West Xtra: Montour junior has big plans on the mat
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It's not unusual to see a wrestler break his high school's record for career wins-- there are a few around the district who accomplish that feat every year.
But it is unusual to see a junior in that position.
Cole Macek is closing in on Montour High School's career victory record, despite being only a junior. Macek has recorded 72 wins since making his varsity debut as a freshman.
Petros Georgalis, a 2009 graduate, owns Montour's career win mark with a 106-35 record. The only other Montour wrestler to reach the Century Club is 2012 graduate Anthony Marks, who concluded his career with a 102-41 record.
"One of my goals this year is to break the school record," Macek said. "I need 28 to reach 100 and 35 to break the record. I had 35 wins last year, so it is possible. I just have to keep winning."
Macek has done a lot of winning since breaking into Montour's starting lineup as a 189-pound freshman.
"Cole had a 34-8 record as a freshman," Montour coach Jason Bombardier said. "It's very unusual to see a freshman win that many matches, especially in the upper weight classes because they are dominated by upperclassmen."
Macek placed second in Section 4-AAA as a freshman and posted a 2-2 record in the WPIAL tournament.
Macek moved up to the newly formed 195-pound weight class last season and posted a 35-9 record. He finished second in the section again, then placed third in the WPIAL to earn a PIAA berth.
"When I saw the WPIAL bracket, I played out a scenario in my head of what it would take to be a top-three finisher," said Macek, who was seeded fifth in the bracket. "It played out just as I had thought.
"I knew that I had to beat [McGuffey's] Eric Capra in the quarterfinals and that upsetting [Central Catholic's] Perry Hills [the top seed] in the semifinals would be tough."
Macek defeated Capra, then lost to Hills, but that was no surprise, as Hills, now a quarterback at the University of Maryland, went undefeated en route to WPIAL and PIAA titles.
Macek rebounded with a pair of victories in the consolation bracket, including a dominating 9-3 victory against No. 3 seed Scott Mohring of Greater Latrobe in the consolation for third place. That victory earned him a PIAA berth.
"Wrestling at Hershey [at the PIAA tournament] was an experience I will never forget," Macek said.
Macek posted a 1-2 record at Hershey.
Macek credits a disappointing performance at the Allegheny County Tournament for his performance in the postseason. He had a 10-2 lead in the semifinals of the county tournament, when he surrended several penalty points for stalling and was eventually disqualified.
"I didn't have much competition until the county tournament and felt I was in good shape," Macek said. "I just hit a wall. It was so embarrassing to have that happen, but it was a wake-up call for me.
"I worked out much harder in the second half of the season to make sure that never happened again."
Bombardier feels it could be more than just a conditioning problem.
"We're going to have him checked out to make sure that he doesn't have sports induced athsma," Bombardier said.
Macek opened this season with three victories at the Eastern Area Invitational at Gateway to claim the 220-pound title. He posted a 7-2 victory against West Mifflin's James Keys in the title match.
"Cole is weighing in at 210," Bombardier said. "He could drop to 195, but that weight class is loaded. He has a better chance at 220."
Macek is also a very accomplished football player. He started at defensive end as a sophomore, then became a two-way starter this past season. He rushed for 454 yards on 92 carries and caught six passes for 45 yards.
"We won the WPIAL title my sophomore year," Macek said. "It was an incredible experience to play at Heinz Field."
Macek would like to continue his athletic and academic career in college, but hasn't decided which sport to pursue.
"I've been asked several times, but I haven't decided yet," Macek said. "I have plenty of time to make a decision. The good thing is that it's a win-win situation."
First Published December 20, 2012 12:00 am