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Penn-Trafford's Coy named Tribune-Review Wrestler of the Year

| Saturday, March 25, 2017, 8:39 p.m.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Penn-Trafford's Cam Coy has his shoulders rubbed by coach Rich Ginther while warming up before a Class AAA semifinal of the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championship tournament at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. on Saturday March 11, 2017.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Penn-Trafford's Cam Coy beat Easton's Hayden Keleher during first round of the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championship tournament at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. on Thursday March 09, 2017.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Penn-Trafford’s Cam Coy wrestles Cathedral Prep’s Carter Starocci in the PIAA Class AAA 152lb championship at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. on Saturday March 11, 2017. Coy won 17-6.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Bethel Park's Nino Bonaccorsi reacts after beating Saegertown's Cody Mulligan during the 182-pound championship of the 2016 Powerade Wrestling Tournament at Canon-McMillan High School on Friday, Dec. 30, 2016.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Derry's Dom DeLuca reacts after beating Troy's Zach Zimmerman in the 182-lb bout during the quarterfinals of the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championship tournament at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. on Friday March 10, 2017.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Laurel Highlands' Ian Edenfield hugs Upper Darby's Brian Kennerly in the PIAA Class AAA 220lb championship at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. on Saturday March 11, 2017. Edenfield lost 3-2 decision.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Beth-Center's Dominic Fundy (top) wrestles Derry's Dominic DeLuca in their 182-pound championship bout during the PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional tournament held Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, at Kovalchick Center in Indiana, Pa.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan’s Brendan Furman reacts after beating Kiski Area’s Isaac Reid in the PIAA Class AAA 285lb championship at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. on Saturday March 11, 2017. Furman won by a decision 5-3.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Southmoreland’s Tyler Griffiths wrestles Athens’ Brian Courtney in the PIAA Class AA 132lb championship at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. on Saturday March 11, 2017. Griffiths lost by a fall at 3:19
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
North Hills’ Sam Hillegas reacts after beating Seneca Valley’s Louis Newell in the PIAA Class AAA 113lb championship at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. on Saturday March 11, 2017. Hillegas won 5-2.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Frazier’s Thayne Lawrence wrestles Chartiers-Houston’s Josh Kuslock in the 138-lb bout during the WPIAL Class AA championship at Canon-McMillan High School in Canonsburg, Pa. on Saturday Feb. 18, 2017. Lawrence won by a fall at 5:59.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Franklin Regional's Spencer Lee wrestles Bethlehem Catholic's Ryan Anderson in the 126-lb bout during a Class AAA semifinal of the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championship tournament at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. on Saturday March 11, 2017. Lee won by a 6-0 decision.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
North Allegheny’s Jake Woodley reacts after he beat General McLane’s Ethan Laird in the PIAA Class AAA 195lb championship at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. on Saturday March 11, 2017. Woodley won 5-1.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Hempfield's Jarod Verkleeren wrestles Owen J. Roberts' Daniel Mancini during first round of the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championship tournament at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. on Thursday March 09, 2017.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Jefferson-Morgan's Gavin Teasdale wrestles Boiling Springs' Kollin Myers in the 126-lb bout Class AA semifinal of the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championship tournament at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. on Friday March 10, 2017. Teasdale won by a tech fall 20-5.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Kiski Area's Isaac Reid wrestles Montour's Roman Macek in the 285-lb bout during a Class AAA semifinal of the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championship tournament at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. on Saturday March 11, 2017.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Ligonier Valley's Robby Patrick wrestles Pen Argyl's Chase Anklam in the 152-lb bout during a Class AA semifinal of the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championship tournament at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. on Friday March 10, 2017. Patrick won by a tech fall 16-1.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Southmoreland's Tyler Griffiths wrestles Benton's Colton Babcock in the 132-pound bout during the opening rounds of the PIAA Class AA individual wrestling tournament Thursday, March 9, 2017, at Giant Center in Hershey.

Penn-Trafford senior Cam Coy finished his high school career by winning 75 consecutive matches.

He earned his third WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA titles this season; an overtime loss as a sophomore kept him from being a four-time state champion.

The Virginia recruit finished his career with a 148-11 record, which earned him Tribune-Review Wrestler of the Year honors.

Coy is ranked No. 2 in the country at 152 pounds and he faced the No. 1 wrestler, Quentin Hovis of Poway, Calif., at the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic on Saturday night.

Hovis (181-6) is a four-time state champion who is attending the U.S. Naval Academy.

What or who got you interested in wrestling?

To be honest, my father didn't wrestle, he played basketball. My uncle wrestled, and he wrestled for the University of Virginia. As a kid, I was always wired and I always attacked people and would be physical with them. I had all this energy and it seemed like wrestling was the only sport available for me.

Did you play any other sports?

I played football and loved it. But once I found out I loved wrestling at a young age, that's when I started focusing more on it. I played soccer until middle school and baseball. I experienced other sports, but wrestling trumped everything.

What do you remember about your first PIAA title?

When I think about that year, I think about the beginning of the year. I won two PJW states titles in that division, but the WPIAL had Tyler Smith (Franklin Regional), Sam Krivus (Hempfield), Nino Bonaccorsi (Bethel Park) and a bunch of other kids in the weight class. It was a deep bracket. At the beginning of the year, coach (Rich) Ginther asked us to write down three goals. Mine were, placing at Powerade was one, placing at King of the Mountain and I wanted to make it to states. As the year went on, I started beating kids consistently. Winning the state title wasn't on my mind. Beating Smith gave me confidence. Once I beat him the second time I never looked back. It was awesome winning.

