Four Penn-Trafford wrestlers place at WCCA tournament

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Monday, January 8, 2018 | 11:00 PM


With an abnormally low turnout of only eight wrestlers, Penn-Trafford most likely won't be competing for a team title this year because the amount of weight classes it'll have to forfeit.

That doesn't mean its season is over.

The focus for the Warriors is on the upcoming WPIAL individual postseason and last weekend's Westmoreland County Coaches Association tournament at Norwin provided good preparation. .

Some of the Warriors came home with good results.

Brett Ginther (120 pounds), Nick Coy (132), Job Chishko (145) and John Bachar (182) placed in the top six at the WCCA's.

Coy finished second after an injury forced him out in the second period of the 132-pound championship match with Franklin Regional's Colton Camacho. Chishko (145) took third, Bachar (182) was fifth and Ginther finished sixth after an injury default in the fifth-place match at 120 with Hempfield's Tyler Williams.

The injury dampened Coy's rematch with from last year's WCCA final with Camacho, which Camacho also won, but it continued a string of good results for the sophomore.

“Nick has been having a really nice year,” Penn-Trafford coach Rich Ginther said. “He took third at the King of the Mountain. He lost a tough match to Colton (Camacho) the week before (a 3-2 decision in the loser's bracket at the Powerade tournament). He and Colton have had some really nice matches over the years.”

Chishko dropped a tough 2-1 decision to Kiski Area's Cam Connor in the semifinals before rebounding to win the third-place match over Belle Vernon's Neiko Kuntz with a 6-0 decision.

“Job has been wrestling extremely well,” Ginther said. “We've been wrestling some extremely tough competition. I think Job probably had about 20 matches under his belt this season (before the WCCA's) and some of them were against some of the toughest kids in the country.”

The WCCA's allowed the Warriors an opportunity to get some more mat time. Ginther said because of tough draws at tournaments, some of his wrestlers haven't had as many matches as they would've liked at this point in the season.

Bachar accrued pins over Franklin Regional's Jack Pedrosky and Latrobe's Tyler Ross in the first two rounds before losing a 4-1 decision to Kiski Area's Logan Pollick in the semifinals. He pinned Hempfield's Colin Choby in the fifth-place match.

Brett Ginther lost in the quarterfinals, but worked his way through the loser's bracket before the injury in the fifth-place match.

The Warriors have to forfeit six weight classes in team matches. Injuries and some football players opting out of wrestling have contributed to the low turnout.

There has been some adjustment with their situation, but the Warriors are making the most of it.

“We're limited with what we can do with each individual, because we have only so many small guys, mid-weight guys and big guys,” coach Ginther said. “It's tough to switch up partners and get a different look on a daily basis. There are also some positives. We have eight guys who want to be here and give it their all every day. We get the most we can out of each and every day. We make sure they're having fun, working hard and preparing for February and March.”

After a busy first couple of months to the season, the schedule will slow down a bit outside of dual meets and the annual tournament Penn-Trafford hosts before the WPIAL postseason begins. Ginther and the coaching staff are focused on helping each wrestler prepare for what they'll face in the postseason.

“We've tried to orient our practices to have a lot of individualized time,” Ginther said. “We have a good coaching staff that can go work with a group on certain areas that they need to improve on. One benefit we have is that we can prepare for some of the individual matchups we're going to have later in the season.”

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer.

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