Big year for Hampton wrestler Ty Kocak includes 100th win, commitment to George Mason

Thursday, January 2, 2020 | 5:42 PM

It might seem like ages ago that Ty Kocak wrestled his first match for Hampton. If you see a photo of him from three years ago, it looks like it too.

He started at 106 pounds, the lightest weight class. But Kocak kept growing — and so did his win total.

They continue to climb as the senior, now at 170 pounds, became the latest member of Hampton wrestling’s 100-win club Dec. 28, pinning Jason Conner of Arlington-Martin (Texas) in 39 seconds at the Powerade tournament at Canon-McMillan.

He is the first to reach 100 wins since Jake Hart in 2014. Kocak’s mom, Leslie, brought a sign in the stands for support.

“I knew I was going to get the win,” Kocak said. “I was really excited. All my coaches were in my corner. My mom was holding up the sign. I was just real excited when it happened.”

The big moment comes on the heels of a college commitment to George Mason two months ago.

“I just really liked the coaches and all the kids that went there,” said Kocak, who paid the campus a handful of visits. He was also recruited by Bucknell.

“Very proud of Ty on his achievement and hitting 100 wins,” Hampton coach Chris Hart said. “It’s been five years since we had our last wrestler hit 100. Very proud.”

The achievements have come on a road paved with bumps.

Kocak lost a 2-1 decision his freshman season at WPIALs to finish one place out of state qualification.

He followed that by making states his sophomore year at 120, only to have his junior season at 145 derailed by injury.

Things didn’t get easier when he fractured his femur in a summer tournament at Bucknell.

“It was different because I was moving up to a different weight class, and I couldn’t really do much in the summer,” he said.

“I had to rest a lot. It was a big setback, but I recovered pretty fast, went to rehab twice a week. I knew I wanted to be back for the season.”

Wrestling at 170 has given him the opportunity to spar with fellow state qualifier Justin Hart, whom he praised as a partner.

“I can definitely feel the weight difference because people are much stronger in the upper weights,” he said. “I’ve definitely tried to get in the weight room more and get stronger. The technique is much the same. It’s just everyone is bigger.”

Kocak, who got off to a 10-2 start to the season, had a strong performance at the Powerade tournament, going 3-2 and finishing one match out of medal placement.

“I think I’ve been wrestling my best lately,” he said. “I did good at Powerade, but I could have done better. I want to win the section and go to WPIALs and, hopefully, states this season.”


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