Your sophomore year, you lost a controversial decision to Krivus which prevented you from being a four-time champion. Does that loss bother you?

The truth of the matter, you don't remember the close call or if someone was banged up (which he was) or not. You remember whose hand got raised and what name is engraved in the weight class. You can't let a match be decided by a referee. You have to be dominant and put up points on your own. That was my fault. If I do a couple things differently, maybe I do have that state title. I learned a lot of lessons from that loss, wrestling-wise and life lessons. It formulated to the person I am today.

What changed in your style from freshman year to now?

I wasn't small my freshman year (132); being that young I just wanted to win, and I got the job done. Now, I just try to score as many points I can. I feel I can take down anybody or score on anybody.

What goes through your mind before a match?

I'm always excited. You have a little bit of nerves, but nerves are truly just excitement. I'm always grateful for the opportunity to wrestle to see what I can do and to see my opponent's skills and see what he can do. ... At the end of the year I realized, you just have to go out and have fun, and that's when you're at your best. If you're tight, you're afraid to make mistakes. You have to let it go.

What was your opinion of the NCAA tournament?

It's extremely motivating because a lot of kids, who were national champions or became All-Americans, are close friends of mine. I worked out against some of them over the years and hang out with them. Getting to see them do what they did, that's awesome, and I was excited for them.

Do you visualize yourself there?

I can. Visualization is a huge part of anything. It's something you dream about from a young age. It will be winning that national title. It will be winning the state title. It could be winning something and succeeding. Getting that realization that it's coming. I'm excited about it.

Is there one match that you remember the most?

I think it was my freshman year, and I wrestled a kid named Will Koll for New York. He was one of the better kids in the country, won at Fargo. I didn't know much about him and we wrestled in the second round of the King of the Mountain. After a pretty wild match I ended up winning. That turned a lot of heads. It turned my head. That's when I started gaining confidence in myself.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

Wrestling all-stars

NINO BONACCORSI

Bethel Park, Sr., 182

2016-17 record: 39-1

The two-time WPIAL Class AAA champion finished second in the state for the second consecutive season, losing to Nazareth's Travis Stefanik on a late takedown. He will attend Pitt. Career record: 147-21.

DOM DELUCA

Derry, So., 182

2016-17 record: 37-8

He finished third in the PIAA and second in the WPIAL. He was a big reason for the success of the Derry wrestling team that qualified for the Class AA team tournament. Career record: 68-18.

IAN EDENFIELD

Laurel Highlands, Jr., 220

2016-17 record: 32-5

Edenfield was the school's second WPIAL Class AAA champion and the first PIAA medalist, finishing second after an overtime loss to Upper Darby senior Brian Kennerly, 3-2. Career record: 54-15.

DOM FUNDY

Beth-Center, So., 182

2016-17 record: 39-1

The WPIAL Class AA champion is a two-time PIAA qualifier. The Beth-Center sophomore lost in the state tournament title match to Saegertown junior Cody Mulligan, 6-0. Career record: 75-12.

BRENDAN FURMAN

Canon-McMillan, Sr., 285

2016-17 record: 47-3

The WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA champion defeated Kiski Area junior Isaac Reid in the finals. The Big Macs heavyweight will attend Cornell. Career record: 138-33.

TYLER GRIFFITHS

Southmoreland, Jr., 132

2016-17 record: 38-3

The three-time PIAA qualifier finished second in the state, falling to two-time Class AA champion Brian Courtney of Athens. The WPIAL two-time champion placed eighth in 2015. Career record: 116-16.

SAM HILLEGAS

North Hills, Fr., 113

2016-17 record: 43-0

This freshman sensation blew through the competition this season. He was a WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA champion, defeating Seneca Valley junior Louis Newell in the finals of both.

THAYNE LAWRENCE

Frazier, Fr., 138

2016-17 record: 37-6

Another freshman sensation, Lawrence became the school's first WPIAL Class AA champion and first PIAA Southwest Regional and PIAA medalist. He placed third at the state tournament.

SPENCER LEE

Franklin Regional, Sr., 126

2016-17 record: 35-1

The three-time PIAA and four-time WPIAL Class AAA champion was upset in the state finals by Exeter's Austin DeSanto. The Iowa recruit was competing with an ACL injury. Career record: 144-1.

ROBBY PATRICK

Ligonier Valley, Jr., 160

2016-17 record: 38-2

The two-time PIAA Class AA runner-up lost 3-1 in the finals to Susquehanna Township sophomore Edmond Ruth in overtime. Patrick is a three-time District 6 champion. Career record: 110-14.

ISAAC REID

Kiski Area, Jr., 285

2016-17 record: 43-6

The Cavaliers' heavyweight lost four times during the season to Canon-McMillan's Brenden Furman, including in the PIAA Class AAA finals. He helped Kiski Area to a WPIAL team title. Career record: 106-24.

GAVIN TEASDALE

Jefferson-Morgan, Jr., 126

2016-17 record: 40-0

The three-time PIAA and WPIAL Class AA undefeated champion looks to become the next four-time champion. He recently decommitted from Iowa and committed to Penn State. Career record: 122-0.

JAROD VERKLEEREN

Hempfield, Sr., 145

2016-17 record: 30-1

He won his first WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA titles. The three-time PIAA qualifier missed the 2016 tournament. He recently decommitted from Iowa State. Career record: 135-19.

JAKE WOODLEY

North Allegheny, Sr., 195

2016-17 record: 50-2

The two-time WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA champion defeated General McLane senior Ethan Laird, 3-1, in the state finals. He is committed to Oklahoma. Career record: 148-41.

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