Penn-Trafford wrestlers claim 5th at PIAA tournament
By: William Whalen
Monday, March 12, 2018 | 11:00 PM
Senior Job Chishko and junior Nick Coy were the last remaining Penn-Trafford wrestlers wearing green and gold singlets this season.
Both standouts entered Hershey's Giant Center for the PIAA Class AAA wrestling championships, and after three days, they left with fifth-place finishes and a spot on the medal stand.
“This was my third year at states, and it was nice to get on the medal stand this year,” Coy said. “Fifth place isn't too bad, and next year my goal, for sure, will be to get on top (of the medal stand).”
Coy's tournament didn't start out like he envisioned. He dropped his first 132-pound bout to Easton's Jonathan Miers, 1-0, to fall into to the consolation bracket, where he had to battle his way through four matches to earn a chance at a medal. Coy finished his junior season with a 32-9 record.
“After that first loss, I was disappointed because it was the first loss of the tournament,” Coy said. “I just kept my mind on that goal, wrestled every match hard and got the outcome I wanted.”
Coy scored a 3-0 decision over Souderton's Tyler Williams to earn his fifth-place finish. The top eight wrestlers in each weight class make it to the medal stand. Penn-Trafford coach Rich Ginther thinks Coy's experience will pay dividends next season.
“The kid that won his weight class is a kid he's beat in the past, and that gives him confidence for next year,” Ginther said. “He'll take a short time off, have his body get a little healthy and get right back at. That's what he does. He lives it and loves it.”
Things were bittersweet for Chishko. The 145-pounder turned to Ginther on the final day of competition and started to get nostalgic. The end of the state tournament marked the final time the Bucknell recruit would be weighing in as a Warrior.
“It's crazy how fast your high school career can go by, and going to states that final time really put it into perspective,” said Chishko, who closed his career with a 141-27 record.
“Wrestling at Penn-Trafford has been an amazing experience and one that I'll always remember.”
Chishko finished the tournament with a 4-2 record. He lost to Dubois' Kolby Ho, 3-2, in the quarterfinals.
“Like any match, I came in ready to battle, but Kolby caught me with a re-attack from my double, and that ended up deciding the match,” Chishko said.
Chishko wrestled back through the consolation bracket before losing a 1-0 decision to Ryan Vulakh of Pope John Paul II. The loss put Chishko in a matchup with Bethlehem Catholic's Cole Handlovic for fifth place. Chishko grabbed a quick 4-0 lead in the first period before stepping off the mat one last time with a convincing 8-3 decision.
Chishko has plenty of memories of his time wrestling for Penn-Trafford ,and this past weekend ranks up near the top.
“My most memorable moments were when I won Powerade as a sophomore and this weekend at states as a senior,” Chishko said.
William Whalen is a freelance writer.