Hampton wrestler Kocak wins 100th career match
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Hampton wrestling program has moved into the upper echelon during the past couple of years. Winning team and individual championships, the Talbots have gained quite a bit of notoriety.
It can be difficult to stand out on a team so full of skill and talent, but Zach Kocak stepped to the forefront last week, when a 7-2 victory over Chartiers Valley's Jesse Griffin marked career win No. 100.
“It wasn't exactly easy (the match),” Kocak said. “I knew I had to be good, and I prepared the way I always do.”
Kocak knew he had enough winable matches left this season had he slipped up, but he wanted to get the milestone behind him so he could focus on the WPIAL and PIAA championships.
The senior was thrilled to join the 100-win club, because that is a milestone every wrestler strives for but only a small percentage achieves.
Kocak joins Brian Pogel (132 career wins), Jason Bursick (123), Jason Robison (120), Mike Thompson (114), Chris May (111), Brady Krebs (108) and Jamie Hensch (101). Current teammates Jake Hart and Kevin Synan also surpassed 100 wins this season.
“It's pretty amazing,” Kocak said. “We have all been wrestling together since we were 5 and 6 years old, and the expectations for us as we came up were big. Coach (Joe) Bursick just enhanced what we knew and taught us how to be good at this level.
“It is really nice to be part of a team like this.”
Kocak is no stranger to success, as he helped the Hampton soccer team to a couple of championships, won a section championship as a freshman wrestler at 112 pounds, and had lettered in soccer three times, baseball twice in addition to his wrestling letters. By the time he graduates, Kocak should have 10 varsity letters in all.
With the most recent milestone behind him, Kocak said it is time to refocus and push hard for the rest of the season.
Kocak is planning on college but is not sure if he will try to wrestle, play baseball or soccer. Schools like Washington & Jefferson, Thiel and St. Vincent are courting him for varying reasons.
Kocak said he is thinking about studying education or occupational therapy, but the entire process is still up in the air.
Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mt. Lebanon senior Stout has legacy that links to Kurt Angle
- BVA wrestlers eye gold in ‘Chocolate Town’
- Burrell’s Beattie taking final shot at PIAA title
- Southmoreland, Mt. Pleasant wrestlers look forward to states
- Latrobe’s Pletcher looking to rebound at PIAA tourney following WPIAL loss
- Alle-Kiski Valley wrestling notebook: Veterans, newcomers set for PIAA tournament
- Connellsville wrestlers show resilience, punch tickets to Hershey
- Waynesburg senior Headlee defeats country’s top-ranked at 132 to claim WPIAL Class AAA title
- Southmoreland junior still learning amid success
- Southmoreland, Mt. Pleasant wrestlers chase PIAA berths
- Connellsville’s Kenney wins, pushes toward state berth