Plum heavyweight closes out career in good company at PIAA tourney
It is every high school wrestlers' goal in the state of Pennsylvania to get a chance to compete at the PIAA championships at Hershey's Giant Center.
Plum senior Stephen Turchick met that goal last week, as he found himself one of the top 16 heavyweight wrestlers in the state.
In the end, Turchick was not able to come out on the winning side in either of his matches, but head coach Mike Supak said he has nothing for which to be ashamed.
“I reminded him that he was among the top 16 left in the state, and there are a lot of people who wish they could get here. He was there because he earned it,” Supak said.
“Unless you win the state championship, everyone else loses their last match, and they are pretty frustrated. Steve was frustrated he didn't get to stay longer. But he knew he was at a different level of competition.”
Turchick finished his senior season 32-11, and the trip to states followed his first section championship and an inspired run to a third-place finish at WPIALs.
“Those were his goals, and he fully expected to meet them, but he was still pretty excited at every moment,” Supak said.
Turchick met up with Northwest Regional champion Scot Augustine, a senior from Erie McDowell, in the first round.
Augustine caught Turchick and handed him a rare first-period pin.
“(Augustine) was one of the better heavyweights at states,” Supak said.
“They were sparring pretty good at the beginning. He was able to catch Steve out of position. He went deep on a double and took him down to his back. Augustine took advantaging of his positioning and got the pin.”
Turchick then dropped to the consolation bracket and met Joey Goodhart, a senior from Hempfield in District 3.
Turchick held a 2-1 lead in the third period before Goodhart executed a takedown with about 30 seconds left to take the lead en route to the close win.
“Steve was winning most of the match,” Supak said.
“That kid was 6-8 or 6-9, so he was a little taller and bigger. Steve was fending him off pretty well. The kid had a pretty long reach, and he was able to get in on his shot and finish it. Steve performed well, but the other kid just pulled out one more move.”
Augustine went on to place third overall and finish his season 40-4, while Goodhart ended his senior year 38-5 with a seventh-place finish.
“Steve knew that he was going to face some pretty tough wrestlers. A lot of the guys were strong and able to move well,” Supak said.
Supak said Turchick will be missed both on and off the mat and was one of the strong senior leaders this team had this season.
Turchick's WPIAL place finish, Supak said, will earn him a spot on the wall of fame in the Plum wrestling room at Plum High School.