburg 16

114: Ky Szewczyk (W) dec. Zach Sherman, 2-1

121: Rylan Carter (Ch) major dec. Albert Medlen, 12-0.

127: Luke Mentzer (Ch) pinned Luke Rush, 1:34.

133: Ashton Romberger (Ch) won by forfeit.

139: Daniel Huffman (W) dec. Logan Mickey, 11-6.

145: Mac Church (W) pinned Tyler Frye, :18.

152: Nate Jones (W) pinned Judge Rieck, :27.

160: Jake Stephenson (W) dec. Ivan Mixell, 8-3.

172: Roan Tustin (W) pinned Jacob Stoner, 3:22.

189: Brody Evans (W) dec. Aiden Hight, 6-3.

215: Rocco Welsh (W) pinned Zack Evans, 2:08.

285: Eli Makel (W) pinned Avery Kuhns, 1:47.

107: Floyd Huff (W) pinned Ben Hoover, 2:39.

Consolation fourth round

Canon-McMillan 33, Waynesburg 32

121: Brandon Dami (CM) won by forfeit.

127: Ryder Joseph (CM) tech fall Albert Medlen, 15-0 (4:49).

133: Luke Shaffer (CM) pinned Luke Rush, 4:05.

139: Andrew Binni (CM) pinned Daniel Huffman, 3:40.

145: Mac Church (W) won by forfeit.

152: Nate Jones (W) dec. Josiah Gardner, 7-5.

160: Jake Stephenson (W) dec. Blake Ward, 10-3.

172: Matt Furman (CM) major dec. Roan Tustin, 12-4.

189: Brody Evans (W) dec. Gabriel Stafford, 5-4.

215: Rocco Welsh (W) tech fall Geno Calgaro, 27-12 (4:35).

285: Eli Makel (W) pinned Noah Livesay, :54.

107: Tanner Mizenko (CM) pinned Floyd Huff, 2:48.

114: Ky Szewczyk (W) won by forfeit.

Third-place match

Central Dauphin 36, Canon-McMillan 31

127: William Flanagan (CD) dec. Ryder Joseph, 5-2.

133: Andrew Binni (CM) major dec. Dallas Schorr, 20-6.

139: Gavin Reynolds (CD) pinned Luke Shaffer, 2:28.

145: Matt Repos (CD) pinned Aaron Fisher, :07.

152: Mike Beers (CD) pinned Racer Litster, 1:22.

160: Ryan Garvick (CD) pinned Antonio DePaoli, 1:11.

172: Matt Furman (CM) pinned Arthur Ruud, 2:51.

189: Gabriel Stafford (CM) major dec. Eli Poyer, 18-6.

215: Geno Calgaro (CM) won by forfeit

285: Noah Livesay (CM) pinned Luke Nye, 2:48.

107: Thunder Beard (CD) pinned Tanner Mizenko, 4:38.

114: Luke Hitchcock (CD) dec. Collier Hartman, 5-2.

121: Brandon Dami (CM) won by forfeit.

*Canon-McMillan penalized a team point at 189.

Class 2A

Consolation fourth round

Notre Dame-Green Pond 47, Burgettstown 9

121: Parker Sentipal (B) dec. Cooper Feltman, 5-0.

127: Gavyn Kelton (ND) dec. Dylan Stewart, 3-1.

133: Gaven Suica (B) dec. Tanner McQueen, 7-1.

139: Bryson Vaughn (ND) pinned Joe Sentipal, 4:50.

145: Vincent Bouzakis (ND) tech fall Eric Kovach, 18-3 (4:21).

152: Keegan Ramsey (ND) pinned Logan Noyes, 3:59.

160: Rudy Brown (B) dec. Joseph Lapenna, 3-1 (SV).

172: Holden Garcia (ND) pinned Sondre Lunde, :27.

189: Connor Smalley (ND) dec. Jake Noyes, 10-4.

215: Jared Blobe (ND) dec. Tyler Cody, 11-5.

285: Aiden Compton (ND) dec. Joseph Baronick, 7-6.

107: Tanner Berkenstock (ND) pinned Gabe Bradley, :30.

114: Ayden Smith (ND) won by forfeit

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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