After being ousted in the PIAA team tournament, falling in the consolation round, Canon-McMillan joined the rest of the area's wrestlers in preparing for the individual tournament as the WPIAL sectionals commence Feb. 22.
Chartiers Valley will host the Section 4 event while Connellsville will entertain the Section 2 competitors. The Big Macs, along with South Fayette and the Colts compete in Section 4 while Bethel Park, Mt. Lebanon, Peters Township and Upper St. Clair are in Section 2.
The top five wrestlers in each weight class from those tournaments will advance to the WPIAL/Southwest Regional championships, which begin Feb. 28 at Canon-McMillan.
The top four finishers in the district then advance to the PIAA championships set for March 5 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Canon-McMillan's Gerrit Nijenhuis, who recently surpassed the school record for career victories, is among the top wrestlers expected to do well in the individual tournament. He is a defending state champion. He is ranked No. 3 in the nation by Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine at 182.
Mt. Lebanon’s Luke and Mac Stout are two other highly-regarded wrestlers. Luke was a state runner-up last year. The senior is ranked No. 9 in the country at 195. Mac is a sophomore and ranked No. 17 at 170.
Jackson Gray is another top performer for the Blue Devils. He is a returning section champion.
Lebo head coach Marc Allemang said he has high expectations for the trio, as well as several other wrestlers, during the postseason.
“I think we can have a great showing at sections,” he said. “I think we can add a bunch of place winners and WPIAL qualifiers to our list of previous champions. We just need to stay focused and do the little things that have helped us be successful to this point.”
2 join Century Club
Two area wrestlers recently joined the Century Club as Quentin Franklin from South Fayette and Bryce Wilkes from Peters Township picked up their 100th career victories.
Franklin is 103-43 heading into postseason action. The senior heavyweight has posted pins in five of his last six bouts.
Wilkes picked up his 100th win, scoring a tech fall against Dawson Anderson in a dual match against South Fayette Feb. 5. The 126-pound senior is 100-19 heading into the postseason with 53 career pins.