The South Fayette High School wrestling team moved into uncharted territory at the Allegheny County Championship Tournament, which took place last weekend at Fox Chapel Area High School.
The Lions shattered their previous best finish by placing fourth in the 37-team field.
"Our previous high was ninth place in Nick Carr's senior year," said South Fayette coach Rick Chaussard referring to the 2011 tournament. "Placing fourth in such a strong tournament is something to be proud of."
South Fayette accumulated 170.5 points in the two-day tournament, best among among the Class AA schools that competed. In fact, the Lions scored more points than 20 Class AAA schools, and only one other school had as many place-winners.
"We had 10 of our 14 entries place [among the top eight in their weight classes]," Chaussard said. "Our previous high was five place-winners, so we doubled that total."
The only other school with 10 place-winners was Class AAA powerhouse North Allegheny. The Tigers, who had seven wrestlers finish among the top three in their weight classes, accumulated 240 points to claim the team title. Hampton was second with 203.5 points and eight place-winners. Central Catholic was third with 183 points, six place-winners and five finalists.
"I wasn't sure what to expect because this tournament is loaded with Class AAA schools," Chaussard said. "This was clearly our best performance of the season."
South Fayette had two wrestlers advance to the finals -- both for a second time -- but only one captured a gold medal.
Michael Fetchet, last year's 160-pound runner-up, moved up one weight class to 170 and claimed his first county title with a 3-1 win against Mt. Lebanon's Kellan Stout. Fetchet is unbeaten at 17-0.
"Michael and Kellan are workout partners for a couple club teams, so they know each other very well," Chaussard said.
"They also met in the finals of the West Mifflin [Steve DeAugustino Holiday] tournament and Michael won, 2-1, in double overtime.
"So I was expecting another close match."
Meanwhile, Seth Carr made his second consecutive appearance in the 113-pound final and had to settle for a second silver medal after a 4-2 loss to West Mifflin's Jimmy Harrison.
"That was the worst match Seth wrestled all year," Chaussard said. "He seemed nervous and distracted before the finals."
Both Fetchet and Carr reached milestones on Friday, the first night of competition.
"Both Seth and Michael won their 100th matches in the quarterfinals on Friday," Chaussard said. "They've had a friendly feud since the season began about who would reach 100 wins first. It was great to see both get their 100th the same night."
Also placing for South Fayette were: Mike Carr (fourth at 120); Jasper Wolfe (sixth at 106); Grant Fetchet (fifth at 152); Brad Haney (sixth at 182); Zach Walker (fifth at 195); Shane Ging (seventh at 132); J.J. Walker (seventh at 160); and Brandon Keck (eighth at 145).
In addition to South Fayette's impressive performance, three other teams from the West Xtra circulation area achieved some success at the Allegheny County Championships.
• Chartiers Valley had five place-winners, including Noah Wilps, who finished third at 170 pounds. The Colts other place-winners were: Dominic Politi (fourth at 182), Jake Paris (seventh at 195), Alex Preaux (eighth at 113) and Clayton Sekel (eighth at 138).
• West Allegheny had four place-winners, including bronze medalist Nate Hall at 145 pounds. The Indians other place-winners were Shea Beaumont (third at 285), Tim Bish (seventh at 152) and Josh Bahr (eighth at 160).
• Montour had three place-winners, including silver medalist Cole Macek, who dropped a 3-1 decision to Central Catholic's Zach DeLuca in the 220-pound final.
Also placing for the Spartans were Travis Grando (sixth at 145) and Tyler Kim (eighth at 132).