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Penn-Trafford freshman Coy savors first state title

| Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 4:25 p.m.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Penn Trafford's Cameron Coy (left) ties up with Nazareth's Chase Zemenak in their 132-pound championship bout during the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center on March 08, 2014 in Hershey. Coy won by a 2-1 decision.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Penn Trafford's Cameron Coy hugs his coach Rich Ginther following his 2-1 victory over Nazareth's Chase Zemenak in their 132-pound championship bout during the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center on March 08, 2014 in Hershey.

By Sunday morning, Penn-Trafford freshman Cam Coy had taken off the gold medal symbolizing his first-place finish at the PIAA individual championships.

It still had his attention, though.

“It's hard not to look at,” Coy said.

Coy became the second wrestler in Penn-Trafford history, and the first since 2009, to win an individual state championship when he beat Nazareth's Chase Zemenak, 2-1, in the 132-pound final Saturday night in Hershey. Shane Young won three individual championships for Penn-Trafford, with the last coming in 2009.

“It felt good to me, and I think a lot of people, like our coaching staff, were very excited because it has been a long time,” Coy said. “I was the first person since Shane Young to even make it to states, and to bring back the title does feel good. It feels like a big accomplishment.”

“The emotions (Saturday) night were awesome,” Penn-Trafford coach Rich Ginther said. “The look on Cam's face was priceless at the end of the match — there was a smile from ear to ear that I'll never forget. I know I felt the same way. That was awesome. You only get to feel those things every so often, and some people will never get to experience that.”

Coy, a junior state champion last year, was one of eight WPIAL wrestlers to win an individual championship Saturday night, the most in PIAA history for any district.

His victory over Zemenak came in a tightly contested bout. After a scoreless first period, Coy took a 2-0 lead in the second thanks to a locked-hands penalty called on Zemenak and an escape late in the period. While he allowed an escape in the third period, he held Zemenak off for the final minute of their bout to win the championship.

It capped off a strong weekend for Coy, who beat Greg Warner of Big Spring, 6-0, in the first round; Tommy Stokes of Bensalem, 3-0, in the quarterfinals; and Ty Buckiso of Peters Township, 2-0, in the semifinals.

“We knew he had a chance of going up there and doing really well,” Ginther said. “To go up there and not give up a point until the third period of the final match, that's unreal.”

Coy said a key to his state title was not getting nervous, even in a bracket where he was the youngest wrestler. Fourteen of the 16 wrestlers in the bracket were juniors or seniors, and Coy was the only freshman. Warner, Stokes and Buckiso are all seniors, and Zemenak is a junior.

“I've always wrestled with kids older than me that have always been in high school, and it gave me that feel that I knew what it was like,” Coy said. “It couldn't take me by surprise. I knew how to wrestle that style, and I grew up with it.”

Although the high school season is over, Coy expects to begin the freestyle wrestling season this spring. He plans to wrestle at the ASICS University and FILA Cadet Nationals in Akron, Ohio, in May, and he also hopes to travel to Fargo, N.D., for the Cadet and Junior National Championships.

Now that he has one state title under his belt, Coy is hoping to win three more.

“Me and Spencer Lee, we started off strong, I guess,” Coy said of the Franklin Regional freshman, who won the state title at 113 pounds last weekend. “We definitely put ourselves in good position to try to get those four gold medals.”

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5830, via email at dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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