Penn-Trafford wrestler Coy ready to make a run at WPIALs after injury-hampered season

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Thursday, February 29, 2024 | 8:21 PM


Hayden Coy’s senior season hasn’t gone quite as planned.

A foot injury the second weekend of the season at Trinity Duals kept him from helping his Penn-Trafford teammates compete for a Section 3-3A title.

But Coy, after some physical therapy, has returned and is ready to compete for his first WPIAL Class 3A title Friday and Saturday at the WPIAL championships at Canon-McMillan.

“Winning a WPIAL title is my main goal, but qualify for PIAAs and getting on the podium in Hershey is the other,” Coy said. “I rolled my ankle, and I fractured a bone in my foot. It’s been frustrating.”

He tried to return in January at the Mid-Winter Mayhem at Indiana but wasn’t ready.

He returned to the Eastern Sectional on Feb. 24 and finished second to Connellsville junior Evan Petrovich at 145 pounds.

Petrovich (33-6) is seeded No. 1 this weekend, and Coy is seeded No. 3 behind Bethel Park junior Ethan Higgins (31-8). Coy placed third in 2023 but didn’t earn a medal at states.

“Evan and I went back-and-forth, and he got the better of me that day,” Coy said. “The injury forced me to compete at a weight higher that I planned this season.”

Coy (12-3) wanted to compete at 139 pounds.

He said he feels 100 percent and is looking forward to competing the next two weeks.

“The Eastern Sectional prepared me for the WPIALs and PIAAs,” Coy said. “I’m back into the swing of things. My conditioning is fine, and I just need to work on a few things. I just have to focus on the present.”

Coy plans to wrestle collegiately at Bloomsburg and major in accounting.

Penn-Trafford coach Larry Hohman said not having Coy in the lineup hurt the team, and he kept him out of some duals late in the season so he could focus on individuals.

“This is the important time of the season for the wrestlers,” Hohman said. “It’s the time they’ve been working towards all season. I expect Hayden will do his best.”

When Franklin Regional senior Juliano Marion lost to Ringgold junior Jake Conroy on Jan. 3, he used it as a learning experience.

Marion (39-5) had lost three consecutive matches, two in the Powerade Tournament, but hasn’t lost since.

He has won 25 consecutive matches heading into this weekend’s championship, including a 4-2 win against Conroy in the Eastern Sectional on Feb. 24 at Norwin.

“He was better on that day when I lost,” Marion said. “He’s a tough wrestler, and we’ll probably meet again.”

Marion was seeded No. 2 in the WPIAL tournament. Conroy (38-2) is seeded third, and Canon-McMillan senior Geno Calgaro (17-0) is seeded No. 1 at 215 pounds.

Marion is looking for his first WPIAL title. He placed fourth in 2022 and third in 2023. He placed sixth in the state in 2022 at 189 pounds.

Latrobe junior Luke Willochell, meanwhile, is looking to become the next three-time WPIAL champion.

He will join Bentworth senior Chris Vargo and Burrell senior Cooper Hornack from Class 2A to achieve that accomplishment last weekend.

Other returning champions are Thomas Jefferson junior Maddox Shaw, Hempfield senior Eli Carr and Pine-Richland junior Vaughn Spencer.

Action at Canon-McMillan begins 5 p.m. Friday and resumes at 10 a.m. Saturday. The finals are slated for 4 p.m.

Lawrence looking for another milestone

Frazier senior Rune Lawrence continues his journey of fours this weekend at the PIAA Class 2A Southwest Regional at Altoona.

Lawrence looks to become a four-time regional champion. He’d like to conclude his journey March 9 as a four-time PIAA champion.

Vargo also is looking for his fourth title, and West Branch senior Landon Bainey, Penn Cambria senior Trent Hoover and Penns Valley senior Ty Watson are chasing their third titles.

Other returning past champions include Chestnut Ridge sophomore Dominic Deputy (2023), Bald Eagle senior Lucas Fye (2023), Bald Eagle Area junior Caleb Close (2023), Central Valley senior Brenan Morgan (2023), Burgettstown senior Parker Sentipal (2022), Burrell senior Cooper Hornack (2021) and Bishop McCort senior Mason Gibson (2021).

WPIAL/PIAA Southwest Regional Class 3A Championship

Where: Canon-McMillan High School

When: Friday and Saturday

Times: Preliminary round and first round 4:30 p.m. Friday; second round of consolations 10 a.m. Saturday; semifinals, noon; 4 p.m. finals.

Skinny: Top four finishers in each weight class advance to PIAA Championship March 7-9 at Hershey.

PIAA Girls West Regional

Where: Canon-McMillan High School

When: Saturday

Times: 10 a.m. quarterfinals; semifinals, noon; 4 finals.

Skinny: Top four finishers in each weight class advance to PIAA Championship March 7-9 at Hershey.

PIAA Class 2A Southwest Regional

Where: Altoona High School

When: Friday and Saturday

Times: Preliminary round and first round 4 p.m. Friday; first round of consolations 9 a.m. Saturday; semifinals, 12:30 p.m.; 5:15 p.m. finals.

Skinny: Top six finishers in each weight class advance to PIAA Championship March 7-9 at Hershey.

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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