When it comes to the transfer issue in high school, I am old fashioned. I always believed that under ideal circumstances, a student begins and ends his school days with the people who lives on the same street, and in the same neighborhood and district. That's how I did it and how many other people go through it.
I am not naive enough to believe that is the way it happens all the time and I know that things have drastically changed since I walked five miles to school both ways, uphill, and used ink wells so I could write on parchment.
You can speculate, but I don't think anyone can know the reasons why someone transfers unless you can look inside their heart and mind. Good luck with that one.
A part of me understands wanting what's best for a child. I am a father and I want my daughter to have the best opportunities available. I weigh that against the type of disruption it would have to her life if I made drastic changes.
Cody Wiercioch's situation at Charleroi was not a good one as per the wrestling program. The school is struggling to field a team, a new coach still hasn't been hired, and the program is teetering again. This is not the first time it's struggled with numbers or the first time it's been suggested that the program be ended. But his goal to another state title would be more attainable in Class AA.
Wiercioch's success on the mat did not spark renewed interest at Charleroi. But leaving draws criticism to him for not being loyal.
Is he a traitor or simply chasing a better way? Remember when Cary Kolat skipped the final two Californa Christmas Tournaments to compete in the Midlands? Great athletes crave competition and I imagine Wiercioch is no different.
I've been told Canon-McMillan was actually the second choice on the list, that the family bid on a house in the Chartiers-Houston district but did not get it.
Canon-McMillan seemed the most logical choice because Wiercioch worked out at Quest and has ties to that area. That the wrestling program is successful certainly helps.
Wiercioch doesn't need exposure to earn a college scholarship. He's a known and wanted athlete. There are schools right now - Penn State among them - that has great interest in his talents. Winning a state title as a freshman and a silver medal last season gets him into just about any school in the country if his grades are good.
If Wiercioch went to Canon-McMillan for personal glory, then I'm not sure it's such a great place. If he wants to part of a winner and contribute to a team effort, it's perfect.
Wrestling in a talent-laden lineup at Canon-McMillan assures the spotlight won't constantly be on him. Wiercioch now blends in with Connor Schram, Solomon Chishko, Cody Klempay, et al., rather than stands out in the Charleroi program as the great shining star.
I would also suggest that Wiercioch's chances of winning a state title this year will be lower in Class AAA simply because he could be in the same weight class of Kennard-Dale's Chance Marsteller, a Kolat protege who won the 152-pound title last season as a freshman. The undefeated Marsteller, who was at last year's Powerade, could be at 160 this year, the same weight most expect Wiercioch to wrestle.
In this area, we like to believe that we have a massive transfer problem. That just isn't true. The Eastern and Central part of the state has dibs on that. But it does happen here and a high-profile athlete such as Wiercioch is sure to draw a response. His transfer is rare because it happened during his high school days. Most occur before that.
Canon-McMillan wrestling is gaining a reputation as school that seeks out transfers. I'm not sure that is a valid criticism. If Wiercioch had gone to Chartiers-Houston, would that change that program's reputation? If Wiercioch had chosen any other school in this area, do you believe the administration would have tried to dissuade him because they didn't want the criticism? Or would the fans would be super critical of getting a talented athlete? I doubt it.
Does Wiercioch make Canon-McMillan a stronger team? Absolutely, probably the best in the state.
Does it give Wiercioch a better chance at individual success? That's debatable, and it's what will make this season interesting to watch.