Penn-Trafford's Coy captures 3rd WPIAL wrestling championship
The Penn-Trafford wrestling team will be well-represented at the PIAA Class AAA tournament this weekend.
The Warriors had four wrestlers advance from the Southwest Regional to Hershey, including Cam Coy, who continued his perfect run with a WPIAL title at 152 pounds.
“It was a great tournament,” Penn-Trafford coach Rich Ginther said. “We had two guys in the finals, and another two guys won big matches to finish in third. I couldn't be happier. Sending four guys to states isn't easy to do in our neck of the woods.”
Coy (34-0) scored a 5-2 decision over Canon-McMillan freshman Gerrit Nijenhuis (41-6) in the finals. It was the toughest match of the day for the senior as he scored falls in every match en route to the finals, including wins over Waynesburg's Caleb Stephenson, Montour's Nico Marsico and Mt. Lebanon's Luke Stout.
“I had too many things going through my head,” Coy said. “I'll need to wrestle a lot better if I want to win a third PIAA title. Maybe I'll just crush everyone there. There is a good chance I'll face Gerrit in the finals next week.”
Coy is the 75th wrestler to become a three-time WPIAL champion. He is the third Penn-Trafford wrestler to accomplish the feat, joining Tom Klingensmith and Shane Young.
“Going after his third title, I think he was a little nervous,” Ginther said. “Hopefully, he kicked that out of his system and wrestles loose (this) week. When he turns it up, he is on a different level. It is fun to watch.”
Coy has won 71 straight matches.
The PIAA tournament will have plenty of challengers for Coy, including Coatesville's Chase Stephens (37-1), Cathedral Prep's Carter Starocci (42-2) and Mechanicsburg's Brayden Willis (35-2). The Virginia recruit will now look to win his third state title.
“We knew he was special when he came in as a freshman,” Ginther said. “But in no way did we think he'd win a title at 132 pounds. When he wrestled in the WPIAL tournament as a freshman, it seemed to click for him. He has been wrestling at such a high level since.
“Cam has meant a lot to the program. His name is known throughout the community, and that is a positive for the program.”
Matt McGillick (26-9) finished as the runner-up at 182 pounds. The senior scored a fall over Trinity's Dawson Leavines in 3:19, a 26-11 technical fall over Montour's Collin Funkhouser and a 4-3 decision over Fox Chapel's Mike Mahon to reach the finals.
But in the championship match, he dropped a 10-3 decision to Bethel Park senior Nino Bonaccorsi (36-0).
“Matt is peaking at the right time,” Ginther said. “The finals wasn't a good matchup for him. Overall, he is wrestling the best he has in his career.”
McGillick is a three-time state tournament qualifier.
Penn-Trafford had a pair of wrestlers claim third place.
Junior Job Chishko (37-6) dropped 3-2 decision to Pine-Richland senior Hunter Baxter in the 132-pound semifinals. But he rebounded in the wrestleback bracket and topped North Allegheny senior Luke Landefeld, 3-2, to claim third place.
“Job always stays on offense,” Ginther said. “This will be his third trip to states, and I think that experience will pay off.”
Chishko will look to improve on a seventh-place finish from last season's trip to Hershey.
Nick Coy (34-9) fell to nationally ranked Franklin Regional senior Spencer Lee by fall in the semifinals at 126 pounds. But the sophomore rebounded and scored a 3-2 decision over Canon-McMillan senior Matt Oblock to finish third.
It will be the second trip to the state tournament for younger Coy.
“He is peaking at the right time,” Ginther said. “He came close to getting on the podium at states last year. That motivation to do it is there.”
The four wrestlers representing Penn-Trafford at the PIAA tournament this year all made it to the event last season. Only two — Cam Coy and Chishko — walked away with medals. Ginther said the group is looking for a sweep this year.
“We're looking to get four medals,” Ginther said. “That was a goal last year, and we were a little short. We want to see Cam win his third title, and the sky is the limit for the other three guys.”
Staff writer Paul Schofield contributed. Nathan Smith is a freelance writer.