Fox Chapel 189-pounder coming into his own after strong showing at county meet

Saturday, January 28, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Trevor Katz received an unorthodox scouting report on his 189-pound quarterfinal opponent in the Allegheny County Wrestling Championships long before the match Jan. 20 at Fox Chapel. Highlands’ Tyler Bender had received high marks for his character from Katz’s mom.

Colleen Katz teaches English at Highlands and told Trevor how good of a student and what a respectful person Bender is.

“My mom had told me how much she liked him, and I said, ‘What if we have to wrestle?’” Trevor Katz said. “Who will you be rooting for? Are you trying to get me off my game?”

Finally healthy after two shoulder surgeries for labrum tears, Katz, a senior, was focused on beating anyone in front of him, no matter how nice they may be, at the county championships. Katz did have his first meeting with Bender, a 9-7 quarterfinal win, en route to a career-best third-place finish at the tournament.

Katz, who is 15-8 this season and was seeded sixth, lost to North Hills’ Evan Letky 2-1 in the ultimate tiebreaker in the semifinals. Katz bounced back in the third-place match by beating Allderdice’s Marcus Wahila 3-2.

“I would have liked to have made the finals, but finishing third felt good,” Katz said. “I’ve worked the event since I was in fifth or sixth grade. In seventh and eighth grade, I sat at the scorer’s table all day. It’s fun to wrestle in front of a home crowd.”

The Foxes finished in seventh place as a team with 151.5 points. Plum won the event with 230.5 points. Katz was one of two wrestlers, along with Alexander Kaufman (152), who finished in third place for Fox Chapel.

Foxes coach Michael Frank said Katz is coming into his own.

“Trevor was able to lift in the offseason and put the pieces together to get his body right,” Frank said. “He wrestled his style at counties and was able to get to his ties and controls. Really, he was able to do what was needed to grind out close wins.”

Michael Worsen, who placed fourth at 114 and improved to 13-8 on the season with his performance, has been adjusting to bumping up a weight class. Worsen wrestles with an up-tempo style and is focused on building up his cardio.

“In the room, we do a lot of live wrestling and a lot of endurance at Fox Chapel,” Worsen said. “We have a lot of cardio and do a lot of intense drilling. You are getting into your shot, and going live gets a lot of energy out and how you would wrestle another guy.”

Frank was happy with how Fox Chapel wrestled. The Foxes had eight all-county wrestlers, including two at 172 pounds

“If you talked to other people based on our results, you may have heard we overperformed a bit, so I’m happy,” Frank said. “But the greedy side of me said I wanted to finish top five (as a team). We put ourselves close to it.”

Katz would like to be greedy too. Fox Chapel is quickly coming up on the individual postseason. Now that he is finally healthy, he would like to make a run to the state tournament.

“Last year it was hard to get a baseline because I didn’t have an offseason,” Katz said. “I was happy how I wrestled despite my limitations. This year, having a full offseason, I was happy to be able to do everything. I lifted and wrestled in the offseason, and it gave me a big boost of confidence.”


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