Greensburg Salem senior wrestler Zach Voytek wasn't bothered by the news that two-time PIAA champion Chance Marsteller, a junior from Kennard-Dale, decided to drop to his weight class.
While others have or considered moving out of 160 pounds to avoid Marsteller, Voytek will stay put.
And his goal hasn't changed — he wants to win a WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA gold medal.
“I set that goal as a freshman,” Voytek said. “I want that state title. It won't be easy, but I'm ready.”
Voytek has been Mr. Dependable for the Golden Lions. He missed only one match in four years — Feb. 12 against Blackhawk when he had bronchitis.
“I was upset that I had to miss my last dual meet,” Voytek said, “But I wanted to make sure I was healthy for the individual tournaments.”
The Class AAA individual tournaments begin Saturday with four section tournaments, and Greensburg Salem will be at Gateway where Voytek will attempt to win his second section title.
Voytek has achieved a lot during his career, but he's never won a WPIAL or PIAA title. He placed seventh in the state and second in the WPIAL in 2012. He's a two-time PIAA qualifier.
His biggest accomplishment came Feb. 6 when he became the school's all-time leader in victories, breaking the mark of 154 held by Donnie Jones.
“It's awesome and I'm happy that I got it and I'll be up there with the Joneses (Donnie, Greg and Vertus),” Voytek said. “They still have done something I haven't — win a state title. Hopefully, I get it.”
Greensburg Salem coach Randy Parsley said he knew early on that Voytek would have a great career.
“When I saw him in seventh grade, I knew he'd be tough,” Parsley said. “I didn't know if he'd win 155 matches.
“Zach doesn't lose to someone he's expected to defeat. All of his losses have come against good kids.”
Voytek is 35-1 this season, his lone loss being 2-0 to Latrobe junior Zack Zavatsky at the Powerade Tournament.
During his career, Voytek has won two Westmoreland County Coaches' Association titles (2012 and 2013), while finishing second in 2011 and third in 2010. He placed second in the WPIAL in 2012 and third in 2011.
“I like this time of the year,” Voytek said, “The coaches have mentally and physically prepared us. We're in top condition, so now it's up to us. There is no one to blame now.”
Parsley said Voytek had numerous colleges looking at him, but he decided to stay close to home and attend Seton Hill.
“It was the perfect fit for me,” Voytek said. “Coach (Brian) Tucker has a lot enthusiasm and is energetic. They also have the program (LECOM, medical field) that I want to study.”
Greensburg Salem and the rest of the Section 1 teams will compete at Gateway on Saturday. The other sites are Baldwin (Section 2), Fox Chapel (Section 3) and Moon (Section 4). Wrestling begins at 9:30 a.m.
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