Derry’s Cymmerman begins his long journey, hopes to join elite club

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 | 9:17 PM

The coronavirus has made it tough on high school athletics, especially wrestling.

It’s even tougher for high school wrestlers wanting to earn a trip to Hershey in March for the PIAA championships. This is unlike any other season.

To get there, tournaments were condensed, qualifiers were reduced and another tournament was added. This was done to make it as safe as possible for competitors, coaches, officials and fans.

It also made it tougher to advance.

“There are going to be some good kids not advance from here to Friday,” Derry coach Mike Weinell said. “It’s going to happen in both Class AA and Class AAA.”

Individual tournaments for WPIAL wrestlers began Tuesday with Class AA sub-sections and seasons ended for some good wrestlers.

A wrestler who hopes to return to Hershey for a fourth time is Derry senior Ty Cymmerman (25-3).

He breezed through his two matches in the Section 3-B sub-section at Southmoreland and heads to Canon-McMillan on Friday for the Section 3 tournament in search of his fourth title.

He pinned Ben Plowman of Ligonier Valley and won by a 16-0 technical fall against Conor Johnson of Mt. Pleasant.

“It’s going to be tough, but that’s all right,” Cymmerman said. “I’m getting better by the day. I just go out there and wrestle hard every single match and give it my all.”

Cymmerman, who is one of the top 145-pound wrestlers in the state, is No. 2 in the Trib HSSN rankings behind Blackhawk senior Kenny Duschek (14-2), who defeated Cymmerman at the Powerade Tournament.

He is trying to become the 31st wrestler to be a four-time WPIAL champion and join an elite club that includes former Trojans Troy Dolan (2004-07), Jimmy Gulibon (2009-12) and Micky Phillippi (2013-16).

“I’ve been preparing for the tough competitors,” Cymmerman said. “Last week, we had a duals tournament and I bumped up to face tougher competition and getting good matches. I worked on what I’ve been doing in practice.”

Weinell said Cymmerman learned a lot in that match against Duschek.

“The road is a lot tougher,” Weinell said. “The regionals will be the first rounds of states. If you make it to Hershey, you’re placing. Facing the guys in the northwest will make it harder.

“The Super Region will be tough. Four of the top kids in the state will be in the bracket. Hopefully, I make it out.”

Weinell said Cymmerman’s focus is on Friday. He’ll worry about Duschek on Saturday.

“He has to be on the attack,” Weinell said. “He wasn’t the first time they met. He has to set the pace, and if he does that he’ll face a chance at winning. He can’t sit back.”

Cymmerman said he learned a long time ago not to look past your next opponent.

“I’m trying to focus on the match in front of me and try to dominate,” Cymmerman said, “I have to wrestle how I’ve been wrestling. It’s a lot different because of covid. I still try to work towards a state title every day.”

When he’s not in the Derry wrestling room, he’s at The Compound, a wrestling club in Latrobe where he works out with Norwin’s John Altieri, Latrobe’s Jack Pletcher and “some older club wrestlers.”

Cymmerman signed with Hofstra, a Division I school in New York, where he hopes to start as a freshman.

The biggest thing missing from his resume is a state title. He’s placed fourth as a sophomore and sixth as a junior.

If he happens to win the state tournament, he gets a chance to hang his singlet in Derry’s wrestling room with the rest of the state champions: Mike May, Dolan, Travis Shaffer, Phillippi and Gulibon.

“It would mean a lot to me if I could put my singlet up there,” Cymmerman said.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at

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