Class AAA Boys PIAA Wrestling Tournament: Brashear's Nyama 1st City wrestler to win a state championship
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HERSHEY, Pa. -- Godwin Nyama's wrestling career had come so far in such a relatively short period of time, he wasn't going to lose the final match by way of what he believed was an injustice.
A 120-pound senior at Brashear, Nyama became the first City League wrestler to win a PIAA championship with a 3-1 overtime decision against Canon-McMillan's Connor Schram Saturday night at the Giant Center.
Nyama, who took up the sport three years ago, was tied with three-time finalist Schram when, with less than 25 seconds to go in regulation, Nyama was awarded two points for a takedown by the official closest to the action. Seconds later, Big Macs coach Chris Mary asked another official to reconsider.
"I didn't see total control," said Mary, who was named Class AAA coach of the year.
A conference of officials ensued, and the points were taken off the board.
"It's Canon-Mac, it's a powerhouse, you know?" Nyama said of the school that won the team title for the second consecutive year. "The ref always goes on their side. The crowd saw it, the other ref saw it. I just stayed positive and kept going."
Nyama (38-2) took Schram down with 20 seconds left in the first overtime.
"[Calls] are rarely overturned up here; [officials] stick together," Mary said. "But obviously, he must have second-guessed himself. But you know what, give Nyama credit for getting it again. He went after it."
"It feels so good," Nyama said. "So good. I dreamed about the state title for years. Years. And I got it. It's amazing."
Godwin denied Schram (25-1) a PIAA title and an undefeated season, but Big Macs teammate Cody Wiercioch earned both with a 7-4 victory against Norristown's Shane Springer at 170.
Wiercioch (46-0), a junior, was making his third appearance in a PIAA championship match, the first two coming representing Charleroi. It was his second title.
Canon-McMillan set a WPIAL record for the most PIAA place-winners with eight and easily outscored runner-up Central Dauphin, 102-67.
"To win the team title and to top it off with the individual state title, I'm very, very proud of the entire team," Mary said. "We brought eight up here, and to get eight medals, I'm just overwhelmed with pride and joy."
Central Catholic's Perry Hills also completed an undefeated season when he won the only Class AAA title match featuring two WPIAL wrestlers (195 pounds). Hills (35-0), who is also the Vikings' starting quarterback, edged Hampton junior Jake Hart, 5-1.
"To go undefeated and win a state championship, it's something I was dreaming about ever since I was 5 years old," Hills said.
Two others from the WPIAL won championships: Upper St. Clair's Mac McGuire (132 pounds) and Kiski Area's Matt McCutcheon (182 pounds).
McGuire (37-1), a Kent State recruit, was runner-up at 119 pounds last season. He said he resisted the urge to wrestle at 126 this season.
"People would say, 'Oh, he's going to be too small,' but I decided to do it," McGuire said. "And it's paid off unbelievably because kids are dying in the third [period] and I'm able to keep on going through the whole thing."
McCutcheon (41-1) decisioned McDowell's Khlique Harris, 2-1, in the tiebreaker period.
"Best feeling in the world right now," McCutcheon said. "I love it."
Franklin Regional freshman Michael Kemerer lost for the first time in his career, dropping the 106-pound final to Ethan Lizak of Parkland, 4-2.
"I thought I dealt with the nerves pretty well; I just didn't wrestle a good enough match," Kemerer said.
First Published March 11, 2012 12:00 am