Penn-Trafford’s Enick refocuses goals with hopes of another trip to Hershey
Sunday, January 16, 2022 | 11:01 AM
Greensburg Salem senior heavyweight Billy McChesney hadn’t had many close matches this season.
That changed in the semifinals at the 69th annual Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association tournament.
Penn-Trafford junior Joe Enick (10-3) raced out to a 4-0 lead with a first-period takedown and a two-point near fall.
McChesney, ranked No. 1 in the WPIAL by Trib HSSN and the state by PaPowerWrestling, rallied for a 7-5 victory in overtime.
Despite the loss, Enick realized he was no longer wrestling just to keep in shape for football. He now has adjusted his goals, and he would like to earn a trip to Hershey.
It would be the second time this school year that Enick would be going to Hershey. He was the starting center and defensive tackle on the PIAA Class 5A champion Penn-Trafford football team, which defeated Imhotep Charter, 17-14, in overtime last month.
“I don’t feel the feeling of winning a state title in football has set in yet,” Enick said. “It’s kind of unreal. I want to go that far in wrestling, too.
“Now I have to concentrate on getting in better shape. I’d like to make another trip to Hershey. The match showed me what I’m capable of. I have a lot of respect for Billy (McChesney). He gave me a battle and came out on top at the end. It was a heck of a match.”
Enick finished third in the county tournament. He went 4-1 and recorded four pins, including three in the first period.
He said needs to open up more on his feet, and he needs more time in the room.
“I need to get into better shape,” Enick said. “I needed it for gas at the end.”
Penn-Trafford coach A.J. Brentzel said what Enick has done so far this season has been special.
“It will help his confidence immensely,” Brentzel said. “It showed him he belongs in Hershey. He hung in there with the No. 1 guy in the state. It changed his expectations.”
Enick’s season was slowed by the extended football season. He also was dealing with a hand injury.
But four days after celebrating the state championship, Enick answered the call from team captain Troy Hohman, who got him to wrestle in an important dual match against Plum.
Enick delivered the deciding pin in a 33-30 victory.
“The team needed me, and I came out for them,” Enick said. “And I’m not going to let the team down because I need to take a week off.”
Enick is following in the footsteps of his dad, Mike, who also played football and was a standout wrestler for the Warriors. Mike Enick was a WCCA and WPIAL heavyweight champion in 1996. He placed sixth in the state during the season.
“Mike won a lot of matches here,” Brentzel said. “If Joe wants to listen, he could learn a lot from him.”
Joe Enick added: “I do listen to him. He’s kind of laid back; he just wants me to listen to the coaches. I’ll take advice from him here or there.
“My goal now is to win a state title.”
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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