Penn-Trafford’s Coy named Tribune-Review Wrestler of the Year
Penn-Trafford senior Cam Coy finished his high school career by winning 75 consecutive matches.
He earned his third WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA titles this season; an overtime loss as a sophomore kept him from being a four-time state champion.
The Virginia recruit finished his career with a 148-11 record, which earned him Tribune-Review Wrestler of the Year honors.
Coy is ranked No. 2 in the country at 152 pounds and he faced the No. 1 wrestler, Quentin Hovis of Poway, Calif., at the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic on Saturday night.
Hovis (181-6) is a four-time state champion who is attending the U.S. Naval Academy.
What or who got you interested in wrestling?
To be honest, my father didn’t wrestle, he played basketball. My uncle wrestled, and he wrestled for the University of Virginia. As a kid, I was always wired and I always attacked people and would be physical with them. I had all this energy and it seemed like wrestling was the only sport available for me.
Did you play any other sports?
I played football and loved it. But once I found out I loved wrestling at a young age, that’s when I started focusing more on it. I played soccer until middle school and baseball. I experienced other sports, but wrestling trumped everything.
What do you remember about your first PIAA title?
When I think about that year, I think about the beginning of the year. I won two PJW states titles in that division, but the WPIAL had Tyler Smith (Franklin Regional), Sam Krivus (Hempfield), Nino Bonaccorsi (Bethel Park) and a bunch of other kids in the weight class. It was a deep bracket. At the beginning of the year, coach (Rich) Ginther asked us to write down three goals. Mine were, placing at Powerade was one, placing at King of the Mountain and I wanted to make it to states. As the year went on, I started beating kids consistently. Winning the state title wasn’t on my mind. Beating Smith gave me confidence. Once I beat him the second time I never looked back. It was awesome winning.
Your sophomore year, you lost a controversial decision to Krivus which prevented you from being a four-time champion. Does that loss bother you?
The truth of the matter, you don’t remember the close call or if someone was banged up (which he was) or not. You remember whose hand got raised and what name is engraved in the weight class. You can’t let a match be decided by a referee. You have to be dominant and put up points on your own. That was my fault. If I do a couple things differently, maybe I do have that state title. I learned a lot of lessons from that loss, wrestling-wise and life lessons. It formulated to the person I am today.
What changed in your style from freshman year to now?
I wasn’t small my freshman year (132); being that young I just wanted to win, and I got the job done. Now, I just try to score as many points I can. I feel I can take down anybody or score on anybody.
What goes through your mind before a match?
I’m always excited. You have a little bit of nerves, but nerves are truly just excitement. I’m always grateful for the opportunity to wrestle to see what I can do and to see my opponent’s skills and see what he can do. … At the end of the year I realized, you just have to go out and have fun, and that’s when you’re at your best. If you’re tight, you’re afraid to make mistakes. You have to let it go.
What was your opinion of the NCAA tournament?
It’s extremely motivating because a lot of kids, who were national champions or became All-Americans, are close friends of mine. I worked out against some of them over the years and hang out with them. Getting to see them do what they did, that’s awesome, and I was excited for them.
Do you visualize yourself there?
I can. Visualization is a huge part of anything. It’s something you dream about from a young age. It will be winning that national title. It will be winning the state title. It could be winning something and succeeding. Getting that realization that it’s coming. I’m excited about it.
Is there one match that you remember the most?
I think it was my freshman year, and I wrestled a kid named Will Koll for New York. He was one of the better kids in the country, won at Fargo. I didn’t know much about him and we wrestled in the second round of the King of the Mountain. After a pretty wild match I ended up winning. That turned a lot of heads. It turned my head. That’s when I started gaining confidence in myself.
Bethel Park, Sr., 182
2016-17 record: 39-1
The two-time WPIAL Class AAA champion finished second in the state for the second consecutive season, losing to Nazareth’s Travis Stefanik on a late takedown. He will attend Pitt. Career record: 147-21.
Derry, So., 182
2016-17 record: 37-8
He finished third in the PIAA and second in the WPIAL. He was a big reason for the success of the Derry wrestling team that qualified for the Class AA team tournament. Career record: 68-18.
Laurel Highlands, Jr., 220
2016-17 record: 32-5
Edenfield was the school’s second WPIAL Class AAA champion and the first PIAA medalist, finishing second after an overtime loss to Upper Darby senior Brian Kennerly, 3-2. Career record: 54-15.
Beth-Center, So., 182
2016-17 record: 39-1
The WPIAL Class AA champion is a two-time PIAA qualifier. The Beth-Center sophomore lost in the state tournament title match to Saegertown junior Cody Mulligan, 6-0. Career record: 75-12.
Canon-McMillan, Sr., 285
2016-17 record: 47-3
The WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA champion defeated Kiski Area junior Isaac Reid in the finals. The Big Macs heavyweight will attend Cornell. Career record: 138-33.
Southmoreland, Jr., 132
2016-17 record: 38-3
The three-time PIAA qualifier finished second in the state, falling to two-time Class AA champion Brian Courtney of Athens. The WPIAL two-time champion placed eighth in 2015. Career record: 116-16.
North Hills, Fr., 113
2016-17 record: 43-0
This freshman sensation blew through the competition this season. He was a WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA champion, defeating Seneca Valley junior Louis Newell in the finals of both.
Frazier, Fr., 138
2016-17 record: 37-6
Another freshman sensation, Lawrence became the school’s first WPIAL Class AA champion and first PIAA Southwest Regional and PIAA medalist. He placed third at the state tournament.
Franklin Regional, Sr., 126
2016-17 record: 35-1
The three-time PIAA and four-time WPIAL Class AAA champion was upset in the state finals by Exeter’s Austin DeSanto. The Iowa recruit was competing with an ACL injury. Career record: 144-1.
Ligonier Valley, Jr., 160
2016-17 record: 38-2
The two-time PIAA Class AA runner-up lost 3-1 in the finals to Susquehanna Township sophomore Edmond Ruth in overtime. Patrick is a three-time District 6 champion. Career record: 110-14.
Kiski Area, Jr., 285
2016-17 record: 43-6
The Cavaliers’ heavyweight lost four times during the season to Canon-McMillan’s Brenden Furman, including in the PIAA Class AAA finals. He helped Kiski Area to a WPIAL team title. Career record: 106-24.
Jefferson-Morgan, Jr., 126
2016-17 record: 40-0
The three-time PIAA and WPIAL Class AA undefeated champion looks to become the next four-time champion. He recently decommitted from Iowa and committed to Penn State. Career record: 122-0.
Hempfield, Sr., 145
2016-17 record: 30-1
He won his first WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA titles. The three-time PIAA qualifier missed the 2016 tournament. He recently decommitted from Iowa State. Career record: 135-19.
North Allegheny, Sr., 195
2016-17 record: 50-2
The two-time WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA champion defeated General McLane senior Ethan Laird, 3-1, in the state finals. He is committed to Oklahoma. Career record: 148-41.