3 (Tie) It is rare for a newspaper to have one team reach a state final — well, unless you cover Southern Columbia football — but for one publication to have two teams, in the same sport, reach the state title game, is a terrific feat.
It happened in June when Warrior Run (in Class AA) and Southern Columbia (in Class A) reached their respective state championship games in State College.
Warrior Run, riding the dominant arm of Daily Item Player of the Year Taylor Parker, finished the season 24-3 after a crushing 4-3 loss to Neshannock in the AA title game. The Defenders lost on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Southern Columbia, which ended the year at 23-4 after beating Greenwood in the semifinals, never advanced a runner into scoring position in a 1-0 loss to Fannett-Metal.
The two powerhouses won’t reach the state final in 2013 for a simple reason: Southern is moving up into Class AA so it would have to go through Warrior Run to get back to the title game.
5 Ryan Solomon had come close before. Nazar Mironenko figured the first time was as good as any.
Solomon, a junior at Milton, and Mironenko, a sophomore at Mifflinburg, won PIAA wrestling titles within a half hour of each other in Herhsey in March. For Solomon it was the next step forward after a pair of state medals his first two seasons of varsity wrestling. For Mironenko, he won gold in his first trip to Hershey.
Solomon turned in a dominant performance at states at 195 pounds After an opening-round fall, he allowed just two more points over his final three bouts, beating Hanover senior Derek Wolford, the Southeast Regional champion, 3-0 in the final to finish the season 35-1.
Mironenko, who also won by fall in his opening round at heavyweight, survived a tie-breaker in the semifinals against Corey Garry of Fort Cherry and then outlasted Chartiers Houston’s Nate Grandelis, 3-2 in the title match to finish 43-2.