East Xtra: Penn-Trafford standout targets national title

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Cameron Coy won a PIAA wrestling title in March during his freshman year at Penn-Trafford High School.

Now Coy has his sights set on a national title.

Coy has qualified for the USA Wrestling Cadet National Championships, which will take place at the Fargodome at North Dakota State University beginning Saturday and continuing through July 26.

"I qualified when I became an All-American at the Cadet National Duals," Coy said. "I wrestled for the Pennsylvania squad that placed second in the country in freestyle and third in Greco-Roman. We lost to the team from Illinois in both tournaments."

Coy earned his All-America status by going undefeated in both tournaments.

"I wrestled seven matches in the freestyle tournament and five in the Greco-Roman tournament, all at 138 pounds," Coy said. "It was a good experience because many of the kids I faced at the National Duals will be at Fargo, so I have an idea of what to expect."

Coy has the option of competing in both disciplines at Fargo, but decided not to compete in the Greco-Roman tournament.

"I could have had as many as 10 or 11 matches in the Greco tournament if I do well, then go right into the freestyle tournament and possibly have as many matches," said Coy, when asked why he's skipping the Greco-Roman tournament. "I want to be fresh for the freestyle tournament."

Coy has high expectations for his trip to Fargo.

"It's a huge tournament with a lot of kids," Coy said. "My goal is to win a national title. I think I've got a good shot of winning, but I have to wrestle my best."

Coy's trek to Fargo begins today with a training camp at Pitt-Johnstown.

"The tournament [for him] begins July 21," Coy said. "My dad is also making the trip to Fargo. He follows me everywhere."

Coy made his varsity debut at Penn-Trafford in December and made an immediate impact. He advanced to the finals of the King of the Mountain Tournament, losing to PIAA champion Sam Krivus of Hempfield Area by one point. He also placed third at the prestigious Powerade Christmas Tournament at Canon-McMillan.

"I lost in the second round to a kid from Ohio," Coy said. "I had to win seven straight matches in the consolation bracket to place third."

His performance at those tournaments put Coy on the map and showed he was somebody to be reckoned with.

"The King of the Mountain and Powerade tournaments showed me what I was capable of doing," Coy said.

Coy opened the postseason with a second-place finish at the Class AAA Section 1 tournament. His only loss was to PIAA champion Tyler Smith of Franklin Regional. The two met again the following week at the WPIAL tournament and Coy avenged his loss to Smith in the title match.

"I knew Cameron had talent, but certainly didn't expect him to win WPIAL and PIAA titles in his freshman year," Penn-Trafford coach Rich Ginther said. "Beating Smith in the WPIAL finals was a huge win for him. It set the tone for the weekend at Hershey. He peaked at the right time."

Coy capped his magical freshman season with a PIAA Class AAA title at Hershey.

"I was really loose at Hershey," Coy said. "Beating Tyler [Smith] in the WPIAL title match gave me a lot of confidence going into the state tournament."

Coy has been working out with the Young Guns Wrestling Club during the offseason.

"I work out with the Young Guns at least three or four times a week," Coy said. "There are so many great partners to work out with. I can't ask for a better training scenario."

Coy has taken on this aggressive training schedule to make sure that he keeps winning WPIAL and PIAA titles, and hopefully a national title.

"Winning both titles as a freshman has put a big bulls'-eye on my back," Coy said. "My goal is to win four WPIAL titles and four PIAA titles. That's why I keep working so hard."

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