Penn-Trafford wrestlers end team season strong despite loss to Canon-McMillan

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Sunday, February 5, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Penn-Trafford’s wrestling team can now focus on getting individuals ready for their part of the season after losing to Canon-McMillan in the first round of the WPIAL Class 3A team tournament Feb. 1.

The Big Macs defeated the Warriors, 49-15.

The individual competitions begin with the section tournament Feb. 25, at Norwin.

First-year coach Travis McKillop and his staff will be working hard in practice to prepare for that event.

Penn-Trafford ended the season with a 7-9 record after a 2-7 start. The wins down the stretch included a 35-31 victory at Norwin to create tri-champions of Section 3-3A with Franklin Regional and the Knights.

The Warriors advanced to the first round of the team tournament with a 33-27 victory against Kiski Area in the preliminary round.

“Half my team is seniors and the other half are freshmen,” McKillop said. “Canon-McMillan is obviously a great team, great tradition and a great program. I don’t think we wrestled our best.

“Hopefully these freshmen come back in individuals. We still have individual goals which are the main reason why we wrestle. Our freshmen can come back next year with a chip on their shoulder. I think we’re better than we wrestled.”

McKillop told his team after the match Feb. 1 what his plans are and what things the team must work on over the next three weeks.

He highlighted getting back to the basics and making sure they’re doing the right things.

He also said it’s also a time to heal and get ready for the stretch run.

McKillop said he’s confident that some of the wrestlers can do well at the section tournament and beyond.

“What do I hope is they get experience; they have experience now,” McKillop said. “I want them to realize that they are good enough to compete with these teams.

“The last month we really as a team became closer. They were working hard, and I think some of their talents came out. They came up short, but we’ll remember that for next year.”

Wrestlers to finish strong included heavyweight Joe Enick, senior Owen Ott (215), sophomore Tasso Whipple (172), senior Dominic Hartman (160), junior Hayden Coy (127) and freshman Dylan Barrett (107).

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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