Family motivates Fox Chapel junior in quest for postseason wrestling success

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Saturday, February 18, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Josh Alexander had one of his brothers work on lighting a fire underneath him. With the Alexander family, there is a lot of successful family history on the wrestling mat. Both of Alexander’s brothers wrestled at Maryland, and his father competed at Clarion.

The 139-pound Fox Chapel junior who is 22-9 this season is hoping to take a step toward joining them when competes in the section championships Saturday, Feb. 25. The Foxes have a number of wrestlers who are hoping to extend their seasons by qualifying for WPIALs.

Last season, Alexander finished fourth in the section at 126 pounds before going 1-2 at the WPIAL Class 3A championships.

As a freshman, Alexander compiled a 6-4 record.

“My freshman year wasn’t the year I wanted it to be,” Alexander said. “Covid was a huge pain. I didn’t do well at sub-sectionals. I felt like I wasn’t prepared enough, and I started training more in the offseason for last year and this year.”

In addition to wrestling for Fox Chapel, Alexander has been working with his club at the Mat Factory. Foxes coach Michael Frank said that Alexander has been looking to do the little things right to build for the postseason.

“It’s a daily focus for him to improve on all positions,” Frank said. “He’s in more of a fine-tuning kind of mindset. He’s not focused on learning new things anymore. He’s focused on making himself better in the spots he wants to be in.”

What helped spur Alexander back into pursuing wrestling aggressively was his brother challenging him to train more after graduating from college. Alexander started doing more workouts after practice to try to get in better shape.

“I started doing more stuff after practice, pushups and pullups,” Alexander said. “Both of my brothers are big influences for me through my wrestling career. In sixth grade, I didn’t go to club practices, and one of my brothers got on my butt about going to club.”

Alexander has proven adept at picking up bonus points this season. He has 11 pins and three technical falls.

“I don’t like losing,” Alexander said. “It’s important to make it to the WPIAL tournament, and I would like to make it to states. I saw the end goal, and I realized I needed to do some things to adjust.”

Fox Chapel is hoping several wrestlers can join Alexander by qualifying for WPIALs. The district made the section tournaments bigger than in past years, so the Foxes will see tougher competition for spots.

Fox Chapel has four other wrestlers besides Alexander — Landon Funk (107 pounds), Michael Worsen (114), Alexander Kaufmann (152) and Trevor Katz (189) — who have won 20 or more matches this season.

“It’s going to be interesting,” Frank said. “With new alignments, we are going to see some teams like North Allegheny, Pine-Richland and Seneca Valley. Luckily, we’ve seen a bunch of those teams at the county tournament. I have a handful of guys I want to see how they compete against top-level kids. I’m excited to see how they handle the challenge.”

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