Penn-Trafford junior from wrestling family carving his own niche

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Sunday, January 29, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Penn-Trafford junior Hayden Coy comes from a successful wrestling family.

And being the younger brother of three-time PIAA Class 3A champion Cam and two-time PIAA placewinner Nick has its advantages. He can learn from the best.

Hayden Coy (73-27, 28-5) does not yet have the resume of his older siblings, but he’s working hard to build his own. He is a two-time section champion but has fallen short of qualifying for states.

He hopes that changes this season. He finished second at the Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association tournament, losing to two-time PIAA champion Vinny Kilkeary of Latrobe in the 127-pound finals.

Coy opened the season by winning the Eastern Area Invitational at Gateway.

The older brothers wrestled at Virginia, and in fact, Nick is still competing. Cam is working in Washington, D.C.

Coy picked up a key 10-2 decision victory against Norwin freshman Jack White on Jan. 25 to help Penn-Trafford finish as tri-Section 3-3A champions with Norwin and Franklin Regional.

The victory put the Warriors in the WPIAL team tournament with a first-round match against Kiski Area scheduled for Jan. 30.

“It was the most fun match this year,” Coy said about win against Norwin. “We didn’t expect to win this match. It was nice to get an upset.”

Coy is now concentrating on the postseason.

“My overall goal is to place at states,” Coy said. “I fell short a couple years. I feel I’ve really improved this year. I’m a lot stronger. My conditioning is a lot better. Hopefully I can make something happen.”

Coy said he’s learned a lot from his brothers by wrestling in the basement when they come home.

“I’ve learned pretty much everything,” Coy said. “We always wrestle in the basement, even when they come home for break.”

Penn-Trafford first-year coach Travis McKillop said Coy has really changed the way he’s trained in the offseason.

“Hayden is the ideal kid to coach,” McKillop said. “He’s a kid that someone could come in from off the street and coach. He’s a great kid on and off the mat.

“He’s the hardest worker and listens to everyone. Takes advice from everyone, asks questions and is constantly learning. He just wants to get better.”

McKillop said Coy showed a lot mettle after falling behind 2-0 and rallying for a dominating 10-2 victory against Norwin.

“He had a close match (3-1) against that kid at counties,” McKillop said. “He really opened up, and his hard work paid off.

“He looked good. That White is a tough kid and tough competitor too. I’m sure they’ll be back battling down the road at WPIALs.”

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 pschofield@triblive.com.

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