Penn-Trafford trio claims Section 1 wrestling titles
It was a standout day for the Penn-Trafford wrestling team at the Section 1-AAA tournament Saturday.
The Warriors had nine wrestlers clinch berths for the WPIAL Class AAA wrestling tournament, including three finishing in first place in their weight classes.
“It was a really successful tournament,” Penn-Trafford coach Rich Ginther said. “We took 10 guys, and nine qualified for the next step. I would take that any day.”
The three first-place wrestlers were junior Job Chishko (132 pounds) and seniors Cam Coy (152) and Matt McGillick (182).
Chishko (33-5) scored a 17-0 technical fall over Hempfield's Tyler Williams, a fall in 1:07 over Norwin's Bryce Long, and a 5-0 decision over Latrobe's Joel Cawoski en route to his section crown.
Coy (30-0) had a dominating performance at 152 pounds. The Virginia recruit scored falls over Franklin Regional's Max McCann and Hempfield's Trevor Verkleeren before he topped Kiski Area's Nick Delp with a 19-3 technical fall in the finals.
McGillick, a two-time state qualifier, had dominating wins in his first two matches, topping Franklin Regional's Safan Rahim, 23-8, for a technical fall and Kiski Area's Brad Nagy, 24-11, for a major decision.
In the finals, McGillick (23-8) walked away with a 6-4 decision over Greensburg Salem's Teegan Hahn.
“They all looked on the top of their game,” Ginther said. “That is what you want to see this time of year. Job looked as good as he has all year. Cam was dominant as always. He understands what time of year it is and turned it up if there is such a thing for him.
“Matt wasn't the No. 1 seed going in, but we expected him to do well. He has been getting in shape and has been disciplined. He is at the top of his game.”
A pair of Warriors walked away with third-place finishes.
At 126 pounds, sophomore Nick Coy (30-8) bounced back from a loss to Kiski Area's Noah Levett in the semifinals to move on to the WPIAL tournament. He topped Greensburg Salem's Dajauhn Hertzog, 19-4, for a technical fall and Norwin's Jason Miller with a pin in 2:40 to claim third.
At heavyweight, senior Josh Maglicco (27-7) fell to Penn Hills' Deshawn Butler in the semifinals but scored falls over Greensburg Salem's William Gongaware and Armstrong's Michael Cornman to claim third.
“I would take him as a sleeper in that weight class,” Ginther said. “He lost a tough semifinal match. He wasn't happy with the outcome. If he gets another shot, he will be up for the challenge.”
Sophomore John Bachar (27-14) finished in fourth place at 170 pounds after being pinned by Kiski Area's Vinny Romano in the third-place consolation match. Junior Matt Wilkie (16-16) reached the 195-pound third-place consolation match but fell to Plum's Keyshawn Smith, 5-2.
A pair of freshmen were able to overcome early setbacks to claim fifth and move onto the WPIAL tournament. Tony Zona moved on at 120 pounds after scoring a fall in 2:26 over Gateway's Jaired Lehman. At 220 pounds, Peyton Kelly scored a fall over Gateway's Bryce Washington in 4:37 to keep his season alive.
The success of the younger wrestlers has Ginther excited for their future.
“Both freshmen have gotten better,” Ginther said. “They have improved from Day 1. It is a new game going from junior high to high school competition. John (Bachar) has been solid all year. He is hungry. Getting his feet wet is going to pay off down the road.”
Junior Chris Risnear (11-19) fell just short of making it to the WPIAL tournament after suffering a 6-2 setback to Armstrong's Matt Vukovich in the fifth-place consolation match at 138 pounds.
The Warriors now switch their focus to the WPIAL tournament Friday and Saturday at Canon-McMillan and beyond.
Last season, Penn-Trafford sent four wrestlers to the state tournament in Hershey, including Cam Coy, Nick Coy, Chishko and McGillick. Ginther said there is a possibility to see even more wrestlers make it through this season.
“Four was the most we have taken in school history,” Ginther said. “I would say it is a possibility. It is March in Western Pennsylvania. Anything can happen, and nothing is given.”
Nathan Smithis a freelance writer.